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Nimitz Library
Nimitz Library

Victoria Broadbent DeCato Collection, 1958-1982 (bulk 1980): Finding Aid

Published in May 2019

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 504
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Victoria Broadbent DeCato Collection
  • Dates: 1958-1982
  • Bulk Dates: 1980
  • Size: 0.21 linear feet (1 half-manuscript box)
  • Creator: Broadbent, Victoria
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Victoria Broadbent DeCato, known professionally as "Grandma Mosses," was an artist and the wife of John Howard Broadbent, United States Naval Academy Class of 1925. The Victoria Broadbent DeCato Collection spans from 1958 to 1982, with a bulk of the material produced in 1980. The collection consists of samples of Broadbent DeCato's abstract artwork produced using Spanish moss, as well as supporting documentation and a selection of her poetry.

Biography of Victoria Broadbent DeCato

Victoria Broadbent DeCato, known prior to 1965 as Victoria Broadbent and professionally as "Grandma Mosses," was an artist and the wife of John Howard Broadbent, United States Naval Academy Class of 1925. A longtime resident of St. Augustine, Florida, Broadbent DeCato's original artistic endeavors led her to work in portraiture and as a milliner for St. Augustine's annual Easter parade. Later in life, she concentrated on abstract painting, developing a style that used local Spanish moss as a paint brush. In addition to her paintings, Broadbent DeCato was also the author of Vicki's Driftwood Animal Kingdom and numerous poems.

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Description of Contents

The Victoria Broadbent DeCato Collection, comprising 0.21 linear feet of artwork and documentation, spans from 1958 to 1982, with a bulk of the material produced in 1980. The collection consists of samples of Broadbent DeCato's abstract artwork produced using Spanish moss, as well as supporting documentation and a selection of her poetry.

Included in the collection are paintings, poems, newspaper clippings, letters, a photograph, a postal cover, a sample of Spanish moss, and pieces of ephemera.

The Victoria Broadbent DeCato Collection is primarily composed of original samples of Broadbent DeCato's abstract artwork composed using her Spanish moss painting technique, which are arranged roughly by size. The predominant size and medium of the paintings is a two-inch square plastic slide, mounted either individually, as side-by-side pairs, or as two-by-two quadruplets. Other larger paintings, no greater in size than approximately five inches by seven inches, were painted on either plastic or card stock, the latter of which also act as pieces of correspondence. Supporting documentation includes promotional materials, newspaper articles describing Broadbent DeCato's painting method, and a sample of the Spanish moss she used as a paintbrush.

The collection also includes a selection of poems written by Broadbent DeCato, with titles such as "Dear Lord," "Little Pink Mouse," "My Unanswered Questions," "Mystery," and "Saint Augustine." Other items in the collection include a photograph of Victoria Broadbent DeCato, several pieces of correspondence written by her, and a St. Francis postal cover.

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Arrangement

The Victoria Broadbent DeCato Collection is arranged alphabetically by document type. The collection's paintings are arranged thereunder roughly by size.

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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Victoria Broadbent DeCato Collection is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Victoria Broadbent DeCato in June 1980. Accession No. 80-27.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

There are no other known collections of personal papers of Victoria Broadbent DeCato.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Victoria Broadbent DeCato Collection, MS 504

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in May 2019. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in May 2019.

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Subject Headings

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • Art, Abstract
  • Broadbent, Victoria

Genre Terms

  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Paintings (visual works)
  • Poems
  • Spanish moss
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Correspondence, 1958, 1980-1982

Box 1 Folder 2

Newspaper Clippings, 1980, undated

Box 1 Folder 3

Paintings - 2"x2" (Single Mount), undated

Box 1 Folder 4

Paintings - 2"x2" (Double Mount), undated

Box 1 Folder 5

Paintings - 2"x2" (Quadruple Mount), undated

Box 1 Folder 6

Paintings - 5"x5", undated

Box 1 Folder 7

Paintings - 5"x7", 1980, undated

Several paintings are affixed to notes to Naval Academy Library Director Richard Evans.

Box 1 Folder 8

Photograph, 1980

Box 1 Folder 9

Poetry and Other Writings, 1976, undated

Box 1 Folder 10

Postal Cover, 1982

Box 1 Folder 11

Promotional Material, undated

Box 1 Folder 12

Spanish Moss, undated

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