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Spring exhibition / Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, San Francisco Art Association

Title:
San Francisco Art Association
Author:
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
San Francisco Art Association  Search this
Subject:
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
Physical description:
[54] p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
California
San Francisco
Date:
1895
1895?]
Topic:
Art  Search this
Call number:
N740 .A577 1895
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_691834

Chester Beach papers

Creator:
Beach, Chester, 1881-1956  Search this
Names:
American Academy in Rome  Search this
Architectural League of New York  Search this
Cleveland Museum of Art  Search this
Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (France)  Search this
Frontier Art Colony  Search this
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
National Sculpture Society (U.S.)  Search this
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915: San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Salmagundi Club  Search this
Salon d'automne  Search this
Allen, Mary Jester  Search this
Beach, Eleanor Murdock  Search this
Blumenschein, Ernest Leonard, 1874-1960  Search this
Carrington, Fitz Roy, 1869-1954  Search this
Couper, William, 1853-1942  Search this
Fitchen, Eleanor Beach  Search this
French, Daniel Chester, 1850-1931  Search this
Greacen, Edmund W., 1876-1949  Search this
Hancock, Walker Kirtland, 1901-1998  Search this
Jackson, Hazel Brill  Search this
Jennewein, Carl Paul, 1890-  Search this
Kuhn, Brenda, 1911-  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Käsebier, Gertrude, 1852-1934  Search this
Leibig, Bonnie  Search this
MacMonnies, Frederick William, 1863-1937  Search this
Mora, F. Luis (Francis Luis), 1874-1940  Search this
Nelson, Laurence, 1887-1978  Search this
Nisbet, Robert H., 1879-1961  Search this
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1822-1903  Search this
Piexotto, Jessica B.  Search this
Winter, Ezra, 1886-1949  Search this
Extent:
7.32 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Photographs
Prints
Sketchbooks
Date:
1846-1999
bulk 1895-1999
Summary:
The Chester Beach papers measure 7.32 linear feet and date from 1846 to 1999, with the bulk ot the material dating from circa 1900 to 1999. The work and professional activities of Beaux Arts sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) and his family's efforts to exhibit and sell work from the estate are documented by project files, business records, correspondence, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs. The papers also include many artist-designed Christmas cards sent and received by the Beach family, and artwork by Chester Beach and others.
Scope and Contents:
The Chester Beach papers measure 7.32 linear feet and date from 1846 to 1999, with the bulk ot the material dating from circa 1900 to 1999. The work and professional activities of Beaux Arts sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) and his family's efforts to exhibit and sell work from the estate are documented by project files, business records, correspondence, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs. The papers also include many artist-designed Christmas cards sent and received by the Beach family, and artwork by Chester Beach and others.

Biographical material consists of biographical notes, identification cards, and a membership certificate.

Project files contain correspondence, financial records, notes, drawings and plans, research materials, printed matter, and photographs that document commissions for sculpture, medals and coins, monuments, and Beach's own projects. Among the most thoroughly documented projects are a fountain sculpture for the grounds of the Cleveland Museum of Art (Sun, Earth, Fountain of the Waters, and Zodiac) and the Edward W. Bok Memorial in Mountain Lake, Florida; both commissions were executed in conjunction with the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted.

Business records include Chester Beach's general business correspondence and correspondence concerning consignments. An address book records names, addresses, and occasionally indicates prices of services and supplies used by the sculptor. Other record books detail expenses and income of the studio building Beach owned, with a list of the effects of the former owner, sculptor William Couper; bronzes cast; sales, with titles, prices, and buyers; names and addresses of clients, dealers, and suppliers; and instructions for cleaning and bronzing plaster.

Family correspondence consists mainly of letters, many mentioning Chester Beach, and addressed to Mrs. Chester Beach and daughter Eleanor Beach Fitchen. Estate correspondence and related documents concern efforts to exhibit, sell, and research Beach's remaining work. These records, for the most part, were created by Mrs. Fitchen who acted as sales agent, ran the Chester Beach Memorial Studio, and maintained the Beach archive. Of particular interest is a series of letters from Brenda Kuhn that relate what she learned from handling the estate of her father, Walt Kuhn; in addition, she offered ideas and advice about exhibitions, the Memorial Studio, and the Beach Centennial.

Beach designed his family's annual Christmas cards, most of which incorporate images of their three daughters. A complete set, preserved in an album, includes a few later cards that reproduce artwork by his widow. Many of the cards received - some with original artwork - are from artist friends, among them: Ernest Blumenschein, Edward W. Greacen, Hazel Brill Jackson, Paul Jennewein, Bonnie Leibig, F. Luis Mora, Robert Nisbet, and Ezra Winter. Also of note are a card from Walker Hancock bearing a photograph of his studio; a painting of Beach's Sylvan at Brookgreen Gardens, reproduced on Anna Hyatt Huntington's card; and a card from Beach patron Mary Jester Allen containing a brief note about the Frontier Art Colony she had established near Cody, Wyoming.

