Olcott Foundation

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The Olcott Foundation was a committee based on the Olcott campus established to encourage creative expression among members of The Theosophical Society. Awards were given annually in several categories.[1]

Award winners and some other participants were honored in The American Theosophist, and the works were published or displayed at annual conventions. The program originated in the 1930s with the Olcott Lectureship, and was expanded in 1940 to include seven divisions: Public Lecture, Short Story, Poetry, Drama, Painting, Musical Composition, and Radio Script. In 1950 a division was added for Children’s Story. The awards continued until 1960, but the program was most active during the war years of the 1940s.

Committee and rules

Subcommittees developed rules for each category; brochures were issued for those interested; and response postcards were sent to people who submitted entries. Committee members included prominent American Theosophists such as:

E. Norman Pearson
Gerald Bole
Carle Christensen
Iris White
Winifred Boye
Beatrice Wood
Claude Bragdon

Fritz Kunz
Ava Boman
Emily Sellon
Ruby Lorraine Radford
Mrs. Alonzo Decker
Edwin N. Lord
Marcella Schmitt

Helen Loenholdt
Elwood Cook
Viva J. Emmons
Bertha Williams
H. Douglas Wild
Nedra Ruder
A. Herbert Peron

Thea Hehr
Torre Whorf
Charles E. Fouser
Vera Riechers
Ruby Page Euwer
Joy Mills
Lois Holmes

Song of the Paramahansa by Ruth Collier

Award winners

Some people of the winners were Lillian Boxell, Nella Cole, Viva Emmons, E. Norman Pearson, Fritz Loenholdt, Joy Mills, and Roy Rush. When Ruth Collier wrote The Song of the Paramahansa, a long poem, it was published by the Theosophical Press.[2] The illustration is of the paramahansa, the "supreme swan" symbolizing the spiritual discrimination of an enlightened sage.

Additional resources

Notes

  1. Margery Parks, Virginia Deaderick, and Dr. George B. DeHoff, "The Olcott Foundation," The American Theosophist 39:9 (September, 1951), 180.
  2. Ruth Collier. The Song of the Paramahansa Wheaton, Illinois: Theosophical Press, 1940. 24 pages.