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Robert Schoelkopf Gallery records

Creator:
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery  Search this
Names:
Zabriskie Gallery  Search this
Andrejevic, Milet, 1925-  Search this
Aponovich, James, 1948-  Search this
Bailey, William, 1930-2020  Search this
Bell, Leland  Search this
Brassaï, 1899-  Search this
Cameron, Julia Margaret Pattle, 1815-1879  Search this
Cartier-Bresson, Henri, 1908-  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Dawson, Manierre, 1887-1969  Search this
Driggs, Elsie, 1898-1992  Search this
Erlebacher, Martha Mayer  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Fiske, Gertrude, 1878-1961  Search this
Freund, Gisèle  Search this
Horton, William S., 1865-1936  Search this
Ito, Miyoko, 1918-1983  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston, 1882-1935  Search this
Laderman, Gabriel, 1929-  Search this
Ligare, David  Search this
Matthiasdottir, Louisa  Search this
Matulka, Jan, 1890-1972  Search this
Myers, Ethel  Search this
Nadelman, Elie, 1882-1946  Search this
Schoelkopf, Robert J., 1927-1991  Search this
Stella, Joseph, 1877-1946  Search this
Storrs, John Henry Bradley, 1885-1956  Search this
Wiesenfeld, Paul  Search this
Extent:
29 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gallery records
Illustrated letters
Photographs
Date:
1851-1991
bulk 1962-1991
Summary:
The collection comprises 29 linear feet of records that document the day-to-day administration of the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery from 1962 to 1991, with additional items predating the founding of the gallery from 1851 to 1961. The collection records artist and client relations, exhibitions, and daily business transactions through artist files, correspondence, printed matter, and photographic material.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery comprise 29 linear feet of material from 1851 to 1991, with some items predating the founding of the gallery. The bulk of the records date from 1962 to 1991, providing researchers with fairly comprehensive coverage of the gallery's development and operations from its inception in 1962 until its closure in 1991. Items dated prior to 1962 relate principally to the period of transition during which Robert Schoelkopf ended his partnership with the Zabriskie Gallery and established his own business. There are also some items relating to artists of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

The collection consists primarily of artist files documenting relations with contemporary artists, representation of deceased artists, and other works of art handled by the gallery. It also chronicles the gallery's exhibition schedule and the day-to-day administration of the business. The types of material that can be found here include correspondence, exhibition inventories, price lists, accounting and consignment records, shipping and insurance records, printed material, and photographs.

The collection is a valuable source of information on twentieth-century American art history, focusing primarily on early-twentieth-century modernists as well as an important group of American realist painters and sculptors from the latter half of the century. The collection illuminates, in detail, the developing market for these schools and, in the case of the latter group, provides personal insights from artists on the realist perspective.

The records also document the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery's significant contribution to the resurgence of interest in fine art photography during the 1960s and 1970s as reflected in an increase in the value of works by important American photographers such as Walker Evans.

Much of the outgoing correspondence from the gallery consists of copies of letters written by Robert Schoelkopf, with additional business being handled by assistant staff and, from the mid-1970s, Schoelkopf's wife, Laura Jane Schoelkopf. The records offer insight into the personalities of the Schoelkopfs and how their congenial and candid management style influenced their relationships with the contemporary artists they represented.
Arrangement:
Originally the collection was organized as one large file arranged alphabetically by folder title, with titles ranging from names of artists to general subject headings such as "Correspondence." During processing it became clear that the gallery delineated operations into three main functions: artist relations, client-dealer relations, and exhibitions. Consequently the collection is arranged as three main series based on these areas of concern. A small group of miscellaneous photographs of artists constitutes an additional series at the end of the collection.

Originally paper records throughout the collection were generally arranged chronologically, although this order was not strictly adhered to. Frequently, correspondence and memoranda were attached to related records going back several years. To preserve the relationship between such documents, records stapled together in this way have been left together. They are arranged in reverse chronological order and filed in the folder corresponding to the primary date (i.e., the date of the first and most recent paper in the group). Researchers should be aware that date ranges provided on folders refer to the primary dates of documents contained therein and that some items in the folder may predate that range. Otherwise, the general chronological scheme has been retained throughout the collection, with undated material placed at the beginning of the appropriate file.

Printed material is arranged in chronological order, with undated material at the beginning of the folder, and may include press releases, exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, posters, clippings from newspapers, magazines, and journals, and other publicity material. Large amounts of printed material are broken down into several discrete folder units.

