The Otto Kuhler collection includes correspondence, printed materials, photographs, artwork, and scrapbooks.
Correspondence in the collection (1962-77) pertains principally to Kuhler’s paintings, the railroad, and his other interests. The collection documents Kuhler’s extensive correspondence with William C. Jones of the National Railways Historical Society, as well as less frequent communications with Adolph Giesl-Gieslingen (locomotive expert); Charles L. Andres (Franklin Mint Corporation); W.D. Bedell (Houston Post); and Brook Hingle, Robert M. Vogel, and John H. White (Smithsonian).
The collection’s printed materials include “Painting the Land of Lost Souls” (talk given by Kuhler); Kuhler’s Letters to the Editor of the Brewery Gulch Gazette; and miscellaneous reviews and publicity items (1971-76) concerning Kuhler’s My Iron Journey, A Life with Steam and Steel. Nearly 100 magazine and newspaper articles from publications such as Today’s Art, New Mexico, Trains, and American Art that make mention of Kuhler’s art, writings, and railroad designs are also present (1950s-70s). Assorted clippings and pamphlets constitute additional printed materials. Of note is a United States Patent for a railway car: design 148, 308.
Collected photographs, primarily black and white, capture Kuhler’s paintings, etchings, and designs for trains, bridges, boats, steam locomotives, passenger cars, and machinery. Fifteen color slides of locomotives, taken by Frank Clodfelter, are present, as well. Other photos feature Kuhler himself, next to one of his paintings and in a locomotive cab. A photo of Kulher, age 6, with his father and co-workers (marked with holograph note) may be of particular interest.
Kuhler’s collected artwork consist of a pencil sketch of a monorail train, as well as materials pertaining to a “High Speed Inter-City Train,” including two blueprints and a “Supplement to Mr. Kuhler’s memo to Mr. E.D. Campbell” discussing the proposed design.
Scrapbooks contain articles by and about Kuhler, photographs, occasional correspondence, and artwork (1930-74). Items of distinction include letters from Franklin D. Roosevelt and Walter P. Chrysler and patent applications for “Lifeboat Launching Devices” and “Adjustable Seats.”