Biographical / Historical
Julius John (J.J.) Lankes (1884-1960) was an illustrator, woodcut print artist, author, and college professor. Lankes was born August 31, 1884 in Buffalo, NY. He graduated from the Buffalo Commercial and Electro-Mechanical Institute in 1902, and continued his art studies at the Art Students' League of Buffalo and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Lankes primarily produced woodcut images, and his works helped to elevate woodblock prints beyond illustrations to a fine art. Lankes illustrated for a number of authors including Robert Frost, Sherwood Anderson (both of whom became Lankes' lifelong friends), and Beatrix Potter. Lankes taught as Wells College for seven years, beginning in 1933.
J.B. Lankes (1915-2010) was the eldest child of J.J. and Edee Lankes. Lankes attended Antioch College and Bliss Electrical school, ultimately becoming an engineer.
Corrine Tenyson Davids (married to Arthur Davids) of Manchester, Vermont, was a collector of materials on Robert Frost, in memory of her late fiance, Wales Hawkins. This collection was originally a part of C-36, the Wales Hawkins collection of Robert Frost materials. The Wales Hawkins Memorial Collection was so named by its donor, Corinne Tennyson Davids of Manchester, VT, to commemorate the friendship of Robert Frost and Wales Monroe Hawkins, Frost's neighbor in South Shaftesbury, who was engaged to the donor before his death in 1928. After Hawkins's death the donor, then Corinne Tennyson, decided to build a permanent memorial to Hawkins in the form of a Robert Frost archive, the building of which would last for decades. With the encouragement of legendary professor of American Literature, Reginald L. "Doc" Cook, as well as from the poet himself, the collection found a home in Middlebury.