The most consistent labeling system for photographic material apparent throughout the collection was title of work of art. The majority of images are not dated with a printing date or the date that the work of art was produced, and although many of them have a processing number, these are by no means consistent and there are no master lists that can be used to interpret them. Consequently, images are arranged primarily by media type and then alphabetically by title. Untitled images are placed at the beginning of a media group; "the" in a title is ignored. Exceptions to this method are addressed in the appropriate series descriptions.

Files labeled "Photographs of Works of Art" will typically include any or all of the following: black-and-white copy prints, black-and-white transparencies, color transparencies, slide transparencies, Polaroid prints, color snapshots, contact sheets, and separation sheets. Often the same image will be duplicated in several different formats. Any notes on photographic material found in or on the original folder in which the material was filed have been preserved with the material or transcribed onto a sheet of acid-free paper that either encloses or is placed directly before the item to which the information applies.

The designation "General" indicates that a file may contain any or all of the types of material outlined above.

Series 1: Artist Files, 1851-1991, undated (Boxes 1-23; 23 linear ft.)

Series 2: General Business Files, 1960-1991, undated (Boxes 24-28; 4.74 linear ft.)

Series 3: Group Exhibition Files, 1960-1988, undated (Boxes 28-29; 1 linear ft.)

Series 4: Photographs of Artists, undated (Box 29; 0.25 linear ft.)
Historical Note:
Robert Schoelkopf, Jr., was born in Queens, New York, in 1927. He graduated from Yale College in 1951 with a bachelor of arts degree and then taught briefly at his alma mater while conducting graduate research in art history. Schoelkopf began his career in commercial art in 1957 as an independent dealer of American painting and sculpture and became a member of the Art Dealers Association of America in 1958. In 1959 he formed a partnership with Virginia Zabriskie, of the Zabriskie Gallery in New York, which lasted until 1962. The gallery exhibited late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century American painting, together with contemporary painting of a somewhat conservative style.

In 1962 Schoelkopf signed a three-year lease for the fourth floor of a building at 825 Madison Avenue in New York, where he opened the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery. From the outset, Schoelkopf aimed to specialize in American painting of the nineteenth and twentieth century and sculpture of all schools. He predicted a burgeoning market for the Hudson River School in particular, believing that American painting was increasingly perceived as being worthy of serious attention. In a letter dated January 3, 1963, Schoelkopf congratulated John Spencer for his decision to collect nineteenth-century American paintings for the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, assuring him that "progressive chauvanism [ sic] will operate to elevate prices in American painting. Every year more colleges teach Art History, and soon they shall have reached the level of sophistication and development where they will be obliged (for face) to offer tuition in specifically American art - hitherto neglected of academicians.... I and many other dealers have plans for exhibitions of nineteenth-century American painting, especially the Hudson River School."

Schoelkopf's instincts regarding the Hudson River School were undoubtedly correct, and consequently nineteenth-century American painters formed a permanent mainstay of his inventory. He is perhaps remembered more, however, for his dedication to reviving interest in lesser-known American painters from the turn-of-the-century who were impressionist or modernist in style. Schoelkopf developed something of a reputation for unearthing forgotten talent that, while sometimes mediocre or inconsistent, was occasionally exceptional and certainly worthy of note. He was committed to reinstalling Joseph Stella in the pantheon of major American artists, representing Stella's estate from 1963 to 1971 and holding regular exhibitions of the artist's work from 1962 on. In 1969 the gallery held the first New York exhibition of the paintings of Manierre Dawson, who was subsequently acclaimed by the critics for his important and innovative contributions to modernism. In 1970 Schoelkopf began showing the work of Jan Matulka, an artist whose work had been neglected since the 1930s, and his enthusiastic representation of the Matulka estate paved the way for a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1979.

Schoelkopf's interest in turn-of-the-century artists also extended to sculptors such as John Flannagan, Ethel Myers, Elie Nadelman, and John Henry Bradley Storrs, and he directed considerable energy to furthering Gaston Lachaise's reputation as an artist of major stature. When Lachaise died at the peak of his career in 1935, his estate was left to his wife, Isabel, and in 1957 to Isabel's son, Edward. When Edward died shortly thereafter, John B. Pierce, Jr., a nephew of Isabel Lachaise, was appointed trustee of the estate and formed the Lachaise Foundation. In 1962 Pierce entered an agreement with Robert Schoelkopf and Felix Landau to represent Lachaise's sculpture on the East and West Coasts, respectively. In this capacity Schoelkopf helped to launch a major retrospective of the artist's work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1964 and a traveling exhibition that began circulating in 1967.

