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George Leslie Stout papers

Creator:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Names:
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
Fogg Art Museum  Search this
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum  Search this
Worcester Art Museum  Search this
Correspondent:
Buck, Richard D.  Search this
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Gardner, G. Peabody (George Peabody)  Search this
Hall, Ardelia Ripley  Search this
Howe, Thomas Carr, 1904-1994  Search this
Ivins, William Mills, 1881-1961  Search this
Marceau, Henri, 1896-1969  Search this
Moore, Lamont  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965  Search this
Sizer, Theodore, 1892-1967  Search this
Warner, Langdon (1881-1955)  Search this
Extent:
6.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Date:
1855
1897-1978
Summary:
The papers of conservator and museum director George Leslie Stout measure 6.4 linear feet and date from 1855, 1897-1978. Stout was head of the conservation department at Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum, director of the Worcester Art Museum and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Massachusetts, and a member of the Monuments, Fine Art and Archives (MFAA) Section of the U.S. Army during World War II. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence with family, friends, colleagues and professional associations. There are letters from fellow Monuments Men who served in the MFAA section such as Thomas Carr Howe, Ardelia Hall, Lamont Moore, Theodore Sizer, Langdon Warner and several other prominent arts administrators. The papers also contain biographical materials, writings, sketches and one sketchbook, military records, printed materials, and photographs.

There is a 0.2 linear foot addition to this collection acquired in 2020 that includes four diaries, 1944-1946, kept by George Stout as a member of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section (MFAA) of the U.S. Army (known as the Monuments Men). The diaries describe Stout's experiences surveying war-caused damages in France, Germany, and Japan, and the recovery of Nazi impounded art works. Also included is a hand-made booklet that includes a "Glossary of Cha-no-yu Terms," which consists of quotes about Japanese art and tea drinking.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of conservator and museum director George Leslie Stout measure 6.4 linear feet and date from 1855, 1897-1978. Stout was head of the conservation department at Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum, director of the Worcester Art Museum and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Massachusetts, and a member of the Monuments, Fine Art and Archives (MFAA) Section of the U.S. Army during World War II. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence with family, friends, colleagues and professional associations. There are letters from fellow Monuments Men who served in the MFAA section such as Thomas Carr Howe, Ardelia Hall, Lamont Moore, Theodore Sizer, Langdon Warner and several other prominent arts administrators. The papers also contain biographical materials, writings, sketches and one sketchbook, military records, printed materials, and photographs.

There is a 0.2 linear foot addition to this collection acquired in 2020 that includes four diaries, 1944-1946, kept by George Stout as a member of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section (MFAA) of the U.S. Army (known as the Monuments Men). The diaries describe Stout's experiences surveying war-caused damages in France, Germany, and Japan, and the recovery of Nazi impounded art works. Also included is a hand-made booklet that includes a "Glossary of Cha-no-yu Terms," which consists of quotes about Japanese art and tea drinking.

Biographical materials include college and graduate school transcripts, various certificates, four small appointment books and passports.

Correspondence is between George Leslie Stout and family, friends, colleagues, professional associations and fellow Monuments Men. Family correspondence is with Stout's immediate and extended family, the bulk of which is from Stout to his wife Margaret and his son Thomas. Correspondents in the Monuments Men correspondence include Thomas Carr Howe, Ardelia Hall, Lamont Moore, Theodore Sizer, Langdon Warner, and many others. There is also substantial correspondence with friends and professional colleagues in the museum and art world, such as Walter Beck, Richard D. Buck, William George Constable, Earl of Crawford, George Peabody Gardner, Jr., William Ivins, Jr., Henri Marceau, and Paul Sachs, among many others.

Writings by Stout consist of typescript drafts and published articles, speeches, and miscellaneous notes. Most of the writings concern art conservation and the speeches are memorials for two of Stout's colleagues. Notes consists of drafts for the texts of holiday cards Stout designed, biographical notes, and images and captions for The Care of Pictures. There are also three conference papers on art conservation written by other people.

