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contributed by Emily Gainer and Anthony Greenaway.

The Wertheimer Family Papers are now open to researchers! The papers, consisting of 141 boxes, document the life and work of Max Wertheimer and his son, Michael.  The papers include correspondence, research files, academic files, written works, family materials, and photographs.

Max Wertheimer (1880-1943) first studied psychology at the Friedrich-Wilhelm University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wurzburg in 1904. Max began his career as a faculty member at the University of Frankfurt. He was a lecturer at the Psychological Institute at the University of Berlin from 1916 to 1929, before returning to Frankfurt as a full professor until 1933. Along with Wolfgang Köhler and Kurt Koffka, Wertheimer established Gestalt psychology, challenging common analytic approaches to the study of experience. Fleeing Germany shortly before the Nazis came to power, Max and his family immigrated to the United States in 1933. He taught at the New School for Social Research in New York from 1933 until his death in 1943.

Max Wertheimer, undated. (Box M6695, Folder 16)

Max Wertheimer with cat, 1934-1935. (Box M6695, Folder 1)

Michael Wertheimer (1927- ) received a B.A. in psychology from Swarthmore College in 1947, a M.A. in psychology from The Johns Hopkins University in 1949, and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Harvard University in 1952. Michael has held the position of Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado since 1993, where he first became a professor in 1961. His work centered on the areas of cognition, perception, psycholinguistics, and the history of psychology.

Michael Wertheimer, 1976. (Box M6781, Folder 11)

Michael Wertheimer, 1977. (Box M6781, Folder 11)

The papers are organized into two series: Max Wertheimer papers and Michael Wertheimer papers. They are further organized into subseries within. The papers not only document the professional work of Max and Michael, they also provide information about the personal and family lives of the Wertheimers. Researchers can find information about their experience fleeing Germany and immigrating to the United States.

Materials from other family members are also included in the collection, including Max’s parents, brother, and children. Of special note are the boxes of Anni (Wertheimer) Hornbostel’s correspondence, dating from the 1920s through the 1980s.

Anni Wertheimer Hornbostel playing the violin, 1924. (Box M6695, Folder 6)

Of special interest is Max’s correspondence, which is arranged alphabetically by last name. Correspondents include Albert Einstein, Kurt Koffka, Wolfgang Kohler, and Kurt Lewin. Researchers should note that a majority of Max’s material is written in German. A small portion of materials in Michael’s materials are in German. Correspondence to Anni is mainly in German.

Max Wertheimer lecturing in Frankfurt, 1929-1930. (Box M6695, Folder 10)

The collection was donated to the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology by Michael Wertheimer. During processing, materials were identified as originating with Max or Michael; however there may be overlap between the two.

Researchers can view the Wertheimer Family papers finding aid for the full collection description.  Hundreds of photographs and three scrapbooks from the papers have been digitized and are available online.  Contact the CCHP reference archivist for access to the papers.

-contributed by Ace Harrah.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ace, and I’m a new intern here at CCHP. I’m the youngest intern here yet, being only 17 years old, which means that I’m still in high school. I have Bio-Med Science Academy to thank for the pleasure of being able to work with all of the wonderful people on staff here while still pursuing my diploma. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned with you all!

My current project is researching psychologists who specialized in creativity. As you can imagine, this is a wide subject that requires a very niche interest to start researching. After all, what is creativity? How do you study such an abstract topic? I don’t have an answer to any of that, but I certainly can share what I’ve learned so far!

When I first started my research in our collections database, there was one name that kept popping up wherever I went: E. Paul Torrance. I’ve learned since then that Torrance was a psychologist who focused his studies on the creativity of children and looked to enhance the academic lives of the creative student. He felt that schools disregarded most of the students who were creatively gifted over students who are intellectually different. The main issue, he found, was that there was no way for schools to quantify a student’s inherent creative ability. Thus, he created the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), a standardized test that looked to objectively measure the creative potential of a child.

 

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Now, how does someone “grade” another’s capacity for creativity? After all, creativity is mostly immeasurable, right? Well, the TTCT supplies test subjects (or “pupils,” as the scoring sheet calls them) with different figures to build off of. The ambiguity (or lack thereof) in the shapes provides challenges for test takers and gives them an opportunity to create something entirely new with minimal constraints.