Among the drawings and sketches by Chester Beach are student work, designs for some of his Christmas cards, and a sketchbook containing drawings of sculpture. Work by other artists consists of prints, including one by Ezra Winter.

Three scrapbooks, largely comprised of newspaper clippings and other printed material, contain a variety of other items, including: letters from the American Academy in Rome, Architectural League of New York, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Daniel Chester French, Hazel Brill Jackson, Frederick MacMonnies, National Academy of Design, National Sculpture Society, Jessica B. Piexotto, and Salon d'Autome. There are also awards and certificates from the National Academy of Design, Panama-Pacific International Exposition; bookplates and a place card Beach etched for Mr. and Mrs. George Davison; and an unfinished poem by FitzRoy Carrington. Photographs within the scrapbooks are of a night school class Beach attended at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco, Beach at work in his studio, and a portrait of him painted by G. Laurance Nelson.

Printed material includes Panama-Pacific International Exposition guide books, brochures about the Chester Beach Memorial Studio in Brewster, New York, and catalogs for solo and group exhibitions.

Photographs and glass plate negatives of artwork are mainly of Chester Beach's sculpture and include views of work in progress. Also found are photographs of drawings and sculpture from his student years in California and Paris. Pictures of work by other artists are portraits of Chester Beach painted by G. Laurance Nelson and by his daughter, Natalie Beach McLaury. Among the photographs of Chester Beach are several by Gertrude Kasebier, circa 1910. Other pictures show Beach in his studio, Beach with family and friends, and a "Dinner tendered to Edmund W. Greacen by Samuel T. Shaw, Salmagundi Club, March 2, 1922." Places documented are Beach's boyhood home in San Francisco, the interiors of his studios, and Brookgreen Gardens. Miscellaneous subjects are nude models.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1910-1947 (4 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Project Files, 1846-1999 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 11, OV 12-13)

Series 3: Business Records, circa 1900-1958 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 4: Writings, 1913-1935 (2 folders; Box 3)

Series 5: Correspondence, 1875, 1933-1996 (0.5 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 6: Christmas Cards, 1909-1961 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1900-1955 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 4, 11)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1903-1972 (0.3 linear feet; Box 10)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1910-1997 (0.4 linear feet; Box 4)

Series 10: Photographs, circa 1885-circa 1960s (3.1 linear feet; Boxes 4-9, 11, 14)
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) was known for portrait busts, allegorical and mythological figures, coins and medallic art in the Beaux-Arts tradition. He lived and worked in New York City and Brewster, New York.

Chester Beach, son of Chilion Beach and Elizabeth Ferris Beach, was born in San Francisco on May 23, 1881. Beach initially studied at the California School of Mechanical Arts in 1899. He remained in San Francisco and between 1900 and 1902 continued his art training at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art while working as a jewelry designer. To further his career and exposure to artistic trends, Beach moved to New York City in 1903. The following year, he went to Paris, enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and also studied with Raoul Verlet at the Académie Julian.

Upon his return to New York in 1907, Beach established a studio on Tenth Street. He won the National Academy of Design's Barnett Prize for sculpture in 1907 and the Academy elected him an Associate Artist the following year. His increased stature resulted in numerous portrait commissions and eventually led to commissions for monuments and architectural sculpture. In 1910, Chester Beach married Eleanor Hollis Murdock, a painter he met when both were art students in Paris. The couple spent the next two years in Rome; for several years after returning, Beach continued to spend time in Italy and maintained a studio in Rome.

Solo exhibitions of Beach's work were presented at Macbeth Gallery (1912), Pratt Institute (1913), Cincinnati Art Museum (1916), John Herron Art Institute (1916), and Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester (1917). In addition to frequent participation in annual exhibitions at the National Academy of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Beach was represented in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915), and in group shows at venues including: Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Art Club, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, and National Arts Club.

The gold medal presented by Académie Julian (1905), Beach's first award, was followed by many other prizes, among them: American Numismatic Society prize for a medal commemorating the Peace of Versailles (1919) and its Saltus Medal for distinguished medallic art (1946); Architectural League of New York gold medal (1924); National Academy of Design Barnett Prize (1907) and Watrous gold medal (1926); National Arts Club medal and prizes (1923, 1926, 1932); and the Panama-Pacific International Exposition silver medal (1915).

Beach was an Academician of the National Academy of Design, a member of the American Numismatic Society, Architectural League of New York, National Arts Club, National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Sculpture Society (President, 1927-1928).