Subject files document Stout's conservation projects as a consultant for museums, universities, galleries and other organizations. Also found in this series are documents relating to Stout's work after retiring from the Isabella Gardner Museum and his membership or participation in various arts programs and organizations.

A separate series contains files relating to Stout's World War II service in the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives (MFAA) Section. Found here are official military records, publications by Monuments Men, and a few scattered photographs. Military records include directives, reports, certificates and a bronze star medal. There are articles and books written by various Monuments Men such as Langdon Warner, Lincoln Kirstein and Theodore Sizer. There are also scattered photographs, only two of which depict tout (including one group photograph with Lamont Moore, Walker Hancock and other Monuments Men.) There are also 12 negatives with 4 prints depicting La Gleize Church and the town of Ambleve, Belgium in 1945. There are also four diaries documenting Stout's experiences in the MFAA Section in Europe and Japan from 1944-1946.

Personal business records include assorted legal and estate papers as well as financial papers such as receipts, travel expenses and donations.

Printed materials consists of news clippings, bulletins, brochures, press releases, conference papers, and magazine and journal articles, most of it related to art conservation.

Artwork includes pencil and ink drawings and sketches, mostly of travel scenes, people, and animals. There is one sketchbook of the human figure. Many sketches were loosely grouped together by Stout with titles such as "Pool Doodles" or "Park and Zoo." The is also one caricature of Eric Brown by Murray Pease.

The papers include photographs and negatives, mostly personal photographs of friends, family, relatives and colleagues. There are also photographs of art conservation conferences and travel photographs. Additional scattered photographs are located in the series containing the Monuments Men files.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 9 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Materials, circa 1919-1977 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1922-1978 (2.5 linear feet; Box 1-3, OV 8)

Series 3: Writings, 1927-1978 (0.5 linear feet; Box 3-4)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1918, 1943-1978 (1 linear feet; Box 4, OV 8-9)

Series 5: Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section Files, 1918, 1942-1955, 1972-1975 (0.5 linear feet; Box 5, 10)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1938-1978 (0.1 linear feet; Box 5)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1926-1977 (0.8 linear feet; Box 5-6, OV 9)

Series 8: Sketchbooks, circa 1924-circa 1938, 1970-1977 (0.1 linear feet; Box 6)

Series 9: Photographic Materials, circa 1855, 1897-1978 (0.2 linear feet; Box 6-7)
Biographical / Historical:
George Leslie Stout (1897-1978) was a museum director and prominent art conservator in Massachusetts. Stout was head of the conservation department at Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum, and director of the Worcester Art Museum and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Massachusetts. During World War II, Stout served in the U.S. Army Monuments, Fine Art and Archives (MFAA) and played a leading role in the protection, location, and recovery of art work stolen by the Nazis.

Born in Winterset, Iowa in 1897, George Leslie Stout was the oldest of six children and attended Winterset High School and served in the U.S. army during World War I. Following the war, Stout studied at the State University of Iowa, received his B.A. in 1921, worked for a few years, and married Margaret Hayes in 1924 with whom he had two sons, Robert and Thomas. He attended Harvard graduate school in 1926 and graduated with a Master of Art in 1929. Stout began working as a lecturer and conservator at Harvard's Fogg Art Museum, later becoming the head of the conservation department in 1933, a position he held until 1947.