Torrance’s tests are still used today, although they are much more popular in Europe than here in the US. As a creator myself, I am personally a bit skeptical about how accurate Torrance’s tests really can be to measure one’s creativity. I think that creativity relies strongly on outside variables rather than one’s own innate ability. 

As a side thought, is creativity really something we should try to quantify? Being told at a young age that you aren’t especially creative could deter individuals from pursuing artistic education, even later in their life. Perhaps creativity is something you learn through practice. Sure, some people are born athletes, but does that mean everyone else should give up on making the team? That’s one of the best things about humans: we adapt.

What would you create based off of this image?

Museum Day in the Archives

contributed by Lizette R. Barton 

Every year Smithsonian Magazine  hosts Museum Day and through this program museums and cultural institutions across the country offer free entry in celebration. As a Smithsonian Affiliate and rather righteous cultural institution, if you ask me, the CCHP is excited to participate on Saturday, September 21. Come see us – it’s free!

The Museum Day theme coincides with the overarching 2019 theme for the Smithsonian – Year of Music.

According to the Smithsonian:

Virtually everybody engages with music, and we see this across eras and cultures. People work and relax with music, celebrate and mourn with music, court and fight with music. It provides a sense of well-being, of identity, and of community. Music is not only a reflection of human creativity and innovation that has led to a stunning diversity of styles and genres, but also a key method of communication and cross-cultural exchange and understanding.

“Virtually everyone” certainly includes psychologists and there was one in particular that was interested in music – Carl Seashore.

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You can read all about Seashore via his National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoir by Walter Miles. Thanks NAS for putting those online in full-text!

Carl Seashore developed the “Seashore Measures of Musical Talents Test” in 1919. The test would be revised and updated several times and the Archives has versions from 1939, 1956, 1957, and 1960.

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According to Seashore (1920) in his article The Inheritance of Musical Talent:

“…we must abandon the plan of merely counting persons musical or unmusical, and patiently settle down to the isolation and observation of isolable traits, such as, the inheritance of the sense of pitch, creative imagination, motor imagery, a large register of the vocal chords, excellence in motor control, or musical intellect.”

The Seashore Measures of Musical Talents Test includes three records that test 6 distinct categories – pitch, loudness, rhythm, time, timbre, and tonal memory.

Let’s test your tonal memory, shall we?

Pretend I’m Carl Seashore and you’re in a quiet room with great acoustics at the University of Iowa.

Good morning. I’m Carl Seashore. You are here today to test for musical talents. Here is your answer sheet. 

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At this time we will be testing your tonal memory. In each trial you will hear a short series of notes played twice. In the second playing, one note is changed. You are to decide which note is changed; the first, the second, the third, and so on. and blacken the space in the correct section of the answer sheet labeled “Tonal Memory.” There is always some note in the second playing that is different that the corresponding note in the first playing. As you hear the notes in each set, count them silently to yourself, one, two, three, etc., so that you can identify the note that is changed. There are 30 sets of tones in the test.

Hi, it’s Lizette again. Not Carl. How did you do?

Maybe you’re a musical genius! Or, maybe like me you’re not a musical genius or even remotely musically inclined but you are a lover of music (especially that new Highwomen album. Check it out. For real).

It’s ok. You don’t have to be a musical prodigy or posses musical talent to enjoy music.

As Carl says, “…we love it [music] because it creates a psychological well-being in our organism…it is the language of emotion; a generator of social fellowship; it takes us out of the humdrum of life…and satisfies our cravings…for self-expression for the joy of expression.”

Word, Carl.

 

 

 

#UACulture

The National Museum of Psychology is just one of several really cool cultural institutions on the University of Akron campus. Our cultural partners on campus include the Hower House Museum, UA Archival Services, the Dr. Shirla R. McClain Gallery of Akron Black History and Culture, the Emily Davis Gallery at the Myers School of Art, and EJ Thomas Performing Arts Hall .

With UA’s Weeks of Welcome program coming up for new and returning students we wanted to let UA students know about all the awesome cultural opportunities right here on campus. So we sent out two of our students – Rose Stull (an undergraduate student completing the CCHP Museums & Archives Certificate program and majoring in History) and Tori Demming (a graduate student in the Counseling program) on an adventure around campus to check out some #UACulture.

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This arrow points to cool things!

The NATIONAL Museum of Psychology is right here in Akron! The NMP is part of the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology which has been on campus since 1965.