For more than 40 years, Beach lived and worked at 207 East 17th Street. The brownstone, purchased in 1913, was large enough for the family's home, his studio, and additional studios that were rented to other artists. Through barter, Beach acquired land in Brewster, New York, and in 1917 hired Italian stonemasons to build a studio. Later, they erected a summer house for the family. Many old stone walls on the site provided material for both buildings and Beach named the property Oldwalls.

After a long illness, Chester Beach died at Oldwalls on August 6, 1956. The funeral service was held at his Brewster, New York, studio and he is buried in Cold Spring Cemetery, Cold Spring, New York.
Separated Materials:
Also in the Archives of American Art is microfilm of papers lent for microfilming (reels N727-N729 and N68-11) including passports, genealogical materials, photograph albums, travel sketches, travel diaries of Mrs. Beach, and business and family correspondence. While the obituary letters on reel N68-11 are referenced in a scrapbook in Series 8, all other loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Chester Beach's daughter, Eleanor Beach Fitchen, lent materials for microfilming in 1967 and 1967. Subsequent papers were donated in 2009 by the estate of Eleanor Beach Fitchen, through her grandson and executor, John Fitchen.
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. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
Rights:
The Chester Beach 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:
Sculptors, American -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Eclecticism in architecture  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculpture -- Technique  Search this
Sculpture -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Sculpture -- Economic aspects  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Photographs
Prints
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Chester Beach papers, 1846-1999, bulk circa 1900-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.beacches
See more items in:
Chester Beach papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-beacches
Additional Online Media:

Robert Aitken papers

Creator:
Aitken, Robert, 1878-1949  Search this
Names:
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919  Search this
Ward, De Witt  Search this
Wheeler, Benjamin  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Date:
circa 1900-1960
Summary:
The papers of California-born sculptor Robert Aitken measure 0.5 linear feet and date from circa 1900-1960. The collection primarily consists of photographs of Aitken in his studio and photographs of his sculpture including fountain figures, mausouleum doors, medallions, refliefs, and portrait busts. Also found is a photograph of Theodore Roosevelt at the dedication of the Navy Monument in Union Square, San Francisco, in 1902. The collection also includes one 1904 letter from Benjamin Wheeler to Robert Aitken thanking Aitken for a bust of George Washington, and scattered clippings and postcards reproducing works of art by Aitken.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of California-born sculptor Robert Aitken measure 0.5 linear feet and date from circa 1900-1960. The collection primarily consists of photographs of Aitken in his studio and photographs of his sculpture including fountain figures, mausoleum doors, medallions, reliefs, and portrait busts. Also found is a photograph of Theodore Roosevelt at the dedication of the Navy Monument in Union Square, San Francisco, in 1902. The collection also includes one 1904 letter from Benjamin Wheeler to Robert Aitken thanking Aitken for a bust of George Washington, and scattered clippings and postcards reproducing works of art by Aitken.

Some of the photographs are silver gelatin and gold toned silver gelatin prints, and some were taken by noted photographer De Witt Ward.
Arrangement:
Due to the small size of this collection the papers are arranged as one series.

Series 1: Robert Aitken Papers, circa 1900-1960
Biographical / Historical:
Noted sculptor Robert Aitken (1878-1949) was born in San Francisco, California, and taught at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art from 1901-1904. He studied in Paris in 1897 and from 1904-1907, and then settled in New York City where he spent most of his career teaching at the National Academy of Design.

He completed numerous sculpture commissions including portrait busts, medallions and coins, reliefs, and fountain figures. His works include the "Fountain of Earth" for San Francisco's Panama Pacific Exposition, the Navy Monument in San Francisco's Union Square, doors for the Greenhut and John W. Gates Mausoleums in New York, several military sculptures at West Point, and Guardian Figures at the National Archives building and the West Pediment of the United States Supreme Court building, both in Washington D. C.

Aitken was a member of the National Academy of Design, the National Arts Club, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the National Sculpture Society and the New York Architectural League.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in November 1973.
Restrictions:
Use of original materials requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D. C. Research Center.
Rights:
The Robert Aitken 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:
Monuments -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Monuments -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Robert Aitken papers, circa 1900-1960. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.aitkrobe
See more items in:
Robert Aitken papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-aitkrobe

Records

Topic:
American art annual
Creator::
National Collection of Fine Arts. Office of the Director  Search this
Extent:
22 cu. ft. (44 document boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Black-and-white photographs
Manuscripts
Date:
1892-1960
Descriptive Entry:
This record unit documents the administration of William Henry Holmes, first Curator of the National Gallery of Art (NGA), 1907-1920, and Director of the Gallery, 1920-1932. To a lesser extent, it also documents the administration of Ruel P. Tolman, Acting Director of NGA, 1932-1937, and the National Collection of Fine Arts (NCFA), 1937-1946, and Director of NCFA, 1946-1948. A few records from the Thomas M. Beggs administration (1948-1964) are also filed here.