During World War II, Stout re-enlisted in the U.S. Navy, having served in the reserves since World War I. Stout was one of the first members of the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives (MFAA) Section of the U.S. army. He was appointed to the MFAA Section for the Twelfth Army Group in 1944 and was one of the first Monuments Men to arrive at Normandy, France. He was later appointed Lieutenant Commander of the MFAA Section. Many of the Monuments Men's stolen art recovery achievements were directed by George Leslie Stout. Stout supervised the inventory and removal of looted art hidden by the Nazis in the salt mines of Merkers and Ransbach in Thuringia, Germany. Stout oversaw the organization, packing, and shipping of several thousand objects including paintings by Rubens and Goya, along with precious antiquities. At the Altaussee salt mines in Austria, he was in charge of the unit that recovered a large cache of stolen artwork that included Michelangelo's Madonna and Child and the Ghent Altarpiece or The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. There, he also worked very closely with fellow Monuments Men Thomas Carr Howe. Stout went on to locate and recover looted artwork in other repositories in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. He maintained a relationship with many of his fellow Monuments Men after the war.

Stout left Europe in the latter half of 1945, then went to Japan where he served as the Chief of the Arts and Monuments Division at Headquarters of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, Tokyo until the middle of 1946. After the war Stout received the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal for his army service and work as a Monuments Man in Europe.

Stout resumed his position as the head of the conservation department at the Fogg Art Museum when he returned to America. In 1947 he became the director of the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts where he stayed until 1955, when he became the director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston where he worked until his retirement in 1970. Stout wrote numerous articles about art conservation and wrote two books: Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia (1942), co-authored with Harvard colleage R. J. Gettens, and Care of Pictures (1948). Stout died in Menlo Park, California in 1978 and was widely recognized as a distinguished art conservator.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with George Stout conducted by Paul Karlstrom in 1978.
Provenance:
George Leslie Stout donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in 1978. In that same year, Robert Stout, son of George Leslie Stout, loaned four diaries to the Archives of American Art for microfilming. The four diaries were acquired at auction by the Archives in 2020 with generous donations from Paul Neely, David Copperfield in memory of Kelly Asbury, Deborah Lehr and John Rogers, Ambassador Nicholas F. Taubman, The Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Foundation, Jeffrey P. Cunard and Mariko Ikehara; The Elbrun and Peter Kimmelman Family Foundation, Inc.; Peter and Paula Lunder; William and Christine Ragland in memory of William McKenzie Ragland Lt. JG, U.S. Navy, Pacific Theater, WWII; The Kurin Family in honor of WWII Veteran Saul Kurin, Paul and Corine Wegener, and Judy and Bob Huret.
Restrictions:
This collection is temporarily closed to researchers due to archival processing and digitization. For more information, please contact Reference Services.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Conservators -- California  Search this
Arts administrators  Search this
Topic:
Museum directors -- United States  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Art -- Conservation and restoration  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Citation:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.stougeor
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ccad7a5c-748e-4881-8fc3-5bf2bf18a811
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-stougeor
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Eleanor Sayre

