Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Charles Henry Hart autograph collection dates from 1731-1917 and measures 1.7 linear feet comprised of 226 letters, portrait prints, and other documents signed by American artists. <br /> Originally titled by Hart as "The History of Art in America as Told in a Remarkable Collection of Autograph Letters and Documents of Celebrated American Artists of the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Century," the collection includes letters and other items signed by Thomas Anshutz, John J. Audubon, William Merritt Chase, Frederic Edwin Church, John Singleton Copley, Kenyon Cox, Thomas Eakins, Jervis McEntee, Samuel F.B. Morse, Charles Willson Peale, Raphaelle Peale, Rembrandt Peale, Rubens Peale, Titian Peale, James David Smillie, Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, Abbott Handerson Thayer, John Vanderlyn, Elihu Vedder, John Quincy Adams Ward, Benjamin West, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and many others. Subjects of portraits include Samuel F.B. Morse, John Trumbull, Many of the letters are addressed to Thomas B. Clarke, Asher Brown Durand, Charles Lanman, William James Stillman and John Durand, and to Hart himself.
Charles Henry Hart autograph collection, 1731-1918. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reel D5 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
The Archives of American Art also holds the personal papers of Charles Henry Hart, dating from 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918.
Charles Henry Hart (1847-1918) was a historian, lawyer, writer, and director, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1882-1904. Widely, he published on the subject of 18th and 19th century portraiture in the United States.
The Charles Henry Hart autograph collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 1954 as an anonymous gift. It is assumed that Hart assembled the letters. Original collation was two letterbooks entitled "The History of Art in America as Tolk in a Remarkable Collection of Autograph Letters and Documents of Celebrated American Artists of the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Century." Based on the significant number of letters to Thomas B. Clarke, Asher Brown Durand, Charles Lanman, William Stillman and John Durand, and John Trumbull, the letters may have initially been received in lots by recipient and later alphabetized when placed in the volumes by sender and subject of the prin
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001