Due to the small size of the collection, the papers are arranged as one series. Series 1: Percy Ives Papers, (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-4)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
The papers of Detroit portrait painter Percy Ives (1864-1928), measure 1.4 linear feet and date from circa 1890-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1890-circa 1930. Two hundred and fifty-eight glass plate negatives of sitters, models, and artwork by Ives form the bulk of the collection. Additional papers include two 1923 letters, a folder of notes, news clippings, sketches, and photographs.
Percy Ives papers, circa 1890-1994, bulk circa 1890-circa 1930. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The collection was digitized in 2019 and 2023 and is available on the Archives of American Art website.
Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel 593) including two diaries, 1885-1887 and 1903-1907, three albums containing photographs of family and friends, a book of illustrations of commercial signs painted by Ives, and fifteen loose sketches. Loaned materials were returned to the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library in Detroit, Michigan and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Portrait painter and dean of the Detroit Museum of Art School, Percy Ives (1864-1928) was the son of artist Lewis Thomas Ives; father and son were considered to be among the most notable Detroit artists of the latter part of the nineteenth century.
Ives studied initially with his father, and subsequently attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in the early-1880s, and the Academié Julian and École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1884 to 1890. He exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1887 and 1893, and at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
After returning to the United States, Ives settled in Detroit where his father had a studio, and painted portraits, often of prominent men of Michigan, as well as a number of people outside the state including Grover Cleveland and Walt Whitman. Notable examples of his portraiture hang in many of the county and state buildings of Michigan.
Ives was a member of several Detroit artist associations, such as the Scarab Club, served as incorporator, trustee, and treasurer of the Detroit Museum of Art before it became the Detroit Institute of Arts, was appointed dean of the museum school in 1896, and designed the seal of the institute.
Ives died suddenly in 1928 at the age of 63.
The Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library gave the Archives of American Art Percy Ives' sketches and glass plate negatives in 1956-1957 and lent material for microfilming in 1973. James B. Parker, whose father, Dr. Albert Russell Parker, purchased Ives's desk with the items intact, donated additional material in 1994.
This site provides access to the papers of Percy L. (Percival L.) Ives in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2019, and total 341 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001