Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the James S. Schramm Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1932-1979
Creator: Schramm, James S. (1904-1980)
Extent: 19.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0354
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Business executive, Republican Party official, and art collector. Correspondence, speeches, subject files, etc. combine to document Schramm's business and political affairs, as well as his activities in the arts.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: Boxes 12, 15, 17, 20, 26. Audio/Visual Materials: Long play record, Box 28.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: James S. Schramm donated his papers to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1972.

Preferred Citation: James S. Schramm Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

James Siegmund Schramm was born in Burlington, Iowa, on February 4, 1904. He attended public schools in Burlington before traveling east to study at Amherst College. In 1924, he returned home and joined the J. S. Schramm Company, which his grandfather had established in 1845. With his brother Frank, James S. Schramm managed the family's retail business, Schramm's Department Store, from 1934 until retiring in 1962. It is believed that this store had the longest continuous operating record under one family of any store west of New England. It was still family owned when it closed in 1996.

Schramm's two major activities, outside of the business, were Republican politics and art collecting. Beginning on the local level as a precinct chairman, Schramm quickly became a force within Iowa's Republican Party. In 1950, he was appointed Iowa's GOP Finance Chairman. This position led to the chairmanship of the State Central Committee. He also served as a delegate to National Conventions.

James Schramm and his wife, Dorothy, were active in the arts. As collectors, they were interested in American, European, and Japanese painting and sculpture and African sculpture. They helped establish the Iowa Arts and the Burlington Area Art Councils. James Schramm was president of the American Federation of Arts in the 1950s and of the Des Moines Art Center in 1963. He was also a trustee of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art.

Other activities in which James Schramm participated included such civic groups as the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, the school board, and the Community Chest. He also served nationally on trade missions to France and Japan. James S. Schramm died in 1980 at the age of seventy-six.

The papers of James S. Schramm are organized into seven series: 1) Correspondence; 2) Personal Papers; 3) Speeches; 4) Politics; 5) Organizations; 6) Trade; and 7) Art. Correspondence files are arranged alphabetically; however, additional letters are scattered throughout the collection. Some correspondents include Robert K. Goodwin, Edith Gregor Halpert, Dwight Kirsch, David Kruidemer, Jr., George Nagle, and Sinclair Weeks. The personal papers series primarily relates to Schramm's military service. The Speeches series is not distinct, and like the correspondence series, additional speeches are found elsewhere in the papers.

The Politics Series includes political correspondence and speeches. There are also more than six boxes of materials relating to Republican politics. More specifically, there are folders on topics ranging from Lincoln Day Dinners to Central Committee finances and on people such as Gerald Bogan, Thomas C. Murphy, King R. Palmer, and Nelson A. Rockefeller. The Organizations series documents Schramm's association with such divergent groups as the Iowa Economic Studies Council and Amherst College to the Governor's Commission on Human Rights and the Museum of Contemporary Art. There are also four boxes of material relating to U.S. trade missions and the Committee for a National Trade Policy. Included here are speeches, correspondence, policy manuals, and other materials.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: CORRESPONDENCE
