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Joe Ann Cousino Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS-349

Content Description

The Joe Anne Cousino Papers consist of seven series that document Cousino’s career as a world-renowned sculptor. Each series refers to the type of record or material. They are arranged alphabetically by series title, and by folder title within each series.

Series 1, Audio Materials, includes an audio cassette of a recording made by Cousino about the induction of her grandfather, Frederick Kocher, into the Ottawa Hills Foundation Century Circle Hall of Fame, and a Scotch recording tape. According to notes accompanying the recording tape, it contains instructions for the execution of various folk dances.

Financial and Legal Documents, predominantly referring to commissions for Cousino’s work, make up Series 2.

Series 3, Manuscripts, contains journal notes detailing materials and vendors used by Cousino for her sculptures, including sketch designs of some of her work. Additionally, Manuscripts contain notes on speeches given by Cousino at various events.

Series 4 is very small with a few early plat maps from Michigan and the Toledo area. It appears these maps refer to areas where Cousino grew up or lived.

The Photographic/Visual Materials in Series 5 include a DVD with a documentary, “Sculpture in Toledo” from 1984, and four videocassettes with various art demonstrations and news spots. There are also photographs, both loose and in albums, that are both personal and promotional in nature, with extensive coverage of her sculptures as well as her interior design efforts, and slides of Cousino’s sculptures that she submitted for a competition in 2002.

Series 6, Printed Materials, are perhaps the most varied in nature. They include newspaper clippings dating back to her school years, programs of dedications, flyers for exhibitions and workshops, pamphlets on various topics, and local history materials that include newspapers from the turn of the 20th century, a soldier’s songbook from World War I, and family history records.

Finally, Series 7, Subject Files, contains materials that is perhaps most illustrative of Cousino’s career. Cousino kept scrapbooks, dating back to 1939, that she called “Biography Books”, of newspaper clippings, photographs, and notes regarding her personal and professional activities, that she maintained in reverse chronological order. These scrapbooks were dismantled to ensure ease of use but are filed in the order they were organized by the creator. Cousino kept these scrapbooks until her death in 2007.


  • 1904-2010

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials may be accessed by request at the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections on the fifth floor of the William S. Carlson Library on the main campus of the University of Toledo. Materials do not circulate.

Conditions Governing Use

In most cases, the Canaday Center does not own the copyright and literary rights to items in its collections; it is the responsibility of the researcher to adhere to U.S. Copyright and Fair Use laws, including seeking permission from the copyright holder and payment of any royalty fees, in the reproduction and use of archival materials. Providing copies or scans does not constitute a license to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.

Biographical / Historical

In 2006, author Dr. Jan Wahl, nominated sculptor Joe Anne Cousino to the Ottawa Hills Foundation Hall of Fame, calling Cousino, “…among the best America offers.” Cousino’s induction took place in 2010, three years after her death, and served as one of dozens of awards and accomplishments attributed to this native Toledoan.

Joe Ann Cousino was born on November 17, 1925. She studied art as a young girl, invited to spend the summer in Vermont at the Paul Manship Studio when she was eight years-old. She explored her talents as an artist while attending Scott High School and later at the University of Toledo. Cousino continued her studies in New York, via a graduate scholarship at Pratt Institute. She also studied at the Universities of Mexico and Southern Illinois. To expand her understanding of bronze sculpture, she traveled to Pietra Santa, Italy and Dublin, Ireland to attend International Sculpture Workshops.

Her talent and education led Joe Ann Cousino to enjoy a lifetime of success as a sculptor working primarily in figurative bronzes. She had shown in over 70 juried national and regional exhibitions; one-person museum and gallery shows throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, India, Thailand, and Singapore; and the U.S. State department chose two Cousino sculptures to show in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her work also appeared throughout reputable Midwestern art centers, including the Toledo Museum of Art; Button Gallery and Daniel De Graff Gallery, Saugatuck, Michigan; Arnot Museum, Elmira, New York; Kent State Gallery, Kent, Ohio; and Frank Ryan Gallery, Old Town, Chicago, Illinois.

Additionally, Mrs. Cousino commissioned dozens of sculptures that appear in private and public collections all over the world. Locally, in Toledo, her work can be seen at the Toledo Botanical Gardens (“Woman with the Birds” and “Light Source”), outside the front entrance of the Toledo Hospital (a life-size nurse in bronze), Christ the King Roman Catholic Church (“Stations of the Cross”), First Federal Bank (wall relief, “Skyline of Toledo”), and the United Church in Sylvania, Ohio (“Mame Gordon Memorial Sculpture”), to list a very few.

Her professional affiliations were just as prolific. Cousino was a founder and past president of the Toledo Potter’s Guild, past president of the Toledo Women’s Art League, founder of the Friends of Toledo Art, organizer of the Art Department for the main YMCA and YWCA in Toledo, teacher of art to autistic children from Fielbach Children’s School, guest instructor at colleges and universities throughout the United States, and jury member of several art award events. She has been honored with inclusion in Who’s Who in the Midwest, Who’s Who in American Women, The Directory of International Biography for Contemporary Achievement, Directory of Distinguished Americans, Women’s Inner Circle Achievement, Woman of the Year, and an Honorary Lifetime Membership to the Toledo Museum of Art Library League. Her sculpture, “Flashpoint”, appeared in the 1992 20th Century Fox film, “Folks!” and “The Family” featured on the cover of Dr. Vance Fitzgerald’s 1973 book Conjoint Marital Therapy.

The previous paragraphs can only highlight Joe Ann Cousino’s long and bright career. The list of commissioned work, awards and honors, and affiliations is much longer. She was also a mother to twins, a Friend of the University of Toledo Libraries, and a home interior designer. She developed an expertise and enthusiasm for multiple cultures and knew several languages. Those that knew her considered Joe Anne Cousino a great influence on their lives.

Cousino passed away on December 19, 2007.


Correspondence from Dr. Jan Wahl to David Baehren, M.D., President and Diana Talmage, Hall of Fame Chairman for the Ottawa Hills Foundation Hall of Fame Selection Committee, 11 April 2006. MSS-349, Box 6, Folder 9.

Curriculum vitae and resumes prepared by Joe Ann Cousino, not dated. MSS-349, Box 6, Folder 9.

Obituary, West Toledo Herald, 2 January 2008. MSS-349, Box 6, Folder 9.

Written remarks from an unknown source introducing Joe Ann Cousino at an unidentified event, not dated. MSS-349, Box 6, Folder 9.


8.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Related Materials

Edith Franklin Papers, MSS-254

Condition Description

News clippings are frayed at edges and some albums are a little worn. During processing, pages were removed from the albums and put in acid-free folders in the order they were in the albums. News clippings are foldered loosely and may be brittle.

Joe Ann Cousino Papers, 1905-2010 (ID: MSS-349)
Sara Mouch
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Repository Details

Part of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections Repository

2801 West Bancroft Street
William S. Carlson Library, Fifth Floor
Toledo Ohio 43606 United States