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Gordon Kelly papers

Creator:
Kelly, Gordon Ray, 1924-2018  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Miller, Kenneth Hayes, 1876-1952  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Date:
1942-1988
Summary:
The papers of portrait painter and art teacher Gordon Kelly measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1942 to 1988. The collection primarily documents Kelly's brief tenure at the Art Students League and his extensive correspondence and collaboration with artist Kenneth Hayes Miller. The papers include correspondence, contracts, writings, artwork, printed material and four photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of portrait painter and art teacher Gordon Kelly measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1942 to 1988. The collection primarily documents Kelly's brief tenure at the Art Students League and his extensive correspondence and collaboration with artist Kenneth Hayes Miller. The papers include correspondence, contracts, writings, artwork, printed material and four photographs.
Arrangement:
Due to the small size of this collection the papers are arranged as one series.

Series 1: Gordon Kelly papers, 1942-1988 (Box 1; 22 folders)
Biographical / Historical:
Gordon Kelly (1924-2018) was a painter born in Wells County, Indiana. While a student at the Art Students League of New York, Kelly was a promising portrait painter and a protege of Kenneth Hayes Miller. Kelly also studied with Reginald Marsh. Kelly helped Miller develop his (unpublished) manuscript "The Third Dimension in Painting" and Miller supported Kelly's teaching appointment at the League. Kelly taught at the Art Students League for one year before moving back to Indiana and finally settling in Maryland.
Provenance:
The Gordon Kelly papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1987 by Mark Kelly, the son of Gordon Kelly.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Art teachers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art teachers--Indiana  Search this
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painters--Indiana  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Gordon Kelly papers, 1942-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kellgord
See more items in:
Gordon Kelly papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kellgord

Alice Neel papers

Creator:
Neel, Alice, 1900-1984  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear foot
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Notes
Date:
1933-1983
Summary:
The papers of New York painter Alice Neel measure 1.0 linear foot and date from 1933 to 1983. The bulk of the collection documents the last fifteen years of Neel's career as an artist. Found within the papers are letters from galleries, museums, and art organizations; writings and notes by Neel; exhibition catalogs, clippings, and other printed material; and photographs depicting Neel, exhibitions, and her artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of New York painter Alice Neel measure 1.0 linear foot and date from 1933 to 1983. The bulk of the collection documents the last fifteen years of Neel's career as an artist. Found within the papers are letters from galleries, museums, and art organizations; writings and notes by Neel; exhibition catalogs, clippings, and other printed material; and photographs depicting Neel, exhibitions, and her artwork.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as # series:

Series 1: Letters, circa 1968-1983 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Writings and Notes, circa 1960-1979 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1933-1983 (Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 4: Photographs, 1940-1983 (Box 1; 6 folders)
Biographical Note:
Alice Neel (1900-1984) was a painter in New York, NY. She was known for her portraits of New York artists and intellectuals. Neel studied painting at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now the Moore College of Art and Design) from 1921-1925. She married Cuban artist Carlos Enríquez, and they briefly lived in Havana, Cuba. After the break-up of their marriage, she settled in New York City. During the 1930s she worked for the Public Works of Art Project and the Works Progress Administration, painting scenes of urban poverty and developing her distinctive portrait style. She pursued a career as a figurative painter during a period when abstraction was favored, and she did not begin to gain critical praise for her work until the 1960s. Neel received an honorary doctorate from the Moore College of Art and Design in 1971 and a retrospective of her work was held at the Whitney Museum in 1974. During the last decade of her life she finally received extensive national recoginition for her paintings. Neel was also a notable public speaker and often spoke on the topic of women artists.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are printed material on Romare Bearden, Alice Neel, and Howard Newman, 1975-1990, compiled by Dennis Florio, and a videorecording of "Art and Alice Neel," 1975, recorded as part of University of Georgia Television station WGTV's "Forum" program.
Provenance:
The collection was donated from 1974 to 1983 by Alice Neel.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Alice Neel 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.
Topic:
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painting -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Notes
Citation:
Alice Neel papers, 1933-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.neelalic
See more items in:
Alice Neel papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-neelalic
Additional Online Media:

Eastman Johnson letters

Creator:
Johnson, Eastman, 1824-1906  Search this
Names:
Benson, Eugene, 1837-1908  Search this
Lanman, Charles, 1819-1895  Search this
Leutze, Emanuel, 1816-1868  Search this
McEntee, Jervis, 1828-1891  Search this
Ordway, Alfred T., 1819-1897  Search this
Wolf, Henry, 1852-1916  Search this
Extent:
12 Items
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1851-1899
Summary:
The letters of Eastman Johnson contain 12 items and date from 1851 to 1899. The letters provide scattered documentation of his career as a painter and printmaker.
Scope and Content Note:
The letters of Eastman Johnson contain 12 items and date from 1851 to 1899. The letters provide scattered documentation of his career as a painter and printmaker.

The collection includes a letter to Mr. Champney concerning a painting by Eugene Benson, a letter to Charles Lanman, personal Secretary to Daniel Webster, a letter to Alfred Ordway, artist and Director of Paintings at the Boston Athenaeum, a letter to friend and patron John Coyle, and a letter to Mr. Cozzens concerning a painting which was already sold. Also found are two letters to artist and close friend Jervis McEntee, a letter to an unidentified Mrs. P, stating that he must go to Albany before starting another picture, a letter to Mr. Clark concerning a portrait, and a letter to Dr. Hochheimer regarding a print by Henry Wolf after one of Johnson's paintings. Also included in the collection is an oversize letter, written by Johnson in Dusseldorf, to his friend Charlotte Child, in which he speaks of his impressions of Germany, mutual friends, and working in Leutze's studio.
Arrangement:
Due to the small size of this collection, items are categorized into one series consisting of two folders. Items are arranged chronologically.
Biographical Note:
American painter and printmaker Jonathan Eastman Johnson was born in Lovell, Maine in 1824. After apprenticing with a Boston lithographer, he moved to Washington D.C. in 1845 and became a portraitist of prominent Americans, including Daniel Webster and Dolly Madison. Beginning in 1849, Johnson spent two years at the Royal Academy in Dusseldorf, Germany, studying with Emanuel Leutze, and three years at The Hague. After returning to America in 1855, he settled in New York and focused on painting American genre subjects including Native Americans, African Americans, and farmers. He married Elizabeth Buckley in 1869, and they bought a home in Nantucket where he spent every summer for the rest of his life. After 1880, as the popularity of genre paintings declined, Johnson focused again on portraiture. He died in 1906.
Provenance:
Items were donated in 1979 by Caroline Johnson Brown, Johnson's grand-niece, in 1976 by Letitia Howe, and by Charles E. Feinberg, an active donor to the Archives of American Art between 1955 and 1962, and were microfilmed after receipt.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Rights:
The Eastman Johnson letters 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.
Topic:
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 19th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Citation:
Eastman Johnson letters, 1851-1899. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.johneast
See more items in:
Eastman Johnson letters
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-johneast
Additional Online Media:

Isabella Howland papers

Creator:
Howland, Isabella, 1895-1974  Search this
Names:
Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987  Search this
Bywaters, Jerry  Search this
Dehn, Adolf, 1895-1968  Search this
Force, Juliana, 1876-1948  Search this
Gershoy, Eugenie, 1901?-1983 or 6  Search this
Greenbaum, Dorothea S.  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Strater, Henry, 1896-  Search this
Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960  Search this
Extent:
1.1 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Sketches
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Date:
1899-1979
Summary:
The papers of artist Isabella Howland measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1899-1979. The collection documents her career through biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, writings, printed material, artwork, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, sculptor, caricaturist, and portraitist Isabella Howland measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1899-1979. Correspondence makes up about a third of the collection, with the remainder comprised of biographical material, writings, printed material, photographs, and artworks.

Correspondence is found between Isabella Howland and other artists or dealers. Among these are Eugenie Gershoy, Henry Strater, Edith Halpert, Peggy Bacon, Forbes Watson, Jerry Bywaters, Adolph Dehn and Dorothea Greenbaum. Letters from Juliana Force, the first director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, are present. Many invitations to exhibit are included. The collection includes a small number of letters with Howland's family. She maintained written communication with several individuals over decades.

