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Catalog Data

Creator:
Bowditch, Nancy Douglas  Search this
Names:
Brush, George de Forest, 1855-1941  Search this
Clemens, Jane Lampton, 1880-1909  Search this
Faulkner, Barry, 1881-1966  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Parrish, Stephen, 1846-1938  Search this
Pearmain, William Robert, 1888-1912  Search this
Thayer, Abbott Handerson, 1849-1921  Search this
White, Nelson C.  Search this
Extent:
6.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Biographies
Paintings
Diaries
Sound recordings
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Notes
Photographs
Date:
circa 1860-1985
Summary:
The papers of painter, author, and designer Nancy Douglas Bowditch and the George de Forest Brush family measure 6.2 linear feet and date from circa 1860 to 1985. The majority of the collection consists of Bowditch's correspondence with family and friends and her notes and writings, particularly concerning her biography of her father George de Forest Brush The Joyous Painter, and her unpublished biography of her husband painter William Robert Pearmain. Brush family material includes scattered correspondence of George de Forest Brush and other family members, notes, sketches, clippings, and the family home building files, five scrapbooks, including two on William Robert Pearmain, and numerous photographs of the Brush family, Bowditch, and William Robert Pearmain. There is also correspondence between William Robert Pearmain and his family and artwork by Pearmin.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of painter, author, and designer Nancy Douglas Bowditch and the George de Forest Brush family measure 6.2 linear feet and date from circa 1860 to 1985. The majority of the collection consists of Bowditch's correspondence with family and friends and her notes and writings, particularly concerning her biography of her father George de Forest Brush The Joyous Painter, and her unpublished biography of her husband painter William Robert Pearmain. Brush family material includes scattered correspondence of George de Forest Brush and other family members, notes, sketches, clippings, and the family home building files, five scrapbooks, including two on William Robert Pearmain, and numerous photographs of the Brush family, Bowditch, and William Robert Pearmain. There is also correspondence between William Robert Pearmain and his family and artwork by Pearmin. Scattered family biographical materials include invitations, biographical sketches of George de Forest Brush, a ship's register, certificates, an obituary, and a sound recording of Nancy Bowditch. Scattered personal business records include deeds of gift from various institutions and agreements from the publishing of The Joyous Painter. One-third of the collection is correspondence with Nancy Douglas Bowditch, William Robert Pearmain, George de Forest Brush, and other members of the Brush, Pearmain, and Bowditch families. The majority of Nancy Douglas Bowditch's correspondence is from family and friends, although professional correspondence is also found. Nancy's notable correspondents include Jane Clemens, Barry Faulkner, Rockwell Kent, members of the Abbot Handerson Thayer family, and Nelson C. White. Also found are Nancy's letters to her first husband, William Robert Pearmain. Pearmain's correspondence includes letters from his parents, siblings, and his father-in-law, and a few letters from Pearmain to his family. George de Forest Brush's correspondence includes letters from friends and a few copies of letters written by Brush. Writings and notes are primarily by Nancy Douglas Bowditch, the majority of which pertain to her biography of George de Forest Brush, The Joyous Painter, and her unpublished biography of William Robert Pearmain. Other writings are by George de Forest Brush, Tribbie Brush, Barry Faulkner, and William Robert Pearmain. Artwork consists of approximately 78 drawings and sketches by William Robert Pearmain, 5 drawings and paintings by Nancy Bowditch, and one drawing by George de Forest Brush. Brush family home and building files contain materials relating to a log cabin in New Hampshire, and the family home Brushwood which was built by William Robert Pearmain in 1911. Five scrapbooks were compiled by members of the Brush, Pearmain, and Bowditch families. Two are about Pearmain, two are about George de Forest Brush, and one was organized by Harold Bowditch that contains family photographs. Within printed materials are exhibition announcements and catalogs for George de Forest Brush, Barry Faulkner, Stephen Parrish, and Abbot Handerson Thayer. Extensive photographs are of members of the Brush family, the Pearmain family, the Bowditch family, friends, and works of art by Bowditch, Brush, Pearmain and Douglas Volk. Included are portraits, snapshots, travel photos, wedding photos, and photos of the Brush family homes.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 9 series: Series 1: Biographical Information, 1909-1965 (Box 1; 7 folders) Series 2: Personal Business and Financial Records, 1908-1974 (Box 1; 3 folders) Series 3: Correspondence, 1895-1979 (Boxes 1-3; 2.0 linear feet) Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1900-1975 (Boxes 3-4; 1.0 linear feet) Series 5: Artwork, 1898-1950 (Boxes 4, 9-10; 4 folders) Series 6: Printed Material, 1889-1974 (Box 4; 0.2 linear feet) Series 7: Brush Family Home Building Files, 1910-1971 (Boxes 4, 8, 10; 0.7 linear feet) Series 8: Scrapbooks, circa 1907-circa 1985 (Boxes 5, 8; 0.7 linear feet) Series 9: Photographs, circa 1860-1979 (Boxes 5-7, 11; 1.0 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Nancy Douglas Bowditch (1890-1979) worked primarily in the New Hampshire area as a painter, author, and costume and set designer. Bowditch's father was painter George de Forest Brush and she was first married to painter William Robert Pearmain, who died at an early age. Nancy Douglas Bowditch was born to Mary and George de Forest Brush on July 4, 1890 in Paris, France. Along with her siblings Mary, Jane, Thea, Gerome, Tribbie, and Georgia, she often served as a subject of her father's paintings. The family lived in the artist colony of Dublin, New Hampshire where Nancy became close friends with their neighbor Samuel Clemens' (Mark Twain) daughter Jean Clemens. Nancy met and became close to one of her father's pupils, William Robert Pearmain while traveling through Europe in 1907. Two years later, Nancy married Robert at the Brush family farm in Dublin, New Hampshire. Together, they had one daughter, Mary Alice whom they called Polly. Robert developed a strong political interest in growing anarchist movements, gave up painting and went to Pittsburgh to work in a factory. Shortly after, he became seriously ill and, upon the advice of a doctor, moved back to New Hampshire with Nancy. He soon died from leukemia in September 1912. In 1918, Nancy married her second husband Dr. Harold Bowditch from Boston, Massachusetts. With her second husband, Nancy had three more children, Martha, Henry, and George de Forest Bowditch. Professionally, Nancy worked as a painter, wrote plays, and designed theatrical sets and costumes. In 1971, Bowditch published a biography of George de Forest Brush entitled The Joyous Painter. Nancy Douglas Bowditch died in 1979.
Related Archival Materials note:
Also among the collections at the Archives of American Art are the William Robert Pearmain and Pearmain family papers, 1888-1955, and an oral history with Nancy Douglas Bowditch conducted on January 30, 1974 by Robert F. Brown.
Provenance:
The Nancy Douglas Bowditch papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in several installments by Nancy Douglas Bowditch between 1968 and 1979. Bowditch's daughter, Mary A. Marlowe donated additional materials in 1982. In 2008, Joan Morgan, biographer of George de Forest Brush, donated additional papers she had acquired during her research.
Restrictions:
Use of originals requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New Hampshire  Search this
Topic:
Designers -- New Hampshire  Search this
Authors -- New Hampshire  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Biographies
Paintings
Diaries
Sound recordings
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Notes
Photographs
Citation:
Nancy Douglas Bowditch and Brush family papers, circa 1860-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bowdnanc
See more items in:
Nancy Douglas Bowditch and Brush family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bowdnanc