American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas
United States.Internal Revenue Service
Allied Forces.Supreme Headquarters.Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section
Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955).Control Council.U.S. Group
Art Gallery of Toronto
National Gallery of Canada
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc
Place of publication, production, or execution:
25.7 linear feet
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
The papers of art historian and museum curator W.G. (William George) Constable measure 25.7 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1981, with the bulk of the material from 1920 to 1976. The papers include biographical material; professional and personal correspondence; extensive lectures, writings, and notes; exhibition and book research files; printed materials; and photographs, glass plate negatives, and slides. There is substantive correspondence related to Constable's participation in the American Defense Harvard Group and about the formation of the Roberts Commission, including correspondence with Ralph Perry, Hugh Hencken, Paul Sachs and George L. Stout. There are numerous official reports prepared by Constable after World War II for the U. S. Office of Military Government for Germany.
W. G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2016 and is available on the Archives of American Art's website. Materials which have not been scanned include blank pages, blank versos of photographs, and duplicates. Negatives and slides of artwork in Series 2, 4, 5, and 8 have not been scanned. In some cases, exhibition catalogs and other publications have had their covers, title pages, and relevant pages scanned.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Digitization of this collection was funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
The Archives also holds additional materials related to W.G. Constable, including an oral history interview with Constable conducted by Robert Brown in 1972-1973, and a photograph and clipping of Constable donated by Eleanor Barton in 1982.
Additional W.G. Constable papers are located at archival materials are also located at St. Johns College in Cambridge, England; the Warburg Institute in London, England; the National Gallery in London, England; and the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning in London, England. Photographs of works art collected by Constable are found at the British Studies Center at Yale University. Records relating to his tenure at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston are housed there.
W.G. Constable (1887-1976) was an art historian and museum curator in Boston, Massachusetts. Born in Derby, England, and studied for the bar at Cambridge University. Following World War I military service, he decided to pursue art instead of law. For three years, he attended the Slade School and the Bartlett School of Architecture. In 1923, he joined the National Gallery, becoming Assistant Director in 1929, but accepted the position of Director of the Courtauld Institute the following year. In 1938, Constable became Curator of Paintings at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts until his retirement in 1957. W. G. Constable was a distant relative of the early 19th century British painter, John Constable.
The papers of W.G. Constable were donated in multiple gifts from 1978 to 1979 and in 1987 to 1988 by his son Giles Constable. Four additional boxes of Constable's research on Canaletto were donated by researcher J.G. Links in 1985.
This site provides access to the papers of W. G. (William George) Constable in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2016, and total 59,055 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001