Records document the routine operations of the NGA when it was a department of the United States National Museum, when it became a separate bureau of the Smithsonian, and when it became the NCFA. The files include internal correspondence and log books, as well as numerous public inquiries about artists, works of art, exhibitions, and donations of art and bequests. The Charles Lang Freer collection gift, the effects of early copyright laws regarding photographing art, and the long campaign for an NGA building are documented here. These records also include many photographs of staff, collections, exhibitions, and the galleries. Exhibition materials such as catalogs, installation photographs, shipping forms, invoices, and condition reports mostly document loan exhibitions and some new acquisitions. Frequent sponsors of loan exhibitions included the Pan American Union/League, the American Federation of Arts, the Pennsylvania Society Club, the Metropolitan State Art Contest, and the Society of Washington Artists.

In addition, these records document campaigns to raise public and private support for the national art collection. There is correspondence with art galleries and reports of visits to galleries throughout the United States, including the Carolina Art Association and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Minutes and reports show the functions and activities of the National Gallery of Art Advisory Committee, National Gallery of Art Commission, and Smithsonian Gallery of Art Commission.

Important Smithsonian correspondents include Charles G. Abbot, Cyrus Adler, Richard Rathbun, William deC. Ravenel, Charles D. Walcott, and Alexander Wetmore. There is also considerable correspondence with Leila Mechlin of the American Federation of Arts with Florence N. Levy, who was affiliated with the American Art Annual, and with various women's clubs that helped promote the NGA.
Historical Note:
The history of the National Gallery of Art (later named the National Collection of Fine Arts) begins well before the foundation of the Smithsonian Institution. The Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences was established in 1816; and John Varden founded his own museum, later called the Washington Museum, in 1829. These two organizations eventually merged with the National Institution for the Promotion of Science, created in 1840, and incorporated by Congress as the National Institute in 1842. The National Institute displayed its art works in the newly-constructed Patent Office Building, under the care of John Varden. It boasted a large collection of John Mix Stanley and Charles Bird King Indian portraits.

When the Smithsonian Institution was founded in 1846, Congress authorized its Regents to collect "all objects of art and of foreign and curious research." Although art did not receive much focus until the early twentieth century, the collection slowly grew. Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian, purchased a large collection of George Perkins Marsh etchings and engravings in 1849. In 1858 government-owned art works previously shown in the Patent Building were removed to the west wing of the Smithsonian Institution Building ("Castle"), and in 1862, when the National Institute charter expired, its collections were transferred to the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian's small art collection suffered a great setback in 1865, when most of the collection displayed on the second floor of the Castle was destroyed by fire. Surviving works were removed; prints and drawings were stored at the Library of Congress, and paintings and sculptures at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (in the building now home to the Renwick Gallery).

Private contributions helped to rebuild the Smithsonian's art gallery. Most notably, Mrs. Joseph Harrison presented the Institution with a collection of George C. Catlin Indian paintings in 1879, and the new works were shown in the Castle and in the newly-completed National Museum Building. In 1896 the remainder of the Smithsonian collection was recalled from the Library of Congress and the Corcoran by Secretary Samuel P. Langley, and was added to the Catlin collection in the Castle and National Museum Buildings. Langley also created an "Art Room" on the second floor of the Castle, which displayed reproductions of paintings, mostly portraits, by Old Masters, and a frieze of Parthenon reliefs in plaster around the room.

At the turn of the century, however, a national gallery still did not exist in Washington, and pressure increased from outside the Smithsonian to create such an organization. President Theodore Roosevelt campaigned for a National Gallery, but Congress failed to act on his request in 1904. In 1903 Harriet Lane Johnston, President James Buchanan's niece and lady of the White House during his administration, bequeathed her large collection to a "national gallery of art." The trustees of her estate refused to release her collection until such a gallery existed, and a legal battle ensued. In 1905 the District of Columbia Supreme Court ruled that the Smithsonian collection fell within the description of a national gallery, and the Johnston collection was delivered to the Institution in 1906. The nucleus of the National Gallery consisted of the Johnston Collection of European and American art and the William T. Evans Collection of contemporary American art (added in 1907 with President Theodore Roosevelt's influence). The new additions greatly expanded the Gallery's holdings, but its growth would be severely hampered by the Smithsonian's lack of funds and an unwillingness to begin and support new ventures.