Interviewee:
Sayre, Eleanor A.  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Ashmolean Museum  Search this
Bryn Mawr College -- Students  Search this
Fogg Art Museum  Search this
Harvard University -- Students  Search this
Lyman Allyn Museum  Search this
Museo del Prado  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design. Museum of Art  Search this
Yale University. Art Gallery  Search this
Ames, Winslow  Search this
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Edgell, George Harold, b. 1887  Search this
Forbes, Edward Waldo, 1873-1969  Search this
Goya, Francisco, 1746-1828  Search this
Hofer, Philip, 1898-1984  Search this
Karolik, Maxim  Search this
King, Georgiana Goddard, 1871-1939  Search this
Rathbone, Perry Townsend, 1911-2000  Search this
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1606-1669  Search this
Rosenberg, Jakob, 1893-  Search this
Rossiter, Henry P. (Henry Preston), b. 1885  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965  Search this
Seybolt, George Crossan, 1914-1993  Search this
Sizer, Theodore, 1892-1967  Search this
Swarzenski, Hanns, 1903-1985  Search this
Washburn, Gordon B. (Gordon Bailey), 1904-1983  Search this
Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924  Search this
Extent:
213 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Spain -- History -- 1939-1975
Date:
1993 April 19-1997 January 10
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Eleanor Sayre conducted 1993 April 19-1997 January 10, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Sayre talks about her early childhood in Williamstown and Cambridge, Mass.; her family background; visits to the White House with her maternal grandfather, Woodrow Wilson; living abroad while her father was in government service in Bangkok, then Siam (now Thailand), Paris, and Switzerland, with extensive recollections of her brothers and schooling in Europe.
Attending Winsor School in Boston; her mother's death; her years at Bryn Mawr College, including her switch to art history from political science; Georgianna Goddard King as an influential teacher; an internship under Laura Dudley at the Fogg Art Museum's Print Room and the lasting effect of this experience.
Being a graduate student in fine arts at Harvard and the importance of Edward Forbes and Paul Sachs as teachers; her decision not to pursue a PhD; working with Jakob Rosenberg; helping to get young Jews out of Europe; her position as assistant for exhibitions at Yale University Art Gallery under Theodore Sizer; the trauma of her father's internment by the Japanese in the Philippines, where he was High Commissioner and his rescue; and her decision to turn down a military intelligence job in order to work with German Jewish refugees.
Her brief tenure at Lyman-Allyn Museum, Conn., under Winslow Ames; her years in the education department under Lydia "Ma" Powel at the Museum of Art of the Rhode Island School of Design with Gordon Washburn as director; and working closely with Heinrich Schwartz on prints and drawings.
The liberal tradition of her father's wealthy family; her father; being brought to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston by its curator of prints, Henry Rossiter and on the charming collector and benefactor, Maxim Karolik; MFA curator of paintings, William George Constable; and George Harold Edgell, MFA director.
The collector, Philip Hofer, who by putting his Goya proofs on loan at the MFA, led to Sayre's life-long study of the artist; her research on Goya in Spain; raising of a large sum from Boston businesses to purchase Hofer's prints for the MFA, and the MFA's eminence by the 1960s in Goya's graphic work; the disgusting repression of dissent in Franco-era Spain; Goya's passionate self-assertion, which is what principally attracted Sayre to his work, and his conceptual process and method of work.
Earlier years at the MFA, Boston, including the accessibility of the print department's study rooms; Edwin J. Hipkiss, curator of American decorative arts; the Christmas poetry and prints exhibitions designed as profound learning experiences for a broad public; and being chosen as successor to Rossiter; and further comments on Maxim Karolik.
W.G. Russell Allen and other collectors who gave their collections to the MFA; her efforts to effectively present art to the broad public; her methods of appealing to the public coalescing at the MFA in 1989 with the "Goya and the Spirit of the Enlightenment" exhibition; and an exhibition of the work of Beatrix Potter.
Spain under the dictator, Francisco Franco; her first study in Spain of Goya's drawings and her urging the Prado Museum to conserve its drawings; the Prado's director, F. Sanchez-Canton; her research on prostitution at the Ministry of Justice; being decorated for her recommending the preservation of Goya's art and the marvelous private collections of Goya in Spain; and her obsession with interpreting the meaning of Goya's work.
The MFA, Boston, under the directorship of Perry Rathbone, who wanted many more people involved than had his predecessor, George Harold Edgell, who ran it like a Boston Brahmin Club; Rathbone's accomplishments; his downfall and that of his assistant (and curator of European decorative arts and sculpture) Hanns Swarzenski in bringing a so-called Raphael into this country by irregular means, which led to Rathbone and Swarzenski's firing by George Seybolt, the trustee president; Rathbone's reluctance to hire women curators and Sayre's finally becoming curator of prints and drawings in 1967; her philosophy as curator; on Hanns and Brigitte Swarzenski as dear friends; her exchange of positions with the curator of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, where she put their valuable but neglected print collection in order.
The exhibition and catalog, "Rembrandt: Experimental Etcher," (1969) in collaboration with the Pierpont Morgan Library; general views on exhibitions; co-authoring the exhibition catalog "Goya and the Spiris of Enlightenment" (1989); her contributions to Goya research; her current research and writing on Goya's Capaprichos print series; and her satisfaction in having spent her career in art museums.
Biographical / Historical:
Eleanor A. Sayre (1916-2001) was a curator and art historian from Boston, Mass.
General:
Originally recorded on 8 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 15 digital wav files. Duration is 11 hrs., 21 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Art historians -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers  Search this
Topic:
Jewish refugees -- Germany  Search this
Museum curators -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.sayre93
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94605f5ed-1c72-4e2f-92d1-4d6a22a3eaa2
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sayre93
Online Media:

