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Kurt F. Pantzer collection

Identifier: L593

Scope and Contents

This collection includes typed and photocopied political papers and typed and autographed and signed correspondence (circa 1940-1970s and undated) relating to Pantzer's involvement in state and national Republican Party politics, and especially party finances, presidential campaigns of Robert Taft (1947-1952), Barry Goldwater (1964), and Richard M. Nixon (1968, 1972), support for Supreme Court appointment of Sherman Minton, involvement with foreign affairs organizations, including American Committee on United Europe and Council on Foreign Relations, and anticommunist work in Indiana and United States; legal papers, including those relating to his role in a dispute (circa 1940-1960s) between New York and New Jersey over Delaware River water rights, involvement with the writing of Uniform Commercial Code, work with National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, work with American, Indiana, and Indianapolis Bar Associations, settlement of estate of Meredith Nicholson, Jr., and law classes which he taught at Indiana University School of Law; and civic work papers, including material relating to conversion of Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, to a peacetime military base, and to various Indianapolis and Indiana civic and educational organizations including Art Association of Indianapolis, Associated Colleges of Indiana, Butler University, Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Theatre Association, John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Meridian Street Foundation, Tudor Hall School, and Wabash College. Architectural drawings, maps and photographs related to Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler University, the Acropolitan area and Indianapolis Museum of Art are included.

Also includes family papers and photographs, including signed and autographed correspondence from and to Pantzer as a student at Wabash College and Harvard University (1909-1920) (often in German from his parents), and as an army officer serving in Louisville, Kentucky (1917-1919), and letters (1878-1930s) from family members in Germany.


  • 1820s-1986, undated


Language of Materials

Materials in English and German.

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

Kurt Friedrich Pantzer was born on August 21, 1892 in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana to Hugo Otto Pantzer of Wisconsin and Emma Schmidt of Germany; he was the oldest of six children, including Ralph, Otto, [Elsa] Else, Margaret and Adele. Pantzer married Katharine (Kitty) Ferriday January 9, 1926. Kurt and Katharine had three children; Kurt Friedrich "Fritz" Pantzer Jr., Katherine "Kitzi" Pantzer, and Erie F. Pantzer. The family lived at 4310 North Meridian Street in Indianapolis and entertained extensively. Kurt and Kitty later moved into an apartment on 86th Street.

Pantzer attended Wabash College (IN)from 1909-1911 and Harvard University (1911-1920; receiving a degree in Art and earning an SJD in 1920); captain U.S. Infantry (1917-1919); lawyer in New York (1920-1922) and Indianapolis (1922-1979), co-founder and partner in the firm of Barnes, Hickam, Pantzer and Boyd (1940-1975); lecturer, Indiana University School of Law (1955-1966); member, Republican National Finance Committee (1956-1966); finance chairman for Richard Nixon's 1968 Indiana primary campaign; chairman Indiana Republican Finance Committee, and co-founder of the Indianapolis Republican Finance Committee; served on board of directors of numerous companies, including the American States Life Insurance Company; trustee of Tudor Hall School, Indianapolis, and Butler University (IN); active in civic and arts organizations, including the Herron School of Art and the The Art Association of Indianapolis, which changed its name to Indianapolis Museum of Art on 1/1/1970. He published many legal documents and articles on art. He presented many legal seminars and presented a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He received many honorary degrees, from Tusculum College, Indiana University, Franklin College, the University of Evansville, Rose Hulman Institute, Northwood Institute, and Butler University. Pantzer was a Benjamin Franklin Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was active in many legal organizations and committees. Pantzer was Life Governor of Associated Colleges of Indiana, Inc.,; President of the Indiana Academy, Inc.; secretary of Indiana Lincoln Foundation; and co-founder of Holcomb Institute for Fundamental Scientific Research of Butler University.

Pantzer was an avid art collector. He amassed a collection of the 19th century English master, Joseph Mallord William Turner and his contemporaries. During the 1970s, he donated his private collection to the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Pantzer passed away on July 8, 1979 in Indianapolis and is buried with his wife at Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis.

Information found within the collection.


60 Cubic Feet (184 manuscript boxes, 1 small manuscript box, 1 small oversize box, 5 large oversize boxes, 1 cubic foot box)


This collection is arranged by subject, then chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Kurt F. Pantzer estate on 1979/01/02 and Roberta West Nicholson on 1980/04/24.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Material

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in the Indiana Division and the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

ISLI 759.2 K91p: A passionate eye and a public spirit : Kurt F. Pantzer and the J.M.W. Turner collection / [text by Martin Krause]. ISLI 759.2 F7T: Finished watercolors of J. M. W. Turner, R.A., from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Kurt F. Pantzer ISLO 331 no. 50 [3]: Idea draft of a collective bargaining agreement / by Kurt F. Pantzer ISLO 331 no. 50 [4]: Preliminary treatise on the principles underlying the collective bargaining agreement : presented at the Labor - Industry Forum of the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce, September 24 and 25, 1947 / by Kurt F. Pantzer ISLI 759.2 K91T:Turner in Indianapolis : the Pantzer Collection of drawings and watercolors by J.M.W. Turner and by his contemporaries at the Indianapolis Museum of Art / Martin F. Krause L560: Will H. Hays OBG002: Kurt F. Pantzer oversize collection

Processing Information

Collection processing of half the collection completed 2014/06/01 by Shannon Hiday. EAD finding aid created 2014/07/30 by Shannon Hiday. EAD finding aid revised by Edythe Huffman.

A portion of the Kurt F. Pantzer collection continues to be processed. A box level inventory is available for access to this portion of the collection.
Kurt F. Pantzer collection
In Process
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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