Series 2: PERSONAL PAPERS
Series 3: SPEECHES
Series 4: POLITICS
Series 5: ORGANIZATIONS
Series 6: TRADE
Series 7: ART
Series 8: MAY 1976 ADDITION
Series 9: JULY 1979 ADDITION
Series 10: SEPTEMBER 2003 ADDENDUM

  • Series 1: CORRESPONDENCE
  • Box 1:
  • A - 1961-1967
  • B - 1949-1967
    Including correspondence with Edgar Britton
  • C - 1950-1970
    Including correspondence with John Cowles, Gardner Cowles, and Alexander Calder
  • D - 1945-1962
    Including correspondence with Jonathan Daniels
  • Engle, Paul - 1955-1961
  • E - 1946-1956
    Including correspondence with Albert Einstein, Norman A. Erbe
  • F - 1948-1962
  • G - 1947-1970
    Including correspondence with Walter Gelhorn
  • H - 1955-1970
    Including correspondence with Bourke B. Hickenlooper and Leo A. Hoegh
  • I - 1957-1962
  • J - 1960-1962
    Including correspondence with Walter H. Judd
  • K - 1946-1962
    Including correspondence with David Kruidenier, Jr.; Leon H. Keyserlin
  • L - 1948-1965
    Including correspondence with James Lecha, Mrs. Malcolm D. (Anna) Lomas, Mauricio Lasansky, and Daniel Longwell
  • M - 1952-1970
    Including correspondence with Karl Menninger, Jack Miller, Thomas E. Martin, and Stanley Marcus
  • N - 1954-1963
    Including correspondence with George Nagle, Louise Noun, and Roy Neuberger
  • O - 1947-1962
  • P - 1946-1964
    Including correspondence with Charles H. Percy
  • R - 1947-1967
  • Box 2:
  • S - 1952-1970
    Including correspondence with James Suzuki, Fred Schwengel, Jannis Spyropoulos, David Stanley, and Arthur E. Summerfield
  • T - 1955-1967
    Including correspondence with Charles P. Taft
  • U - 1955-1967
    Including correspondence with Ansei Uchima
  • V - 1958-1961
  • W - 1952-1970
    Including correspondence with Hudson D. Walker, Sinclair Weeks and Ulfert Wilke
  • X, Y, Z - 1946-1961
  • Series 2: PERSONAL PAPERS
  • Box 2:
  • Adoption - 1947-1956
    Including correspondence with Thomas E. Martin, Bruno Bettelheim, and the U.S. Committee for the Care of European Children, Inc.
  • Army: Personnel Directory
  • Army: Organization and Functions
  • Army: Policy
  • War Production Board Materials
  • Box 3:
  • Army Personnel
    Including correspondence with Lucius D. Clay
  • Army Personal Records
  • Clippings - Personal - 1952
  • Europe - 1962
  • Obituaries and eulogies for James Schramm
  • Personal -- On the Death of Robert Kennedy
    2 folders
  • Salvador - 1967
  • Office of Civil Defense - Reorganization - 1942
  • Series 3: SPEECHES
  • Box 4:
  • Speech of James S. Schramm, "The Consumer Speaks Up," before the National Conference on International Trade Policy, March 27 - 1958
  • Speech Materials
  • Speeches
    2 folders
  • Statement of James Schramm in support of the International Trade Association before the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives
  • Statement of James S. Schramm representing the National Retail Merchants Association before the House Ways and Means Committee, February 16 - 1958
  • Series 4: POLITICS
  • Box 5:
  • A - 1950-1951
  • B - 1950-1952
  • C - 1950-1951
    Including correspondence with Paul Cunningham
  • D - 1950-1951
  • E
  • F - 1950
  • G - 1950-1951
    Including correspondence with Robert K. Goodwin, Guy George Gabrielson, and Ben A. Galer
  • H - 1950-1951
    Including correspondence with Leonard W. Hall, James W. Hubbell, and Ward W. Hall
  • I
  • J - 1950
