»PAPERS, DATES:»1957-1998

»QUANTITY:»10 linear inches






The »papers (donor no. 121) were donated by »Judith Ann Sutcliffe in 1994 and succeeding years.


The »papers are open for research with the exception of the correspondence which is closed until January 15, 2041.


»Copyright has been retained by the donor and her heirs.


In boxes »1 and 2.


Your name, year»Marnie Schroer, 1994, and Natalie Brody, 1997.


Robert J. Jett, January 11, 1999, version WORD97



            Begin text here:»Judith Sutcliffe is an artist whose work includes tile painting, printing letterpress books, and designing type.  In 1946, at the age of five, she moved to Audubon, Iowa, with her parents.  She later graduated from Audubon Community High School as valedictorian and then majored in English and Chinese at the University of Iowa, graduating summa cum laude in 1963. 


            In 1968, after working at a variety of occupations elsewhere, Sutcliffe returned to Audubon and formed Greentree Enterprises.  Under the auspices of this company, she collaborated with Joan Liffring-Zug on the hand-manufacture of over seventy editions of Iowa Heritage Collectors plates.  She also created, in conjunction with Lorraine Larsen, limited editions of American Child Dolls.  Their projects included designing and making the Iowa First Lady Dolls, which are on permanent display in the State Capitol, and dolls for the animated film, Raggedy Ann and Andy.


            Sutcliffe moved to Santa Barbara, California, in 1978 and began a business painting tile murals (an activity she had begun in Iowa). Her murals can be found in several public locations around Santa Barbara including outside the courthouse.  Soon after her move to California, Sutcliffe purchased two letterpresses and began printing letterpress book editions with linocut illustrations. In 1984, she purchased a Macintosh computer and expanded her business to include designing type for the Macintosh.  Thereafter, she divided her business activities between tile and type.  Sutcliffe moved back to Audubon in 1996.


            Sutcliffe has been involved in the production of several books in addition to the letterpress volumes she prints herself.  She published her father's autobiography, Memories of an Iowa Veterinarian, and a book on tuberculosis which she co-authored with her mother, Grandma Cherry's Spoon: A Story of Tuberculosis.  Sutcliffe also published a coloring book of her nature drawings entitled California Wildflower Drawings.


Scope and Content Note


            Begin text here:The »Judith Sutcliffe papers date from »1957 to 1998 and measure »10 linear inches.  The »papers »are arranged in »six series:  »Correspondence, Printing business, Publications, Unpublished writings, Tile murals business, Newspaper clippings, and Photographs and slides.  The bulk of this collection documents Sutcliffe's work as a printer and tile artist in Santa Barbara; however, there are photographs and newspaper clippings documenting earlier business ventures in Iowa as well as correspondence from Sutcliffe's high school and college years.  Many of the items have handwritten notes from Sutcliffe explaining their significance.


            The Correspondence series (1957-1964) contains two sets of letters.  The first includes letters sent to Sutcliffe by her friend, John Niemeyer, during the period 1957-1960.  It contains comments about their attitudes towards rock and roll music and a continuing debate about religion, especially Catholicism.  The second set in this series encompasses the letters sent to Sutcliffe by Grace Ellis in 1963 and 1964.  During her senior year of college, Sutcliffe was charmed by a column Ellis wrote for a weekly newspaper in Marengo.  Sutcliffe sent Ellis a few notes and drawings and they began the correspondence included here.  [CLOSED]


            The Printing business series (1983-1995) contains materials dealing with Sutcliffe's work as a publisher and printer.  It includes promotional pamphlets and samples of her font designs as well as materials about Lotte Lehman (an opera singer about whom Sutcliffe wrote and published) and mementos from her personal and professional relationship with another printer and publisher, Roger Levenson.