 

And just down the street is the very cool Hower House Museum. It is a historic home that was built in 1871 by John Henry Hower, a leading Akron industrialist. The floor plan of this beautiful Second Empire Italianate style home is unique and based on the “Akron Plan.” What’s the Akron Plan? Go to Hower House and find out!

 

The University of Akron’s Archival Services Department is located in the Polsky Building. Enter at High Street and take the elevator down to the lower level for a some Akron-based history. Archival Services collects, preserves, and provides access to primary and secondary source materials that document the history of The University of Akron and the region. They have so much amazing stuff in their collection including an awesome collection of over 20,000 photographs from the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company!

The Dr. Shirla R. McClain Gallery of Akron Black History is named after Akron educator and historian Dr. Shirla R. McClain whose dissertation, “The Contributions of Blacks in Akron: 1825-1975” is available in full-text through the Akron Summit County Public Library. The work of the Gallery remains a collaboration between the community and the University and is located in the Buckingham Building.

If you really want to be inspired head over the the Myers School of Art and check out the Emily Davis Gallery. Their collection includes artworks by alumni, students, faculty and artists who have been on residencies at Myers and exhibitions rotate. It is a beautiful space and worth the walk to Folk Hall.

Live music? Drama? Dance? If you want culture E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall has got it. In spades! The Hall hosts Broadway in Akron and also serves as home to The Akron Symphony Orchestra, Tuesday Musical Association, Children’s Concert Society and Akron Youth Symphony

EJ

Visiting all of these incredible cultural institutions on our campus is prize enough but we’re going to sweeten the deal.

  1. Visit any of these spots between August 26 and September 7.
  2. Take a selfie and post it to social media tagging the institution and including the hashtag #UACulture.
  3. Fill out a raffle ticket.
  4. Visit another spot and do the same thing. And another. And another.
  5. Wait patiently to see if you won the raffle! The more #UACulture spots you visit the more chances you have to win. The raffle winner will be announced September 10.

Now go out there and get cultured!

 

 

– contributed by CCHP Reference Archivist Lizette Royer Barton.

It’s July.

It’s the National Recreation and Park Association’s Park and Recreation Month.

Summer is half over.

Let’s face it – we could all use a vacation.

In honor of summer vacations and parks and recreation, let’s check out some psychologists enjoying a little rest and relaxation.

I have to start with these photographs William R. (Bob) Hood sent to Muzafer and Carolyn Sherif. Bob Hood was a graduate student at Oklahoma, a co-conspirator in the Robbers Cave Study, and an author on  Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation: The Robbers Cave Experiment (1954). But I like to think of him as the Clark Griswold of psychology.

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Muzafer and Carolyn Wood Sherif papers, box V63, folder 8.

Of the dozen or so images the Hoods sent the Sherifs the next one was my favorite. I’ve been to Moab, UT. I experienced Arches National Park and the Canyonlands National Park on a month-long road trip with three girlfriends after college. It was a life-changing experience for me and just like Jack White (another graduate student of Muzafer Sherif’s and co-author on the Robbers Cave book), I lost my ever-loving mind.

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Muzafer and Carolyn Wood Sherif papers, box V63, folder 8 caption

Henry H. Goddard was a voracious traveler and his collection contains hundreds of travel photos – including a scrapbook we recently digitized and made available online HERE. The 30+ page scrapbook from the early 1900s contains incredible images including this one of climbers (possibly Goddard himself) on Blackfoot Glacier in Glacier National Park in Montana.

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Henry H. Goddard papers, box V37, folder 4

Maybe climbing a mountain glacier isn’t your speed. Maybe you just want to leisurely cruise the country in style. If that’s the case, Molly Harrower would’ve been a good travel partner for you. Molly’s Folly seems like a blast!

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Molly Harrower papers, box V54, folder 4

THIS is the way to wake up in the morning! Notice the typewriter? Was Molly working while on vacation? I like to think she was typing letters to friends and providing updates on the folly.

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Molly Harrower papers, box V54, folder 4

Gardner and Lois B. Murphy were also big travelers and their collection includes hundreds of photographs from their trips all over the world.

The notation on back of this image of Lois in Puerto Rico claims she was at a conference. I like to think she tossed her name badge and requisite conference bag onto her hotel room floor and then ran to the ocean as soon as the sessions ended. I bet she did.