    Including correspondence with L.L. Jurgemeyer
  • K - 1950-1951
  • L - 1950-1951
  • M - 1950
    Including correspondence with Thomas E. Martin
  • N
  • O - 1950
  • P, Q - 1949-1951
  • R - 1949-1951
    Including correspondence with Harold J. Rowe
  • S - 1950-1951
    Including correspondence with R. Douglas Stuart, Treasurer of the Republican National Committee; Harrison E. Spangfer; and Craig R. Sheaffer
  • T - 1950-1951
  • U, V
  • W - 1950-1951
    Including correspondence with Sinclair Weeks, Charles E. Wittenmeyer
  • X, Y, Z - 1950
  • Biographical Sketch of Jim Schramm, proposed candidate for First District Republican Chairman
  • Finance Talks - 1950
  • Political Speeches - 1950-1953
  • Republican Speeches - 1951-1952
  • Box 6:
  • The Politics of the 1st District of Iowa - 1932-1948
  • G.O.P. Campaign Comments - 1948-1949
  • County Finance Chairman - 1948-1949
  • Des Moines County Republican Central Committee - 1948-1950
  • G.O.P. District - 1949-1952
    Including correspondence with Robert K. Goodwin
  • Ames Forum For Farmers Meeting - 1949
    Including correspondence with Thomas E. Martin, Whitney Gillilland, and Gerald Bogan
  • Pending - 1949-1950
  • Farmers' Forum Mediapolis - 1949
    Including correspondence with Bourke B. Hickenlooper, Thomas E. Martin, and Mrs. Charles S. (Maude) Hickman
  • Executive Committee of the Republican Finance Committee of Iowa - 1949-1950
  • First District Meetings - 1949-1950
  • Republican Finance Committee of Iowa, Statement of Receipts and Disbursements for the Period July 1 to April 4 - 1949-1950
  • Chairman of the Iowa Republican Party Finance Committee, 194. Clippings Finance Solicitation Letters, November, December - 1950
  • National Committee - 1950
  • G.O.P. National - 1949-1953
  • Statements and budgets - 1949-1953
    Including correspondence with Sinclair Weeks and Robert K. Goodwin
  • Box 7:
  • Top Brass Administration - 1946-1961
    Including correspondence with Edward R. Murrow, Chester Bowles, Sinclair Weeks, Stewart Alsop, Joseph W. Martin, Jr., Robert A. Taft, James P. Mitchell, Thruston B. Morton, Arthur E. Summerfield, Sherman Adams, Harold E. Stassen, Bourke B. Hickenlooper, Leonard W. Hall, H.R. Gross, Everett McKinley Dirksen, Ezra Taft Benson, and Henry Cabot Lodge
  • Republican Politics General - 1948-1953
  • Chairman's Letter, etc. of the Republican State Central Committee - 1949-1954
  • Lincoln Day Dinner - 1950-1951
    Including correspondence with Bourke B. Hickenlooper, Henry O. Talle, James I. Dolliver, Charles B. Hoeven, and William S. Beardsley
  • National Finance - 1950-1951
    Including correspondence with Sinclair Weeks
  • Lincoln Day Dinner - 1951
    Including correspondence with Bourke B. Hickenlooper, Ray Bliss, and Robert K. Goodwin
  • Eisenhower - 1951-1953
  • The Trumpeter - 1951-1953
  • State Convention - 1952
    Including correspondence with Karl M. LeCompte and Thomas E. Martin
  • National Convention - 1952
  • Box 8:
  • Election Result Clippings - 1952
  • State Committee - 1952
  • Political Procedure - 1952
  • Republican State Central Committee of Iowa - General - 1952
  • Negro and Veterans - 1952
  • Schools of Politics - 1952
  • Republican State Central Committee of Iowa Budgets, etc. - 1952-1953
  • Campaign Strategy - 1952-1954
  • Personal - Political - 1952-1954
  • G.O.P. Personnel - 1950-1954
  • Box 9:
  • Political Reference Material - 1953
  • Republican State Central Committee of Iowa Meetings, etc. - 1952-1953
  • Republican State Central Committee of Iowa - 1953
  • G.O.P. Reading - 1953
  • Inauguration - 1953
  • Lincoln Day Dinner - 1953
  • Pending Work for the Republican State Central Committee of Iowa - 1953
  • District Vice-Chairmen of the Republican State Central Committee of Iowa - 1953-1954
