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Ezra Winter letter

 Collection — Folder: S0485
Identifier: S0485

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a letter from Ezra Winter in New York City, New York dated Feburary 1, 1932 regarding the return of a book he had borrowed from the Indiana State Library.


  • 1932/02/01


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Ezra Augustus Winter was born in Manistee, Michigan on March 10, 1886 to Augustus and Sarah (Bright) Winter. He studied at Olivet College from 1906 to1907, earning an LL.D. in 1924, and he studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts from 1908 to 1909. Winter won the American Academy in Rome scholarship in 1911 to study art in Europe. He created many murals in public buildings, including the U.S. Supreme Court Building, the George Rogers Clark Memorial in Vincennes, Indiana, several reading rooms at the Library of Congress, Radio City Music Hall; the Cunard Building in New York City, and the Eastman School of Music and Eastman Theater in Rochester, New York as well as private residences. Winter also designed camouflage for the American Shipping Board during World War I. He was a faculty member for the Grand Central School of Art in New York City, which opened in 1924. In 1926, he accompanied the Putnam expedition to Greenland in search of specimens for the American Museum of Natural History. Winter was also a member of a number of organizations, including the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and he also won Morgan and Carnegie awards.

Winter's life, with his unceasing quest for beauty, his lavish lifestyle and his beautiful murals, was chronicled in newspapers, including his divorce from his first wife, Vera Beaudette, a beautiful model who sat for him and whom he married in August of 1911. They had three daughters: Renata, Sarah and Jeanette. Ezra, Vera and Renata were on the ship Anacona in 1915, leaving Italy for the United States, which was torpedoed by German U-boats. They were presumed lost for a short period of time and remained in Naples, where they had been put ashore, for a few years. Winter left his family in 1920, and the divorce, on charges of cruelty, became final in 1925. He married Edna Patricia Murphey Albert, a successful entrepreneur, in July of 1932, at Falls Village, Connecticut. Commissions became more infrequent, Winter suffered a broken coccyx which caused much pain and had difficulty healing, and he started to exhibit signs of depression and have difficulty working. He committed suicide in the woods of his property in Connecticut on April 7 or 8, 1949, and he was buried in the Salisbury Cemetery, Salisbury, Connecticut.


Information found within the collection. "Winter, Ezra." Find a Grave Index. Accessed September 11, 2015.

Helfand, Jessica. "Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Twelve." The Design Observer Group blog, December 28, 2012. Accessed September 11, 2015.

"Winter, Ezra Augustus." In Who Was Who in America, vol. 2, 587. (p. 587). Chicago: The A.N. Marquis Company, 1950.

"Winter, Muralist, Takes His Own Life." New York Times, April 8, 1949, p. 22, c.6. Print.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of one item.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a records transfer from the Indiana State Library, Indiana Division.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2005/04 by Jennifer Duplaga. EAD finding aid created 2015/09/11 by Edythe Huffman.
Ezra Winter letter
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.