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Gardner and Lois B. Murphy papers, box V61, folder 1.5

The Murphy papers have a lot of photographs of Gardner hiking and camping throughout his long life. He was outdoorsy to say the least.

I really love this photograph of Gardner cooking on a stove made of cinder blocks on a dock near a lake. What’s better after a day of hiking, fishing, and general vacationing than a good meal cooked outside near a lake?

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Gardner and Lois B. Murphy papers, box V40, folder 2

The notation on the back of the photograph didn’t provide any information about the other man in the photograph, but it did give me a few clues that deserved some further investigation. So I googled the following: Cloverly + Holderness + Frank.

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And lo and behold the Googles delivered and I was down the vacation rabbit hole.

The Frank of “Frank’s dock” was Lawrence K. Frank. As the director of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial from 1923-1929 and director of the Rockefeller Foundation’s child-development program from 1929-1933,  he was instrumental in establishing Child Development Institutes across the United States through Rockefeller funding. He also turned out to be a mentor to many and helped quite a few social scientists secure employment and funding for their research. I even came across a quote from Margaret Mead that claimed Frank “more or less invented the behavioral sciences” (I still haven’t located a citation. Anyone have one?).

So the Frank of “Frank’s dock” turns out to be super important when it comes to the social sciences and “Cloverly” turns out to be Frank’s summer home – Cloverly Cottage in New Hampshire.

Cloverly Cottage was built in 1918 and was Frank’s summer residence from 1921 until his death in 1968.  A history of the cottage claims “Frank used Cloverly as a base for meetings with colleagues over the years and he and other social scientists held discussions and wrote articles and books….it served as a spot for inquiry into the fields of psychology, anthropology, and child development….”

Who else besides Gardner Murphy hung out at Cloverly Cottage and what kinds of discussions took place?

I took to the Murphy papers to look for some answers and I found a folder of letters commissioned by Gardner Murphy in 1965 from various social scientists in honor of Lawrence K. Frank’s 75th birthday. Murphy collected the letters, copied them, and provided a bound volume of all the letters to Frank and each of the letter writers.

The list of contributors was a who’s who.

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Gardner and Lois B. Murphy papers, box M1806, folder 7

As I skimmed the letters I noticed several instances of folks specifically mentioning the cottage in New Hampshire. I knew Gardner Murphy spent time at Cloverly but I also found evidence that so did Peter Blos, Erik Erickson, William Walter GreulichHelen and Robert Lynd, Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, Ruth Washburn, and of course Lois B. Murphy

Check out this letter from Erik Erikson (written in the third person).

EriksonCollage

“A few weeks later the young man [Erikson] and his wife, were indeed driving through NH…they looked up Mr. Frank’s telephone number and were promptly invited to dinner. After that it seemed quite natural for Mr. Frank to ask the couple to stay the night – so natural, in fact, that they stayed for a week….the host also found it natural to arrange for a research position for the young man, so he could develop some notions he had.”

And take a look at this one from Helen Merrill Lynd.

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“…we were fortunate in having a month at that happy place which became a center of openness and friendship for so many of us….no one was ever turned away from Cloverly….It was at Larry’s home that I first met Erik Erikson and Kurt Lewin….New Hampshire was a gathering place for people who were asking fresh questions, shaping important problems in new forms.”

THE HISTORY AT CLOVERLY IS ALMOST TOO MUCH FOR ME.  But wait! There’s more!

Cloverly Cottage, Lawrence K. Frank’s cottage in Holderness, New Hampshire that housed “Frank’s dock” and was a meeting space and catalyst for countless research projects, theories, ideas, and chatter in the social sciences is still in the Frank family and available for rent right now through VRBO. I’m not kidding!

I think I need to book a vacation. Maybe it’s time to make a little history.

-contributed by Emily Gainer & Jodi Kearns.

In 2010, the CCHP moved into the former Roadway building.  Over the past 9 years, renovations have been made to every floor of the building, and we’re excited to announce that renovations are complete!

The Drs. Nicholas A. and Dorothy M. Cummings Center for the History of Psychology is the home of the Archives of the History of American Psychology, the National Museum of Psychology, and the Institute for Human Science and Culture (IHSC).  The final renovations were completed on the 3rd and 4th floors, which house the IHSC. The IHSC is a multidisciplinary institute that promotes education and research in the history, preservation, documentation, and interpretation of the human experience. The mission of the IHSC is to explore the human condition through document/object-based, experiential education in arts, humanities, and science.