The biographical material contains Isabella Howland's handwritten notes and typed documents about her life. Some legal documents and financial records are present. The writing series includes her story 'Willy Nilly' with accompanying illustrations of animals, in addition to some other writings. The artwork series includes sketches and sketchbooks from childhood into adulthood. Photographs include images of Howland as well as her paintings and portraits.
Arrangement:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1901-1972 (4 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1917-1973 (22 folders; Box 1)

Series 3, Writings, 1935-1964 (8 folders; Box 1)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1928-1976 (5 folders; Box 1)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1900-1979 (4 folders; Box 1, OV 2)

Series 6: Artwork, 1899-circa 1940s (8 folders; Box 1, OV 2)
Biographical / Historical:
Isabella Howland (1895-1974) lived and worked in New York City. She drew portraits, painted on canvas, sketched on paper, and sculpted caricature busts of people in the art world. She wrote that she could do anything with her hands.

Howland was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. From her youth she knew she wanted to be an artist. She had her earliest artistic training at age 16. Her art education included time at the Boston Museum School and the Art Students League in New York City. She completed her secondary education in France and Germany, moved back to the United States afterwards, and in 1920 travelled again to Europe. In 1922 she settled in Greenwich Village and spent summers in Woodstock to paint landscapes and still-lifes. She actively painted in the 1920s, and had three shows in 1927, 1929, and 1931. During the Depression she worked for the Public Works of Art Project and the Works Progress Administration. In 1934 she married Armando Zegri, and they divorced in 1937. While they were married they owned a club in the West Village named The Café Latino. She began teaching at a private school in the early 1940s while dealing with some personal difficulties. She found religion which comforted her as she dealt with her mother's declining health and her sister's waning mental state.

Howland had many friends in the art world and regularly received requests to exhibit at museums. She became known as an accomplished portrait artist, and she was commissioned many times to execute drawings or sculptures. She dabbled in writing and illustrating stories, and produced a set of 33 Christmas cards featuring two monks.
Provenance:
Donated between 1975-1976 by Mrs. Martha Craig and Barbara Summer. Three photographs of works of art were donated by Eugenie Gershoy in 1979.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Isabella Howland papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donors have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Caricaturists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Isabella Howland papers, 1899-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.howlisab
See more items in:
Isabella Howland papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-howlisab

Charles Scribner's Sons Art Reference Department records

Topic:
Scribner's Monthly
Creator:
Charles Scribner's Sons  Search this
Names:
Berger, William Merritt, b. 1872  Search this
Extent:
7 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Sketches
Date:
1839-1962
Summary:
The records of the Charles Scribner's Sons Art Reference Department measure 7.0 linear feet and date from 1839 to 1962. The records of the department include original art works, photographs, scattered letters, and miscellaneous printed material reflecting the portraiture and other illustration work completed in support of the wide range of materials and topics published by Charles Scribner's Sons over the company's long publishing history.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Charles Scribner's Sons Art Reference Department measure 7.0 linear feet and date from 1839 to 1962. The records of the department include original art works, photographs, scattered letters, and miscellaneous printed material reflecting the portraiture and other illustration work completed in support of the wide range of materials and topics published by Charles Scribner's Sons over the company's long publishing history.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into 3 alphabetically-arranged series. Oversized material from all series have been housed in Box 7 (Sol), Box 8 (Sol), and OVs 9 - 12. Notations for the oversized materials are noted at the appropriate folder title with see also/see references

Series 1: Portrait Files, 1839-1962, undated (Boxes 1-5, 7, OV 11; 4.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Illustrator Files, 1878-1921, undated (Box 5, 6, 8-OV12; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Miscellaneous Reference Files, 1933-1952, undated (Box 6, 8, OV 12; 1.0 linear feet)
Historical Note:
Charles Scribner's Sons was founded as a publishing partnership of Isaac D. Baker and Charles Scribner in 1846. The company set out to discover and publish the work of new American authors. The first work to be published was The Puritans and Their Principles by Edwin Hall, followed by many theological treatises, and the first bestseller, Napoleon and His Marshals by the Rev. J. T. Headley.

After Isaac Baker's death in 1850, Charles Scribner continued to direct the company which was primarily known for its books on religion. In the mid-1860s, Scribner published an American version of German author Johann Peter Lange's Biblical Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. Co-published with T. and T. Clark of Edinburgh, the resulting twenty-six volume work was both a commercial and critical success. Almost a century later, the two publishing houses again collaborated on a revision of Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible.

In 1865, Charles Scribner and Company expanded its range into magazine publishing with the quasi-religious Hours at Home that promoted the virtues by which Americans were supposed to live. In 1870 a new firm, Scribner & Company, was formed to publish a successor magazine entitled Scribner's Monthly. The magazine thrived and began to attract young American writers.

Charles Scribner died of typhoid in Lucerne, Switzerland on August 26, 1871, leaving the business to his eldest son, John Blair Scribner. In 1873 Scribner & Company launched a children's periodical, St. Nicholas, under the editorship of Mary Mapes Dodge, with Frank R. Stockton as assistant editor. The magazine brought many now-classic books to the publishing firm and established it permanently in the field of children's literature.

The 1870s saw the growth of the subscription book department. In association with Messrs. Black of Edinburgh, Scribners brought out the first American edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, selling 70,000 sets. In later years the subscription department published library sets of the works of well-known authors including J. M. Barrie, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Its successor, the reference book department, became the foremost American publisher of reference works such as the Dictionary of American Biography, the Dictionary of American History.

In 1875, Charles Scribner II joined his brother, John Blair Scribner, and other partners, Edward Seymour and Andrew Armstrong, in the firm. Seymour died in 1877, and Armstrong sold his share to the Scribner's in 1878, leaving the book publishing company wholly controlled by the Scribner family. The name was changed to Charles Scribner's Sons. John Blair Scribner died in 1879, leaving his brother to manage the business.

In 1881 one of the outside partners, Roswell Smith, bought up enough stock to acquire individual control of Scribner & Company, the magazine company. Thus, Scribner's Monthly and the children's magazine St. Nicholas passed entirely out of the hands of the Scribner family. The remaining owners were reincorporated as the Century Company and Scribner's Monthly was renamed the Century Magazine. Charles Scribner's Sons agreed to stay out of the magazine publishing business for five years.

Charles Scribner II was joined by his younger brother, Arthur Hawley Scribner, in 1884, and during their almost fifty year partnership, they focused the company's business on publishing American literature. The publications of this period include Frances Hodgson Burnett's Little Lord Fauntleroy, Howard Pyle's The Merry Adventure of Robin Hood, and Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses. A popular series of books, "Scribner Illustrated Classics" became famous for their illustrations by Howard Pyle, Jessie Willcox Smith, N. C. Wyeth, and other members of the Brandywine school. In 1889, Henry Adams published his History of the United States in nine volumes.

Following the five-year moratorium on magazine publishing, the firm re-entered the magazine market and introduced the new Scribner's Magazine in December 1886. Under its original editor, Edward L. Burlingame, the magazine grew into a profitable enterprise and was an important venue for new authors, including Edith Wharton, who would follow their magazine debuts with many successful books. By the turn of the 20th century, Scribner's had virtually cornered the market in American literature and was enjoying a golden age of American book publishing. During this period, authors included Henry James, Theodore Roosevelt, and Elizabeth Wharton. In 1913, Charles Scribner III joined the firm.

During the 1920s, many important new authors were published, including James Boyd, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ring Lardner, and Thomas Wolfe. In 1928, Charles Scribner II turned over the presidency to his younger brother Arthur, who began the publication of the first volumes of the Dictionary of American Biography. Charles Scribner II died in 1930 and Arthur Scribner died two years later, leaving Charles Scribner III to preside alone. In spite of the Depression, Charles Scribner's Sons continued to promote new authors including Taylor Caldwell, Marcia Davenport, Nancy Hale, and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. During the 1930s a separate children's department was established by Alice Dalgliesh. In 1937, Scribner's Magazine folded after fifty years of publication. The Dictionary of American History was published in 1940.