The gallery's other major commitment was to painting and sculpture by contemporary American realists, many of whom worked in a figurative style and explored elements of allegory and classical mythology in their work, presenting landscapes, still lifes, and portraits from a realist perspective. The bulk of the gallery's exhibitions were, in fact, of work by contemporary artists, including metaphysical still-life painter William Bailey, colorist Leland Bell, figurative painter Martha Mayer Erlebacher, landscape and narrative painter Gabriel Laderman, and Icelandic artist Louisa Matthiasdottir. William Bailey was one of the gallery's most commercially successful artists, and his first one-person exhibition in New York was held there in 1968. Demand for Bailey's paintings often far exceeded his output, and by the late 1970s Schoelkopf invariably sold out his exhibitions and had compiled a lengthy waiting list for his work.

In its early years the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery contributed considerably to the development of interest in fine art photography that fostered an increasingly lucrative market for photographic prints during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1965 Schoelkopf began incorporating photography into the gallery's exhibition schedule and, in the spring of 1974, opened a gallery dedicated to photography on the second floor at 825 Madison Avenue. Between 1965 and 1979 Schoelkopf's was the only serious New York gallery dealing in painting and sculpture that also regularly exhibited photography as fine art. His interests lay primarily in antiquarian photography and the work of nineteenth-century and twentieth-century masters including Eugéne Atget, Mathew Brady, James Robertson, and Carleton Watkins. Schoelkopf organized shows examining specific photographic processes, the photogravure and the cyanotype, and presented surveys of genres such as portrait and landscape photography. In 1967 he held the first exhibition in many years of the work of Julia Margaret Cameron, an important figure in the history of Victorian photography, timing it to coincide with a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that focused on Cameron as one of four Victorian photographers.

Schoelkopf also handled the work of several influential contemporaries, most notably Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, and Gisèle Freund. The gallery held Freund's first exhibition in the United States in 1975 and was, for a time, the only place in New York where one could see and purchase prints by Cartier-Bresson. Schoelkopf began exhibiting Evans's work in 1966 and regularly thereafter, including a 1971 exhibition that coincided with a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art.

In the fall of 1976 the second-floor gallery space was turned over to Marcuse (Cusie) Pfeifer, then the gallery's director, who planned to use it to show the work of young photographers in a gallery under her own name. Schoelkopf continued to hold several photography exhibitions a year in the fourth-floor gallery but decided to concentrate primarily on nineteenth-century masters.

In March 1971 a fire in the building at Madison Avenue resulted in substantial water damage to the gallery space. Although very little of the inventory was destroyed, the incident forced Schoelkopf to close until September. This temporary loss of revenue compounded with a nationwide recession cut into Schoelkopf's financial resources and left him questioning his commission policy and his level of commitment to contemporary work in all media. A letter to artist Adolph Rosenblatt dated May 3, 1971, records how Schoelkopf had become increasingly disenchanted with "all contemporary work" and would begin taking 40 percent commission on sales, instead of 33.3 percent. "Beside the matter of enthusiasm is the matter of economics," Schoelkopf remarked, "and the last year and a half have been really dreadful for the art business."

This difficult period was followed immediately by more prosperous times. January 1973 proved to be the gallery's most successful month to date, encouraging Schoelkopf to purchase a house in Chappaqua, New York, later that year. In November 1974 Schoelkopf wrote to Anthony D'Offay that business "is as slow as it has ever been, but what sales we make are big ones" and revealed that auctions had, at that point, become his primary avenue for trade.

Around 1975 Schoelkopf's wife of eleven years, Laura Jane Schoelkopf, began working in the gallery. Although seemingly dubious of the work at first, she became a considerable asset to the business and reputedly complemented her husband's relationship with the gallery's contemporary artists through her warmth and hospitality, qualities often noted by artists who corresponded regularly with the couple.

