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William Crutchfield watercolor paintings

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-123

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 460 original watercolor paintings of wild flowers of the southeastern United States created by Chattanooga, Tennessee architect and artist William Crutchfield.


  • circa 1931-1956


Language of Materials

This collection contains materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright status of this collection has not been evaluated.

Biographical / Historical

A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, William Crutchfield was born March 13, 1889 to Thomas Crutchfield and Sarah Loveman Crutchfield. He attended Chattanooga city schools and graduated from Chattanooga High School. Except for the time spent serving in both World Wars, Crutchfield was devoted to architecture and received a BOS degree in architecture from the University of Illinois in 1916. Mr. Crutchfield opened an office called the firm of Crutchfield and Law, which designed some of Chattanooga's most beautiful residences and outstanding public and commercial buildings. He specialized in traditional architecture and his work exemplified the details, balance, and proportion that make classical Georgian architecture timeless. Although Crutchfield worked as an architect, one of his other interests was nature and wildflowers. During the Great Depression, his hobby of creating watercolor paintings of wildflowers turned into a life-saver since the poor economy had temporarily crippled business. In the winter of 1931, Crutchfield began his color studies of wildflowers and before his death in 1956 had completed 460 color plates. In addition to the wildflowers, his impressive body of work includes familiar Tennessee landscapes, a series of bird paintings, and a collection of pen and ink drawings that first served as family Christmas cards. In 1955, only one year before his death, Crutchfield was honored with a one-man showing of his work at the Hunter Art Gallery in Chattanooga. Crutchfield's watercolors began as a "life-saving" hobby during the Depression and bloomed into a collection that serves as a beautiful and timely admonition that the need to conserve the natural habitat of wild flowers is the shared responsibility of all.


3.75 Linear Feet (3 Boxes)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by Pat Crutchfield to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on 2012 November 12.

Processing Information

The processing of this collection is complete.

William Crutchfield watercolor paintings
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collection Area Details

Part of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Manuscript Collections Collection Area

615 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga Tennessee 37403 USA
(423) 425-4503