This subseries includes letters from close friends, visiting cards, notes, telegrams, postcards, third party correspondence and business correspondence. Additionally there is a folder of telegrams from Katherine Dreier informing friends and family of Dorothea's death and two folders of condolence letters received by the Dreier family.
Close friends and regular correspondents include the Bartlett sisters, Agnes, Mary and Maud, Charlotte Schetter, Ellen Kuhn Mahan, Rebecca Forbes, and fellow art student Lillian Miller. Through her travels in the Netherlands and her interest in Vincent van Gogh, Dreier became friends with the artists' sister Elisabeth du Quesne van Gogh and there are six postcards from her in this collection. A 1923 letter from Joseph Stella thanks "Miss Dreier" for purchasing his painting White Heron, but it is impossible to tell if he is referring to Dorothea or Katherine. Julius A. Gross, a local photographer, mentions visiting Dorothea's studio and describes the work found within his letters and includes rough sketches of paintings. He may have been contracted to photograph her work for her during her time at Saranac Lake for a proposed publication.
Other notable art world correspondents include Charles Harold Davis, the American Tonalist landscape painter, and Walter Shirlaw, a painter who not only was Dreier's teacher, but also a close friend. The Davis letters suggest that Dreier had hoped to study with him, but his letter of 1902 indicates that he would not be teaching that summer and suggests other painting instructors. Other letters discuss paintings that she purchased from the artist. Shirlaw's letters, along with those of his wife Florence, discuss the artist's plans to paint Dorothea's portrait, as well as current exhibitions, works that he has sold, and planned visits to the Dreier sisters, whom he affectionately labeled "the sisterhood." Several of his letters included illustrations.
Third party correspondence written to Katherine Dreier includes a letter from Walt Kuhn, dated October 14, 1914 that may refer to activities of the Cooperative Mural Workshop. The business correspondence for Dorothea Dreier includes letters related to household purchases, insurance policies, investment accounts and travel reservations. The folder of Katherine Dreier's business correspondence solely is related to work on her home in Stonington, Connecticut.
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art's website.
Dorothea A. Dreier papers, 1881-1941, bulk 1887-1923. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art