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Edward von Siebold Dingle collection

 Collection
Identifier: Mss 0006

Collection Overview

The collection consists of biographical materials, watercolors, etchings, color prints, photographs, and correspondence of Edward von Siebold Dingle, artist and ornithologist. The majority of the collection consists of Dingle's watercolor paintings of seabirds, shorebirds, wading birds, warblers, sparrows, thrushes, and other bird species on board and paper as well as landscapes and wild flower studies. Some works are unfinished and many contain handwritten text on the verso recording the species, its Latin name, a number, and a price. Also included are two versions of an etching of a hummingbird and trumpet vine and color prints of two of Dingles watercolors, Eastern Bluebird and Cherokee Rose and Hooded Warbler and Wild Azalea, produced by Atelier Graphique H. Vonfobel of Feldmeilen, Switzerland. The collection also includes letters to Dingle from his wife, Marie Guerin Ball Dingle, and from his mother, Agatha von Siebold Dingle, from 1924 and 1927. Letters contain routine personal and family news. There are also photographs of Dingle at work in his studio and on the grounds of Middleburg Plantation, circa 1935 to circa 1970, the Middleburg Plantation house, and images of his paintings including an Ivory Billed Woodpecker, Barred Owl, and Bald Eagle with nest. Portions of the collection were assembled for an exhibition of Dingle's work in May of 1975.

Dates

  • 1816-circa 1970
  • Majority of material found within 1913-1925

Creator

Language of Material

Materials in English

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Edward von Siebold Dingle (1893-1975), artist and ornithologist, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, to John Rutledge (1856-1919) and Agatha von Siebold Dingle (1856-1947). Growing up on his parents plantation near Summerton, South Carolina, he developed an early interest in birds and in drawing them, painting his first bird, an Eastern Wood-Pewee perched on a pine bough, at the age of twelve. He graduated from Porter Military Academy in 1913 and received his A.B. degree from the College of Charleston in 1917. After serving in the Navy in World War I he moved to Mount Pleasant where he would make frequent trips to the Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island, and other surrounding sea islands looking for rare bird species, especially tropical species blown North by hurricanes. It was during this time that he started to paint professionally. After his marriage to Marie Guerin Ball (1881-1963) in 1927 the couple moved to Middleburg Plantation in Huger, South Carolina, where he lived and worked until his death in 1975.

Largely a self-taught artist, except for some instruction in landscape painting from the painter and printmaker Alfred Hutty, his primary medium was watercolor and he specialized in painting birds in families in their natural habitat or in foliage and often with nests. Many of his paintings would include an adult male and female as well as a juvenile or post-juvenile bird of a particular species. He collected and prepared approximately 1,000 bird skins, learning from noted South Carolina ornithologist Arthur Trezevant Wayne on how to prepare and preserve them. These bird skins would provide Dingle with an accurate basis for his watercolors. His research would lead to the addition of six species to the State List of birds: the Cory's Shearwater, the Glossy Ibis, the Leach's Petrel, the European Widgeon, the Hudsonian Godwit, and the Clay-colored Sparrow.

In 1926 he exhibited in the first American exhibition of bird paintings held in Los Angeles and in 1937 some of his works were included in the First National Exhibition of American Artists at Rockefeller Center in New York. He also exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ten of his paintings were reproduced in the book South Carolina Bird Life by Alexander Sprunt Jr. and E. Burnham Chamberlain and in various publications including Auk and Bird-Lore. His work is part of the permanent collections of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina, the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and the Cambridge Museum in Massachusetts.

Extent

11.0 linear feet (1 document box, 7 oversize flat boxes)

Abstract

The collection consists of biographical materials, watercolors, etchings, color prints, photographs, and correspondence of Edward von Siebold Dingle, artist and ornithologist. The majority of the collection consists of Dingle's watercolor paintings of seabirds, shorebirds, wading birds, warblers, sparrows, thrushes, and other bird species on board and paper as well as landscapes and wild flower studies. Also included are letters to Dingle from his wife and mother, and assorted photographs of Dingle, the Middleburg Plantation house, and his artwork.

Collection Arrangement

  1. Artwork, 1816-1960
  2. Letters, 1924-1927
  3. Photographs, circa 1935-circa 1970

Processing Information

Reprocessed by Joshua Minor, November 2015. Originally processed by Special Collections staff, date unknown.

Title
Inventory of the Edward von Siebold Dingle Collection, 1816-circa 1970
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by: Joshua Minor; machine-readable finding aid created by: Joshua Minor
Date
2015
Description rules
DACS
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)