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Romaine Brooks papers, 1910-1973

Creator:
Brooks, Romaine, 1874-1970  Search this
Subject:
Strozzi, Uberto  Search this
Castelnou, Jean-Pierre  Search this
McClelland, Donald  Search this
Noailles, Charles  Search this
Brooks, Romaine  Search this
Van Vechten, Carl  Search this
Bizardel, Yvon  Search this
Barney, Natalie Clifford  Search this
Gauthier-Villars, Louis  Search this
Breeskin, Adelyn Dohme  Search this
Mariano, Nicky  Search this
Acten, Harold  Search this
Dreyfus-Barney, Laura  Search this
Lahovary, Janine  Search this
Mac'Avoy, Edouard  Search this
Type:
Poems
Diaries
Interviews
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Notes
Topic:
Portrait painting  Search this
Portrait painters  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Women painters  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6290
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)220274
AAA_collcode_brooroma
Theme:
Women
Government Sponsorship of the Arts
American Art and Artists in a Global Context
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_220274
Additional Online Media:

Le Duc Uberto Strozzi

Artist:
Romaine Brooks, born Rome, Italy 1874-died Nice, France 1970  Search this
Sitter:
Uberto Strozzi  Search this
Medium:
oil on canvas
Dimensions:
45 3/8 x 39 1/4 in. (115.2 x 99.8 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
1961
Topic:
Occupation\other\aristocrat  Search this
Portrait male  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist
Object number:
1968.18.7
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1968.18.7

Romaine Brooks papers

Creator:
Brooks, Romaine  Search this
Names:
Acten, Harold  Search this
Barney, Natalie Clifford  Search this
Bizardel, Yvon  Search this
Breeskin, Adelyn Dohme, 1896-1986  Search this
Brooks, Romaine  Search this
Castelnou, Jean-Pierre  Search this
Dreyfus-Barney, Laura  Search this
Gauthier-Villars, Louis  Search this
Lahovary, Janine  Search this
Mac'Avoy, Edouard, 1905-  Search this
Mariano, Nicky  Search this
McClelland, Donald  Search this
Noailles, Charles, vicomte de  Search this
Strozzi, Uberto  Search this
Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964  Search this
Extent:
3 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Poems
Photographs
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Manuscripts
Sound recordings
Diaries
Notes
Date:
1910-1973
Summary:
The papers of painter Romaine Brooks measure 3 linear feet and date from 1910 to 1973. Found are biographical sketches, correspondence, seven journals, writings and notes, printed materials, a scrapbook, and photographs. Most of the materials focus on Brooks' later life while living in Paris and Nice, France and Fiesole, Italy and make little reference to her paintings and portraits.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of painter Romaine Brooks measure 3 linear feet and date from 1910 to 1973. Found are biographical sketches, correspondence, seven journals, writings and notes, printed materials, a scrapbook, and photographs. Most of the materials focus on Brooks' later life while living in Paris and Nice, France and Fiesole, Italy and make little reference to her paintings and portraits.

Biographical information includes biographical sketches and a sound recording of an interview of Brooks.

Personal business records consists of one receipt, in French, for an item purchased by Brooks.

Correspondence is scattered and the bulk of it dates from 1950-1969. About half of the correspondence is in French and includes only a few of Romaine's replies. Notable correspondents include Harold Acten, Laura Barney, Yvon Bizardel, Adelyn Breeskin, Jean-Pierre Castelnau, Louis Gauthier-Villars, Janine Lahovary, Edouard MacAvoy, Nicky Mariano, Donald McClelland, Charles de Noailles, David Scott, Alan Searle, and Uberto Strozzi. Letters make little reference to Brooks's paintings, however some discuss her health and relationship with Natalie Barney. Also found is a small amount of Natalie Barney's personal correspondence dating from 1924-1968.

Writings and notes includes seven handwritten journal notebooks which contain Romaine's thoughts, quotes from poetry and literature, references to museums and works of art throughout Europe, and drafts of letters. Also found is a manuscript of No Pleasant Memories, Brooks's autobiography, and A War Interlude, a book she wrote describing her life in Italy during World War II.

Printed material includes a copy of Natalie Barney's poetry, a poem by Brooks, a large-format copy of Gabriele D'Anunzio's poem Sur Une Image de la France Croisse Piente Par Romaine Brooks; magazines and exhibition catalogs concerning Brooks' art; clippings; and a nameplate for Eyre de Lanux, one of Barney's lovers.

There is one scrapbook which includes newsclippings, the majority of which are in French, concerning Brooks and her artwork from 1910 to 1931.

Photographs are of Brooks, of Brooks in her studio surrounded by her art; prints of photos of Brooks's mother and family; photographs of works of art including a photo of Brooks's portrait on John Cocteau hanging in the Louvre. Notable photographers include Carl Van Vecten and Perou.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1967-1968 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 2: Personal Business Records, 1967 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 3: Correspondence, 1924-1969, bulk 1950-1969 (Boxes 1-3; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1930s-1959 (Boxes 3-4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1910-1973 (Boxes 4-6; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbook, 1910-1931 (Box 6; 1 folder)

Series 7: Photographs, circa 1910-1970s (Box 5-6, OV7-8; 0.3 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Romaine Brooks (1874-1970) was a wealthy portrait painter who lived abroad for most of her life in Paris, and Nice, France, and Fiesole, Italy.