Charles Scribner III died suddenly in 1952, necessitating the relocation of Charles Scribner IV from his employment as a cryptoanalyst in Washington, D.C. to take charge of the firm in New York. He established the Scribner Library, a line of quality paperbacks that included the titles The Great Gatsby, Tender Is the Night, The Sun Also Rises, and Ethan Frome. Scribner also set out to develop fields of non-fiction such as history, biography, how-to books, and reference works including the Album of American History, and the Dictionary of Scientific Biography.
Related Materials:
Additional Charles Scribner's Sons Art Department files are in the Archives of Charles Scribner's Sons, 1786-2003 (mostly 1880s-1970s), at Princeton University Library, Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, identified as Series 2. Art Department Files, 1907-1951, and comprise correspondence and department printing records (on cards) for selected Scribner publications. See Princeton's finding aid for the collection at http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/C0101/
Provenance:
The Charles Scribner's Sons Art Reference Department records were donated in 1957 and 1958 by Charles Scribner's Sons.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Charles Scribner's Sons Art Reference Department records 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.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Photographers  Search this
Illustrators -- Great Britain  Search this
Designers -- Great Britain  Search this
Sculptors -- France  Search this
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Citation:
Charles Scribner's Sons Art Reference Department records, 1839-1962. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.charscrs
See more items in:
Charles Scribner's Sons Art Reference Department records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-charscrs
Additional Online Media:

Bessie Potter Vonnoh papers

Creator:
Vonnoh, Bessie Potter, 1872-1955  Search this
Names:
Vonnoh, Robert William, 1858-1933  Search this
Carter, Charles M., 1853-1929  Search this
French, Daniel Chester, 1850-1931  Search this
French, William M. R. (William Merchant Richardson), 1843-1914  Search this
Garland, Hamlin, 1860-1940  Search this
Hughes, Rupert, 1872-1956  Search this
Huntington, Archer M., 1870-1955  Search this
Mead, Larkin G. (Larkin Goldsmith), 1835-1910  Search this
Raffaëlli, Jean François, 1850-1924  Search this
Skinner, Cornelia Otis, 1901-  Search this
Vezin, Charles, 1858-1942  Search this
Extent:
0.8 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Date:
circa 1860-1991
bulk 1890-1955
Summary:
The papers of sculptor Bessie Potter Vonnoh measure 0.8 linear feet and date from circa 1860 to 1991, with the bulk of material dating from 1890 to 1955. The scattered papers document the personal life and career of Bessie Potter Vonnoh, and, to a lesser degree, her husband, painter Robert William Vonnoh. Found within the papers are Vonnoh family correspondence, including letters between Bessie and Robert, and professional and personal correspondence, primarily Bessie's. The collection also contains scattered biographical materials, photographs of the Vonnohs, a photograph album, photographs of artwork, clippings, exhibition catalogs, and other printed material.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor Bessie Potter Vonnoh measure 0.8 linear feet and date from circa 1860 to 1991, with the bulk of material dating from 1890 to 1955. The scattered papers document the personal life and career of Bessie Potter Vonnoh, and, to a lesser degree, her husband, painter Robert William Vonnoh. Found within the papers are Vonnoh family correspondence, including letters between Bessie and Robert, and primarily Bessie's professional and personal correspondence. There is one folder of correspondence of Robert William Vonnoh. Bessie's correspondents include Daniel Chester French, Hamlin Garland, Rupert Hughes, Archer Huntington, Larkin G. Mead, Jean Francois Raffaelli, Cornelia Otis Skinner, and others. Robert's correspondents include Charles M. Carter, Daniel Chester French, William M. R. French, and Charles Vezin. The collection also contains scattered biographical materials, photographs of Bessie Potter Vonnoh and Robert William Vonnoh, a photograph album, photographs of artwork, clippings, exhibition catalogs, and other printed material.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 4 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1922-1955 (Box 1; 5 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1863-1985 (Box 1; 11 folders)

Series 3: Photographs, circa 1860-1950 (Box 1-2; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1901-1991 (Box 2; 9 folders)
Biographical Note:
Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872-1955) was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Alexander and Mary McKenney Potter. In 1874, after the death of her father, her family moved to Chicago. Also at this time, she suffered from a series of illnesses that she did not recover from until she was ten. In school she enjoyed clay-modeling class and decided at an early age that she wanted to be a sculptor. Beginning in 1890 she studied with Lorado Taft at the Art Institute of Chicago and later became one of his assistants (known as the "White Rabbits") for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. She was also given her own commission for the Illinois building at the fair. After this success, Vonnoh opened her own studio in Chicago and made plaster figurines of society women, friends, and their children. She visited New York and took her first trip to Paris in 1895, visiting the studios of many eminent sculptors such as Auguste Rodin. Her work was influenced by the American Impressionist movement, depicted in one of her most famous works, Young Mother. This piece was exhibited in the National Sculpture Society exhibition of 1898 and led to several public sculpture commissions.

In 1899 Bessie Potter Vonnoh moved to New York City and married Impressionist painter, Robert William Vonnoh (1858-1933). They lived in New York and maintained a summer home in Lyme, Connecticut. During her career she received many awards for her works at international exhibitions, including two bronze medals at the Paris Exposition in 1900. Other landmark events included a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in 1913 and membership into the National Academy of Design in 1921 - the first female sculptor accepted as a permanent member. Vonnoh's work was very well received by the public, and in the 1920s she began working on a larger scale, creating large fountains, such as the Frances Hodgson Burnett Memorial Fountain in Central Park, New York, and other decorative garden figures. Robert Vonnoh died in 1933 and, in 1948, she married Dr. Edward Keyes. Bessie Potter Vonnoh died in New York City in 1955 at the age of 82.
Provenance:
The collection was donated in 1995 by Lulette Jenness Thompson, a cousin of Bessie Potter Vonnoh.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Rights:
The Bessie Potter Vonnoh 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.
Topic:
Artist couples  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Landscape painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Bessie Potter Vonnoh papers, circa 1860-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.vonnbess
See more items in:
Bessie Potter Vonnoh papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-vonnbess
Additional Online Media:

Emmet family papers

Creator:
Emmet family  Search this
Names:
Berkshire Museum  Search this
Danforth Museum  Search this
World's Columbian Exposition (1893, Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Beaux, Cecilia, 1855-1942  Search this
Casals, Pablo, 1876-1973  Search this
De Glehn, Jane Erin Emmet, 1873-1961  Search this
De Glehn, Wilfrid-Gabriel, 1870-1951  Search this
Doyle, Nancy  Search this
Emmet, Julia Colt Pierson, 1829-1908  Search this
Emmet, Lydia Field, 1866-1952  Search this
Emmet, Robert, 1778-1803  Search this
Fontanne, Lynn  Search this
James, Henry, 1843-1916  Search this
La Farge, Bancel, 1865-1938  Search this
Lunt, Alfred  Search this
MacMonnies, Frederick William, 1863-1937  Search this
Metcalfe, Susy  Search this
Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950  Search this
Monod, Lucien  Search this
Morgan, Elizabeth Emmet, d. 1934  Search this
Ormond, Violet Sargent  Search this
Quilter, Roger, 1877-1953  Search this
Rand, Ellen Emmet, 1875-1941  Search this
Saint-Gaudens, Augustus, 1848-1907  Search this
Sargent, Emily, 1857-  Search this
Sargent, John Singer, 1856-1925  Search this
Sherwood, Robert E. (Robert Emmet), 1896-1955  Search this
Sherwood, Rosamond, 1899-  Search this
Sherwood, Rosina Emmet, 1854-1948  Search this
White, Stanford, 1853-1906  Search this
Extent:
9.1 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Video recordings
Drawings
Diaries
Sound recordings
Date:
1792-1989
bulk 1851-1989
Summary:
The Emmet Family papers document the lives and careers of two generations of the Emmet family from New Rochelle, New York and Stockbridge, Massachusetts, whose artistic talents flourished during the later 19th through the mid-20th centuries. The collection dates from 1792 to 1989, with the bulk of the material dating from 1851-1989, and measures 9.1 linear feet. Through biographical material, two diaries, correspondence, writings and notes, exhibition files, business records, printed material, two scrapbooks, artwork, and photographs of family, friends, exhibitions, and artwork, the papers provide both a rich overview and detailed insights into the daily lives, relationships, and careers of many members of the family. The collection focuses in particular on sisters Lydia Field Emmet, Jane Erin Emmet de Glehn, and Rosina Emmet Sherwood, their mother, Julia Colt Pierson Emmet, and their cousin Ellen Gertrude "Bay" Emmet, all noted painters and illustrators.
Scope and Content Note:
The Emmet Family papers document the lives and careers of two generations of the Emmet family from New Rochelle, New York and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The collection dates from 1792 to 1989, with the bulk of the material dating from 1851-1989, and measures 9.1 linear feet. Through biographical material, two diaries, correspondence, writings and notes, exhibition files, business records, printed material, two scrapbooks, artwork, and photographs of family, friends, exhibitions, and artwork, the papers provide both a rich overview and detailed insights into the daily lives, relationships, and careers of many members of the family. The collection focuses in particular on sisters Lydia Field Emmet, Jane Erin Emmet de Glehn, and Rosina Emmet Sherwood, their mother, Julia Colt Pierson Emmet, and their cousin Ellen Gertrude "Bay" Emmet, all noted painters and illustrators, whose artistic talents flourished during the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries.

