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Oral history interview with John Wilmerding, 2018 March 19-20

Interviewee:
Wilmerding, John, 1938-  Search this
Interviewer:
Lyon, Christopher, 1949-  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Curators  Search this
Art historians  Search this
Art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)17556
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)393538
AAA_collcode_wilmer18
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_393538

Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries records

Creator:
Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries  Search this
Names:
Bartlett, Frederic Clay, 1873-1953  Search this
Bellows, George, 1882-1925  Search this
Brook, Alexander, 1898-1980  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Chappell, Warren, 1904-  Search this
Clancy, John C., 1897-1981  Search this
Coleman, Glenn O., 1887-1932  Search this
Cook, Howard Norton, 1901-1980  Search this
Cuthbert, Virginia, 1908-2001  Search this
Dasburg, Andrew, 1887-1979  Search this
Gellatly, John, 1853-1931  Search this
Hawthorne, Charles Webster, 1872-1930  Search this
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Hopper, Jo N. (Josephine Nivison), 1883-1968  Search this
James, Alexander, 1890-1946  Search this
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974  Search this
Luks, George Benjamin, 1867-1933  Search this
Mangravite, Peppino, 1896-  Search this
Marsh, Felicia Meyer, 1912-1978  Search this
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954  Search this
McFee, Henry Lee, 1886-1953  Search this
Melchers, Gari, 1860-1932  Search this
Orton, J. Robert  Search this
Pepper, Charles Hovey, 1864-1950  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Russo, Alexander  Search this
Spalding, John T.  Search this
Sparhawk-Jones, Elizabeth, 1885-1968  Search this
Speicher, Eugene Edward, 1883-1962  Search this
Spruance, Benton, 1904-1967  Search this
Strater, Henry, 1896-  Search this
Tucker, Allen, 1866-1939  Search this
Tucker, Richard Derby, 1903-  Search this
Winters, Denny Sonke, 1907-1985  Search this
Young, Mahonri Mackintosh, 1877-1957  Search this
Extent:
21.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Date:
1858-1969
bulk 1919-1968
Summary:
The Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries records measure 21.8 linear feet and are dated 1858-1969 (bulk 1919-1968). The records consist mainly of business correspondence with collectors, artists, museums and arts organizations, colleagues, and others. A small amount of Frank K. M. Rehns personal correspondence and a few stray personal papers of individual artists are interfiled. Also included are financial records, scrapbooks, printed matter, miscellaneous records, and photographs documenting most of the history of a highly regarded New York City art gallery devoted to American painting.
Scope and Content Note:
The Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries records measure 21.8 linear feet and are dated 1858-1969 (bulk 1919-1968). The records consist mainly of business correspondence with collectors, artists, museums and arts organizations, colleagues, and others. A small amount of Frank K. M. Rehn's personal correspondence and a few stray personal papers of individual artists are interfiled. Also included are financial records, scrapbooks, printed matter, miscellaneous records, and photographs documenting most of the history of a highly regarded New York art gallery devoted to American painting.

Series 1: Correspondence contains correspondence with artists, museums and arts organizations, collectors, colleagues, and others documents the workings of Rehn Galleries from its earliest days through 1968. A small amount of Frank K. M. Rehn's personal correspondence and a few scattered personal papers of individual artists are interfiled with the business correspondence.

Series 2: Financial Records includes banking, insurance, and investment records, tax returns and related documentation, miscellaneous financial records and paid bills. Among the insurance records are detailed monthly schedules listing paintings with titles, artists, and insurance values. Miscellaneous financial records include inventories of gallery stock, notes regarding business expenses and income, and receipt books recording incoming paintings. Also included are a small number of items concerning the personal business of Frank Rehn and John Clancy.

Five volumes of Scrapbooks (Series 3) contain clippings and a small number of exhibition catalogs documenting the activities of Rehn Galleries and many of its associated artists. Additional Printed Matter in Series 4 includes material relating to Rehn Galleries and its artists, as well as publications produced by Rehn Galleries. General, art-related printed matter consists of articles, auction catalogs, advertisements, and publications of various museums, arts organizations, and schools. There is also material about artists not affiliated with Rehn Galleries. Additional printed items concern miscellaneous subjects that are not art-related.

