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William Henry Holmes artists' files

Creator:
Holmes, William Henry, 1846-1933  Search this
Names:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Washington Water Color Club (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Brooke, Richard Norris, 1847-1920  Search this
Closson, William Baxter Palmer, 1848-1926  Search this
Fraser, James Earle, 1876-1953  Search this
Johnston, Reuben Le Grand, 1850-1914  Search this
La Farge, John, 1835-1910  Search this
Melchers, Gari, 1860-1932  Search this
Messer, Edmund Clarence, 1842-1919  Search this
Moran, Thomas, 1837-1926  Search this
Moser, James Henry, 1854-1913  Search this
Nichols, Hobart, 1869-1962  Search this
Oakley, Violet, 1874-1961  Search this
Pennell, Joseph, 1857-1926  Search this
Ream, Vinnie, 1847-1914  Search this
Sharp, Joseph Henry, 1859-1953  Search this
Walcott, Mary Vaux, 1860-1940  Search this
Weller, Carl F., 1853-1920  Search this
Weyl, Max, 1837-1914  Search this
Wiles, Irving Ramsay, 1861-1948  Search this
Zolnay, George Julian, 1862 or 1863-1949  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Sketches
Place:
Museum directors -- Washington (D.C.)
Date:
1879-1955
Summary:
The artists' files of William Henry Holmes, curator and director of the Smithsonian's National Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum) in Washington, D.C., measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1879 to 1955. The artists' files consist mostly of correspondence, but also include a few photographs, artwork in the form of sketches, and printed material. There is also one file relating to Holmes' affiliation with the Washington Water Color Club.
Scope and Contents:
The artists' files of William Henry Holmes, curator and director of the Smithsonian's National Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum) in Washington, D.C., measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1879 to 1955. The artists' files consist mostly of correspondence, but also include a few photographs, artwork in the form of sketches, and printed material. There is also one file relating to Holmes' affiliation with the Washington Water Color Club.

Notable artists represented in the files include R.N. Brooke, William B. P. Closson, James Earle Fraser, Vinnie Ream Hoxie, Reuben Le Grand Johnston, John LaFarge, Gari Melchers, Thomas Moran, Henry Moser, Hobart Nichols, Violet Oakley, Joseph Pennell, Joseph Henry Sharp, Mary Vaux Walcott, Carl F. Weller, Max Weyl, Irving R. Wiles and George Julian Zolnay.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 1 series.

Series 1: Artists' Files, 1879-1955 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Biographical / Historical:
William Henry Holmes (1846-1933) was a curator, museum director, artist, scientific illustrator, archaeologist, geologist, and anthropologist. He served in various positions in the Smithsonian Institution, and finally as director of the Smithsonian's National Gallery of Art (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum) from 1920-1932.

Holmes was born in Harrison County, Ohio in 1846. In 1870, he graduated from McNeely Normal School in Ohio and, after a short time of teaching at that school, moved to Washington, D.C. in 1871 to study art under Theodore Kaufmann. Thanks to his artistic skills, he was soon hired by Smithsonian paleontologist Francis B. Meek to do scientific drawings. In 1872, Holmes joined the geological survey of Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden, as an artist and topographer of the survey of Yellowstone National Park and surrounding area, and other regions in the west. In 1879, Holmes went to work for the newly founded U.S. Geological Survey. There he worked as a geologist and chief of scientific illustration. In addition to art and geology, his interests and expertise expanded into archaeology and anthropology.

Holmes worked as chief curator at the Field Columbian Museum (now the Field Museum of Natural History) in Chicago before returning to the Smithsonian in 1897, where he served as curator of anthropology and chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology. In 1910, he became chairman of the Division of Anthropology. In 1920, Holmes became director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Gallery of Art (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum), a position he held until 1932. William Henry Holmes died one year later.
Related Materials:
Collections about William Henry Holmes are also located at other Smithsonian Institution archival units, including the National Anthropological Archives and Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Provenance:
These files were transferred from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American Art Library (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum) to the Archives of American Art in two installments in 1981 and 1992.
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.
Rights:
The William Henry Holmes artists' files 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.
Occupation:
Curators -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Artists -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Citation:
William Henry Holmes artists' files, 1879-1955. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.holmwill
See more items in:
William Henry Holmes artists' files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-holmwill
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