Biographical material consists of family trees and family histories; individual biographical accounts, award certificates, and documentation for Julia Colt Pierson Emmet, Rosina Emmet Sherwood, Lydia Field Emmet, Jane Erin Emmet de Glehn, and Wilfrid de Glehn; a diary titled "Sedgemere Diary" containing drawings and entries primarily by Rosina Emmet Sherwood, and a smaller diary which mentions Rosina's son, future playwright Robert Sherwood; a documentary by Nancy B. Doyle on two VHS videocassettes, entitled The Emmets: Portrait of a Family; and artifacts comprising a rear-view optical device and locks of hair from an early nineteenth century generation of the Emmet family.

Correspondence forms the bulk of the collection and illustrates the interaction between members of this large and influential family and their colleagues and friends, offering a wide-ranging view of life in the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, and through two World Wars. The series consists of letters between family members, primarily Julia Colt Pierson Emmet and her daughters, as well as cousins Henry James, Ellen "Bay" Emmet Rand, and Rosamond Sherwood, and friends Cecilia Beaux, Louis Bancel LaFarge, Frederick MacMonnies, Lucien Monod, Roger Quilter, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Emily and John Singer-Sargent, Violet Sargent Ormond, and Stanford White. Topics include experiences of the Emmets while studying art in Paris, Rosina's presentation at Queen Victoria's court, Lydia's work at the Columbia Exposition, Jane's marriage to Wilfrid de Glehn and her friendship with John Singer Sargent, portrait painting activities, the troubles of their friend Susy Metcalfe in her marriage to Pablo Casals, and the activities of Rosina's son, playwright Robert Emmet Sherwood, and friends Alfred Lund and Lynn Fontanne.

Writings and notes consist of scattered manuscripts and poems by family members, two notebooks, one identified as belonging to Jane Erin Emmet de Glehn, and typescripts about Wilfrid de Glehn following his death. Also found is a book, Out of Town, written and illustrated by Rosina Emmet Sherwood, and Edna St Vincent Millay's poem "Autum Daybreak" written in Millay's handwriting.

Exhibition files document an exhibition held at the Berkshire Museum/Danforth Museum in Pittsfield/Farmingham, Massachusetts in 1982 entitled The Emmets: A Family of Women Painters, and include two audio cassettes of recordings from the "Art for Lunch" series at the Berkshire Museum discussing the exhibition.

Business records include account books belonging to Lydia Field Emmet and Rosina Emmet Sherwood, both of which document income from artwork and other sources, and expenses; a contract for the reproduction of Lydia Field Emmet's artwork; and a document concerning ownership of property, possibly of Emmet family ancestors.

Printed Material consists of clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and reproductions of artwork by Emmet family members and others.

Two scrapbooks contain a combination of drawings, primarily by Rosina Emmet Sherwood, reproductions of artwork, and photographs.

Artwork includes drawings and sketchbooks by Julia Colt Pierson Emmet, Rosina Emmet Sherwood, Lydia Field Emmet, Jane Erin Emmet de Glehn Ellen Emmet Rand, and other Emmet relatives, illustrating the early development of their talent.

Photographs are of family members, including Julia Colt Pierson Emmet and William Jenkins Emmet, their daughters Lydia Field Emmet, Jane Erin Emmet de Glehn and husband Wilfrid de Glehn, Rosina Emmet Sherwood and husband Arthur Murray Sherwood, and Robert Emmet Sherwood as a young man. Also found are photos of friends Richard Harding Davis, Frederick MacMonnies, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens; a series of photographs of the installation at Arden Galleries, New York (1936) for the exhibition Paintings, Drawings and Sculptures by Five Generations of the Emmet Family; and photographs of artwork by Emmet family members.
Arrangement:
The Emmet family papers are arranged as nine series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1855-1988 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 1, 10, OV 12)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1792-1985 (6.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-7)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1870s-1981 (11 folders; Box 7)

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1947-1983 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 7-8)

Series 5: Business Records, circa 1799-1945 (7 folders; Box 8)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1872-1989 (0.35 linear feet; Boxes 8, 10)

Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1870-1890 (0.2 linear feet; Boxes 8, 10)

Series 8: Artwork, circa 1850-circa 1920 (0.35 linear feet; Boxes 8, 10)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1870s-circa 1950s (1 linear foot; Boxes 8-9, 11)
Biographical Note:
The Emmet family, descended from patriot Thomas Addis Emmet, brother of Irish martyr Robert Emmet, counts many physicians, lawyers, and writers (including cousin Henry James) among its ranks. Although evidence of artistic talent existed in several previous generations, it flourished during the later 19th through the mid-20th centuries in the professional portraiture of sisters Rosina Emmet Sherwood, Lydia Field Emmet, Jane Erin Emmet de Glehn, and their cousin Ellen "Bay" Emmet Rand.

The eldest daughter of Julia Colt Pierson Emmet (1829-1908), herself a talented illustrator who had studied under Daniel Huntington, Rosina "Posie" Emmet (1854-1948) studied under William Merritt Chase at his Tenth Street Studio in New York and under Robert-Fleury at the Academie Julian in Paris. Before her marriage to Arthur Murray Sherwood in 1887, Rosina established a studio in New York and continued to submit illustrations to various publications. During her marriage, she slowed her creative activities, until financial reverses dictated her return to her career around the turn of the 20th century. Her daughter Rosamond Sherwood (1899-1990) was also a portrait painter. Her son, Robert Emmet Sherwood (1896-1955) became a four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.

Lydia Field Emmet (1866-1952) studied under Collin, Bouguereau, MacMonnies, and Robert-Fleury at the Academie Julian. Upon her return to New York, Lydia continued her studies under Chase, Kenyon Cox, H. Siddons Mowbray, and Robert Reid at the Art Students League, as well as at Chase's Shinnecock Summer School of Art. She established her portrait studio in New York City and began spending summers at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where she built her home, "Strawberry Hill," in 1905. Best known for her portraits of children, Lydia's subjects were members of the socially prominent families of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.

The youngest sister, Jane Erin Emmet (1873-1961), also studied with Chase in New York, and in Paris. In 1904, she married British landscape painter Wilfrid Von Glehn, who had visited the United States with his friend John Singer Sargent. (The Von Glehns' surname was changed to De Glehn, in 1919.) Settling in London, Jane continued her painting, befriended many artists and composers, and accompanied her husband and Sargent on several art-related journeys through Europe.

The Emmet sisters' cousin, Ellen Gertrude "Bay" Emmet (1875-1941), studied in New York at the Art Students League and under Frederick MacMonnies in Paris, becoming a National Academician in 1934. She married William Blanchard Rand in 1911 and settled in Salisbury, Connecticut. After the stock market crash of 1929, Bay's portraits of prominent society figures provided most of her family's income.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel 4544) including one scrapbook, compiled by Rosina Emmet Sherwood, consisting of portrait sketches, drawings of her dogs, genre scenes, travel views, and photographs of travels, friends, actors, and the ship "Scythia,". Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
In 1988-1991, the bulk of the Emmet family papers were donated by Rosamond Sherwood, daughter of Rosina Emmet Sherwood (via Katharine Emmet Bramwell of New York), by Rosamond Sherwood's estate (via F. Douglas Cochrane, executor, from Boston), and by Rosamond's nieces, Virginia Sherwood and Julia Shipway. Additionally, one scrapbook was lent for microfilming in 1990 and subsequently donated by Mrs. Earl Maize. Douglas Cochrane then loaned another scrapbook for microfilming (reel 4344) in 1991 which was returned to Mrs. Earl Maize.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Emmet family 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.
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching -- France -- Paris  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Painting, American -- New York (State)  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State)  Search this
Painters -- England -- London  Search this
Playwrights  Search this
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Singers  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Video recordings
Drawings
Diaries
Sound recordings
Citation:
Emmet family papers, 1792-1989 (bulk 1851-1989). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.emmefami
See more items in:
Emmet family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-emmefami
Additional Online Media:

