The collection is arranged into eight series: Series 1: Correspondence, 1838-1968 (Box 1-95, 163-164, OV 165; 96.2 linear feet) Series 2: Financial and Shipping Records, 1892-1956 (Box 96-110; 11.8 linear feet) Series 3: Inventory Records, 1892-circa 1957 (Box 111-113; 3.0 linear feet) Series 4: Printed Material, 1838-1963 (Box 114-119, 162; 5.0 linear feet) Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1892-1952 (Box 120-130; 3.3 linear feet) Series 6: Reference Files, 1839-1959 (Box 131-132; 0.6 linear feet) Series 7: Miscellaneous Files, 1912-1956 (Box 133-134; 0.8 linear feet) Series 8: Photographs, circa 1880-circa 1968 (Box 135-161; 12.1 linear feet)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Fragile original scrapbooks are closed to researchers.
The Macbeth Gallery records provide almost complete coverage of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1892 to its closing in 1953. Through extensive correspondence files, financial and inventory records, printed material, scrapbooks, reference and research material, and photographs of artists and works of art, the records document all aspects of the gallery's activities, charting William Macbeth's initial intention to lease his store "for the permanent exhibition and sale of American pictures" through over sixty years of success as a major New York firm devoted to American art. The collection measures 131.6 linear feet and dates from 1838 to 1968 with the bulk of the material dating from 1892 to 1953.
Macbeth Gallery records, 1947-1948, bulk 1892-1953. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Digitization of the Macbeth Gallery records began in 2015 is being completed incrementally.
Microfilm is available for portions of the collection on reels NMc1-NMc81, 439-441, 2564-2667, 3091-3092, 3094, and 2820-2823, at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the papers no longer matches the arrangement of the microfilm.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Getty Grant Program. Digitization of the scrapbooks was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee. Correspondence, financial and shipping records, inventory records, and printed material were digitized with funding provided by the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Walton Family Foundation.
The Macbeth Gallery records 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.
Among the holdings of the Archives of American are a small collection of scattered Robert McIntyre's papers and 9 items of William Macbeth's papers. Macbeth Gallery exhibition catalogs are also available in the American Art Exhibition Catalog collection and the Brooklyn Museum Records, both loaned and microfilmed collections.<br /> An extensive collection of Macbeth Gallery exhibition catalogs are also held by the Frick Art Reference Library and the Watson Library of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Macbeth Gallery was established in 1892 by William Macbeth, a Scotch-Irish immigrant who had spent ten years with the print dealer Frederick Keppel before he opened his doors to the art-buying public at 237 Fifth Avenue in New York. Despite the prevailing interest in foreign art at that time, particularly in that of the Barbizon and Dutch schools, Macbeth was determined to dedicate his gallery to "the permanent exhibition and sale of American pictures, both in oil and water colors."
The bulk of the Macbeth Gallery records were donated and microfilmed in several installments between 1955 and 1966 by Robert G. McIntyre and Estate. Additional Macbeth Gallery printed material was donated by Phoebe C. and William Macbeth II, grandchildren of William Macbeth, in 1974.
Portions of the collection have been digitized and are available on the Archives of American Art's website, including: Series 1.1: Correspondence, Boxes 1-26; Series 2: Financial and Shipping Records; Series 3: Inventory Records; Series 4: Printed Materials, including Art Notes (the complete run of The Crayon in Series 4.2 is available at https://www.jstor.org/journal/crayon); and Series 5: Scrapbooks. Digitization of the collection is ongoing and will be made available incrementally.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001