  • Republican State Central Committee Finances - 1953-1954
  • District Chairmen of the Republican State Central Committee - 1953-1954
    Including correspondence with Charles E. Wittenmeyer
  • Republican State Central Committee of Iowa Policy, etc. - 1953-1954
  • Patronage - 1953-1954
    Including correspondence with Don Pierson, William P. Rogers, Leonard W. Hall, Roy L. Stephenson, Thomas E. Martin, Dan W. Turner, and Whitney Gillilland
  • Box 10:
  • First District of the Republican State Central Committee of Iowa - 1954
  • Gerald Bogan, Director of Public Relations of the Republican State Central Committee of Iowa - 1953-1954
  • Robert K. Goodwin - 1954
  • Executive Director of the Republican State Central Committee of Iowa - 1949-1951
  • Thomas C. Murphy, Republican State Finance Chairman - 1951-1952
  • Thomas C. Murphy - 1953-1954
  • George Nagle. Finance - 1953-1954
  • King R. Palmer, Executive Director of the Republican State Central Committee - 1951-1952
  • King R. Palmer, Executive Director of the Republican State Central Committee - 1953-1954
  • State Vice-Chairman. Abel Tracey and Gertrude Wilharm - 1952
  • Personal Testimonials
    Including correspondence with Fred Schwengel, Leo Hoegh, Whitney Herbert Brownell, Jr., Harrison E. Spangler, John M. Henry, Robert K. Goodwin, Wiley E. Mayne, L. R. Fairall, Roy L. Stephenson, Arthur E. Summerfield, Sinclair Weeks, Dan W. Turner, Hugh Scott, Gardner Cowles, James I. Dolliver, Charles B. Hoeven, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., William S. Beardsley, Henry O. Talle, and Karl M. LeCompte
  • Box 11:
  • Miscellaneous
  • G.O.P. Clippings
  • Clippings - 1949-1950
  • Iowa Republican Senatorial Election - 1960
  • Republican National Convention - 1960
  • Nelson A. Rockefeller Presidential Campaign - 1968
    Including correspondence with Nelson A. Rockefeller
  • Nelson A. Rockefeller Presidential Campaign, II - 1968
    Including correspondence with James E. Bromwell and Helen M. Virden
  • Series 5: ORGANIZATIONS
  • Box 12:
  • Amherst - 1955-1966
    Including correspondence with Harris K. Prior
  • Amherst College - 1961-1967
  • Amherst Art - 1955-1956
  • Amherst College Associates of the Fine Arts, Executive Committee
  • Amherst Capital Program - 1962
  • Burlington Chamber of Commerce. Commercial Development Bureau. Executive Committee - 1963
  • Coe College - 1954-1964
    Including correspondence with Marvin Cone and Owen Elliott
  • Conference of National Council of Consultants. Small Business Administration. Washington, D.C. June 8 - 1954
    Photo
  • Cornell (Mt. Vernon) - 1962-1964
  • Ford Foundation - 1957-1959
    Including correspondence with Richard Diebenkorn
  • Box 13:
  • Iowa Citizenship Clearing House - 1962
  • Iowa Economic Studies Council - 1956-1958
  • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Advisory Committee on the Arts - 1970
    Including correspondence with Roger L. Stevens
  • The Leopold Company - 1963-1964
  • Museum of Contemporary Art - 1967-1969
    Including correspondence with Sigmund W. Kunstadter and Jan Van der Marck
  • National Planning Association - 1953-1962
  • Parsons College - 1953-1957
  • Rand Lecture Fund - 1944-1958
  • Whitney Museum of American Art - 1966-1968
  • Box 14:
  • Governor's Commission on Human Rights - 1960-1965
  • Governor's Commission on Human (Civil) Rights - 1961-1963
    Including correspondence with Harold E. Hughes
  • Governor's Iowa Civil Rights Commission - 1961-1962
    2 folders
  • The Iowa State Arts Council - 1967
  • James W. Grimes Office Building. Art Committee - 1967
    Including correspondence with Louise Noun
  • Series 6: TRADE
  • Box 15:
  • U.S. Trade Mission to Japan - 1959
    2 folders