William Page and Page Family papers

Creator:
Page, William, 1811-1885  Search this
Names:
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Beecher, Henry Ward, 1813-1887  Search this
Beecher, Thomas Kinnicut, 1824-1900  Search this
Briggs, Charles F. (Charles Frederick), 1804-1877  Search this
Curtis, George William, 1824-1892  Search this
Cushman, Charlotte, 1816-1876  Search this
Fenton, Rueben  Search this
Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805-1879  Search this
Hicks, Thomas, 1823-1890  Search this
Lowell, James Russell, 1819-1891  Search this
O'Donovan, William Rudolph, 1844-1920  Search this
Olmstead, Bertha  Search this
Olmstead, Mary  Search this
Page, Sophia Stevens, 1827-1892  Search this
Page, William, 1811-1885  Search this
Perry, E. W. (Enoch Wood), 1831-1915  Search this
Phillips, Wendell, 1811-1884  Search this
Scranton, William Walker  Search this
Shaw, Francis George, 1809-1882  Search this
Stark, William, 1825-1873  Search this
Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874  Search this
Tilton, Theodore, 1835-1907  Search this
Wilmarth, Lemuel Everett, 1835-1918  Search this
Extent:
8.5 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Sketches
Poems
Drawings
Diaries
Date:
1815-1947
bulk 1843-1892
Summary:
The papers of the portraitist and art theorist William Page and the Page family measure 8.5 linear feet and date from 1815 to 1947, bulk 1843-1892. In addition to the papers of William Page, the papers include documents related to Page's wife's career as a writer and records documenting their personal lives and the lives of their family members. Types of documents found include personal documents and artifacts, correspondence, essays, lectures, diaries, poems, notes and notebooks, financial records, legal records, published works, clippings, catalogs, photographs, and artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of the painter William Page and the Page family measure 8.5 linear feet and date from 1815 to 1947, with the bulk of papers dating from 1843 to 1892. Papers contain records related to the life and career of William Page, president of the National Academy of Design from 1871 to 1873 and prominent portraitist and art theorist of his day. Also found are records related to his wife's career as a writer and records documenting their personal lives and the lives of their family members. Types of documents found include personal documents and artifacts, correspondence, essays, lectures, diaries, poems, notes and notebooks, financial records, legal records, published works, clippings, catalogs, photographs, and artwork.

Correspondence includes the personal and professional correspondence of William and Sophia Page, and their parents, siblings, and children. Significant correspondents include Thomas Hicks, Enoch Wood Perry, William Stark, Theodore Tilton, Lemuel Wilmarth, Wendell Phillips, William Walker Scranton, Francis G. Shaw; James Russell Lowell, Charles Frederick Briggs, George W. Curtis, Charlotte Cushman, Thomas K. Beecher, Mary Olmsted, and Bertha Olmsted.

Writings include the essays and lectures of William Page, as written by him and revised by Sophia Page in the late 1870s, as well as Sophia's writings as a columnist in Europe in the 1850s. Notes, notebooks, diaries, and poems are also found. Personal Business Records include business records related to the sale and exhibition of artwork as well as financial and legal documents. A small number of memoranda and documents related to Page's work at the National Academy of Design are also found. Printed Materials include exhibition catalogs, published works by William and Sophia Page, and clippings and articles about Page.

Photographs consist mainly of portraits, most of them mounted cabinet photographs or cartes-des-visites, some of which appear to have been used as studies for Page's painted portraits. Among those pictured are William Page, James Russell Lowell, Henry Ward Beecher, Reuben Fenton, Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, William R. O'Donovan, and William Lloyd Garrison. Many of the photographic portraits are unidentified. Artwork includes sketches, drawings, prints, and a small number of notes made by Page in the course of painting portraits.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.

Series 1: Biographical Materials and Artifacts, 1847-1917 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1815-1942 (Boxes 1-4, 9-10; 3.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Notes and Writings, 1839-1888, 1949 (Boxes 4-5, OV 10; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1848-1932 (Boxes 5 and 9; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Materials, 1845-1938 (Boxes 5-7, 9, OV 11; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, 1845-1947 (Boxes 7-9, OV 12, MGP 5-6; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, 1856-1874 (Box 8, OV 13-16, rolled documents 17-19; 0.6 linear feet and 3 rolled documents)
Biographical Note:
The painter William Page was born in 1811 in Albany, NY. He attended public schools in New York City, and after working briefly in the law firm of Frederick de Peyster, was placed in the studio of the painter/engraver James Herring in 1825, where he received his first formal art training. He took classes at the National Academy of Design the year it was formed, in 1826, under Samuel F.B. Morse, and in 1827 he was awarded one of the National Academy's first annual student prizes.

Page joined the Presbyterian church and attended Phillips Academy and Amherst with the intention of becoming a minister, but his artistic ability won out, and by 1830 he was painting commissioned portraits in Albany, Rochester, and New York. He married Lavinia Twibill in 1833, and they had three daughters between 1834 and 1839. He joined the American Academy and served on its board of directors in 1835. He exhibited at the American Academy, the National Academy of Design, the Boston Athenaeum, and other venues throughout the 1830s. Favorable reviews brought steady portrait commissions, including John Quincy Adams and the New York governor William L. Marcy. He was made a full member of the National Academy in 1837.

In the 1840s, Page's reputation and maturity as a painter grew. His first wife left him around 1840, and in 1843 he married Sarah Dougherty. The couple moved to Albany, Boston, and back to New York seeking portrait commissions and patronage. He became friends with the poet James Russell Lowell and the writer and publisher Charles Frederick Briggs, two writers and editors who helped to promote his artwork in Boston and New York and published his theoretical writings. In 1844, Lowell dedicated his first published book of poetry to Page, and the following year, Briggs published a series of articles by Page in the Broadway Journal, entitled "The Art of the Use of Color in Imitation in Painting." The series described Page's arduous experiments with color and glazes, and his ideas about correspondences between spirituality and the natural world as expressed in art.

In 1850, Page traveled to Florence, Italy, where he painted several copies of the works of Titian in the galleries of the Uffizi and Pitti palaces, studying his use of color and further developing his own experimental techniques. He became friends with the sculptor Hiram Powers, who introduced him to the writings of Emmanuel Swedenborg, a Christian metaphysician whose ideas fueled Page's interest in the spiritual aspects of art. In 1852, Page moved to Rome, a city with an international artists' community and a strong market for art. Page found a loyal following in Rome's large circle of American ex-patriates, including the sculptors Thomas Crawford and Harriet Hosmer, the actress Charlotte Cushman, and the poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, all of whom sat for portraits by Page.

In 1854, Page's second wife left him amidst public scandal, and he sank deep in debt to his bankers at Packenham and Hooker, an English firm that by 1856 had a lien on all the paintings in his studio. That same year Page met Sophia Stevens Hitchcock, an American widow traveling in Rome with Bertha Olmsted, Frederick Law Olmsted's sister. Hitchcock was from Barnet, Vermont and came to Europe after her first husband died in 1852 after only a year of marriage. She traveled to England and Paris, where she wrote regular columns on local customs and events for the New York Tribune that were published under the by-line "An American Woman in Paris." She and Page met in Rome in 1856, and in October 1857, after Page traveled back the United States to obtain a divorce from Sarah Dougherty, he and Sophia married.

The couple stayed in Rome until 1860. His wife's three brothers, all businessmen, helped to promote his artwork in Europe and America. Page's paintings of this period include several Venus subjects, one of which was championed by his most loyal patrons, who raised $3000 by subscription to buy the painting for the Boston Athenaeum. A later Venus painting was rejected from the Paris salon for indecency, a controversy that was later leveraged for publicity in a touring exhibition in the United States.

The Pages returned to the United States in 1860 and settled in Tottenville, New York. They had six children between 1858 and 1870. Page had a studio at Eagleswood, NJ, and later in the Studio Building on 10th Street in Manhattan, where he held a large exhibition in 1867. In the 1860s, he painted a self-portrait and a companion portrait of Sophia set in Rome, as well as a series of civil war heroes including Robert Gould Shaw, Winfield Scott, and David Farragut. Photographs played a consistent part in Page's technique of portraiture, and he is known to have worked with the photographer Matthew Brady, who attended art classes early on with Page, as well as the photographers Sarony and Charles Williamson, who taught classes on drawing from enlarged photo-transparencies. Brady photographs taken for Page include David Farragut and Reuben Fenton.