Beatrice Romaine Goddard was born in Rome, Italy on May 1, 1874 to Ella Waterman and Major Henry Goddard. Although born into wealth and privilage, Romaine did not have a happy childhood. Her mother was abusive to her, but doted on her mentally ill brother. Brooks' mother arranged for her to live with a poor family in a New York City tenement in exchange for meager payments, which were later stopped, while her brother and sister stayed with their mother. Later, she was sent to boarding school.

Eventually, Brooks left for Europe and took voice lessons and studied art in France and Italy. Her brother died in 1901 and her mother became physically ill. Brooks returned to the United States to tend to her mother who died less than a year after her son's death. Upon her mother's death, Brooks and her sister became heiress' to their grandfather, Issac S. Waterman Jr's substantial fortune. Brooks then began to lead a life of wealth and travel.

In 1903, Brooks married a friend, John Ellingham Brooks who was a homosexual. Brooks was bisexual, although according to her biographer Meryl Secrest she may have just enjoyed the companionship of living with someone. They lived together for a year until she left when he disapproved of her public androgynous style of dress.

Romaine first traveled to London and then returned to Paris, where she lived in the 16th arrondissement. She engaged in an elite social life and painted many of the friends in her circle. Brooks chose to paint portraits in a gray color palette, depicting many women in male dress. The somber nearly colorless palette and cross-dress of the sitter gave the paintings an androgynous look. One of her most notable paintings was her own self-portrait that represented this style. Inspired by James McNeill Whistler, Romaine largely ignored the Cubist and Fauvist movements.

In 1909, she met Gabriele D'Annunzio and engaged in a love affair. Among her other lovers are Ida Rubinstein, the Princess de Polignac, and the American writer, Natalie Barney. Natalie and Romaine were involved for fifty years, despite Barney's various affairs and other lovers. They shared a home with two separate wings, which allowed Brooks to be by herslf while Barney entertained friends.

In the 1930s, Brooks abandoned painting and created line drawings, which were featured in Bizarre magazine. After 1935, however, Brooks largely stopped being an active artist. She wrote her autobiography in the 1930s, No Pleasant Memories, as well as an account of her time spent in Italy.

During World War II, Brooks and Barney fled to Italy, where Brooks remained after the war ended. Her later life was marked with self-imposed isolation, even refusing to see Barney during her visits. Romaine Brooks died in 1970 in Nice, France.

After her death, Adelyn Breeskin curated an exhibit of her works at the National Collection of Fine Arts (1971) in Washington, D.C., and at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1971).
Provenance:
The Romaine Brooks papers were donated by Meryle Secrest, Brooks's biographer, in 1999. Secrest received the letters and notebooks directly from Brooks's estate and compiled the remainder. Additional papers were transfered from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American Art via the Smithsonian Institution Archives in 1986.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Romaine Brooks 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:
Women painters -- France  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Italy  Search this
Portrait painting -- 20th century  Search this
Portrait painters -- France  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Poems
Photographs
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Manuscripts
Sound recordings
Diaries
Notes
Citation:
Romaine Brooks papers, 1910-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.brooroma
See more items in:
Romaine Brooks papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-brooroma
Additional Online Media:

Strozzi, Uberto

Collection Creator:
Brooks, Romaine  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1951-1955
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Romaine Brooks 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.
Collection Citation:
Romaine Brooks papers, 1910-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Romaine Brooks papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-brooroma-ref58

Strozzi, Uberto

Collection Creator:
Brooks, Romaine  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 13
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1956-1959
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Romaine Brooks 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.
Collection Citation:
Romaine Brooks papers, 1910-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Romaine Brooks papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-brooroma-ref59

Strozzi, Uberto

Collection Creator:
Brooks, Romaine  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1960-1965
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Romaine Brooks 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.
Collection Citation:
Romaine Brooks papers, 1910-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Romaine Brooks papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-brooroma-ref60

Strozzi, Uberto

Collection Creator:
Brooks, Romaine  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 15
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966-1967
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Romaine Brooks 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.
Collection Citation:
Romaine Brooks papers, 1910-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Romaine Brooks papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-brooroma-ref61

Strozzi, Uberto

Collection Creator:
Brooks, Romaine  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 16
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1950s-1960s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Romaine Brooks 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.
Collection Citation:
Romaine Brooks papers, 1910-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Romaine Brooks papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-brooroma-ref62

Strozzi, Uberto

Collection Creator:
Brooks, Romaine  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 17
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1951-1967
Scope and Contents note:
Envelopes
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Romaine Brooks 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.
Collection Citation:
Romaine Brooks papers, 1910-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Romaine Brooks papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-brooroma-ref63

Le Duc Uberto Strozzi

Artist:
Romaine Brooks, 1 May 1874 - 7 Dec 1970  Search this
Sitter:
Uberto Strozzi  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
115.2 x 99.8 cm (45 3/8 x 39 5/16" )
Type:
Painting
Date:
1961
Topic:
Uberto Strozzi: Male  Search this
Uberto Strozzi: Rulers and Nobility\Aristocrat  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: Smithsonian American Art Museum
Object number:
1968.18.7 NMAA
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_1968.18.7_NMAA

Le Duc Uberto Strozzi, (painting)

Painter:
Brooks, Romaine 1874-1970  Search this
Subject:
Strozzi, Uberto  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th & G Streets, N.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 1968.18.7
Date:
1961
Topic:
Portrait male  Search this
Control number:
IAP 08582035
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_250722

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