The collection is arranged as 7 series: Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1900-1909, 1942, 1953 (0.2 linear feet; Boxes 1 and 5, OV 10) Series 2: Correspondence, 1906-1954 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1) Series 3: Printed Materials, 1900-2001 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 1, 5, OVs 11, 16) Series 4: Subject Files, 1889-1953 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, OV 10-12) Series 5: Photographs, 1908-1950 (0.2 linear feet; Box 2, OV 10) Series 6: Artwork, 1900-1951 (3.3 linear feet; Boxes 2-9; OV 10, 13-20 and rolled documents 21 and 22) Series 7: Scrapbook, circa 1919-circa 1951 (1.1 linear ft; Boxes 7, 23)
Access Note / Rights:
The bulk of the collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment.
The papers of painter and muralist Gifford Beal measure 7.7 linear feet and date from 1889 to 2001. The bulk of the collection consists of artwork, in addition to correspondence, writings, printed matter, including one scrapbook, pictorial subject files, photographs, and two scrapbooks of photographs of works of art. Artwork is primarily in the form of sketches and seventy-eight sketchbooks in a wide variety of media. Among the loose sketches are twenty-eight oil paintings on wood board or panel, and fourteen large pastel drawings on canvas depicting dancing figures in a romantic style. Artwork by other artists in the collection include prints by Arthur B. Davies, Rockwell Kent, and Denys Wortman.
Gifford Beal sketches, sketchbooks, and papers, 1889-2001, bulk 1900-1954. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The bulk of the Gifford Beal sketches, sketchbooks, and papers were digitized in 2008 and 2017 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. .
Materials not scanned include some of the exhibition catalogs, news clippings, magazines, pamphlets, books, and printed reproductions of artwork by others in the Printed Materials series and Subject Files series. Additionally, some photographs of works of art have not been scanned, and artwork that is too large or too fragile to be handled has not been scanned.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Painter and muralist Gifford Beal was born in New York City in 1879, the youngest of six children. Beal began his art training at 13, when he accompanied his older brother, Reynolds Beal, to the Shinnecock School of Art for classes with William Merritt Chase. Gifford Beal continued to study with Chase for ten years at Shinnecock, the Tenth Street Studio building in New York City, and the New York School of Art. Beal attended college at Princeton University from 1896 to 1900, and from 1901 to 1903 he also took classes at the Art Students League with George Bridgman and Frank Vincent DuMond. In 1908, Beal married Maud Ramsdell of Newburgh, New York, where the Beal family also had an estate. They had two sons, William (b. 1914) and Gifford, Jr. (b. 1917).
Papers were donated to the Archives by Gifford Beal's descendants in three separate accessions. Beal's sons, William and Gifford R. Beal, Jr., donated sketches and sketchbooks in 1992 and 1993. Richard and Lewis Goff, Margaret Beal Alexander, and Telka Beal donated additional sketches, sketchbooks, and materials from Beal's studio in 2000 through the Cape Ann Savings Bank, facilitated by Kraushaar Galleries. Margaret Beal Alexander, Beal's granddaughter, also donated personal papers of her grandparents via Kraushaar Galleries in 2000. Additional sketchbooks and a poster illustrated by Beal were donated by Beal's Estate via Kraushaar Galleries in 2007. Two scrapbooks of photographs of works of art were donated by Beal's Estate via Kraushaar Galleries in 2015.
The sketches, sketchbooks, and papers of Gifford Beal in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2008. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, totaling 3,677 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001