W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976

Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Subject:
Phillips, Duncan  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Canaletto  Search this
Perry, Ralph  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph)  Search this
Hencken, Hugh O'Neill  Search this
Vasalle, Rudolph  Search this
Brandt, Mortimer  Search this
Links, J. G.  Search this
Ivins, William Mills  Search this
Frick, Helen Clay  Search this
Gluck, Helen  Search this
National Gallery of Canada  Search this
Watts Gallery  Search this
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc.  Search this
Fogg Art Museum  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas  Search this
Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955 : U.S. Zone). Office of Military Government  Search this
Art Gallery of Toronto  Search this
United States. Internal Revenue Service  Search this
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
Place:
Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955)
Citation:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art, European  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Museum curators -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Cultural property -- conservation and restoration -- Germany  Search this
Cultural property -- Conservation and restoration -- Italy  Search this
Art -- Conservation and restoration  Search this
Museum curators -- England  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9387
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211584
AAA_collcode_conswmgp
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211584
Online Media:

W.G. Constable, Boston, Massachusetts letter to Paul J. Sachs, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965  Search this
Subject:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1945 Mar. 28
Citation:
W. G. (William George) Constable. W.G. Constable, Boston, Massachusetts letter to Paul J. Sachs, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1945 Mar. 28. W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Preservationists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)14537
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_14537
Online Media:

W.G. Constable list of men with library experience considered by the American Defense Harvard Group

Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Subject:
Harvard University. American Defense, Harvard Group  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
1943?
Citation:
W. G. (William George) Constable. W.G. Constable list of men with library experience considered by the American Defense Harvard Group, 1943?. W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Librarians  Search this
Preservationists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)14538
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_14538
Online Media:

James N. Rosenberg, Scarsdale, N.Y. letter to W.G. Constable, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Creator:
Rosenberg, James N. (James Naumburg), 1874-1970  Search this
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Subject:
Richardson, Edgar Preston  Search this
Archives of American Art  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1960 Jan. 12
Citation:
James N. (James Naumburg) Rosenberg. James N. Rosenberg, Scarsdale, N.Y. letter to W.G. Constable, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1960 Jan. 12. W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)14540
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_14540
Online Media:

George L. Stout letter to W. G. Constable

Creator:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1942 December 31
Citation:
George L. (George Leslie) Stout. George L. Stout letter to W. G. Constable, 1942 December 31. W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art and war  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16205
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16205

George Stout draft of Protection of Monuments

Creator:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1942 December
Citation:
George L. (George Leslie) Stout. George Stout draft of Protection of Monuments, 1942 December. W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art and war  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16208
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16208
Online Media:

George L. Stout letter to W. G. Constable

Creator:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1943 March 28
Citation:
George L. (George Leslie) Stout. George L. Stout letter to W. G. Constable, 1943 March 28. W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art and war  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16209
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16209
Online Media:

W. G. Constable letter to George Stout

Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Subject:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1943 March 30
Citation:
W. G. (William George) Constable. W. G. Constable letter to George Stout, 1943 March 30. W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945--Art and the war  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16211
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16211

George Stout letter to W. G. Constable

Creator:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Subject:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1943 October 18
Citation:
George L. (George Leslie) Stout. George Stout letter to W. G. Constable, 1943 October 18. W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945--Art and the war  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16213
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16213
Online Media:

Oral history interview with W. G. Constable, 1972 July -1973 June

Interviewee:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Degas, Edgar  Search this
Fry, Roger Eliot  Search this
Renoir, Auguste  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with W. G. Constable, 1972 July -1973 June. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Museum curators -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge -- Interviews  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12210
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212599
AAA_collcode_consta72
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212599

W.G. Constable papers

Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Correspondent:
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
Art Gallery of Toronto  Search this
Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955 : U.S. Zone). Office of Military Government  Search this
National Gallery of Canada  Search this
Watts Gallery  Search this
Brandt, Mortimer  Search this
Frick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984  Search this
Gluck, Helen  Search this
Hencken, Hugh O'Neill  Search this
Ivins, William Mills, 1881-1961  Search this
Links, J. G.  Search this
Perry, Ralph  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Vasalle, Rudolph  Search this
Names:
American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas  Search this
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc.  Search this
Fogg Art Museum  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
United States. Internal Revenue Service  Search this
Canaletto, 1697-1768  Search this
Extent:
25.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Place:
Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955)
Date:
1905-1983
bulk 1920-1976
Summary:
The papers of art historian and museum curator W.G. (William George) Constable measure 25.7 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1981, with the bulk of the material from 1920 to 1976. The papers include biographical material; professional and personal correspondence; extensive lectures, writings, and notes; exhibition and book research files; printed materials; and photographs, glass plate negatives, and slides. There is substantive correspondence related to Constable's participation in the American Defense Harvard Group and about the formation of the Roberts Commission, including correspondence with Ralph Perry, Hugh Hencken, Paul Sachs and George L. Stout. There are numerous official reports prepared by Constable after World War II for the U. S. Office of Military Government for Germany.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of art historian and museum curator W.G. (William George) Constable measure 25.7 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1981, with the bulk of the material from 1920 to 1976. The papers include biographical material; professional and personal correspondence; extensive lectures, writings, and notes; exhibition and book research files; printed materials; and photographs, glass plate negatives, and slides. There is substantive correspondence related to Constable's participation in the American Defense Harvard Group and about the formation of the Roberts Commission, including correspondence with Ralph Perry, Hugh Hencken, Paul Sachs and George L. Stout. There are numerous official reports prepared by Constable after World War II for the U. S. Office of Military Government for Germany.

Biographical material includes W.G. Constable's curriculum vitae; club memberships; personal, educational, and military records; three memorial essays and obituaries; five address books; appointment books dating from 1930-1968; and financial records related to personal business travels.

Correspondence is mostly professional and arranged into General, Committee, Condolences, and J.G. Links. General correspondence is with friends, business associates, auction houses, galleries, and museums. The letters cover a wide variety of professional work, such as research projects, letters of inquiry and recommendation, and work done for Christie's and the Internal Revenue Service. Correspondents include Mortimer Brandt, Helen Frick, Helen Gluck, William Ivins, Duncan Phillips, Paul Sachs, and Rudolph Vasalle, among many others.

Committee related correspondence includes letters, memoranda, and reports related to ongoing committee objectives, projects, and routine activities. There is correspondence related to Constable's advisory work with the Art Gallery of Toronto, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Watts Gallery, among other projects. Condolences consists of letters and cards received by Constable's wife, Olivia, after Constable's death. Correspondence with J.G. Links is primarily about the second edition revision of Constable's book Canaletto.

There are over 170 drafts of Constable's notes and outlines for lectures. Topics range from 13th-20th century European and American art to museum conservation, ethics, art education, and art collecting. The series also includes lecture notes from organized touring trips to Canada, Northern Europe, Scandanavia, and Poland.

Writings consist of Constable's published and unpublished articles, articles submitted for the Encyclopedia of World Art, essays, notes, exhibition catalogs, translations, and drafts and research material related to Art Collecting in the United States, Art History and Connoisseurship, and The Painter's Workshop.