  • U.S. Trade Mission to Japan: Correspondence - 1959
    2 folders
  • U.S. Trade Mission to Japan: Keepsakes - 1959
  • U.S. Trade Mission to Japan: Personal - 1959
  • U.S. Trade Mission to Japan: Photos - 1959
  • U.S. Trade Mission to Japan: Schedules - 1959
  • Box 16:
  • U.S. Trade Mission to Japan: Speech Material - 1959
  • U.S. Trade Mission to Japan: Policy Manual - 1959
  • U.S. Trade Mission to Japan: Travel Brochures - 1959
  • Box 17:
  • U.S. Trade Mission to Japan: Travel Brochures - 1959
  • U.S. Trade Mission to France - 1960
    6 folders
  • U.S. Trade Mission to France: Speech Material, October-November - 1960
    Including a D.D. Eisenhower photo signed
  • U.S. Trade Mission to France: Trade Mission, Speeches - 1958-1961
  • Box 18:
  • Committee for a National Trade Policy - 1953-1960
    Including correspondence with Henry O. Talle, Paul Cunningham, Fred Schwengel, Karl LeCompte, Charles B. Hoeven, Thomas E. Martin, Bourke B. Hickenlooper, and Charles H. Percy
  • Committee for a National Trade Policy - 1954-1955
  • Committee for a National Trade Policy - 1954-1961
    Including correspondence with Bourke B. Hickenlooper, Thomas E. Martin, and Charles P. Taft
  • Series 7: ART
  • Box 19:
  • Correspondence - 1944-1956
    Including correspondence with Edith Gregor Halpert, Pierre Matisse, Barton Cumming, Marian Willard, James Lechay, Dwight Kirsch, Karl Mattern, George Shane, Samuel M. Kootz, Frederick S. Wright, and Cury Valentin
  • Correspondence - 1945-1971
    Including correspondence with Ulfert Wilke, Robert E. Schneider, J. J. Klejman, Lyonel Feininger, M. Lasansky, Alfred Stieglitz, James Lechay, Edith Gregor Halpert, and Antoinette M. Kraushaar
  • Box 20:
  • Correspondence - 1950-1954
    Including correspondence with Curt Valentin, Dwight Kirsch, and Lawrence M.C. Smith
  • General - 1952-1968
  • Correspondence - 1955-1959
    Including photos
  • Correspondence - 1957-1966
    Including correspondence with Mauricio Lasansky, F. Dupont Cornelius, and Morris Graves
  • Correspondence - 1960
    Including correspondence with Edith Gregor Halpert and Frank Seiberling
  • General - 1961-1962
  • General - 1961-1965
    Including correspondence with Edith Gregor Halpert and photos of Nelson A. Rockefeller at the Des Moines Art Center
  • Box 21:
  • Art Insurance Matters - 1950-1961
    Including correspondence with Edith Gregor Halpert and Charles Alan
  • Art Purchases Pending - 1956-1957
    Including correspondence with Edith Gregor Halpert and Antoinette M. Kraushaar
  • Art Clippings - 1962
  • Art Speeches
    Including correspondence with Marvin Cone
  • Des Moines Art Center I - 1951-1958
    Including correspondence with Edith Gregor Halpert and Carl Weeks
  • Des Moines Art Center II - 1951-1958
    Including correspondence with Nelson A. Rockefeller, Harris K. Pryor, and Dwight Kirsch
  • Des Moines Art Center - 1968
  • Box 22:
  • Des Moines Art Center: Acquisitions and Exhibitions Committee - 1953-1965
    Including correspondence with Carl Weeks, Laurence R. Fairall, Dwight Kirsh, and David Kruidenier, Jr.
  • Des Moines Art Center: Acquisitions and Exhibitions - 1963-1964
    Including correspondence with Thomas S. Tibbs, John Brady, Jr., Mrs. Albert D. (Mary) Lasker, and John Cowles
  • Des Moines Art Center: Correspondence - 1963-1964
    Including correspondence with John Cowles, David Kruidenier, Jr., Thomas S. Tibbs, and Louise Noun
  • Des Moines Art Center: Finances - 1963-1964
    Including correspondence with Thomas S. Tibbs and James W. Hubbell, Jr.
  • Des Moines Art Center: Minutes and Agenda - 1963-1964
    Including correspondence with Thomas S. Tibbs
  • Des Moines Art Center: New Director - 1958-1963
    Including correspondence with David Kruidenier, Jr.
