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Vivian D. Hewitt

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Information about Vivian D. Hewitt

Profile image of Vivian D. Hewitt

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Art Collector
Librarian

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean, Italy, Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
That's Absolutely Right.

Birthplace

Born:
2/17/1920
Birth Location:
New Castle, Pennsylvania

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Art Collector
Librarian

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean, Italy, Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
That's Absolutely Right.

Birthplace

Born:
2/17/1920
Birth Location:
New Castle
See how Vivian D. Hewitt is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Art lover and librarian Vivian Hewitt was born on February 17, 1920, in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Hewitt was the fourth of five children, her elder siblings all born in North Carolina. Her father, Arthur, was a skilled laborer, and her mother, Lela, worked as a teacher and housewife. After completing high school, Hewitt attended Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, where she earned a B.A. in 1943. The following year, she graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh with an M.S. in library science. She attended the University of Pittsburgh for further graduate studies in 1947 and 1948. Geneva awarded her an honorary degree in 1978.

Hewitt began her career working in libraries in 1944, when she was hired by the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh as the senior assistant librarian. Relocating to Atlanta in 1949, Hewitt took a position as a librarian and instructor at Atlanta University's School of Library and Information Science. Hewitt and her husband, John, had a son in 1952, and Hewitt returned to work in 1954 as a researcher for Crowell-Collier Publishing. Hewitt joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 1956, and in 1963 she was hired by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to serve as chief librarian. She remained there until her retirement in 1983. Since then, she has served on the Council on Foreign Relations and on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin.

A lover of travel, Hewitt and her husband began buying works of art wherever they would go, and gave them as gifts on special occasions. They began their collection in earnest by collecting Haitian art for fifteen years. Living near and knowing many of the African American artists from New York, they began to collect their works, as well. In recent years, the collection, considered one of the finest of African American art in the world, was bought by Bank of America and given as a gift to the Afro-American Cultural Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Hewitt is also active in other areas, serving on the Board of Governors of the Laymen's Club of the Episcopal Church of the Diocese of New York, and has served as the secretary of the board of the Graham Windham Child Care & Adoption Agency. She has also received the Distinguished Service Award of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Special Library Association.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vivian Hewitt's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt describes her maternal family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her extended family which includes HistoryMaker Melvin L. Watt and Karen Grigsby Bates
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her father, Arthur Davidson, pt.1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her father, Arthur Davidson pt.2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt describes her mother, Lela Mauney Davidson
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vivian Hewitt describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vivian Hewitt continues to describe her mother, Lela Mauney Davison
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt describes the town of New Castle, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt describes her grade school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her early interest in Haiti
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her favorite teachers in grade school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt describes her experience at New Castle High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the influence of the A.M.E. Church on her social life and formation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Youngstown, Ohio and her decision to attend Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt describes her experience at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her son's education at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt describes her admission to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt describes her training as a librarian and her work practicum in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her library work in the Hill District of Pittsburgh
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the Pittsburgh Courier and her social activities in the Hill District
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vivian Hewitt talks about working in Harlem and Pittsburgh's reputation as the "Smoky City"
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt describes her work practicum in Harlem
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her experiences of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood and August Wilson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt describes how she became a librarian at Atlanta University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt talks about meeting her husband, John Hewitt
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Charles "Teenie" Harris, her wedding photographer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt talks about HistoryMaker Evelyn Cunningham at the Pittsburgh Courier
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the numbers game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Vivian Hewitt talks about baseball in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Vivian Hewitt describes her experience in Atlanta, Georgia while teaching at Atlanta University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her initial interest in special libraries
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt talks about working at Crowell-Collier Publishing Company
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her appointment at the Rockefeller Foundation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Dean Rusk and working at the Rockefeller Foundation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt describes her introduction to the Rockefeller Foundation's partnering librarians
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her work at the Agricultural Library of the Rockefeller Foundation in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Mexico and HistoryMaker Elizabeth Catlett
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Mexican artists and Dolores del Rio
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt talks about Mexican influences in the art of Jean Charlot
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her job at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt talks about training aspiring diplomats at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt talks about meeting Brian Urquhart and Robert Rhodes James
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her professional life after retiring in 1983
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the Hewitt Collection and becoming president of the New York Chapter of the Special Libraries Association
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Vivian Hewitt talks about facing challenges as the national president of the Special Libraries Association
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the death of the executive director of the Special Libraries Association, Frank McKenna
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the death of Frank McKenna, executive director of the Special Libraries Association
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the appointment of David Bender as the head of SLA
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Vivian Hewitt talks about her legacy at the Special Libraries Association
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the Bank of America's acquisition of the Hewitt Collection
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the touring Hewitt Collection, pt.1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the touring Hewitt Collection, pt.2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the black aesthetic and how she chose pieces for the Hewitt Collection
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Vivian Hewitt describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Vivian Hewitt reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Vivian Hewitt talks about how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Vivian Hewitt talks about the importance of oral history
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Vivian Hewitt narrates her photographs