Files specifically documenting Constable's advisory role in the World War II American Defense Harvard Group drafting and organizing lists of men with curatorial, museum conservation, or library/archives backgrounds to aid in the protection European most valued cultural artifacts, artwork, and architecture. There are letters documenting the formation of the Harvard Group and its goals and objections. The files also include many of the original lists that were forwarded to the Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in Europe, also known as the Roberts Commission, eventually leading to the formation of the U.S. Army's Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives division. The series also includes the Harvard Group's manual Safeguarding and Conserving Cultural Materials in the Field, committee minutes, and clippings related to their work. Correspondents include Ralph Perry, Paul Sachs, George L. Stout, and Hugh Hencken.

Constable's work after the war for the U.S. Office of Military Government for Germany is documented through numerous reports, memoranda, letters, and other official documents from the U. S. Army to Constable about surveying the state of German and Italian art institutions after World War II. The series also includes Constable's notebook "Visits in Germany" (1949), and a copy of his report Art and Reorientation: Status and Future of Museums and the Teaching of Art in Western Germany.

Exhibition files contain correspondence, notes, lists, research material, and reports related to exhibitions that Constable organized prior to his employment by and after his retirement from the Boston Museum of Art.

Research files contain materials relevant to Constable's interests and include notes, lists, correspondence, and printed and photographic reference material. These subject areas cover artists, including extensive files on Canaletto and other vedute painters, museum conservation, museums and galleries, private and public art collections, and schools of art.

Printed materials include clippings, programs, book excerpts and other miscellaneous printed materials.

Photographic materials include prints of Constable with friends and family, as well as prints, glass negatives and slides of artwork. There are also prints of the Fogg Art Museum's interiors and exterior and interior shots of Tennessee Valley Authority dam projects.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1905-1983 (1.2 linear feet; Box 1-2, OV 28)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1906-1981 (6.2 linear feet; Box 2-8, OV 28-29)

Series 3: Lectures, 1909-1963 (4.6 linear feet; Box 8-12)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1910-1974 (2 linear feet; Box 13-14)

Series 5: American Defense Harvard Group, 1942-1946 (0.6 linear feet; Box 15)

Series 6: Office of Military Government for Germany, 1947-1952 (0.3 linear feet; Box 15)

Series 7: Exhibition Files, 1930-1969 (1 linear foot; Box 15-16, OV 29)

Series 8: Research Files, 1922-1976 (7.5 linear feet; Box 16-24, OV 28-29)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1921-1977 (0.5 linear feet; Box 24)

Series 10: Photographic Materials, circa 1940-1960 (1.4 linear feet; Box 24-27, OV 28-29)
Biographical / Historical:
W. G. (William George) Constable (1887-1976) was a museum curator and art historian who worked in England and Boston.

Born in Derby, England, Constable studied for the bar at Cambridge University, but was encouraged to pursue art over law by the Lord Chancellor who told him that law would be too strenuous after a two year convalescence from gassing during World War I. For three years, he studied at the Slade School and the Bartlett School of Architecture. In 1923, he joined the National Gallery of London where he became the Assistant Director in 1929. In 1930, he accepted the first Director's position at the newly formed Courtauld Institute, where he worked to develop one of the first programs on art history. In 1938, Constable became Curator of Paintings at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and worked there until his retirement in 1957.

Throughout his career as an arts administrator, Constable remained an accomplished lecturer and held appointments as the Slade Professor of Art at Cambridge (1933-1936), Ryerson Lecturer at Yale University (1940), and the Lowell Lecturer at the Lowell Insitute (1958). As a researcher and art historian, he published a steady stream of essays on European and American art connoisseurship, and authored over ten scholarly books, including The Painter's Workshop (1953), Richard Wilson (1953), and Canaletto (1962), the definitive work on the Venetian master.