Series 5: Miscellaneous Records, includes artwork, lists and notes, and writings. Photographs in Series 6 are of people including artists represented by Rehn as well as several not affiliated with the gallery. Noticeably absent are likenesses of Frank Rehn and John Clancy. Photographs of works of art are by Rehn Galleries' artists and others. Reginald Marsh's photographs consist of family and personal photographs that were either given to Rehn Galleries or perhaps loaned for research use, and include views of Marsh from early childhood through later life, photographs of family and friends, and a small family album. Also included are photographs are of Marsh's childhood drawings.
Arrangement:
Series 1: Correspondence is arranged alphabetically and Series 3: Scrapbooks is in rough chronological order. Series 2, and 4-6 are arranged in categories, as indicated in the Series Descriptions/Container Listing. Unless otherwise noted, items within each folder are arranged chronologically.

The collection is arranged into 6 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1858-1969, undated (Boxes 1-15; 14.4 linear ft.; Reels 5849-5869)

Series 2: Financial Records, 1919-1968, undated (Boxes 15-17; 2.6 linear ft; Reel 5869)

Series 3: Scrapbooks, 1919-1940 (Boxes 23-24; 0.6 linear ft.; Reels 5869-5870)

Series 4: Printed Matter, 1882-1969, undated (Boxes 18-20; 2.4 linear ft.; Reels 5870-5872)

Series 5: Miscellaneous Records, circa 1920-1968 (Boxes 20-21; 0.7 linear ft; Reel 5872)

Series 6: Photographs, 1871-1966, undated (Boxes 22, 24, OV 25; 1.0 linear ft.; Reel 5872)
Historical Note:
Frank K. M. Rehn (1886-1956), son of the marine painter Frank Knox Morton Rehn, after several years' experience as an employee of the Milch Galleries and as exhibition manager for the Salmagundi Club, opened his own art gallery in 1918. In its earliest years, the gallery operated as the Galleries of Frank K. M. Rehn. From the mid 1920s through the mid 1940s, the name used was Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries. As early as 1946, the gallery was referred to simply as Rehn Galleries. The gallery closed in 1981.

Throughout its existence, Rehn Galleries specialized in representing American painters. During the first five years Rehn's operation was a private gallery at 6 West 50th Street, New York City. Among the artists he first represented were older, established men such as J. Alden Weir, George Inness, Alexander Wyant, Theodore Robinson, Thomas Dewing, and John H. Twachtman. Occasionally, Rehn handled works by such luminaries of the period as Robert Henri, George Luks, and John Singer Sargent. Among the living artists affiliated with the gallery in its first years were Daniel Garber, Walter Griffin, Dodge MacKnight, and Robert Spencer. Rehn's most popular artist during this time was Childe Hassam, who sued for recovery of a painting that, although acquired by Rehn through a reputable dealer, had been stolen from Hassam's studio many years earlier.

Despite the newspaper publicity surrounding Hassam's lawsuit, the business was a successful venture almost immediately. Very early, a number of important collectors including Duncan Phillips, John Gellatly, John T. Spaulding, Albert McVitty, E. W. Root, and C. Vanderbilt Barton displayed confidence in Rehn's judgment and integrity, which enhanced his gallery's reputation and stature among both collectors and artists. In 1923, the gallery moved to 693 Fifth Avenue and began operating as Rehn Galleries, a commercial gallery in the same building that housed in a building that housed Kennedy and Company and the Bourgeois Galleries. At this time, Rehn hired an assistant, John C. Clancy (1897-1981), who had formerly been with Henry Reinhardt and Son and M. Knoedler.