Page lectured frequently on Titian and Venetian art, a subject in which he was considered an expert, and on painting technique and his philosophical ideas about nature, art, and spirituality. In 1871, Page was elected the president of the National Academy of Design, a post he held until 1873, but his poor health following a collapse in 1872 limited his accomplishments in office. Despite these limitations, he continued to paint, including portraits of General Grant, an idealized portrait of the president based on early photographs and Charles Sumner. He also became interested in portraiture of William Shakespeare around this time, and his studies resulted in a book, Shakespeare's Portraits, a bust based on existing portraiture, and a full-length portrait entitled "Shakespeare Reading," based on Page's measurements of a supposed death mask in Darmstadt, Germany, which he went to inspect against the advice of his doctor in 1874.

In 1877, another collapse left Page incapacitated for the remainder of his life. Sophia Page tried editing and publishing his writings and lectures, but with little success. Page died in 1885. A life marked by personal scandal ended the same, when two of his daughters from his first marriage contested his will, tying up his estate in a lengthy and public probate trial. Their suit was dismissed in 1889, and Sophia Page died in 1892.

This biography relies heavily on Joshua Taylor's William Page: The American Titian (1957).
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds materials lent for microfilming (reel 1091) including letters from Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Lydia Maria Child, Charlotte Cushman, James Russell Lowell, Charles A. Dana, and others. Lent material was returned to the donor and is This material is not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
A portion of the collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Mrs. Lesslie S. (Pauline Page) Howell, William Page's grandaughter, in 1963. William S. Page, Pauline Page Howell's nephew, donated additional papers in 1964 and 1973. Pauline Page Howell and William S. Page also loaned a group of letters to the Archives in 1964 which were microfilmed on reel 1091 and then returned to the donors. Mrs. Howell's son, William Page Howell, donated material in 1980.

Letters of Charles F. Briggs to James Russell Lowell (Series 2.2) were a part of Pauline Page Howell's 1963 donation to the Archives of American Art. They had been given to Mrs. Howell by Charlotte Briggs, daughter of Charles F. Briggs, because of her father's lifelong friendship with William Page. Letters from Lowell to Briggs are in the James Russell Lowell papers in Houghton Library at Harvard University.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
Rights:
The William Page and Page Family 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.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painting -- 19th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Poems
Drawings
Diaries
Citation:
William Page and Page Family papers, 1815-1947, bulk 1843-1892. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.pagewill
See more items in:
William Page and Page Family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-pagewill
Additional Online Media:

Eyre de Lanux papers

Creator:
Lanux, Eyre de  Search this
Names:
Aragon, Louis, 1897-1982  Search this
Barney, Natalie Clifford  Search this
Casagrande, Paolo  Search this
Eyre, Paul  Search this
Eyre, Wilson, 1858-1944  Search this
Fahlman, Betsy  Search this
Ford, Consuelo  Search this
Lanux, Pierre de Combret, 1887-1955  Search this
Lear, Tobias, 1762-1816  Search this
Lee, Ann  Search this
Lenard, Alexander  Search this
Strong, Anne  Search this
Wyld, Evelyn  Search this
Extent:
10.6 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Drawings
Photographs
Diaries
Sketches
Travel journals
Sound recordings
Prints
Paintings
Date:
1865-1995
Summary:
The papers of portrait painter, writer, and designer, Eyre de Lanux (1894-1996) measure 10.6 linear feet and date from 1865 to 1995. The papers include biographical materials, personal business records, sixty-four diaries dating from 1922 through 1988, writings and notes, research files, printed materials, artwork, and photographs of Eyre de Lanux, her family, and friends. There is extensive correspondence with her husband Pierre de Lanux and her long-time lover Paolo Casagrande, as well as with other friends and family.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of portrait painter, writer, and furnishings designer, Eyre de Lanux (1894-1996) measure 10.6 linear feet and date from 1865 to 1995. The papers reflect Eyre's personal life in Paris with her husband, Pierre de Lanux and her travels with longtime lover Paolo Casagrande. The bulk of the collection consists of diaries spanning 1922 to 1988 and correspondence. Also found are de Lanux's sketches and drawings, some of which depict Parisian scenes and portraits of her lovers and friends. Other materials found include biographical information, personal business records, writings and notes including short stories, research files on Tobias Lear and Wilson Eyre, printed materials, and scattered photographs.

Biographical records include various membership certificates, medical records, travel papers and tickets, and a transcript of a psychic reading. Also found is a sound recording concerning Pierre de Lanux.

Personal business records consist of addresses, a personal calendar, consignment and loan agreements concerning the sale of Eyre's art collection, miscellaneous receipts, rental and lodging forms, stocks, and a copy of a will.

Correspondence spans the years 1922 until 1995 and includes an extensive exchange between Eyre and her husband Pierre, her lover Paolo Casagrande, and her daughter Anne Strong (Bikou.) Other notable correspondents include Louis Aragon, Natalie Barney, Betsy Fahlman, Consuelo Ford, Alexander Lenard, and Evelyn Wyld. Much of the correspondence is personal in nature, however a folder of correspondence between Eyre and her literary editors is found at the end of the series.

The papers include sixty-four diaries dating from 1922 through 1988; there are no diaries for the period 1927 to 1947 with the exception of two small notebooks dated 1938 and 1945. The diaries resume in 1948, with Eyre's arrival in Rome, and continue, with multiple volumes for most years, until the late 1980s when her eyes failed. The handwriting is difficult to read, and moves from one language to another within entries, employing English, French, and Italian. Eyre de Lanux used her diaries to record her impressions of the world rather than to enumerate daily activities.

Writings include drafts, copies, and notes for de Lanux's short stories from the 1920s until the 1980s. There are also annotated entries and drafts of her magazine column, "Letters to Elizabeth", poems, a note written to Paris, and notes concerning interior decoration. Writings by others include poems by Ann Lee, travel journals by Paolo Casagrande and Paul Eyre, and a draft of Pierre de Lanux's "Memoires-Jours de Notre Vivre."

Research files consist of Eyre de Lanux's notes, drafts, photographs, published works, and research correspondence relating to her biography on Tobias Lear, the personal secretary of George Washington and a proposal for a work entitled Illusions of Identity. Other materials include copies of Betsy Fahlman's research on architect Wilson Eyre, de Lanux's uncle.

Printed material is scattered and includes periodicals with copies of writings by Pierre and Eyre de Lanux, one exibition announcement, printed reproductions of works of art, blank postcards, and souvenirs gathered from de Lanux's many trips abroad.

Photographs are of Eyre in her studio and of her family and friends including Louis Aragon, Natalie Barney, Paolo Casagrande and family, Alice Delmar, Paul Eyre, Consuelo Ford, Pierre de Lanux, Anne Strong, and Evelyn Wyld. There is a photo of Natalie Barney's 20 Rue Jacob Temple d'Amitie. Other photos are of buildings, travel, interiors, and works of art. Among the photographs of works of art include two portraits, one of Eyre de Lanux by Romaine Brooks and one of Romaine Brooks by Eyre de Lanux.

Artwork include sketches, drawings, prints, and paintings by Eyre de Lanux probably dating from the 1920s to the 1940s. There is a painted sketch of interior decoration from circa 1949. Sketches are of Parisian street scenes, portraits of friends, a design for a perfume advertisement for the fashion house Lucien Lelong, illustrated notes for Consuelo Ford, and miscellaneous subjects.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1965-1966 (Box 1; 10 folders)

Series 2: Personal Business Records , 1933-1989 (Box 1; 10 folders)

Series 3: Correspondence, 1924-1992 (Boxes 1-4; 3.0 linear feet)

Series 4: Diaries, 1922-1988 (Boxes 4-7; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Writings and Notes, 1917-1995 (Boxes 7-8; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Research Files, circa 1900-1980s (Boxes 8-9; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, circa 1910-1987 (Boxes 9, 11; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1870-1973 (Box 10, OVs 18-20; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, circa 1920-circa 1949 (Boxes 10-11, OVs 12-17; 0.8 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Eyre de Lanux (1894-1996) spent much of her life traveling between Paris, Italy, and New York. In addition to portrait and frescoe painting, de Lanux designed furnishings and was a prolific writer.

Elizabeth Eyre de Lanux was born on March 20, 1894, the eldest daughter of Richard Derby Eyre (1869-1955) and Elizabeth Krieger Eyre (d. 1938). As Elizabeth's mother suffered from depression, the responsibilities of parenthood fell largely to Richard Eyre, a successful patent lawyer.

Elizabeth attended Miss Hazen's School in Pelham Manor, Westchester County, New York and enrolled in classes at the Art Students League in 1912 and during 1914-15. Her teachers were George Bridgman and John C. Johansen. At this time, she resided at 47 Washington Square but soon moved to 15 W. 67th Street. She exhibited two paintings, "L'Arlesienne," and "Allegro," in the first annual exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917.