            The Publications series (1984-1997) contains bookcards and pamphlets published by Sutcliffe.  The series also contains a design proposal for and issues of Noticias, a journal she redesigned and printed, and one copy of La Reata published by Sutcliffe.  Additionally, an unpublished manuscript for a book of poetry by Sutcliffe, "Beneath Patchwork of Bright and Dark," a book of her poems, Iowa Lyric, and a newsletter The Front Porch, which is occasionally published by Sutcliffe on small town life are also included.  A series of five hand-printed portfolio flower prints are shelved in closed stacks.  Two books of family anecdotes as well as a few books for which Sutcliffe functioned as illustrator are shelved in the printed works collection.  Memories of John W. Sutcliffe, written and told by his friends as compiled after his death February 5, 1997 complete series.


            The Tile murals business series (1979-1990) contains materials relating to Sutcliffe's work designing and creating tile murals in Santa Barbara.  It consists primarily of postcards and photographs of Sutcliffe's murals and some promotional pamphlets (printed by Sutcliffe).  Some related materials, photographs of earlier tile designs done in Iowa, can be found in the Photographs series.


The Newspaper clippings series (1974-1989) contains clippings of articles written both about Sutcliffe and by her.


The Photographs and slides series (1969-1989) contains a number of photographs (many by Joan Liffring-Zug) and some slides documenting Sutcliffe's work with Greentree Enterprises.  They primarily consist of photographs of the Iowa Heritage Collectors plates as well as two photographs of the dolls Sutcliffe co-created with Lorraine Larsen and some photographs and slides of Sutcliffe's early tile work. The series also includes photographs of then state senator Bill Winkelman (taken by Sutcliffe) and various personal portraits.


Shelved in closed stacks:

Printing Business

        Strange Happenings at Brandenburg Surf (1984) (illustrated and hand   bound by Sutcliffe)

Poems of Lotte Lehman (1987)

Lotte Lehman: An Opera Alphabet (1988)

        American Type Designers (1995)




Portfolio flower prints, 1984 (5 portfolios)


Shelved in printed works collection:


Family anecdotes

Grandma Cherry's Spoon: A Story of Tuberculosis (1991)

Memories of an Iowa Veterinarian (1990)

Illustrations and cover art

The Bodega War and Other Tales From Western Lore (1988)

Heroes, Villains and Ghosts (1984)

A Kayak Full of Ghosts (1987)

Sherlock Slept Here (1985)

Wolverine Creates the World (1993)

Young Wolf: The Early Adventure Stories of Jack London (1984)

Related Collections


Begin text here:»Joan Liffring-Zug papers (State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City)

Sue Reed papers

            These papers contain material relating to the Iowa First Ladies Dolls in Inaugural Gowns collection, a project that Judith Sutcliffe participated in.  See Box 1; Iowa American Revolution Bicentennial Commission; Iowa First Ladies Dolls in Inaugural Gowns album, 1977.

Box no.   Description


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Box 1

»Correspondence (with John Niemeyer and Grace Ellis) [CLOSED: filed in box 3]


Printing Business

Lotte Lehman material, 1986-1991

Promotional materials and sample work


1993 and undated

Roger Levenson, 1983-1987, 1992, 1994 and undated



Bookcards and pamphlets, 1985-1996 (scattered)

Journals, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996


Box 2

Iowa Lyric, 1996

Memories of John W. Sutcliffe, 1997

Poetry (undated)

The Front Porch, No. 1, 1998


Tile murals business

Photographs and postcards, 1979-1990 and undated (scattered)


Newspaper clippings, 1974-1989, 1996



Collectors plates, dolls, and tile designs, 1969, 1973, 1977 and undated

Slides, 1973, 1977 and undated [includes an accompanying letter from Joan Liffring-Zug]

Bill Winkelman, 1974 or 1975?

Joan Liffring-Zug, undated (2 items)

Personal, 1988-1992 and undated


Box 3

»Correspondence (with John Niemeyer and Grace Ellis) [CLOSED] (5 folders)