Charles Henry Caffin papers, circa 1883-1973, bulk 1883-1918
Caffin, Charles Henry, 1854-1918
Layton, Donna Caffin
Johnston, Frances Benjamin
Kennedy, Charles Rann
Corn, Wanda M.
Place of publication, production, or execution:
1.2 linear feet
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The scattered papers of art critic and writer Charles Henry Caffin measure 1.2 linear feet and date from circa 1883-1973. Found within the papers are an interview transcript, two letters, printed materials, one scrapbook, and family photographs dating from circa 1883 to circa 1911, many by noted photographers Arnold Genthe, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and Alfred Stieglitz. The scrapbook contains Caffin's columns for the New York American, 1913-1915.
Biographical information includes an autograph book, and a transcript and written summary of a 1973 interview with Caffin's daughter, Donna Layton, conducted by Wanda Corn and Deborah Loft concerning Charles Henry Caffin. The two letters found within the papers are written to Caroline Caffin. Printed material consists of play announcements, a play written by Charles Rann Kennedy, and excerpts from a 1974 published book on photography mentioning Caffin.
Photographs are of the Caffin family, including Charles Henry, Caroline, Donna, Freda and Charles's mother Harlet. Also found are photographs of Ben Greet. Notable photographers include Arnold Genthe, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and Alfred Stieglitz. There is one scrapbook containing Charles Henry Caffin's articles written for the New York American magazine from 1913-1915.
Charles Henry Caffin papers, circa 1883-1973, bulk 1883-1918. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Materials not scanned include duplicates, negatives, and some printed and published works that are not annotated.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Charles Henry Caffin (1854-1918) was an art critic from New York, N.Y. Charles Caffin was an early supporter of the Photo-Secessionists and modern art. Born in England, trained at Oxford, he came to the U.S. in 1892. He was primarily a journalist, writing and contributing to many publications, including "Camera Work." Caffin wrote many books about art, drama, and dance, including "Photography as Fine Art" (1901), "American Masters of Painting" (1902), "How to Study Pictures" (1905), and "Art for Life's Sake" (1913).
Donna Caffin Layton, daughter of Charles Caffin, donated most of the papers in 1974. Stephen D. Rockstroh, Caffin's son-in-law, donated additional material in 1985.
The papers of Charles Henry Caffin in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2009. The bulk of the papers have been scanned, and total 167 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001