In early 1918, while working for the Foreign Press Bureau of the Committee on Public Information, Elizabeth met writer Pierre Combret de Lanux (1887-1955.) They married in New York in a civil ceremony on October 9, 1918. Immediately after the Armistice, they sailed for Paris, settling at Number 19 Rue Jacob. Their daughter, Anne-Françoise, nicknamed "Bikou," was born December 19, 1925.

Possibly from the beginning of their marriage, but certainly from the early 1920s, Eyre and Pierre accorded one another the freedom to take other lovers. From 1923 to 1933, Pierre de Lanux was based mainly in Geneva, where he worked for the League of Nations as director of the Paris Office. The marriage endured until Pierre's death in March 1955.

In Paris, from 1919-20, Elizabeth continued her painting and drawing studies. At this time, she began signing her sketches "Eyre de Lanux." Café society at Le Boeuf sur le Toit was an inexhaustible source for portrait subjects, as were socialite Natalie Clifford Barney's Friday salons. A series of "Outlines of Women," line drawings touched with wash, were exhibited in May 1921 at New York's Kingore Galleries. On view was Eyre's portrait of Barney, identified as "Amazone" in the exhibit leaflet, and those of various high-society figures, including Marion Tiffany, actress Eva Le Gallienne, and tennis champion Julie Lentilhon.

Eyre and Pierre resided in the United States from September 1920 to April 1922, and lived at the Chelsea Hotel during the spring of 1921. While Pierre traveled, Eyre completed work on a pair of oak doors painted in tempera, vermillion, and gold with the 13th century legend of Sainte Marie l'Égyptienne. The doors went on exhibit in March 1922 at Knoedler Galleries and received a favorable review in The Sun. Eyre would not exhibit again in New York until 1943, when her fresco, "Persiennes, Persiennes" was included in "The Art of 31 Women Show" at Art of This Century Gallery.

Eyre began the study of frescoe painting in the late 1920s with Constantin Brancusi. Exhibits of her later frescoes were held in 1952 at Alexander Iolas in New York and in Paris at Le Sillon in 1960.

During her years in Paris, Eyre was associated with members of the Parisian arts and literary circles. Ezra Pound made corrections to her 1923 poem "Rue Montorgueil." Eyre met Surrealist poet Louis Aragon, who may have fell in love with her. Aragon's 1919 poem, "Isabelle," dedicated cryptically to one "Madame I.R." on its 1926 publication, tells of his love for "une herbe blanche." Their one-year liaison began in earnest in March 1925, soon after Eyre's relationship with Natalie Barney had ended. An affair with political writer Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, initiated in early 1923 and carried on intermittently, also ended at this time.

In 1933 Eyre and Pierre purchased a number of works of contemporary art. These included a Picasso watercolor and drawing from his Cubist period, a Braque, a Berman, two Picabia drawings, an Yves Tanguy, a large Mirà, and two paintings by de Chirico. In future years, gallery-owner Betty Parsons 1900-82), whom Eyre doubtless knew in Paris, would assist her in selling paintings from her collection. Many would be sold at a great loss to meet expenses.

From 1927 to 1933, Eyre collaborated with British carpet designer Evelyn Wyld (1882-1973), creating modernist furniture in glass, cowhide, wood, and lacquer for private clients. Eyre met Wyld while interviewing her for her monthly column, "Letters of Elizabeth," which ran for two years in Town and Country magazine. Eyre and Wyld exhibited their interiors in the 1928 and 1929 annual showings of the Artistes-Décorateurs and in 1930 at the first exhibit of the Société Union des Artistes Modernes. In 1932, the two women opened Décor, a furniture gallery in Cannes. The business, hurt by a decline in demand following the 1929 stock market crash, closed in 1933.

Eyre returned to Paris in 1945 There she met a young Italian writer, Paolo Casagrande. Eyre was 54 years old and he roughly half her age. With his encouragement, she rented a studio at 53 Via Margutta and beganworking on large frescoes and fresco portraits. One of her sitters was Tennessee Williams.

The relationship with Casagrande endured until the end of Eyre's life. Although Casagrande married in 1950 and eventually had children, he and Eyre maintained an almost continuous, passionate correspondence. They traveled for long periods in southern Italy, Sicily, Greece, and Morocco. During their Moroccan sojourn in 1951 and 1952, Eyre began making notes for short stories. "La Place de La Destruction" was published in 1955 in La Nouvelle Revue Française, and "The House in the Medina" appeared in Harper's Bazaar in November 1963. Her sketchbooks, watercolors, and frescoes from this period reveal her fascination with the North African landscape.

In March, 1961, possibly in order to pull away from Casagrande, Eyre left Paris and returned to New York permanently, taking a studio apartment at The Picasso on East 58th Street. In a diary entry made shortly before moving day, she wrote, "Write to Paolo every day, and mail it only occasionally." Her last visit to Paris occurred in 1978. Until legal blindness overtook her, Eyre pursued various research and writing projects.

She began work on a biography of Tobias Lear, a secretary to George Washington and a distant maternal ancestor. She also gathered photographs for "Illusions of Identity," a book of associations between the physical and metaphysical worlds with a preface by Ray Bradbury; the book was never published. In 1980, she supplied paintings to illustrate Overheard in a Bubble Chamber (1981), a book of science poems for children written by her close friend Lillian Morrison. The New Yorker magazine published three of her short stories: "Montegufoni" (1966), "Cot Number Eleven" (1968), and "Putu" (1972). Plans to bring together twelve stories in one volume were never realized.

Eyre de Lanux died in August 1996 at the age of 102.
Provenance:
The Eyre de Lanux papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by de Lanux's daughter Anne de Lanux Strong and grandson Paul Eyre in 1996.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Eyre de Lanux 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.
Topic:
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Authors -- France -- Paris  Search this
Designers  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Modernism (Art)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Photographs
Diaries
Sketches
Travel journals
Sound recordings
Prints
Paintings
Citation:
Eyre de Lanux papers, 1865-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.lanueyre
See more items in:
Eyre de Lanux papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-lanueyre
Additional Online Media:

John White Alexander papers

Creator:
Alexander, John White, 1856-1915  Search this
Names:
MacDowell Club of New York  Search this
Abbey, Edwin Austin, 1852-1911  Search this
Alexander, Elizabeth A., d. 1947  Search this
Carnegie, Andrew, 1835-1919  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916  Search this
Gibson, Charles Dana, 1867-1944  Search this
James McNeill Whistler, 1834-1903  Search this
James, Henry, 1843-1916  Search this
La Farge, John, 1835-1910  Search this
Levy, Florence N. (Florence Nightingale), 1870-1947  Search this
Millet, Francis Davis, 1846-1912  Search this
Remington, Frederic, 1861-1909  Search this
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894  Search this
Extent:
12.9 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Awards
Interviews
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Medals
Date:
1775-1968
bulk 1870-1915
Summary:
The papers of the painter, muralist, and illustrator John White Alexander measure 11.2 linear feet and date from 1775 to 1968, with the bulk of materials dating from 1870 to 1915. Papers document Alexander's artistic career and many connections to figures in the art world through biographical documentation, correspondence (some illustrated), writings, 14 sketchbooks, additonal artwork and loose sketches, scrapbooks, photographs, awards and medals, artifacts, and other records. Also found is a souvenir engraving of a Mark Twain self-portrait.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of the painter, muralist, and illustrator John White Alexander measure 11.2 linear feet and date from 1775 to 1968, with the bulk of materials dating from 1870 to 1915. Papers document Alexander's artistic career and many connections to figures in the art world through biographical documentation, correspondence (some illustrated), writings, 14 sketchbooks, additonal artwork and loose sketches, scrapbooks, photographs, awards and medals, artifacts, and other records. Also found is a souvenir engraving of a Mark Twain self-portrait.

Biographical Information includes multiple essays related to Alexander, his family, and others in his circle. Also found is an extensive oral history of Alexander's wife Elizabeth conducted in 1928. Correspondence includes letters written by Alexander to his family from New York and Europe at the start of his career, and later letters from fellow artists, art world leaders, and portrait sitters of Alexander's. Significant correspondents include Charles Dana Gibson, Florence Levy, Frederick Remington, Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry James, John La Farge, Francis Davis Millet, and Andrew Carnegie. Correspondence includes some small sketches as enclosures and illustrated letters.