The financial instability that characterized the 1970s undoubtedly influenced Schoelkopf's decision to cease exhibiting photography in 1979. By 1978 however, his investment in early-twentieth-century art appeared to be paying off. Jan Matulka, Joseph Stella, and John Henry Bradley Storrs had all been represented in exhibitions at major museums, and sales of their work had increased considerably. Gaston Lachaise's reputation continued to grow, and the traveling exhibition still circulated, garnering far more interest than had originally been anticipated.

Although contemporary artists continued to take up the largest portion of the gallery's changing exhibitions, Schoelkopf's interest in contemporary work was growing more conservative, tending toward a narrower focus on the narrative and allegorical. By 1979 he no longer exhibited contemporary sculpture, admitting to a lack of enthusiasm for the work of any of the current figurative sculptors and a dislike of all contemporary abstract work. In a letter to Lillian Delevoryas, dated March 17, 1982, he confessed, "With age has come a hardening of the aesthetic arteries perhaps. What we have been showing is realism, but getting tighter all the time."

In April 1984 the gallery was moved to 50 West Fifty-seventh Street, and, during the years that followed, the Schoelkopfs pared down the number of contemporary artists they represented, handling only those to whom they felt most strongly committed while continuing to specialize in nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century American painting and sculpture. As the gallery approached its thirtieth anniversary, Schoelkopf's achievements were considerable. He had operated a successful New York gallery for almost three decades, rejuvenated the reputations of several important American artists, and was respected by artists and clients alike for the integrity, intelligence, and humor with which he conducted his business affairs. In 1987 he had been appointed to the board of trustees of the Williamstown Regional Art Conservation Laboratory. By this time he was also a member of the advisory board to the National Academy of Design, and in 1988 he became a co-trustee of the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.

In March 1990, Robert Schoelkopf was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent a regimen of cancer treatment that resulted in a brief remission by the summer. Schoelkopf returned to work temporarily, but by 1991 his condition had worsened and he died in April of that year. Having known for some time that her husband's prognosis was poor, Laura Jane Schoelkopf had apparently decided that she would not continue the gallery in the event of his death. With the help of the youngest of their two sons, Andrew, she settled final accounts and assisted the gallery's contemporary artists in finding representation elsewhere before closing the business in August 1991.
Provenance:
Twenty-seven linear feet of records were donated to the Archives of American Art by Laura Jane Schoelkopf, Robert Schoelkopf's widow, and the Coe Kerr Gallery in 1991 and 1992. An additional gift of 3.4 linear feet was donated by Laura Jane Schoelkopf in 1996. The collection was reduced slightly during processing.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
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.
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Realism  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State)
Genre/Form:
Gallery records
Illustrated letters
Photographs
Citation:
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery records, 1851-1991, bulk 1962-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.robeschg
See more items in:
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-robeschg
Online Media:

Gertrude Fiske papers, 1915-1986, bulk 1915-1933 dates

Creator:
Fiske, Gertrude, 1878-1961  Search this
Fiske, Gertrude, 1878-1961  Search this
Subject:
Hopkinson, Charles  Search this
Leith-Ross, Harry  Search this
Little, Philip  Search this
Murphy, Hermann Dudley  Search this
Benson, Frank Weston  Search this
Gaugengigl, I. M. (Ignaz Marcel)  Search this
Boston Society of Etchers  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Topic:
Etching, American -- 20th century -- Massachusetts  Search this
Painting, American -- Massachusetts  Search this
Women painters -- Massachusetts  Search this
Theme:
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9681
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211889
AAA_collcode_fiskgert
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211889

