The Nelle Peterson Christmas Card Collection in the Art Library

 The Nelle Peterson Christmas Card Collection was purchased at auction in 1967 by Margaret Bridwell, then art librarian at U of L.  The 550 cards in the collection were created mainly by Louisville artists, most of them in the mid-20th century.  The collection has been added to regularly since its purchase.  Below is a sampling of some of the cards in the collection.

John Begley, painter and printmaker, is currently Gallery Director and Critical & Curatorial Studies Professor at U of L.  Begley received his BFA from the University of New Mexico and his MFA from Indiana University.

John Begley, Christmas card 2007

Darrell Brothers, from Covington, KY, received his MAT and MFA from Indiana University, taught art in the Cincinnati public schools and later became head of the art department at Thomas More College in Crestview, Kentucky.

Darrell Brothers, Christmas card, 1958

Chuck Byrne, a U of L graduate, is a graphic designer who also teaches, and writes about graphic design.  His work has been in many exhibits and he has curated exhibits as well.

Chuck Byrne, Christmas card, n.d.

Nancy Currier, art teacher at Foster Academy, has an art degree from U of L.  She created this collaged card using images from plumbing supply catalogs.

Nancy Currier, Christmas card, 1987

Lucy Diecks studied at the Corcoran Fine Arts School in Washington, D.C. and received her BFA from Syracuse University.  She was one of Louisville’s most influential art instructors, teaching at Atherton for 30 years.

Lucy Diecks, Christmas card, n.d.

Robert J. Doherty established U of L’s Photographic Archives while a professor of design at the Hite Art Institute. A photographer as well as designer, he left U of L to become director of the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House.

Robert Doherty, Christmas card, n.d.

Clara Eagle, silversmith, interior designer and photographer, chaired the art department at Murray State for over twenty years and was a founding member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen.

Clara Eagle, Christmas card, 1962

Louise Galloway was head of the main library’s Circulation Department at  U of L for many years.  The browsing collection in Ekstrom Library is named for her.


Louise Galloway, Christmas card, n.d.

Billy Hertz earned his BFA in pottery at Florida Atlantic University, switching to painting during his graduate studies at U of L.  Hertz was instrumental in the formation of the “art zone” on Market Street.

Billy Hertz, Christmas card, n.d.

Ainslie Hewett specialized in the decorative arts including antique lettering and ornamental wood carving.  He was best known for his distinctive bookplate designs; his bookplate collection is housed in the Art Library and can also be seen online in our digital collections.

Ainslie Hewitt, Christmas card, 1935

Yin Rei Hicks, a native of China and a long time resident of Indiana, studied painting and sculpture at U of L, receiving an MFA.  She taught art in the New Albany-Floyd County schools.

Yin-Rei Hicks, Christmas card, 1963

Clay Lancaster, native of Lexington, KY, was an independent scholar who researched and wrote about nineteenth and twentieth-century American architecture and the arts and ideas of the Far East.  He also wrote and illustrated half a dozen books for children.  Lancaster held the Morgan Professorship at U of L in 1983.


Clay Lancaster, Christmas card, n.d.

Mary Spencer Nay received her BA and MA degrees from U of L.  She also studied the Cincinnati Art Academy, the Art Students League and the International School of Art in Mexico. She taught at U of L from 1959 until 1979, and established the first curriculum in creative art.  Her award-winning work is in numerous collections.

Mary Spencer Nay, Christmas card, n.d.

Mary Louise Speed was a landscape architect, president of the Louisville Society of Landscape Architects and garden columnist for the Courier-Journal.  She died in 1971.

Mary Louise Speed, Christmas card, 1957

Kenneth V. Young graduated from U of L in 1962 with a BS in design and painting.  Mary Spencer Nay, whose card is in this exhibit, was one of his teachers.  He designed exhibits for the Smithsonian institution from 1964 until 1994 and then worked as a museum consultant.

Kenneth Young, Christmas card, n.d.

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