During the year-long renovations, we took photographs to document the changes and keep a record of our own history.  Here are before and after photographs:

Exterior upgrades, including window replacement and additional lighting, were a part of the renovations on the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology building.

 

The 3rd floor of the IHSC includes classroom spaces.  The Museums and Archives Certificate Program, along with other courses, will be taught here beginning Fall 2019.

 

The 3rd floor also includes a conference room.

 

One of the most interesting architectural elements of the building spans the 3rd and 4th floors. This atrium includes wall space suitable for exhibit installation.

 

An important part of the renovations was the addition of a stairway connecting the 3rd and 4th floors. Construction crews cut through the concrete between the floors and added this staircase.

 

A front view of the stairway.  Notice the reinforcement and construction supports in the before photograph.  Lots of planning went into this architectural element!

 

The 4th floor of the IHSC includes two gallery spaces that are open to the public.  A reception desk was added and sits immediately off the elevator.

 

Reclaimed barn wood from Pennsylvania was used throughout the 3rd and 4th floors.  It was incorporated into the wall details and used to create unique benches for extra seating.

 

The 4th floor library is already open to the public on Wednesdays (11am-4pm) and Thursdays (11am-8pm) where the David P. Campbell Postcard Collection and the Brozek Slavic and Germanic Language Cultural Books are available for use and research. Soon, other key collections of the IHSC will be relocated into the 3rd floor stacks, including the Jim and Vanita Oelschlager Native American Ethnographic Collection and the Lee L. Forman Collection of Bags.

Virginia, Carl, and Me

–contributed by Arianna Iliff, graduate student assistant.

By the time you read this, I will be gone…from graduate school! After two and a half years here at the CCHP, I’m hitting the road with a fresh Master’s degree in Counseling/Marriage and Family Therapy in hand. Before I started school, I had a goal to get a job that would help me understand my field better and back up the knowledge I gained in class, and I was so lucky to find the CCHP in the process. I’ve spent the last two and a half years learning by doing, searching through manuscripts and images for our researchers and getting drawn into the stories of psychology’s history. So for my final blog post, I’d like to talk a little bit about two of my favorite therapists in history. Carl Whitaker and Virginia Satir were a pair of iconoclasts: major influences in my own field of family therapy and originators of an experiential model of therapy.

Carl Whitaker, a psychiatrist by trade, was a major advocate for co-therapy, or two therapists working with one family. Whitaker was known for making outrageous statements in therapy sessions, what I like to call his “sick Whitakerisms.” By using this ‘therapy of the absurd,’ he was able to get families out of their comfort zone to promote growth. I was surprised to find him in the James F. T. Bugenthal papers, where there is an entire folder of correspondence with Carl Whitaker. In this correspondence, he discusses the inclusion of his paper “The Therapist as a Prototype” in The Challenge of Humanistic Psychology.

“The important thing is that you stay for breakfast, not whether you sleep with me the night before.” I am entirely unsurprised this quotation stuck with Whitaker. [James F. T. Bugenthal papers, Box M951, Folder 1]

Virginia Satir was a co-founder of the Mental Research Institute, home to several prolific family therapists. The first time I saw a recording of her performing therapy, she was instructing a father and son on the best way to communicate love through touch. Virginia’s entire therapeutic approach centered on communication, and she made it her goal to assist families with saying, whether verbally or nonverbally, exactly what they mean. She appears several times in our Popular Psychology magazine collection, where she is interviewed as a thought leader in the world of family functioning.

Despite being known for her gentle and nurturing style, Satir had a direct streak: “I really have no interest in preserving families that don’t belong together.” [Special Interest, Popular Psychology Magazines, Box 93]

Virginia Satir says in her book ­­The New Peoplemaking, “Without loving and being loved, the human soul and spirit curdle and die” (p. 141). In her own parlance, working at the CCHP has enriched my own soul, allowing me to get to know the humans behind the history through primary sources. My colleagues here have been so kind to me, and so willing to allow me to learn. And of course, I’d like to thank you, readers, for enjoying these trips through the collection with me here on the blog.

Now, I am going forth to be a therapist, and I hope in my own career I can do something important enough to be included in the CCHP archives.