In January 1966, T. D. Seymour Bassett, the curator of the UVM Wilbur Collection, sent a letter to Katherine Crockett in Pittsford, Vermont. Bassett wrote that he had received two of her attractive Christmas cards from friends in St. Louis and Detroit. He continued, “Since the Wilbur Collection aims to include examples of every kind of Vermont activity, including commercial art, we should be pleased to have a set of your designs for Christmas and other greeting cards.” Bassett asked if he could stop by on January 21, soon after lunch, to pick up what she might have available.
Crockett started her Christmas card business in 1929 and moved it to Vermont in 1951. In 1954, Crockett told Vermont Life that her business challenge was to make a good product, “one that is beautiful, original and cheap enough to make people want to buy it.” With silk-screened designs that ranged from traditional to modern and included religious and secular themes, the company was quite successful, distributing some half a million cards annually. Crockett retired in 1966, and the company continued under new owners.
Bassett brought Crockett’s 1965 sample book, Christmas Cards from the Studio of Katherine Crockett, to the Wilbur collection. Here are a few examples. Come to Special Collections to see the rest of the cards.