Scope and Content Note

The John Raphael Covert Papers consist of the artist's correspondence, word and number puzzles (such as anagrams, acrostics, and riddles), financial records, photographs, and a few of his sketches. In addition, the collection includes a small amount of clippings, writings, and third-party correspondence. The majority of the papers postdate Covert's abadonment of painting as his profession, and thus, document his professional life as a travelling salesman for his family's Vesuvius Crucible Company. Approximately half of these papers are in code, and thus are cryptic in both intent and meaning. A large series of photographs, while undated, appear to document Covert's life in New York City in the late 1910's and early 1920's.


Color digital images are available for all items in the "Financial records" series. Most of these items are bound financial ledgers or daybooks, maintained by John Covert and written primarily in code. This code has not yet been deciphered. All pages in the volumes have been digitized with the exception of those left blank by Covert. Note that sketches and doodles made by Covert illustrate some of the entries.