Gumby's Institutions > NAACP
In what remains of his collection, Gumby honored only six institutions with scrapbooks explicitly and exclusively devoted to their history and actions: the Olympic Games, the Lafayette Theatre, Columbia University, the Supreme Court, the Urban League, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). It is neither surprising nor insignificant that half of these--the last three--were among the most prominent institutional players in the national movement to advance African-American social and political rights in the first half of the twentieth century.
In the case of the NAACP, as elsewhere, Gumby's particular interests combined with his physical presence in New York (where the national office of the NAACP was based from its founding in 1909 until 1985) meant that he was well-positioned to create an impressionistic portrait of the organization's history and mission. Harboring a personal connection to the NAACP (his 1921 membership certificate appears in the alternate view of p. 54 at top right), Gumby collected many of the NAACP's publications, using them to fill the pages both of his NAACP scrapbooks as well as other volumes with thematic overlap (see Dr. Ossian Sweet Trial and Race and Language). As the above pages indicate, Gumby's penchant for collage was suited to the documentation of such a pervasive institution. Along with the NAACP's own publications, Gumby also included a draft of proposed anti-lynching legislation (the passage of which by Congress was a major unrequited goal of the organization) and placed this page of pamphlets alongside a Time magazine cover from 1938 featuring Walter White, the longtime leader of the NAACP.