David E. Berger: Records, 1900, 1951-1956 | MSS 92.1

Historical Sketch:

            In 1946, after service in World War II, David E. Berger of Lawrence, Massachusetts, joined the faculty at Framingham State Teachers College. His studies at the Massachusetts School of Art were interrupted by his military service, but after the end of the war he returned to complete his education in the Teacher Education Department at the same school. During his senior year he began exhibiting his paintings. Upon graduation he accepted a position at FSTC. While employed there, Berger taught Art Appreciation, Interior design, Costume Design, Crafts, and Introduction to Art. He took a leave of absence from his teaching duties in 1949 to attend Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1950.

            He left his teaching position at FSTC in 1957 in order to return to Massachusetts School of Art where he taught classes in painting and illustrating. At the time of his death in November 1966, Berger resided in Framingham with his wife, Ruth Feldman Berger, and their two children. He held the rank of full professor.


Scope and Content:

            The Records of David E. Berger, faculty member from 1946 to 1957, include five rolls of Kodachrome film photographed in the 1950s. Subjects include campus scenes, a fashion show, 1951 Class Day, alumnae reunion, a practice filmstrip, and an unprocessed film. It is possible that Professor Berger took these while employed as a faculty advisor or for recruitment purposes.

            Also included in this collection is a photograph album containing twenty-seven “views sent to Paris Exposition from State Normal School, Framingham, Mass. 1900.” This collection of photographs was featured in an international exhibition which ran from 1899 through 1900 in France. The scenes, taken by photographer Arthur I. Emerson, show interiors of classrooms and laboratories; exteriors of Normal Hall, Crocker Hall and May Hall; campus grounds and walkways; practical class of household arts; the lunch room; library; gymnasium; pupils from practice school; manual training room; principal and staff members; students; common rooms; sleeping rooms in boarding hall; the tennis court; and the heating plant.


Provenance: Unknown

Amount: 6 rolls of 16mm film and 1 photograph album.

Note: The Student Government Association bought an oil painting – “Girl and Flowers” – from Ruth Berger in 1966, after the death of David Berger. The cost was $2,000. The frame was Berger’s own creation and enhances the value of the painting. Faculty also made contributions to the fund used for this purchase. The painting is currently kept in the archive collections in the Henry Whittemore Library. The frame was repaired in 1970 – 1971 by Ken Pailor at Framingham Craft Center.


Container List:

B.1       Roll 1: Class Day, showing Glee Club concert, Friendship Circle and Daisy Chain. June 2, 1951.

            Roll 2: Fall campus scenes including buildings, National Student Association meeting addressed by President O’Connor and Boesjra Zahie (sponsored by W.S.S.F. to raise money for foreign college).  October 1952.

            Roll 3: Fashion Show, science class with Dr. Edwin Haerte, art class. June 1953.

            Roll 4: Alumnae reunion. (Includes D. Berger with alumnae. It is possible he was the class advisor).  June 1956.

            Roll 5: Filmosound Practice Film, audio-visual practice film. N.d.

            Roll 6: unprocessed 16mm film. N.d.

B.2       Photograph album, 1900. Twenty-seven mounted black and white photographs by Arthur I. Emerson.