Certificates and records related to Alexander's career are found in Associations and Memberships, Legal and Financial Records, and Notes and Writings, which contain documentation of Alexander's paintings and exhibitions. Scattered documentation of Alexander's memberships in various arts association exists for the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy in Rome, the National Academy of Design, the Onteora Club in New York, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany, the Ministère de L'Instruction Publique et des Beaux-Arts, the Union Internationale des Beaux Arts et des Lettres, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notes and Writings include speeches written by Alexander, short stories and essays written by his wife, and articles by various authors about Alexander. Extensive documentation of the planning and construction of the Alexander Memorial Studio by the MacDowell Club is found, along with other awards, medals, and memorial resolutions adopted by arts organizations after Alexander's death.

Artwork includes fourteen sketchbooks with sketches related to Alexander's commercial illustration and cartooning, murals, paintings, and travels. Dozens of loose drawings and sketches are also found, along with two volumes and several dozen loose reproductions of artwork, among which are found fine prints by named printmakers. Many sketches are also interspersed throughout the correspondence. Eight Scrapbooks contain mostly clippings, but also scattered letters, exhbition catalogs, announcements, invitations, and photographs related to Alexander's career between 1877 and 1915. Additional Exhibition Catalogs and later clippings, as well as clippings related to the career of his wife and other subjects, are found in Printed Materials.

Photographs include many portraits of Alexander taken by accomplished photographers such as Zaida Ben-Yusuf, Aimé Dupont, Curtis Bell, Elizabeth Buehrmann, and several signed Miss Huggins, who may have been Estelle Huntington Huggins, a New York painter and photographer. Portraits of others include Alexander's friends William Merritt Chase and Edward Austin Abbey. Also found are photographs of groups, juries, family, friends, and studios in New York, Paris, and New Jersey, and a handful of scenic photographs of Polling, Bavaria, where Alexander had an early studio. A large number of photographs of works of art are found, many with annotations. Among the photographs of murals are a small collection of snapshots of the Carnegie Institute murals in progress. Miscellaneous artifacts include a palette, several printing plates, and an inscribed souvenir engraving of a self-portrait caricature of Mark Twain.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 11 series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1887-1968 (Box 1, OV 23; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1870-1942 (Box 1; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Associations and Memberships, circa 1897-1918 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 4: Legal and Financial Records, 1775, 1896-1923 (Box 1; 5 folders)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, circa 1875-1943 (Boxes 1-2; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Awards and Memorials, circa 1870-1944 (Box 2, OV 24; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1875-1915 (Boxes 2-3, 6, 14-16, OV 23; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, circa 1877-1915 (Boxes 17-22; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 9: Printed Materials, circa 1891-1945 (Boxes 3-4, OV 23; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographs, circa 1870-1915 (Boxes 4-8, MGP 1-2, OV 25-43, RD 44-45; 4.2 linear feet)

Series 11: Artifacts, circa 1899-1915 (Box 6, artifact cabinet; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
John White Alexander was born in 1856 in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. He was orphaned at age five and taken in by relatives of limited means. When Alexander left school and began working at a telegraph company, the company's vice-president, former civil war Colonel Edward Jay Allen, took an interest in his welfare. Allen became his legal guardian, brought him into the Allen household, and saw that he finished Pittsburgh High School. At eighteen, he moved to New York City and was hired by Harper and Brothers as an office boy in the art department. He was soon promoted to apprentice illustrator under staff artists such as Edwin A. Abbey and Charles Reinhart. During his time at Harpers, Alexander was sent out on assignment to illustrate events such as the Philadelphia Centennial celebration in 1876 and the Pittsburgh Railroad Strike in 1877, which erupted in violence.

Alexander carefully saved money from his illustration work and traveled to Europe in 1877 for further art training. He first enrolled in the Royal Art Academy of Munich, Germany, but soon moved to the village of Polling, where a colony of American artists was at its peak in the late 1870s. Alexander established a painting studio there and stayed for about a year. Despite his absence from the Munich Academy, he won the medal of the drawing class for 1878, the first of many honors. While in Polling, he became acquainted with J. Frank Currier, Frank Duveneck, William Merritt Chase, and other regular visitors to the colony. He later shared a studio and taught a painting class in Florence with Duveneck and traveled to Venice, where he met James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

Alexander returned to New York in 1881 and resumed his commercial artwork for Harpers and Century. Harpers sent him down the Mississippi river to complete a series of sketches. He also began to receive commissions for portraits, and in the 1880s painted Charles Dewitt Bridgman, a daughter of one of the Harper brothers, Parke Godwin, Thurlow Weed, Walt Whitman, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Alexander met his wife Elizabeth, whose maiden name was also Alexander, through her father, James W. Alexander, who was sometimes mistaken for the artist. Elizabeth and John White Alexander married in 1887 and had a son, James, in 1888.

Alexander and his family sailed for France in 1890, where they became a part of the lively literary and artistic scene in Paris at the time. Among their many contacts there were Puvis de Chavannes, Auguste Rodin, and Whistler, who arrived in Paris shortly thereafter. Alexander absorbed the new aesthetic ideas around him such as those of the symbolists and the decorative style of art nouveau. Critics often note how such ideas are reflected in his boldly composed paintings of women from this period, who titles drew attention to the sensual and natural elements of the paintings. His first exhibition in Paris was three paintings at the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts in 1893, and by 1895 he has become a full member of the Société.

Independent and secession artist societies emerged throughout Europe during this period, and Alexander exhibited with several of them, including the Société Nouvelle in Paris, the Munich Secession, and the Vienna Secession. He was also elected an honorary member of the Royal Society of Belgian Artists and the Royal Society of British Painters in London. His exhibited works sold well, and his influence began to be felt back in the United States. Andrew Carnegie and John Beatty of the Carnegie Institute consulted closely with Alexander in the planning and execution of the first Carnegie International Exhibitions. Alexander also became active in supporting younger American artists who wanted to exhibit in Europe, a stance which resulted in his resignation from the Society of American Artists in Paris, which he felt had become a barrier to younger artists. His promotion of American art became an central aspect of his career for the remainder of his life, most visibly through his presidency of the National Academy of Design from 1909 until shortly before his death in 1915. He also served frequently on juries for high-profile exhibitions, and was a trustee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, and the national Institute of Arts and Letters. Around 1912, he helped to form the School Art League in New York, which provided art instruction to high school students.

Alexander returned to the United States nearly every summer while based in Paris, and among his commissioned paintings were murals for the newly-constructed Library of Congress, completed around 1896. In 1901, the Alexanders returned to New York permanently. The demand for portraits continued, and he had his first solo exhibition at the Durand-Ruel Galleries in 1902. Around 1905 he received a commission for murals at the new Carnegie Institute building in Pittsburgh for the astounding sum of $175,000. He created 48 panels there through 1908. During this period, the Alexanders spent summers in Onteora, New York, where Alexander painted his well-known "Sunlight" paintings. There they became friends and collaborators with the actress Maude Adams, with Alexander designing lighting and stage sets, and Elizabeth Alexander designing costumes for Adams' productions such as Peter Pan, the Maid of Orleans, and Chanticleer. The couple became known for their "theatricals" or tableaux, staged at the MacDowell Club and elsewhere, and Elizabeth Alexander continued her design career when her husband died in 1915.

Alexander left several commissions unfinished upon his death at age 59, including murals in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth Alexander held a memorial exhibition at Arden Galleries a few months after his death, and a larger memorial exhibition was held by the Carnegie Institute in 1916. Alexander won dozens of awards for artwork in his lifetime, including the Lippincott Prize at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1899, the Gold Medal of Honor at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900, the Gold Medal at the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1901, and the Medal of the First Class at the Carnegie Institute International Exhibition in 1911. In 1923, the Alexander Memorial Studio was built at the MacDowell colony in New Hampshire to honor his memory.
Provenance:
Papers were donated in 1978 and 1981 by Irina Reed, Alexander's granddaughter and in 2017 by Elizabeth Reed, Alexander's great grandaughter.
Restrictions:
Use of the original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
Rights:
The John White Alexander 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.
Topic:
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Portrait painting -- 20th century  Search this
Portrait painting -- 19th century  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painting, American  Search this
Genre/Form:
Awards
Interviews
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Medals
Citation:
John White Alexander papers, 1775-1968, bulk 1870-1915. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.alexjohn
See more items in:
John White Alexander papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-alexjohn
Additional Online Media:

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