The collection is arranged as five series. Series 1: Personal Papers, circa 1883-circa 1920s (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, OV 4) Series 2: Notebooks, circa 1920s (0.4 linear feet; Box 2) Series 3: Printed Material, 1883-1927, 1944 (0.2 linear feet; Box 3) Series 4: Scrapbook on John Singer Sargent, 1920s (0.2 linear feet; BV 5) Series 5: Photographic Material, circa 1880s-1920s, circa 1993 (Boxes 3, 6-10)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
The papers of Boston and Ironbound Island, Maine, painter Dwight Blaney measure 3.3 linear feet and date from circa 1883-1944, with twenty slides of a family album dated circa 1993. The bulk of the material dates from circa 1883 to the 1920s. The collection includes scattered personal papers including pencil and pen sketches by Blaney and his brother Henry Blaney; three of Blaney's notebooks on art history; printed material including exhibition catalogs for Blaney and others; a scrapbook of news clippings about John Singer Sargent and photographs of artwork by Sargent; photographs including images of Blaney and his home, John Breck and his studio, and a portrait of John Singer Sargent; and one hundred and ninety-nine glass plate negatives, primarily of Blaney's artwork and interiors of his homes. Also found are three glass plate negatives of paintings by John Singer Sargent, and one glass plate of Sargent seated on Blaney's boat painting Blaney, who is painting on the shore.
Dwight Blaney papers, circa 1883-1944, bulk circa 1883-1920s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
The Dwight Blaney papers 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.
Benjamin Blaney loaned materials for microfilming in 1990. Originals of loaned material, including letters from artists such as John Singer Sargent and Frank Benson, twenty one volumes of sketchbooks, a notebook, a journal, and a scrapbook, were returned to Blaney after microfilming and were not subsequently donated. Loaned material is available on reels 4405-4407 but is not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Boston and Ironbound Island, Maine, painter Dwight Blaney (1865-1944), studied at the Boston Art School from 1886 to 1888, and in 1891 traveled to Europe where he met his future wife, Edith Hill, and spent two years sketching and working as a tour guide. Blaney married Hill on his return to the United States and the couple settled in Boston, but also had a home on Ironbound Island in Maine's Frenchman Bay. Over time the family acquired the entire island and John Singer Sargent and other painters came to visit and paint there in the summer months.
The collection was donated by Benjamin Blaney, Blaney's grandson, in 1990. In 1993, slides from a family photo album depicting the Blaney family on a trip to Bermuda were donated by Jeffrey Brown, who purchased the original album from the David Blaney estate.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001