Skip to main content

Fletcher, Gilbert M., 1883-1933. Collection, 1904-1967

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SMHC Collection 0170


This collection is made up of items made by or relating to Gilbert M. Fletcher, an artist originally from Mankato, Minnesota. He was the son of Lafayette G. M. Fletcher, a prominent Mankato businessman and Susan Dyer Fletcher, who was one of the first teachers at the Mankato State Normal School. Included in this collection are pieces of art created by Fletcher, using crayons, pencil, and block printing, which was his specialty. Also included are photographs of Fletcher, his personal correspondence, published and unpublished writings, and newspaper and magazine articles by or about Gilbert Fletcher.


  • 1904-1967


Biographical / Historical

Lafayette Gilbert M. Fletcher Jr. was born 24 March 1883 on his family's farm near Mankato. His father, Lafayette G. M. Fletcher Sr., was a prominent Mankato businessman, and his mother, Susan Dyer Fletcher, was one of the first instructors at the Mankato State Normal School.

Fletcher's training in art began after he left Mankato to attend the Minneapolis Art School in 1908. He would later study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and the Institute of Design in New York City. His occupational focus was on commercial art. He contributed to the New York Tribune, and Times, the Saturday Evening Post, and the Philadelphia Record.

Fletcher's most memorable work of art is his "The Ship and Wave Crest", which is part of the Metropolitan Museum of New York City's permanent collection. This is an example of the wood and linoleum block printing on paper that Fletcher developed in 1921.

In 1922, Fletcher became the art editor for the New York Herald, and remained in this position until he joined the New York Tribune.

Fletcher moved out of New York City, and to Towners, New York, where he remodeled an old gristmill and used it as his studio until 1928. Ill health forced Fletcher to move to New Mexico. He died of tuberculosis at the Southwestern Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque on 30 October 1933.

Biographical information from the Mankato Free Press, 3 November 1933.

Series One - Artwork, undated and 1932-1933: This series contains artwork created by Gilbert Fletcher. Included are block prints, sketches, and illustrated letters written by Fletcher. Two of the items in this series, the textile block prints "Men with Spears" and "Crossroads," are stored separately from the rest of the collection.

Series Two - Published Items, 1911-1953: This portion of the collection contains items written by or about Fletcher that were published. Included are magazines and books that Fletcher did illustrations for, newspaper and magazine articles by or about Fletcher, and newspaper clippings about him.

Series Three - Unpublished Items, 1904-1975: The third portion of the collection is made up of items by or about Gilbert Fletcher that were not published. Personal correspondence, manuscripts, genealogical information, and a biography of Gilbert Fletcher compiled by his sister, May Fletcher are included in this portion of the collection.


3.00 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Fletcher, Gilbert M., 1883-1933. Collection, 1904-1967
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2000-09: Finding aid revised by Robert Russell
  • 2003-02: Jeff A. Jenson reprocessed the collection and updated the finding aid

Repository Details

Part of the Southern Minnesota Historical Center Repository

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Memorial Library
PO Box 8419
Mankato MN 56002-8419 US