Constable was a trusted arts advisor and, in this capacity, worked for the Wadsworth Atheneum from 1943-1945. He also worked closely with Lord Beaverbrook to establish the National Gallery of Canada and later consulted for Sotheby's and the U. S. Internal Revenue Service.

In the years leading to World War II, Constable served as an advisor to the American Defense Harvard Group and was later appointed to the Commission for the Protection of Artistic and Historic Monuments in Europe (the Roberts Commission) by President Roosevelt. The Roberts Commission was responsible for the establishment of the U. S. Army's Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section. After the war, Constable served the U.S. government as a member of a commission responsible for the recovery of looted art work and the evaluation of the state of the arts in Germany and Italy.

After his retirement from the Boston Museum, Constable continued to research and write, and also served as president of the International Institute of Conservation (1958-1960) and the Renaissance Society of America (1959-1961). From 1957 to 1966, he worked on behalf of Christie's auction house, where he met with prospective clients and provided preliminary valuations of private art works and collections.

On February 4, 1976, Constable died in Cambridge, Massachusetts from natural causes.
Related Materials:
The Archives also holds additional materials related to W.G. Constable, including an oral history interview with Constable conducted by Robert Brown in 1972-1973, and a photograph and clipping of Constable donated by Eleanor Barton in 1982.

Additional W.G. Constable papers are located at archival materials are also located at St. Johns College in Cambridge,England; the Warburg Institute in London, England; the National Gallery in London, England; and the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning in London, England. Photographs of works art collected by Constable are found at the British Studies Center at Yale University. Records relating to his tenure at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston are housed there.
Provenance:
The papers of W.G. Constable were donated in multiple gifts from 1978 to 1979 and in 1987 to 1988 by his son Giles Constable. Additional material regarding Constable's research on Canaletto was donated by researcher J.G. Links in 1985.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and not served to researchers.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Art historians -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Art historians -- England  Search this
Topic:
Art, European  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Museum curators -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Cultural property -- Conservation and restoration -- Germany  Search this
Cultural property -- Conservation and restoration -- Italy  Search this
Art -- Conservation and restoration  Search this
Museum curators -- England  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Citation:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.conswmgp
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw96b4e2709-3019-479e-91bd-891fa500a679
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-conswmgp
Online Media:

Employment Records

Collection Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1920-1965
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and not served to researchers.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers
W.G. Constable papers / Series 1: Biographical Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d78b52c0-0af6-44ff-a4d9-baecdd8912c8
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-conswmgp-ref10

Goldsmith's Hall

Collection Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 40
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1958-1962
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and not served to researchers.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers
W.G. Constable papers / Series 2: Correspondence / 2.1: General
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw97c3b9c44-8957-4573-808a-e54fafb11585
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-conswmgp-ref100

U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service

Collection Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder 70
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1965
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and not served to researchers.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers
W.G. Constable papers / Series 2: Correspondence / 2.1: General
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9c6abb1a4-2e62-4e26-b535-e4e274878cb5
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-conswmgp-ref1000

U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service

Collection Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder 71
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and not served to researchers.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers
W.G. Constable papers / Series 2: Correspondence / 2.1: General
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw97ea02279-41d9-412f-80df-8989fafd35b3
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-conswmgp-ref1001

Vasalle, Rudolph A.

Collection Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1960
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and not served to researchers.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers
W.G. Constable papers / Series 2: Correspondence / 2.1: General
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ff52817c-5140-4467-a2f2-e69a35ef3fc0
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-conswmgp-ref1002

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Collection Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 19
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1950-1957
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and not served to researchers.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers
W.G. Constable papers / Series 2: Correspondence / 2.2: Committees
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9bc474c98-821a-46de-b3d4-fafc3a30fa5c
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-conswmgp-ref1003

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Collection Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 21
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1959-1970
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and not served to researchers.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers
W.G. Constable papers / Series 2: Correspondence / 2.2: Committees
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b0f2a44d-e43e-4179-96c3-278fc2ed6382
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-conswmgp-ref1004

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