The National Gallery of Art (NGA) was administered under the United States National Museum's (USNM) Department of Anthropology. William Henry Holmes (1846-1933), artist, topographer, archeologist, and geologist, was named first Curator of the NGA, in addition to his duties as Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) Chief (1902-1909), and later as Curator of the Department of Anthropology (1910-1920). Holmes was a part of the Smithsonian most of his life. He was born near Cadiz, Ohio, in the same year as the Institution's founding. A teacher and graduate of McNeely Normal School (1870) in Hopedale, Ohio, Holmes moved to Washington, D.C., in 1871 to study art under Theodor Kaufmann. During his studies he became acquainted with another Kaufmann student, Mary Henry, daughter of Joseph Henry. On her suggestion, he visited the Smithsonian. Ornithologist Jose Zeledon noticed Holmes as he was sketching two birds on exhibit, and Zeledon introduced Holmes to Fielding Bradford Meek, paleontologist and stratigrapher of state and federal surveys. Impressed with his drawings, Meek immediately hired Holmes as an illustrator.

In his first years with the Smithsonian, Holmes joined Ferdinand V. Hayden's U.S. Survey of the Territories as an artist-topographer (1872) and was later appointed assistant geologist (1874). This work inspired his career as an archeologist and his interest in Southwestern cliff dwellings. Between 1880 and 1889 Holmes worked with the U.S. Geological Survey on the Charles Dutton expedition to the Grand Canyon, while also serving as Honorary Curator of Aboriginal Ceramics for the USNM. Holmes achieved great respect for his scientific knowledge and artistic talent. By 1889 he was named Director of the Smithsonian Bureau of American Ethnology.

In 1894 Holmes moved to Chicago to manage the BAE exhibitions at the Field Columbian Museum and to teach anthropic geology at the University of Chicago. During this time he traveled with the Allison V. Armour expedition to the Yucatan. His stay in Chicago lasted until 1897 when he returned to the Smithsonian as Head Curator of the Department of Anthropology. In 1902 he resigned to become the BAE Chief.

Holmes was the natural choice for the Gallery's first Curator. An accomplished artist and advocate of the arts, he was often consulted on questions of exhibition and art before the NGA existed. Holmes can be placed within the tradition of American artist-scientists exemplified by Thomas Jefferson and Charles Willson Peale. His sketches of natural history specimens were highly regarded and are still used by scientists today. As a painter, Holmes is grouped in the "Washington Landscape School." His style appears impressionistic (especially his later work), although he would have rejected that label; Holmes was artistically conservative, and spoke against the aberrations of such artists as Matisse. Leila Mechlin, Washington art critic, considered him one of the best watercolorists in the country.

During his tenure with the National Gallery, the collections grew considerably, adding the Johnston and Evans Collections, as well as the A. R. and M. H. Eddy Collection of miniatures and paintings (1918), the Ralph Cross Johnson and Alfred Duane Pell Collections of European masters (1919), the Henry Ward Ranger bequest (1920), and the John Gellatly Collection (1929), a significant gift of American Renaissance works, decorative arts, and European masters. Holmes also saw the addition of the National Portrait Committee, formed in 1919 to document America's role in World War I.

Space for the national art works was always an issue for the Gallery. Holmes continually lobbied for a separate building to house the Gallery, appealing to America's patriotism and belief in civilization. In its early years, collections were housed in designated areas throughout the Castle and the National Museum Building. When the new museum building, now the Natural History Building, was completed in 1910, the Gallery was allowed space in its central skylighted hall, and a small opening was held March 17, 1910. This, however, was inadequate, and limited both the Smithsonian's art and natural history interests. Donors often hesitated to give to the Gallery due to these space limitations. In 1923 Senator Henry Cabot Lodge led a Congressional motion to set aside space on the Mall east of the Natural History Building for a new American art and history building. The Smithsonian was obligated to raise funds for construction. The Regents raised $10,000 for initial planning costs, and commissioned Freer architect Charles A. Platt to design the new museum. National organizations, most significantly women's clubs, helped campaign for a Gallery building, but did not raise the necessary monies.

In 1920, the Regents established the National Gallery of Art as a separate Smithsonian bureau. Holmes ended his ties with the National Museum and became the Gallery's first Director. As head of the NGA for nearly thirty years, Holmes assembled a remarkable program of exhibitions, organized the meager and scattered collections, and remained committed to the artistic community. He was a member of several art organizations, including the Washington Water Color Club, and was a charter member of the Cosmos Club, in which he promoted art interests.

Holmes retired from the National Gallery in 1932 and died in 1933. He was succeeded by Ruel Pardee Tolman (1878-1954). Tolman was born in Brookfield, Vermont, and educated in California, where he studied art at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, the Los Angeles School of Art and Design, and the University of California at Berkeley. Tolman moved to Washington, D.C., in 1902, where he studied at the Corcoran School of Art (1902-1905) and at the National Academy of Design in New York (1906). He taught at the Corcoran between 1906 and 1918 and was employed in the Graphic Arts Division of the USNM, where he eventually became Curator. He remained with Graphic Arts when he was named Acting Director of the NGA (1932-1946); and later resigned his curatorship to become Director of NGA (1946-1948).

