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Beth Perry Schoen Sculpture and Photographs

Identifier: JM010

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a bronze bust of James A. Michener by sculptor Beth Perry Schoen. Included in this collection are photographs and negatives by Tracy Stark of James A. Michener. Michener "sat" for "these pictures and measurements" which were used by Schoen in creating the bust. The negatives are on permanent loan. The James A. Michener Special Collection had 5"x7" black and white prints made from the negatives in 1998 that are filed with this collection. Tracy Stark retains copyright to the images. Biographical information on the sculptor and other related materials are also part of this collection. Locations of other busts from this edition of 10 are: James A. Michener estate, now Debbie Brothers The James Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA The Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas at Austin The Texas Center for Writers, University of Texas at Austin River Oaks Baptist School, Houston, Texas Dennis Cole, sculptor, private collection Steve Maunders, MichenerĀ“s attorney, private collection This sculpture was originally on display near the entrance to the Library Administration Office on the first floor of the James A. Michener Library, University of Northern Colorado, 1999-2007. A framed photograph of Beth Schoen and James A. Michener hung on a column next to the sculpture. In 2007 the bust was moved to the James A. Michener Permanent Exhibit, which is located on the mezzanine. The framed photograph was transferred to the Beth Perry Schoen Collection (SC 1-10) in the Archival Services Department


  • 1996-1998
  • Existence: Date acquired: 1998


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Method of Acquisition

The Friends of the James A. Michener Library purchased the bust for the James A. Michener Library collection in 1997 and it was unveiled on October 3, 1997 at the Twenty-fifth Anniversary Celebration and Rededication of the James A. Michener Library. The negatives were given to the James A. Michener Library on permanent loan in May 1998. Documentation relating to the acquisition is on file in Archives, RG 13 S1 F11-2, filed by Collection

Conditions Governing Use

The University of Northern Colorado does not retain copyright to the images. Tracy Stark retains copyright to the images.

Biographical or Historical Information

Biography of James A. Michener James Albert Michener was born in 1907 to unknown parents and raised as an orphan in the care of widow Mabel Michener of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. By the time he graduated from high school in 1925, he had visited 45 out of the 48 states. He was given a scholarship to Swarthmore, and after graduating summa cum laude in 1929, he traveled and continued his education at nine universities inside and outside the United States. During this time, he also taught in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and at the Harvard School of Education. When he was not teaching, Michener worked as a textbook editor in New York, and he joined the British Merchant Marines. During WWII, he joined the Navy, making use of his experience in the British Merchant Marines to climb through the ranks to lieutenant and his knowledge of history to carry out sensitive assignments in the South Pacific. It was this experience that brought about Tales of the South Pacific in 1947, which won a Pulitzer Prize. Michener used this novel as the cornerstone of his writing career, publishing almost 50 books in the next 50 years, including Sayonara, Hawaii, The Source, Iberia, Caravans, The Covenant, Sports in America, and Poland. In 1977, a four-part public television series called The World of Michener covered Israel, Hawaii, Spain, and Poland, just a few of the countries upon which his books have been based. Several other books have been turned into movies or miniseries, and two of his novels have been turned into musicals (most notably South Pacific, which won its own Pulitzer Prize). During the time that he was publishing, however, Michener did not ignore the world around him. He ran for Congress in 1962 and held positions on several committees, including the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, the U.S. Postal Service stamp committee, and an advisory position on a council for NASA. He also spoke often at congressional hearings and at functions of those organizations in which he held particular interest. James A. Michener died at the age of 90 on October 16, 1997 in Texas, three years after his third wife, Mari Yoriko Sabusawa. He had no children. Biography of Beth Perry Schoen: While at the Elisabet Ney Sculpture Conservatory at Austin, Texas, Beth Perry Schoen studied under Bobby Pearl and Master Sculptor Edna Bargar Connor. She also studied at the Loveland Academy of Fine Arts in Loveland, Colorado. Ms. Connor has sculpted such well known Americans as Texas Governors John Connally and Bill Clements, Jr.


56.00 Item(s)

Language of Materials



This collection includes a bronze bust of James A. Michener by sculptor Beth Perry Schoen, photographs and negatives of Michener by Tracy Stark, and other materials related to the bust.


This collection is organized into the following series: Series 1: Bronze bust of James A. Michener Series 2: Brochures, Programs, and Related Materials Series 3: Photographs and negatives
Original finding aid created by Richard Gibboney on 2000 March 14; revised by Shirley Soenksen on 2006 May 4 and 2009 March 31.
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Northern Colorado Repository

University Libraries
James A. Michener Library L119
Campus Box 48
Greeley CO 80639