The Rehn Galleries soon enjoyed a regular following among museum curators and collectors visiting from out of town. The gallery's roster of artists grew along with its reputation. Rehn focused almost exclusively on American painters, occasionally showing drawings and prints by artists who were primarily painters; notable exceptions were sculptor Mahonri Young and Henry Varnum Poor who, in addition to being a painter, was known for his work in ceramics. Among the painters eventually represented were: Peggy Bacon, George Bellows, Alexander Brook, Charles Burchfield, John F. Carlson, John Carroll, Howard Cook, Jon Corbino, Virginia Cuthbert, Andrew Dasberg, Sidney Gross, Edward Hopper, Alexander James, Irving Kaufmann, Yeffe Kimball, Leon Kroll, Peppino Mangravite, Reginald and Felicia Meyer Marsh, Henry Mattson, Henry Lee McFee, Kenneth Hayes Miller, Charles Rosen, Robert Riggs, Alexander Russo, Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones, Eugene Speicher, Henry Strater, Richard Derby Tucker, Franklin C. Watkins, and Denny Winters.

In 1930, Rehn Galleries moved one block south to the Air France Building at 683 Fifth Avenue, remaining there for thirty years. John C. Clancy, Rehn's long-time assistant, became Gallery Director in 1953 after a stroke prevented Rehn from continuing to run his business in an active capacity. Eventually, Rehn's widow sold Clancy the gallery, which he continued to operate under varying names, including Rehn Gallery, Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries, Frank Rehn Gallery, and Rehn Galleries. From 1960 until 1966, The Rehn Galleries were at 36 East 61st Street from 1960 until 1966, when the gallery moved to a space formerly occupied by Kootz Gallery at 855 Madison Avenue, where it remained in business for another fifteen years.
Related Material:
John Clancy interview by Paul Cummings, July 10, 1970. Oral History Program, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Samuel Adler Papers, 1902-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Contains a recording (1 cassette; untranscribed) of Beverly Chesler interviewing John Clancy about the history of Rehn Galleries, 1973; Samuel Adler is present and participates briefly in the interview.

In addition, the Archives of American Art has among its collections personal papers and oral history interviews of artists and collectors associated with the Rehn Galleries. Researchers are advised to conduct a name search in the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS).
Provenance:
The Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries records were loaned by John Clancy for microfilming in 1959; in 1966, this same material was donated to the Archives. Mr. Clancy made subsequent gifts of additional gallery records in 1978 and 1981. In 1985, the Whitney Museum of American Art donated to the Archives correspondence with Edward Hopper that John Clancy had loaned the museum many years earlier. A death mask of George Luks received with the collection is on extended loan to the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Rights:
The Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries 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:
Gallery owners  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Citation:
Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries records, 1858-1969 (bulk 1919-1968). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.franrehg
See more items in:
Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-franrehg
Additional Online Media:

Eric Hudson and Hudson family papers

Creator:
Hudson, Eric, 1862-1932  Search this
Names:
National Academy of Design  Search this
Beal, Reynolds, 1866-1951  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Hudson, Jacqueline  Search this
Hudson, Julie  Search this
Nisbet, Robert H., 1879-1961  Search this
Extent:
0.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Date:
1900-1992
Summary:
The papers of Eric Hudson and the Hudson family measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1900-1992. The papers primarily document the career of marine painter Eric Hudson and include biographical material, letters, artworks, printed material, and photographic material.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Eric Hudson (1864-1932) and the Hudson family measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1900-1992. The papers primarily document the career of marine painter Eric Hudson and include biographical material, letters, artworks, printed material, and photographic material.

Biographical material consists of a curriculum vitae, a biographical sketch, and a National Academy of Design associate membership certificate for Eric Hudson. Also included is a curriculum vitae for Jacqueline Hudson.

Letters are primarily addressed to Julie Hudson from her friends Michel and Genevieve Toullec (nee Le Doare). One note is from Philip Evergood regarding a painting trip to France. There are also Christmas cards designed or illustrated by artist friends including Jean Bellows, daughter of George Bellows, Harrison Cady, Truman Fassett, Aldro Hibbard, Robert Nisbet, Howard E. Smith, and Frederic Dorr Steele.

Artwork consists of nine sketchbooks, four drawings, and an oil self-portrait by Eric Hudson. Also found is as an oil sketch of Hudson at his easel by Woodhull Adams, and an etching by Reynolds Beal.