Gertrude Fiske papers

Creator:
Fiske, Gertrude, 1878-1961  Search this
Names:
Boston Society of Etchers  Search this
Benson, Frank Weston, 1862-1951  Search this
Gaugengigl, I. M. (Ignaz Marcel), 1855-1932  Search this
Hopkinson, Charles, 1869-1962  Search this
Leith-Ross, Harry, b. 1886  Search this
Little, Philip, 1857-1942  Search this
Murphy, Hermann Dudley, 1867-1945  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear foot ((on 2 microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Date:
1915-1986
bulk 1915-1933 dates
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, photographs and printed materials documenting the career of Gertrude Fiske and the Boston Society of Etchers, of which Fiske was a founding member.
Letters from friends, colleagues, and museums include a small number of letters from Frank Benson, Harry Leith-Ross, Charles Hopkinson, and H. Dudley Murphy. A notebook on the Boston Society of Etchers contains a list of members, minutes of the founding meeting (1917), notes on expenses, lists of works exhibited (includes a sketch of works on exhibition), announcements, catalogs, and letters from members including Philip Little, Ignaz Gaugengigl and others. Other materials consist of biographical notes, two sketches, one possibly of Fiske, a sales receipt, a scrapbook of clippings and catalogs, and photographs of Fiske and friends, works, and exhibitions.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter. Fiske studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, under such luminaries as Tarbell, Benson and Hale, and later with Charles Woodbury in Ogunquit, Maine. A woman of means and socially well-connected, Miss Fiske was a co-founder of the Guild of Boston Artists (1914), the Boston Society of Etchers (1917), and the Ogunquit Art Association (1928).
Provenance:
Harold B. (Bus) Willis, the owner of the collection, is the nephew of Gertrude Fiske.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Painters -- Massachusetts  Search this
Topic:
Etching, American -- 20th century -- Massachusetts  Search this
Painting, American -- Massachusetts  Search this
Women painters -- Massachusetts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Identifier:
AAA.fiskgert
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fiskgert

James Britton papers

Creator:
Britton, James, 1878-1936  Search this
Names:
Arlington Galleries (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Kelly, Andrew J.  Search this
Kent, Duncan Scott  Search this
Mitchell, Edwin Valentine, 1890-1960  Search this
Vonnoh, Robert William, 1858-1933  Search this
Blackfield  Search this
Fiske, Gertrude, 1878-1961  Search this
Higgins, Eugene, 1874-1958  Search this
Inukai, Kyohei, 1913-  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Prendergast, Maurice Brazil, 1858-1924  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Vose, Robert C. (Robert Churchill), 1911-1998  Search this
Extent:
4.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Illustrations
Notebooks
Diaries
Prints
Sketches
Drafts
Date:
circa 1905-1984
bulk 1905-1935
Summary:
The papers of painter and writer James Britton measure 4.3 linear feet and date from circa 1905-1984, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1905-1935. The bulk of the papers consist of 49 diaries dating from 1918-1935, plus notebooks of diary excerpts, that chronicle Britton's daily activities and include lists, illustrations, and drafts of correspondence. Additional papers include biographical information compiled by the Britton family; scattered business and financial records; correspondence, including copies of Britton's letters to the editors of the Hartford Courant and the Hartford Times; additional writings and notes that include drafts and manuscripts of an autobiography, drafts of articles for his publication Art Opus, and other writings; sketches and a woodcut print; printed materials, including clippings of his published writings for Art Review International, Book Notes, and Opus; and one photograph of Britton and of works of art.

There is a 1.4 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated 2020 that includes correspondence, writings by Britton about art, printed material (some annotated ), lists of works of art by Britton and others, and sketches by Britton.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and writer James Britton measure 4.3 linear feet and date from circa 1905-1984, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1905-1935. The bulk of the papers consist of 49 diaries dating from 1918-1935, plus notebooks of diary excerpts, that chronicle Britton's daily activities and include lists, illustrations, and drafts of correspondence. Additional papers include biographical information compiled by the Britton family; scattered business and financial records; correspondence, including copies of Britton's letters to the editors of the Hartford Courant and the Hartford Times; additional writings and notes that include drafts and manuscripts of an autobiography, drafts of articles for his publication Art Opus, and other writings; sketches and a woodcut print; printed materials, including clippings of his published writings for Art Review International, Book Notes, and Opus; and one photograph of Britton and of works of art.

Biographical information consists of a file of photocopied materials prepared by the Britton Family. Scattered business and financial records include papers relating to Britton's auto accident, indexes of letters, illustrated indexes and lists of works of art, miscellaneous invoices and receipts, and file relating to Arlington Gallery.

Nine folders of correspondence include letters written to and by Britton along with posthumus materials to his widow, Caroline Britton. Correspondents include artists and friends Gertrude Fiske, Eugene Higgins, Kyonei Inukai, Andrew Kelly, Dewitt McClellan Lockman, Edwin Valentine Mitchell, Maurice Prendergast, Duncan Phillips, Alfred Stieglitz, Robert Vonnoh, and Robert C. Vose.

The bulk of the Britton papers consist of his extensive diaries - 49 volumes, plus notebooks of excerpts and detailed indexes. The diaries date from 1918-1935 and details Britton's daily activities and observations about art figures active in New York and Connecticut, classical music, the Great Depression, Prohibition, the Catholic Church, and politics. In addition, Britton talks of his relationships with his wife and children. The diaries served as a place for Britton to make lists of works of art, portrait subjects, potential clients, etc. Britton also created "Notebooks of Diary Excerpts" and a detailed index of many of the diaries.