  • Des Moines Art Center: Personnel - 1963-1964
  • Coffin Trust - 1963
    Including correspondence with Thomas S. Tibbs
  • Box 23:
  • Art and Tax Reform - 1969
    Including correspondence with Jack Miller
  • Art Collectors Club of America - 1963-1964
  • Lloyd Goodrich - 1956-1959
    Including correspondence with Stanley Whitney Fred Schwengel, The Committee on Government and Art, Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Mauricio Lasansky - 1966-1967
    Including correspondence with Nelson A. Rockefeller
  • Jannis Spyropoulos - 1962
  • Jannis Spyropoulos - 1962-1963
  • Hudson D. Walker - 1963
    Including correspondence with Hudson Dean Walker and Professor Simon Lissim
  • Box 24:
  • American Federation of Arts - 1949-1951
  • American Federation of Arts - 1952
  • American Federation of Arts - 1953
  • American Federation of Arts - 1953-1956
  • American Federation of Arts Conventions: Lincoln, Nebraska - 1963
    Including correspondence with Stanley Marcus, Daniel Longwell, Henry Commager, John Cowles, and Nelson A. Rockefeller
  • American Federation of Arts Conventions - 1965
  • American Federation of Arts Conventions : Des Moines, Iowa - 1955
    Including correspondence with David Kruidenier, Jr., Dwight Kirsch, Daniel Longwell, and Henry R. Luce
  • Box 25:
  • American Federation of Arts Conventions : Des Moines, Iowa - 1955
    Including correspondence with George Shane, Dwight Kirsch, and David Kruidenier, Jr.
  • American Federation of Arts Conventions : Des Moines, Iowa - 1955
    Including correspondence with Daniel Longwell (folder IV)
  • American Federation of Arts Conventions : Des Moines, Iowa - 1955
    Including correspondence with Daniel Longwell and Dwight Kirsch
  • American Federation of Arts Conventions : Des Moines, Iowa - 1955
    Including correspondence with Henry R. Luce and George Shane (folder VII)
  • American Federation of Arts: Contest - 1953-1954
    Including correspondence with Aline B. Sarinan Louchheim
  • American Federation of Arts - 1956-1957
    Including correspondence with Daniel Longwell
  • American Federation of Arts: Miscellaneous. Trustees - 1956-1970
    Including correspondence with Rene d'Harnoncourt, Lawrence M.C. Smith, Hudson D. Walker, Dudley T. Easby, Jr., Roy Neuberger, Arthur A. Houghton, Jr., and William M. Milliken
  • American Federation of Arts: New Director - 1956
    Including correspondence with Harris K. Pryor and Thomas K. Messer
  • American Federation of Arts: Personal - 1957
    Including correspondence with Roy Neuberger and Charles P. Taft
  • American Federation of Arts: Publications - 1955-1956
  • American Federation of Arts - 1956-1958
    Including correspondence with Mrs. Otto (Eloise) Spaeth
  • Series 8: MAY 1976 ADDITION
  • Box 26:
  • Clippings
  • Correspondence - 1954-1973
    Including letters from Jannis Spyropoulos and Walter Gellhorn
  • Correspondence - 1974
    Including letters from Charles H. Percy, Walter Gellhorn, Charles W. Taft, Robert D. Ray, and Les Aspin
  • Correspondence - 1975-1976
    Including a letter from Roy J. Carver
  • Photographs - 1948-1959
  • Box 27:
  • Oversized certificates, etc.
  • Series 9: JULY 1979 ADDITION
  • Box 28:
  • Correspondence - 1970-1975
    Including letters from David Kruidnier and Robert D. Ray
  • Correspondence - 1976-1979
    Including letters from John C. Culver, David Kruidenier, and Robert D. Ray
  • Iowa Arts Council Biennium Report - 1974-1976
  • Series 10: SEPTEMBER 2003 ADDENDUM
  • Box 28:
  • Recording of Committee for a National Trade Policy, National Trade Week
    LP. Includes President Eisenhower, Sidney A. Swensrud, Sinclair Weeks, Ezra Taft Benson, David J. McDonald, Adlai Stevenson, John Foster Dulles, James P. Mitchell, James S. Schramm, Vice-President Nixon. 2 copies
  • Clippings, Burlington Hawk Eye - 1903
  • Clippings, Des Moines Register ? - 1895
  • Clippings, Des Moines Register - 1996