Printed material is comprised of clippings, exhibition announcements, catalogs for Eric Hudson, two books, and reproductions of artwork.

Photographic material includes of photographs of Eric Hudson and his friends, Maud Briggs Knowlton and Alice Swett, photos of Jacqueline and Julie Hudson and their friends the Toullecs, 37 artworks by Eric and Jacqueline Hudson presented in an exhibition, slides of artwork and photographs of artwork.
Arrangement:
Due to the small size the the collection, the papers have been arranged as one series.
Biographical / Historical:
Eric Hudson (1864-1932) was a marine painter in New York, New York. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Hudson studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and at the Academie Julian in Paris, France. He lived on Gramercy Park in New York and maintained a summer studio on Monhegan Island, Maine. Hudson was affiliated with the Ferargil Gallery.

Jacqueline Hudson (1910-2001), daughter of Eric Hudson, was a painter and lithographer. She studied at the School of the National Academy of Design, Art Students League, and at Columbia University.

Julie Hudson, daughter of Eric Hudson and sister to Jacqueline Hudson, was a rare book librarian at Princeton University.
Provenance:
The Eric Hudson and Hudson family papers were donated in 1991 by Julie Hudson, and in 1994 by Jacqueline Hudson, Eric Hudson's daughters.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Occupation:
Marine painters -- Maine -- Monhegan  Search this
Marine painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Citation:
Eric Hudson and Hudson family papers, 1900-1992. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.hudseric
See more items in:
Eric Hudson and Hudson family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hudseric

William Edward Norton glass plate negatives

Creator:
Norton, William Edward, 1843-1916  Search this
Extent:
0.42 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
circa 1880
circa 1990
Summary:
The sixty-nine glass plate negatives of marine painter William Edward Norton (1843-1916) measure 0.42 linear feet and date from circa 1880 and include one image of Norton, and images of unidentified women and children, presumably members of Norton's family. Other negatives are of boats and sailing ships or show buildings and river and street scenes; two images are of paintings of ships. Also found is a folder of contact sheets, circa 1990, made from sixty-five of the negatives.
Scope and Contents:
The sixty-nine glass plate negatives of marine painter William Edward Norton (1843-1916) measure 0.42 linear feet and date from circa 1880 and include one image of Norton, and images of unidentified women and children, presumably members of Norton's family. Other negatives are of boats and sailing ships or show buildings and river and street scenes; two images are of paintings of ships. Also found is a folder of contact sheets, circa 1990, made from sixty-five of the negatives.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as one series.
Biographical / Historical:
William Edward Norton (1843-1916) was a Boston born marine painter who studied in France, and settled in London. Norton had two paintings accepted by the Paris Salon, and exhibited at the Royal Academy. He also represented the United States at the International Exposition.

Norton, who was born into a family of shipbuilders, worked as a sailor in his youth and would sketch ships, crew, and seascapes during his free time. He later attended the Lowell Institute and studied under George Innes. Sales of his paintings funded his trip to France where he studied with Antoine Vollon and painted the Normandy coast.

After living in London with his wife, Norton returned to the United States in the early 1890s and lived and worked in New York City until his death.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 1990 by Vose Galleries of Boston, who received them from William Welcome, a descendant of Norton.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Rights:
The William Edward Norton glass plate negatives 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:
Marine painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Marine painters -- (England)  Search this
Citation:
William Edward Norton glass plate negatives, circa 1880, circa 1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nortwill
See more items in:
William Edward Norton glass plate negatives
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nortwill
Additional Online Media:

Henry Ward Ranger Estate papers

Creator:
Ranger, Henry Ward, 1858-1916  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear foot
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1888-circa 1999
bulk 1904-1954
Summary:
The estate papers of New York tonalist painter Henry Ward Ranger, measure one linear foot and date from 1888-circa 1999, with the bulk of the material dating from 1904-1954.The collection primarily documents the settlement of Ranger's contested will and the administration of his estate, but also provides scattered biographical information on Ranger's life, provenance information about his work, and documentation of the significance of his estate gift to the National Academy of Design. Records include appraisal information including an estate ledger, correspondence and memoranda including two letters from Ranger, court documents, financial and real estate records, news clippings, and two photographs and eight negatives of Ranger.
Scope and Contents:
The estate papers of New York tonalist painter Henry Ward Ranger, measure one linear foot and date from 1888-circa 1999, with the bulk of the material dating from 1904-1954.The collection primarily documents the settlement of Ranger's contested will and the administration of his estate, but also provides scattered biographical information on Ranger's life, provenance information about his work, and the significance of his estate gift to the National Academy of Design. Records include appraisal information including an estate ledger, correspondence and memoranda including two letters from Ranger, court documents, financial and real estate records, news clippings, and two photographs and six negatives of Ranger.

Series 1 documents the appraisal, administration, and distribution of Ranger's estate by the National Academy of Design. The bulk of the material comprises appraisal records, including an appraisal of Ranger's Noank studio by William Macbeth; correspondence and agreements with museums and other art institutions that received artwork purchased by the Ranger fund, including the Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, Des Moines Association of Fine Arts, Fine Arts Society of San Diego, Museum of Fine Arts , Houston, Oberlin College, and others; and financial records documenting assets and liabilities, including cancelled checks, receipts, investment and tax records, and records documenting real estate investments that contributed to the estate. Also found is a folder of personal papers, including two letters from Ranger, and a photograph and six negatives of Ranger, and a folder of nine letters from Ranger family members.

Series 2 primarily comprises court documents and legal counsel notes and correspondence related to the litigation of Ranger's will, and the process of proving the the legitimacy of Ranger's original will and the fraudulence of the will presented by Edith Ranger's lawyers.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as two series.

Series 1: Henry Ward Ranger Estate, 1888-circa 1999 (0.95 linear feet; Boxes 1, 4)

Series 2: Settlement of Will, 1907-1920 (1.05 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)
Biographical / Historical:
Tonalist landscape and marine painter, Henry Ward Ranger (1858-1916), became a full academician of the National Academy of Design in 1906 and bequeathed his entire residuary estate to the academy. The investment of this substantial gift of nearly $400,000, known as the Ranger fund, would provide for the purchase of paintings by living American artists, which were distributed or accessioned by the Smithsonian Institution's then National Collection of Fine Arts.

Ranger was born in western New York State and attended Syracuse University for two years before opening a studio in New York City in the mid-1880s. He traveled to Europe and lived in the Netherlands for several years, where he was influenced by the Dutch watercolorists and the Barbizon masters. Ranger was known for his experiments with pigments and colors, his interiors of forests, and marine views of the shoreline in Connecticut, where he spent summers and helped to establish the artist colony in Old Lyme. He further divided his time between a country studio in Noank, Connecticut, his studio in the city, and trips to Puerto Rico and Jamaica in the winter months.

Following his death in 1916, Ranger's will was probated and involved in costly litigation for two years due to the presentation of another will asserting Ranger's sister, Edith, as the beneficiary. The second will was proven to be false and the Ranger fund went on to make a significant contribution to the Smithsonian's collection of American art, allowing the institution to ultimately claim sixty-six of the paintings purchased by the fund and amass a collection which represented popular academic tastes in American art over more than half a century.
Provenance:
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by the National Academy of Design in 2018.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Rights:
The Henry Ward Ranger estate 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.
Citation:
Henry Ward Ranger estate papers, 1888-circa 1999, bulk 1904-1954. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.ranghenr
See more items in:
Henry Ward Ranger Estate papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ranghenr
Additional Online Media:

Main Street, Sharon Springs, (painting)

Title:
Main Street, Saratoga Springs, (painting)
Painter:
Buttersworth, James E. 1817-1894  Search this
Medium:
Oil
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
New York State Historical Association Lake Road, Route 80 Cooperstown New York 13326 Accession Number: N-355.55
Date:
Ca. 1845
Topic:
Cityscape--New York--Sharon Springs  Search this
Cityscape--Street--Main Street  Search this
Control number:
IAP 34070038
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_281765

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