In the late 1930s Andrew Mellon donated his considerable collection for a new gallery of art. In 1937 his collection became the National Gallery of Art, administered by an independent board of trustees, in cooperation with the Smithsonian, and housed in a new building at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue. The former National Gallery was renamed the National Collection of Fine Arts (NCFA), with Tolman continuing as Acting Director and art works remaining in the Natural History Building "art hall." From the 1930s forward, the NCFA focused more exclusively on American art, and the new National Gallery concerned itself primarily with European Masters.

Tolman resigned from the NCFA in 1948, succeeded by Thomas M. Beggs. During Beggs's administration (1948-1964), Alice Pike Barney, Washington painter, donated part of her collection (1951), which became the core of an extensive lending program later established by Natalie Clifford Barney and Mrs. Laura Dreyfus-Barney, and her Sheridan Circle studio home for meeting purposes (1960).

In 1957 the NCFA, still without a home of its own, was granted use of the Old Patent Office Building, scheduled for demolition but preserved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The NCFA and the Portrait Gallery were transferred to the Patent Office Building in 1962 and opened on May 6, 1968. NCFA portraits were delegated to the Portrait Gallery, decorative arts to the new National Museum of History and Technology, and other works to various Smithsonian bureaus. In 1972 Smithsonian-owned exhibits of crafts and design were removed from storage in the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the U.S. Court of Claims into the new Renwick Gallery.
Chronology:
1816-1838 -- Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts & Sciences founded in Washington, D.C.

1829 -- John Varden Museum founded, later becomes Washington Museum (1836)

1840-1862 -- National Institution for the Promotion of Science is: founded (1840); combined with Varden collection and Columbian Institute (1840-1841); incorporated by Congress as the National Institute (1842)

1846 -- Smithsonian Institution founded

December 1, 1846 -- William Henry Holmes born near Cadiz, Ohio

1849 -- George P. Marsh etchings and engravings purchased by Secretary Joseph Henry

1858 -- Government art works moved from Patent Office Building

1862 -- Collections from National Institute are transferred to Smithsonian at expiration of charter

1865 -- Castle fire (January 24); surviving works moved to Library of Congress (prints and drawings) and to Corcoran (paintings and sculptures)

1865 -- Holmes receives teaching certificate in Ohio

1868 -- Ruel Pardee Tolman born in Brookfield, Vermont

1870 -- Holmes graduates from McNeely Normal School, Hopedale, Ohio

1871 -- Holmes hired by Smithsonian as illustrator

1872-1877 -- Holmes joins U.S. Survey of the Territories under Ferdinand V. Hayden as artist-topographer; appointed assistant geologist (1874)

1878 -- Cosmos Club founded, Holmes is charter member

1879 -- Catlin collection of Indian paintings donated

1879 -- National Museum Building completed (now Arts & Industries Building)

1879-1880 -- Holmes studies and travels in Europe

1880-1889 -- Holmes joins U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Charles Dutton expedition to Grand Canyon

1882-1889 -- Holmes is Honorary Curator of Aboriginal Ceramics, USNM

1883 -- Holmes marries Kate Clifton Osgood, genre painter, teacher at Madeira School (October); they have two children, Osgood and William Heberling

1889-1893 -- Holmes is Director of the Smithsonian Bureau of American Ethnology

1894-1897 -- Holmes moves to Chicago as professor of anthropic geology at the University of Chicago, and Head Curator of Anthropology at the Field Columbian Museum; joins Allison V. Armour expedition to Yucatan (1894)

1896 -- Remainder of Smithsonian art works recalled to Castle; Secretary Langley creates "art room" on second floor displaying copies of masterpieces

1897-1902 -- Tolman studies at Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, the Los Angeles School of Art & Design, and the University of California at Berkeley

1897-1902 -- Holmes is Head Curator of the Department of Anthropology, USNM

1898 -- Holmes wins Loubat Prize for achievement in archeology

1902-1905 -- Tolman studies at the Corcoran School of Art

1902-1909 -- Holmes is Chief of Bureau of American Ethnology

1903 -- Harriet Lane Johnston bequeaths collection of European and American works to a "national gallery of art"

December 6, 1904 -- President Theodore Roosevelt proposes a National Gallery of Art, no Congressional action taken

