The Constantin Kluge - Pierre Leroy collection consists of 34 personal, autograph signed letters from Fr. Leroy to his friend Constantin Kluge, in addition to first-hand background information provided by Kluge on his acquaintance with Teilhard de Chardin and his circle, especially Pierre Leroy and Claude Riviere. A complete typed transcription of the 34 letters has been graciously provided by Mme. Solange Soulie, a close friend of Pierre Leroy.

Constantin Kluge was born in Riga on January 29, 1912, the son of Constantin Kluge, a member of the Russian Army General Staff, and his wife, the former Miss Ignatieva. White sympathizers in the Russian Civil War, the family fled the approaching Bolsheviks and emigrated to Manchuria in the winter of 1919-1920. Kluge began drawing as a student in Shanghai and set off for Paris in June 1931. He studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts from 1933 until 1937, receiving his diploma in November of that year. Before returning to Shanghai in 1938, Kluge began painting portraits and cityscapes in Paris. It was in Shanghai, 1942, that Kluge met Pierre Leroy while attending one of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's lectures. In the spring of 1943, Kluge was invited to paint the portraits of the Vichy Ambassador to China and his wife, during which time he and Teilhard became friends. He and Teilhard also shared a mutual friend, Mrs. Claude Riviere, head of the French radio station in Shanghai. Kluge and his family moved to Hong Kong in 1946 and returned to France in 1950. In 1961, he received the Silver Medal of the Salon des Artistes Francais and was awarded their Gold Medal the following year. Kluge obtained French citizenship in 1964 and continues to reside in France. For complete information on the life of Constantin Kluge, refer to his autobiography, "Constantin Kluge" (Paris, 1987), a copy of which he has very generously presented to Georgetown University Library.

Pierre Leroy was a biologist and priest of the Society of Jesus. He was born in La Madelaine in northern France, on August 24, 1900, the son of Paul Leroy, a textile merchant, and of Elisabeth Wacrenier de Billaux. He was educated at the College des Jesuites de Lille and the Faculte des Sciences de Nancy, and held a doctorate in sciences. He was assistant director (1930-1931) and then director (1938) of the Museum of Natural History in Tientsin, China. From 1940 to 1946 he was director of the Geobiological Institute in Peking which he helped found with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Upon his return to France in 1946, Fr. Leroy was admitted as a member of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in which capacity he also served as researcher for the College de France until 1970. From 1950 to 1951 Fr. Leroy researched the physiological effects of cortisone at the University of Chicago. Back in France, Fr. Leroy served as director of the laboratory at Gif-sur-Yvette until he retired in 1971 to the Lycee Prive Sainte Genevieve at Versailles where he resided until his death on May 23, 1992. During his later years, Fr. Leroy continued to lecture in Europe and the United States. He was decorated by the French government as chevalier of the Legion of Honor, and in both 1954 and 1958, he was French delegate at UNESCO. He was a member of the Academy of Sciences in New York from 1960 until 1962.

This collection is part of a growing body of material, at Georgetown University Library, by and about the great paleontologist and theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and his circle. Researchers are encouraged to consult the following special collections:

The Granger - Teilhard de Chardin Collection

 The Pierre Leroy, S.J., Papers

 The Lukas - Teilhard de Chardin Collection

 The Raphael - Teilhard de Chardin Collection

 The Robert T. Francoeur Papers

 The Warre - Pierre Leroy Collection

Abbreviations used: ACS = autograph card signed; and ALS = autograph letter signed.

Span dates 1976-1993

Extent: 0.25 linear feet, 1 box

Provenance: Gift of Constantin Kluge, 1993

Processed by Lisette C. Matano, March and August 1993

Biographical sketch of Constantin Kluge written by Nicole Wallace.

ACCESSION DATA: Gift of Constantin Kluge, 1993

BULK DATES: 1976 - 1993
SPAN DATES: 1976 - 1993

EXTENT: 1 box


SERIES: 1. Correspondence

SERIES: 2. About Kluge and Teilhard's Circle

SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of background information provided by Constantin Kluge on his acquaintance with Teilhard de Chardin and his circle, in particular, Pierre Leroy and Claude Riviere.