During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) children were evacuated from the war zones to colonies in the war-free areas of Spain and in the south of France. Drawings by these children were collected from throughout Spain in a concerted effort of the Spanish Board of Education and the Carnegie Institute of Spain. A large group was assembled by Joseph A. Weissberger in early 1938 and brought to the United States on behalf of the Spanish Child Welfare Association for the American Friends Service Committee. They were used by the Friends as a means to publicize the plight of the children and collect funds for more evacuations and assistance to the already established colonies. Over 850 of these drawings have been identified in a variety of locations. The Friends published sixty of them with a prologue by Aldous Huxley under the title And they still draw pictures! Several printings were sold for $1.00 each for the same fund
The majority of the drawings known today (609) have been collected by the University of California at San Diego and form part of the Southworth collection in their Mandeville Special Collections (available on the Web at: http://libraries.ucsd.edu/speccoll/tsdp/). Harvard University holds another 17, and 15-20 others are in the Philadelphia headquarters of the American Friends Service Committee.
Those presented here consist of a collection of 153 made by children aged 7 to 14. They were willed to the Department of Art History and Archaeology of Columbia University by Martin Vogel. Sadly very little is known about this man, other than he was a lawyer, who died on May 20, 1938 at the age of 59. He made several bequests to Columbia University in a will dated March 16, 1938. From the date of this will and of his death, it seems certain that the drawings he purchased were those exhibited at Lord & Taylor?s in February 1938. His name, however, does not appear among the patrons of the exhibition.
In 1977, the late Professor George Collins discovered these drawings upon examination of some large boxes designed to resemble folio books that were kept in the slide library of the Department of Art History. He had them transferred to the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, where they reside.