1905 -- Holmes elected to National Academy of Sciences

1905-1906 -- Charles Lang Freer offers collection of Asian art to Smithsonian with conditions to bequeath art and building after his death; formally accepted by Regents in 1906; suit filed with District of Columbia Supreme Court over Johnston collection (February 7); court order gives collection to Smithsonian (July 18); collection delivered (August 3)

1906-1918 -- Tolman teaches at Corcoran and works in Graphic Arts Division of U.S. National Museum

1906 -- National Gallery of Art officially established

1906-1920 -- NGA administered by USNM, Holmes is Curator

1907 -- William T. Evans donates contemporary American art works

March 17, 1910 -- Natural History Building opened; small opening for NGA exhibition space

1910-1920 -- Holmes is Head Curator of Department of Anthropology, USNM

1912-1946 -- Tolman is Curator of Graphic Arts, USNM

1915 -- Group of French artists donate 82 drawings in appreciation of American assistance in WWI

1916 -- Charles Lang Freer authorizes the immediate construction of a building designed by Charles A. Platt to house his collection

1917 -- Approval given to add National Portrait Gallery to the NGA

1918 -- A. R. and M. H. Eddy donate collection of miniatures and paintings

1918 -- Holmes receives Doctor of Sciences degree from George Washington University

1919 -- Ralph Cross Johnson donates his collection of paintings, largely European masters; Rev. Alfred Duane Pell donates European masters

1919 -- Henry Ward Ranger bequests money for art works which are to eventually reside in the NGA

September 25, 1919 -- Charles Lang Freer dies

1919 -- Holmes wins second Loubat Prize

July 1, 1920 -- Congress establishes the NGA as a separate Smithsonian bureau

1920 -- Freer Gallery opens in December, John E. Lodge is Curator

1920-1932 -- Holmes is Director of National Gallery of Art

1923 -- Congress sets aside space on Mall east of Natural History for American history and art; lack of funds prevents construction of building designed by Charles A. Platt

1923 -- Walter Beck donates Civil War Portraits

1923 -- World War I portraits displayed in NGA; beginning of Portrait Gallery

1925 -- Kate Clifton Osgood Holmes dies

1925 -- Mrs. John B. Henderson offers land (4-5 acres) on Meridian Hill, facing 16th Street, for gallery building

1926 -- Resolution favors the establishment of the National Portrait Gallery as a unit of the NGA

1926 -- Holmes' left leg amputated as a result of blood poisoning

1929 -- John Gellatly Collection gift of over 100 American Renaissance works and decorative arts and old European masters promised to the NGA; the collection to remain in the Heckscher Building in New York City for four years

June 30, 1932 -- Holmes retires

1932-1946 -- Ruel P. Tolman is Acting Director of NGA

April 20, 1933 -- Holmes dies in Royal Oak, Michigan

1933 -- Gellatly Collection transferred to the Smithsonian (May 1); opened to the public (June 1)

1937 -- National Gallery becomes the National Collection of Fine Arts; the Andrew Mellon collection becomes the National Gallery of Art

August 26, 1937 -- Andrew W. Mellon dies

1937-1938 -- Smithsonian Gallery of Art competition, building never constructed

1938 -- Congress authorizes space on Mall across from Mellon National Gallery for NCFA use, no money is made available

July 28, 1946 -- Tolman named Director of NCFA

1948 -- Tolman resigns from NCFA (March 31); Thomas M. Beggs succeeds him (Assistant Director, July 30, 1947; Director, April 1, 1948-1964)

1951 -- Alice Pike Barney, painter, donates part of her collection, which is the foundation for an extensive lending program established by Natalie Clifford Barney and Mrs. Laura Dreyfus-Barney; and her Sheridan Circle studio home is later donated for conferences (1960)

August 24, 1954 -- Ruel P. Tolman dies

1957 -- Old Patent Office Building, scheduled for demolition, is granted by President Eisenhower to the NCFA and Portrait Gallery

1962 -- NCFA and Portrait Gallery transferred to new home

1965-1968 -- David W. Scott is Director of the NCFA

May 6, 1968 -- NCFA officially opens in the Old Patent Office Building

1969 -- Robert Tyler Davis becomes Interim Director of NCFA

1970-1979 -- Joshua C. Taylor is NCFA Director

1972 -- Renwick Gallery opened
Topic:
Museums -- Administration  Search this
Art museums  Search this
Museum directors  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Genre/Form:
Black-and-white photographs
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 311, National Collection of Fine Arts. Office of the Director, Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 311
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru0311
Additional Online Media:

