The collection contains a large body of material generated and accumulated by the Methodist artist and portrait painter Frank Owen Salisbury during the course of a prolific career lasting for over sixty years. The archive includes several thousand letters, representing an extensive body of correspondence with a wide range of eminent people from politics, religion, business and the arts, relating to potential or actual commissions for Salisbury to paint a portrait or a work on associated historic theme. The correspondence includes autographed letters from Dwight D. Eisenhower, Clement Atlee, Harry S. Truman, Winston S. Churchill, Geoffrey Fisher, Samuel Parkes Cadman, Billy Graham, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Louis Mountbatten and members of the Rockefeller family.
The collection is divided into fifteen boxes of material as follows:
Box 1: Official and personal correspondence written by Salisbury to members of his wide circle of friends, family, acquaintances, and potential clients.
Box 2: Letters written to Salisbury; Transcripts of his radio addresses for the BBC, 1954-56; Ms notes on "Life and Art: Notes for Revision"; Letters and associated papers written in connection with the publication of Salisbury's book Proud Heritage, c.1950; Ms notes for Salisbury's autobiography - Portrait and Pageant; Ms notes from folder marked 'personal writings'; Letters, notes and cuttings on the theme of art and religion, c.1946-c.1950.
Box 3: Letters to Salisbury from Dr Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman (1878-1961) of Los Angeles, California; Papers relating to the distinguished English-born American Methodist and Congregational minister Samuel Parkes Cadman (1864-1936); Letters to Salisbury from the US diplomat (Ambassador to Russia) Joseph Edward Davies (1876-1958) and his wife Marjorie Post Davies, together with news cuttings, 1941-55; Letter to Salisbury from Bernard Bateson re the meeting between Salisbury and the American evangelist Billy Graham, together with an article entitled "Painter and the Evangelist", c.1956; Letters to Salisbury from the American industrialist and philanthropist John Davison Rockefeller junior (1874-1960) and members of his family, 1946-1960; Letters to Salisbury from the American industrialist and diplomat Myron Charles Taylor (1874-1959) and members of his family, 1925-1954; Letters written to Salisbury concerning the business of the World Methodist Council, with particular regard to the portrait of John Wesley painted by Salisbury and portaits of other Methodist worthies, including Francis Asbury, 1952-57.
Box 4: Letters and telegrams sent to Salisbury by the Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King (1874-1950), 1940-1950; Letters to Salisbury concerning his correspondence with William Lyon Mackenzie King, 1950-1954; Orders of memorial service and tributes following the death of William Lyon Mackenzie King, 1950; Notes on the presentation of Salisbury's portrait of William Lyon Mackenzie King, 1947; Black and white photographs of William Lyon Mackenzie King and some printed papers and news cuttings relating to his premiership, c.1938-1950; Letters to Salisbury by Evelyn I. Lewis, 1959-1960.
Box 5: Notes and illustrative material re the memorial panels on the Queen Victoria Memorial, Calcutta, c.1905; Illustration showing the design of the stained glass windows at Hudson Memorial Church in Bangalore, India, c.1920; Notes and illustrative material re the design of the stained glass window of the church at Secunderabad, India; Letters to Salisbury and illustrations of the design of the stained glass window I of the Wesleyan church (later cathedral of the Church of Southern India) at Medak, India, c.1927; Letters to Salisbury and illustrative material concerning the design of the stained glass window II of the Wesleyan church at Medak, India, c.1938, c.1950-1958; Correspondence of Frank Whittaker, Bishop of Medak, concening stained glass window III of the Wesleyan church at Medak, India, c.1947-1958; Miscellaneous papers concening stained glass window III of the Wesleyan church at Medak, India, c.1954-1957.
Box 6: Salisbury's drawings illustrating "The Lord's Prayer" and notes on the text of the same.
Box 7:Papers concerning Salisbury's illustrations of "The Lord's Prayer"; Letters from Sir Robert Evans; Letters from Ernest H. Benson; Miscellaneous correspondence; Letters written in response to the appearance of the book on "The Lord's Prayer"; Material relating to exhibitions in Gateshead and Kettering.
Boxes 8-10: Papers re Salisbury's involvement with the Royal Family and the painting of works of national importance 1949-53, including the following major commissions (the list is not exhaustive): Queen Philippa pleading with King Edward III for the lives of the burghers of Calais (1913), King Alfred the Great rebuilding the walls of the city of London (1920), God and St George (1915), To the honour of the women of Great Britain (1916), Boy Cornwell VC (1917), The passing of war (1917), The passing of Queen Eleanor (1918), The King and Queen's visit to battle districts of France (1918), King Peter of Serbia crossing the Albanian mountains (1919), National peace thanksgiving service on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral (1920) and Burial of the Unknown Warrior, Westminster Abbey (1921).
Boxes 11: Papers re Salisbury's painting of works of national importance, including material concerning the dedication of the American Roll of Honour, St Paul's Cathedral 1951-52 (includes autograph letters of Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower). The box also includes papers regarding an Arts Council dispute, 1948-54.
Boxes 12: Papers re Salisbury's work for churches and civic centres.
Boxes 13-14: Copies of portraits painted by Salisbury (arranged alphabetically by surname).
Boxes 15: Press proofs of The Art of Frank Salisbury by Aquila Barber and Life [and] Letters of a famous English artist" by N. Keith Bushell.