Correspondence includes letters from William Preston Phelps to John I. Coggeshall, posthumous letters to Ina Phelps Hayward from various people and institutions regarding Phelps exhibitions, and Karl Gabosh's correspondence relating to his interest in, and research on, Phelps. One letter written in reply to Gabosh encloses a photograph taken by Phelps of Mount Monadnock.
Correspondence and legal records related to the Phelps estate include correspondence with auctioneers J. E. Conant and Co., and with Phelps's attorney; payments and receipts kept by Ina Phelps Hayward documenting her work done on behalf of her father's estate and payments she made to him such as allowances and expenses; legal documentation of Phelps Hayward being appointed her father's guardian; and records of her attempts to protect the integrity of his estate prior to, and after, the 1917 estate sale. Phelps Hayward's notes for the estate sale catalog provide biographical information about her father and lists of his paintings and exhibitions.
A scrapbook contains news clippings primarily about Phelps, two family letters, an invitation to Phelps's studio, an announcement for the exhibition of Phelps's Grand Canyon painting, a catalog of his paintings for sale in 1878, and a loose copy of "A Painter of Monadnock" by Charles E. Hurd, reprinted from The New England Magazine.
A sketchbook, labeled "W. P. Munchen" is attributed to William Phelps and contains figure sketches and sketches of rural and city scenes in pencil. Twelve sketches in pencil and watercolor are by Ina Phelps Hayward and her son, Roger Hayward.
Printed material consists primarily of photocopies of articles about Phelps, and scattered exhibition invitations. Of note are a copy of a 1900 exhibition catalog of Phelps's work with prices, and a copy of the estate sale catalog. Later news clippings document posthumous interest in Phelps's work up to 2001.
Photographs include two studio portraits of Phelps and a photograph of him reclining in his orchard. Also found are photos of an unidentified woman and a baby; a print made from a negative of the Phelps estate sale; photos of Phelps's Chesham home, studio, and surrounding landscape; and photos of his paintings.
Glass plate negatives include two portraits of Phelps and thirty-six negatives of his paintings.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
The William Preston Phelps and Ina Phelps Hayward papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
William Preston and Ina Phelps Hayward papers, 1849-2001, bulk 1890s-1920s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.