Additional writings and notes include a handwritten and incomplete typescript of an autobiography, writings for Britton's publication Opus, and miscellaneous writings about art, music and plays. Writings by others include works by Duncan Scott Kent and Blackfield.

Artwork includes a print and sketches by Britton, and children's drawings.

Printed materials include issues of Britton's Art Review International, Opus, and other publications for which he wrote articles or provided illustration, clippings, exhibition catalogs, and programs.

Photographs include one photo of the artist with a painting and photos of works of art.

There is a 1.4 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated 2020 that includes correspondence, writings by Britton about art, printed material (some annotated ), lists of works of art by Britton and others, and sketches by Britton.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1970-1984 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Business and Financial records, 1919-1933 (Box 1; 7 folders)

Series 3: Correspondence, 1913-1945 (Box 1; 9 folders)

Series 4: Diaries, 1918-1935 (Box 1-2; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Writings and Notes, circa 1910s-1931 (Box 2-3; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1920-1929 (Box 3; 5 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1910-1982 (Box 4; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1905-1930s (Box 4, OV 5; 3 folders)

Series 9: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1920-1934 (Boxes 6-7; 1.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
James Britton (1878-1936) was a portrait painter and writer active in Connecticut and New York. Britton wrote extensively about American art and artists and was the editor of his own publications Art Review International and Opus. Also, he was a member of the group of New York painters and sculptors known as The Eclectics.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1878, James Britton began his career as an apprentice working under August Jaccaci at Scribner's Magazine in 1895. He studied under George de Forest Brush at the Art Students' League and under Walter Griffin and Charles Noel Flagg in Hartford. He exhibited and worked with many of the American artists associated with the Ash Can school and The Eclectics, a group of New York artists that included Theresa Bernstein, Guy Pene du Bois, Walter Griffin, Philip L. Hale, Eugene Higgins, George Luks, Jane Peterson, Maurice Prendergast, and Mahonri Young. Mainly, Britton worked as a portrait painter but produced many landscapes of Sag Harbor, Long Island, and of his homes in Connecticut. He was a founding member of the New Society of American Artists and the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts. He exhibited at numerous New York City galleries including Ainslie Galleries, Arlington Galleries, Babcock Galleries, Dudensing Galleries, Folsom Galleries, and at the studio of sculptor Marie Apel.

A prolific writer on American art and artists, as well as an illustrator, Britton worked as staff artist for the Hartford Times and as an art critic for American Art News and the Hartford Courant. He also founded and edited Art Review International and Opus. Two of his published books include Copley, Painter of the Revolution and Artists of America. Britton was also interested in classical music and wrote on composers Haydn and Beethoven. Britton's extensive diaries found within his papers chronicle his daily life and commentary.

In 1914, Britton married Caroline Korner and settled mostly in Connecticut. They had three children, Jerome, Teresa, and Ruth. In 1928, a car struck Britton and left him disabled. Although he continued to paint, he suffered from ill-health as a result of the accident. He died in 1936.

James Britton's works are represented at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Mark Twain Memorial, Manchester Public Library and at St. Joseph's College.
Provenance:
Donated 1985 and 2020 by Barbara and Ursula Roberts Britton, granddaughters of James Britton.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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:
Art critics  Search this
Topic:
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Diaries  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Connecticut  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Illustrations
Notebooks
Diaries
Prints
Sketches
Drafts
Citation:
James Britton papers, circa 1905-1984, bulk circa 1905-1935. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.britjame
See more items in:
James Britton papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-britjame
Online Media:

Gertrude Fiske : oil paintings 1910-1928

Author:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Physical description:
[12] p. : chiefly ill. ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1968
[1968]
Call number:
ND237.F45 A4 1968
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_796142

Gertrude Fiske, 1878-1961 : [exhibition] October 1 to December 31, 1987, Vose Galleries of Boston

Author:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Aten, Carol Walker  Search this
Vose Galleries of Boston  Search this
Subject:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961 Exhibitions  Search this
Physical description:
24 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1987
C1987
Call number:
N40.1.F5487 A8 1987
N40.1.F5487A8 1987
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_429559

