Series consists of Vedder's personal, professional, and family correspondence, comprised mostly of incoming letters as well as some copies or drafts of outgoing letters. Correspondents include family, friends, artists, dealers, collectors, admirers, and publishers. The bulk of the business correspondence was written by Caroline R. Vedder on behalf of her husband, including correspondence with collectors, people who commissioned work, dealers, and publishers.
Earliest correspondence consists of letters sent and received by various members of Vedder's immediate and extended family, including his parents, Elizabeth and Elihu Vedder, Sr., his brother, Alexander V., his maternal grandparents, Alexander and Agnes Vedder, his maternal aunt, Eveline Caister, and his paternal uncles, Levi and John Vedder. Early letters document the time the family spent apart while Elihu, Sr., was living and working in Cuba and later while the boys were living with their grandparents for a time. Of particular note is an 1850 letter from Vedder to his mother expressing his interest in drawing.
Family correspondence consists primarily of letters between and amongst Vedder, his father, and his brother (Vedder's letters to his father detail his travels in Europe from 1857 to 1860 and his first attempts to earn a living by drawing); letters between Caroline R. Vedder, her mother, sisters, and nieces; letters between Vedder and his wife when either one of them was away from home, traveling or conducting business; and letters between Caroline R. Vedder and the children: Enoch, when he was away at a school and then living in the U.S. and Anita, when she was traveling and away from home.
Personal correspondence concerns matters such as Vedder's engagement and marriage to Caroline Rosekrans, the death and settling the estate of his brother, Alexander, his travels, including a trip up the Nile in 1889-1890, and his friendship with other artists. Professional correspondence concerns: his illustrations and engravings of his work for various books and poems, including Enoch Arden (1863) and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1884); the exhibiiton of his work (for instance, in the Paris International Exposition of 1878; in gallery shows in Boston and New York in 1880 and in London in 1899; and at the Architectural League of New York in 1895) as well as the unsuccessful attempt to show in the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1876; the sale of his work to private individuals and commissions for work; the reproduction and copyright of his work; Vedder's published protest in the December 1878 issue of L'Art; his award of first prize in the Competition of Christmas Cards at the American Art Gallery, and the subsequent reproduction and sale of his Christmas cards; a mural project for the Chicago World's Fair in 1892; a proposed mural project for the Boston Public Library; his book The Digressions of V (1910); and various other financial and business matters.
Also found is some posthumous correspondence sent and received by Anita Vedder, concerning gifts, sales, and exhibitions of Vedder's work.
See Appendix for a list of selected correspondents from Series 2.
Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Undated correspondence is arranged alphabetically at the end of the series.
Appendix: Selected Correspondents from Series 2:
This list does not include the names of family members. Unless otherwise noted, date entries refer to correspondence found on Reels 515-526. When correspondence can also be found on Reel 2323, it is noted with a "see" or "see also" reference after the appropriate date.
Abbott, Mrs.: 1895
Abbott, Sam A. B: 1894
Abbey, Edwin A.: undated (see also Reel 2323)
Adams, Elizabeth: undated (see Reel 2323)
Adsit, Mary J.: undated
Advisory Committee on Art of the Paris Exhibition: 1878
Agnew, Mary: undated
Ainger, Alfred: 1893 (see Reel 2323)
Aldrich, T. B.: 1875 (see Reel 2323), 1878, 1880 (see Reel 2323)
Aldrich, Lilian: undated
Allen, Earl Heron: 1885, 1896 (see Reel 2323)
Allen, Fanny B.: 1893, undated
Allen, Henry F.: undated (see Reel 2323)
American Academy of Arts and Letters: 1922, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1947, 1949
American Art Gallery: 1881
American Consul, Alexandria, Egypt: 1910
American Federation of Arts: 1930
American Library in Paris: 1934
Anderson, L---: 1894
Andrea (?), J. W.: 1876
Appleton, F. G.: 1880
Apolloni, A.: 1898 (see Reel 2323)
Archibald, J. W.: undated
Architectural League of New York: 1895
Armstrong, D. M.: 1872, 1873, 1878, 1879, undated
Armstrong, Helen M.: 1938
Armstrong, Helen N.: 1871, 1872, undated
Armstrong, T.: 1892 (see Reel 2323)
Arnold, Edwin: undated
Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society: 1890 (see Reel 2323)
Ashbarton, Lady: 1876
Ashley, M. Harry: 1872
Ashley, O. D.: 1866
Athenaeum Club: 1863
Atkinson, Agnes D.: undated
Augustine Heard and Co.: 1871
Ault, Charles H.: 1895, 1898 (see Reel 2323)
Austin, Alys: 1885, 1886, 1887
Avery, Sam P.: 1879, 1893
Babcock, Maltbie Davenport: undated (see Reel 2323)
The bulk of this collection has been digitized. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment.
Elihu Vedder papers, 1804-1969 (bulk 1840-1923). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art