Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The William Couper papers span the years 1872 to 1971 with the bulk of the material dated 1872 to 1942, and measure 0.9 linear feet. They consist of letters, photographs, and printed material that document William Couper's career as a sculptor. Letters are from Couper and his wife to his parents, and to his brother John, discussing family matters, his art training, his travels, and his work in New York. There are also several letters from his father-in-law, sculptor Thomas Ball. An index of the letters and transcripts of approximately 70 of the letters were prepared by Couper's nephew Monroe Couper and are filed within the collection.
Also found within the papers are photographs of Couper and family members, his home in Florence, Italy, and a photograph album and unbound photographs of his art work. There are also clippings and 3 theater programs for productions in which William Couper performed.
William Couper papers, 1872-1971, bulk 1872-1908. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The collection is available on microfilm reel 5883 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan.
William Couper (1853-1942) was a sculptor in Florence, Italy and New York, N.Y. Couper attended classes at the Cooper Institute in New York. In 1875, he won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy at Munich, but soon took a place in the studio of Thomas Ball in Florence, Italy. Couper married Mr. Ball's daugher Eliza in 1878 and remained in Florence for 22 years before returning to New York to open a studio in 1897. Couper retired in 1913 and died later in 1942 in Easton, Md.
The William Couper papers were donated by the artist's nephew Monroe Couper to the Archives of American Art in 1992.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001