Chester Beach papers, 1846-1999, bulk circa 1900-1999

Creator:
Beach, Chester, 1881-1956  Search this
Subject:
Allen, Mary Jester  Search this
Nelson, Laurence  Search this
Hancock, Walker Kirtland  Search this
Fitchen, Eleanor Beach  Search this
Jennewein, Carl Paul  Search this
Couper, William  Search this
Kuhn, Walt  Search this
MacMonnies, Frederick William  Search this
Mora, F. Luis (Francis Luis)  Search this
Piexotto, Jessica B.  Search this
Carrington, Fitz Roy  Search this
Winter, Ezra  Search this
Kuhn, Brenda  Search this
Jackson, Hazel Brill  Search this
Nisbet, Robert H.  Search this
Beach, Eleanor Murdock  Search this
French, Daniel Chester  Search this
Huntington, Anna Vaughn Hyatt  Search this
Käsebier, Gertrude  Search this
Leibig, Bonnie  Search this
Olmsted, Frederick Law  Search this
Blumenschein, Ernest Leonard  Search this
Greacen, Edmund W.  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
American Academy in Rome  Search this
Architectural League of New York  Search this
Salmagundi Club  Search this
National Sculpture Society (U.S.)  Search this
Cleveland Museum of Art  Search this
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
Ecole nationale supÔerieure des beaux-arts (France)  Search this
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915 : San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Salon d'automne  Search this
Topic:
Christmas cards  Search this
Scrapbooks  Search this
Bookplates  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Drawings  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Prints  Search this
Sculpture  Search this
Poems  Search this
Eclecticism in architecture  Search this
Sketchbooks  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Awards  Search this
Sculpture, American  Search this
Sketches  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8873
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211058
AAA_collcode_beacches
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211058
Additional Online Media:

San Francisco Art Association and related organizational records, 1871-1978, (bulk 1871-1920)

Creator:
San Francisco Art Association  Search this
Subject:
Milhaud, Darius  Search this
Ritchie, Andrew Carnduff  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Schoenberg, Arnold  Search this
Wright, Frank Lloyd  Search this
Boas, George  Search this
Burke, Kenneth  Search this
Goldwater, Robert John  Search this
Bateson, Gregory  Search this
MacAgy, Douglas  Search this
Geddes, Norman Bel  Search this
Frankenstein, Alfred Victor  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
California School of Design  Search this
San Francisco Museum of Art  Search this
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
Western Round Table of Modern Art  Search this
Topic:
Art schools  Search this
Arts facilities  Search this
Art museums  Search this
Art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8413
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210587
AAA_collcode_sanfraaa
Theme:
Communities, Organizations, Museums
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210587

Robert Aitken papers, circa 1900-1960

Creator:
Aitken, Robert Ingersoll, 1878-1949  Search this
Subject:
Wheeler, Benjamin  Search this
Ward, De Witt  Search this
Roosevelt, Theodore  Search this
Topic:
Photographs  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Monuments  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7157
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209291
AAA_collcode_aitkrobe
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209291
Additional Online Media:

Mark Hopkins Institute of Art

Collection Creator:
Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art  Search this
Container:
Box 90, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1901-1903
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Carnegie Institute Museum of Art 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.
Collection Citation:
Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records, 1883-1962, bulk 1885-1940. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-carninst-ref5107

Catalogue of the San Francisco Art Association, Mark Hopkins Institute of Art

Author:
San Francisco Art Association  Search this
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
California School of Fine Arts Circular  Search this
Physical description:
v. : ill. ; 23 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
California
San Francisco
Date:
1900
Topic:
Art  Search this
Call number:
N740 .A6 1904
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_638154

Portraits of women : loan exhibition for the benefit of Salvation Army Home and the Children's Hospital : from February twenty-third to March second, MDCCCXCV

Author:
Children's Hospital of San Francisco  Search this
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
San Francisco Art Association  Search this
Physical description:
37 p. ; 17 cm
Type:
Portraits
Exhibitions
Date:
1895
Topic:
Women  Search this
Call number:
N7633 .P84 1895
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_566265

Catalogue of the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, The San Francisco Art Association

Author:
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
Subject:
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
Physical description:
[48] p. : ill. ; 22 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
California
San Francisco
Date:
1900
Topic:
Art  Search this
Call number:
N740 .A55 1900
N740.A55 1900
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_349744

Catalogue of the third San Francisco photographic salon : at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, October eighth to twenty-fourth, nineteen hundred and three

Author:
San Francisco Art Association  Search this
California Camera Club  Search this
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ill. ; 25 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1903
[1903]
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Call number:
TR646.U6 S4sf 1903
TR646.U6S4sf 1903
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_381174

Catalogue of the San Francisco Art Association, Mark Hopkins Institute of Art

Author:
San Francisco Art Association  Search this
California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco  Search this
Subject:
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art Catalogs  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (unpaged) illus. 23 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
California
San Francisco
Date:
1903
Topic:
Art  Search this
Call number:
N740 .A57 1903
N740.A57 1903
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_384168

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