Daniel C. Prince Papers and S.T.A.R. Collection

Identifier: MSS.0884

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content Note

The Self Taught Artist Resource Collection (STAR), late 1960’s-2002, are the working papers of Daniel C. Prince, Prince Art Consultants, and STAR, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created by Daniel C. Prince. These include materials relating to artists, art environments, patrons, general correspondence, both for-profit and non-profit businesses, manuscripts of writings, research materials, publication materials, art organizations, ethnographic materials, clippings and subject files, photographs, slides and negatives, and assorted audio and video media. The collection is extensive, with the bulk of the materials from the 1990’s, though the collection continues to grow. Major topics of interest include folk art, outsider artists, self-taught artists and research on various forms of self-taught art.

Dan Prince has been assiduous in his collecting. His tireless search to discover and promote new self-taught artists has created as a by-product a large collection of materials. Without a brick and mortar gallery, Dan has relied on photographs to circulate and to sell an artist’s work. Perhaps the materials of greatest importance in this collection are the artist files and photographs, which provide a visual record of self-taught art in America. Artists of note are Howard Finster, Robert E. Smith, Danny Dowler, Karolina Danek, and Ann Krasner, as well as more famous artists such as Bessie Harvey, Mose Tolliver, Thorton Dial, Sanford Darling, and Grandma Moses. Of particular interest in this collection is the series on folk art environments. There is information on many such environments from around the country and several articles that Dan Prince wrote in support of these fragile works, some of which no longer exist.

There are three separate series relating to business materials. The material relating to Prince Art Consultants has been separated from the materials concerning STAR and the creation of the non-profit organization. The third series contains patron files. While correspondence is often a primary series in manuscript collections, the correspondence in this collection generally remains within artist, patron, or project files. There is however a small series of correspondence, both outgoing and incoming. This correspondence is in general business related, though there is plenty of personal material included.

The organizations and events series is noteworthy. It contains exhibit and gallery materials and information relating to museums, art centers and folk art organizations. There is material concerning exhibits for which Dan Prince has been curator as well as invitations to exhibits and gallery openings.

The collection contains a small series of publications by various writers. There is, however, a considerable amount of material in the writings series. The sub-series, articles, lectures, manuscripts, notebooks, and novels contain a wide-ranging variety of writing subjects. The articles, lectures, and several of the manuscripts tend toward a more academic nature. The remaining manuscripts and the novels are fiction. The notebooks are draft copies of the articles, manuscripts, novels, and correspondence.

There is a small series of personal and biographical material, though information on Dan Prince can easily be extracted for the collection as a whole. A small series of ethnographic materials relates to Dan Prince’s interest in Ethnographic Arts, which are often related to folk art and self taught art. The last paper series is Subject Files. In general there is a wealth of information to be gathered from this series. There are lesser artists and minor self-taught genres represented as well as topical information on an array of Dan Prince’s interests. The bulk of the material is newspaper and magazine clippings.

The multi-media nature of this collection is truly one of its strong points. The collection contains, many thousand photographs and slides, illustrating artists works as well as documenting folk art environments, community projects, and exhibits. There are audio cassettes, video cassettes, and various other media all to enhance the researchers understanding of self-taught art.


  • 1960s-2002

Language of Materials



40.22 Linear Feet

Physical Location

Offsite Storage, Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the Daniel C. Prince Papers and S.T.A.R. Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


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This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

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