Pilgrim, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Farnsworth Art Museum 352 Main Street, P. O. Box 466 Rockland Maine 04841 Accession Number: 66.1532
Date:
1925
Topic:
Figure male  Search this
Dress--Accessory--Cane  Search this
Control number:
IAP 18660464
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_406211

Grandmother, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Subject:
Unidentified  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Farnsworth Art Museum 352 Main Street, P. O. Box 466 Rockland Maine 04841 Accession Number: 66.1530
Date:
1926
Topic:
Portrait female--Elderly  Search this
Control number:
IAP 18660465
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_406212

The Carpenter, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Farnsworth Art Museum 352 Main Street, P. O. Box 466 Rockland Maine 04841 Accession Number: 66.1529
Date:
Ca. 1922
Topic:
Figure male--Elderly  Search this
Occupation--Industry--Construction  Search this
Object--Tool--Hammer  Search this
Object--Tool--Ladder  Search this
Control number:
IAP 18660466
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_406213

Taxes, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Farnsworth Art Museum 352 Main Street, P. O. Box 466 Rockland Maine 04841 Accession Number: 66.1531
Topic:
Figure group  Search this
Architecture interior--Domestic--House  Search this
Object--Written Matter  Search this
Control number:
IAP 18660467
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_406214

Cool Waters, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Farnsworth Art Museum 352 Main Street, P. O. Box 466 Rockland Maine 04841 Accession Number: 2001.32.3
Topic:
Waterscape  Search this
Control number:
IAP 18660802
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_407502

Late October, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Vose Galleries of Boston, Inc 238 Newbury Street Boston Massachusetts 02116
Date:
1917
Topic:
Landscape--Season--Autumn  Search this
Control number:
IAP 60630383
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_428768

Ann and Teresa, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Subject:
Unidentified  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Topic:
Portrait group--Family  Search this
Portrait female--Ann  Search this
Portrait female--Teresa  Search this
Portrait female--Child  Search this
Control number:
IAP 8D280058
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_431243

Ogunquit Beach, Afternoon, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Date:
1923
Topic:
Landscape--Maine--Ogunquit  Search this
Landscape--Beach  Search this
Landscape--Time--Afternoon  Search this
Figure group  Search this
Recreation--Leisure  Search this
Control number:
IAP 8D280059
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_431244

Woman Knitting, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Topic:
Figure female--Knee length  Search this
Occupation--Domestic--Sewing  Search this
Architecture interior--Domestic--House  Search this
Control number:
IAP 8D280060
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_431245

Women with Parasols, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Topic:
Landscape  Search this
Figure group--Female  Search this
Dress--Accessory--Umbrella  Search this
Recreation--Leisure--Strolling  Search this
Control number:
IAP 8D280061
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_431246

Wells Beach, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Museum of Fine Arts 465 Huntington Avenue Boston Massachusetts 02115 Accession Number: 2004.258
Date:
Ca. 1920
Topic:
Landscape--Beach  Search this
Control number:
IAP 20493418
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_432711

The Artist in her Studio, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Subject:
Fiske, Gertrude  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Topic:
Figure group--Artist & Model  Search this
Portrait female--Self Portrait  Search this
Portrait female--Knee length  Search this
Occupation--Art--Painter  Search this
Architecture interior--Studio--Fiske  Search this
Object--Art Tool--Easel  Search this
Object--Other--Container  Search this
Object--Written Matter--Book  Search this
Control number:
IAP 9D730046
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_349186

Gertrude Horsford Fiske (a Self-Portrait), (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Subject:
Fiske, Gertrude  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
National Academy of Design 1083 Fifth Avenue New York New York 10128
Date:
1922
Topic:
Portrait female--Self Portrait  Search this
Portrait female--Waist length  Search this
Occupation--Art--Painter  Search this
Object--Art Tool--Artist's Brush  Search this
Object--Art Tool--Palette  Search this
Architecture interior--Studio--Fiske  Search this
Control number:
IAP 36271109
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_363711

Charles H. Woodbury, (painting)

Painter:
Fiske, Gertrude 1878-1961  Search this
Subject:
Woodbury, Charles Herbert  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
National Academy of Design 1083 Fifth Avenue New York New York 10128
Date:
1916
Topic:
Portrait male--Waist length  Search this
Occupation--Art--Painter  Search this
Recreation--Leisure--Smoking  Search this
Control number:
IAP 36271110
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_363712

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