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Charles Henry Caffin papers

Creator:
Caffin, Charles Henry, 1854-1918  Search this
Names:
Andreyev, Leonid, 1871-1919. Sorrows of Belgium  Search this
Corn, Wanda M.  Search this
Greet, Ben, Sir, 1857-1936  Search this
Kennedy, Charles Rann, 1871- Servant in the house  Search this
Layton, Donna Caffin  Search this
Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Photographer:
Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942  Search this
Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952  Search this
Käsebier, Gertrude, 1852-1934  Search this
Extent:
1.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Date:
circa 1883-1973
bulk 1883-1918
Summary:
The scattered papers of art critic and writer Charles Henry Caffin measure 1.2 linear feet and date from circa 1883-1973, bulk circa 1883-1918. Found within the papers are an interview transcript, two letters, printed materials, one scrapbook, and family photographs dating from circa 1883 to circa 1911, many by noted photographers Arnold Genthe, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and Alfred Stieglitz. The scrapbook contains Caffin's columns for the New York American, 1913-1915.
Scope and Content Note:
The scattered papers of art critic and writer Charles Henry Caffin measure 1.2 linear feet and date from circa 1883-1973. Found within the papers are an interview transcript, two letters, printed materials, one scrapbook, and family photographs dating from circa 1883 to circa 1911, many by noted photographers Arnold Genthe, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and Alfred Stieglitz. The scrapbook contains Caffin's columns for the New York American, 1913-1915.

Biographical information includes an autograph book, and a transcript and written summary of a 1973 interview with Caffin's daughter, Donna Layton, conducted by Wanda Corn and Deborah Loft concerning Charles Henry Caffin. The two letters found within the papers are written to Caroline Caffin. Printed material consists of play announcements, a play written by Charles Rann Kennedy, and excerpts from a 1974 published book on photography mentioning Caffin.

Photographs are of the Caffin family, including Charles Henry, Caroline, Donna, Freda and Charles's mother Harlet. Also found are photographs of Ben Greet. Notable photographers include Arnold Genthe, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and Alfred Stieglitz. There is one scrapbook containing Charles Henry Caffin's articles written for the New York American magazine from 1913-1915.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 5 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1915, 1973 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1920 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1908, circa 1920, 1973 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 4: Photographs, circa 1883-circa 1910s (Box 1, 3-4; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1913-1915 (Box 2; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Charles Henry Caffin was born in 1854 in England. After graduating from Oxford University, Caffin served as stage manager for outdoor productions with Ben Greet and His Shakespearean Players. During this time, he met actress Caroline Scurfield, whom he later married and had two daughters, Freda and Donna. Caffin moved to United States in 1892 where he began to write about art, drama, and dance. He was an early supporter of the Photo-Secessionists and American modern art.

Initially, Caffin worked for several years executing murals from designs prepared by other artists for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the new Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Shortly thereafter, however, he began writing for Alfred Stieglitz's Camera Notes and later Camera Work. He moved to the New York City area and worked as a critic for the New York Evening Post, New York Sun, and later for the New York American. Caffin wrote many books about art, drama, and dance, including Photography as Fine Art (1901), American Masters of Painting (1902), How to Study Pictures (1905), and Art for Life's Sake (1913).

Charles Caffin died in 1918.
Provenance:
Donna Caffin Layton, daughter of Charles Caffin, donated most of the papers in 1974. Stephen D. Rockstroh, Caffin's son-in-law, donated additional material in 1985.
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 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Photographers  Search this
Theater -- History -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Citation:
Charles Henry Caffin papers, circa 1883-1973, bulk circa 1883-1918. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.caffchar
See more items in:
Charles Henry Caffin papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw995cf9387-ef77-48be-b61e-c717ca77d217
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-caffchar
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  • Andreyev, Leonid, 1871-1919. Sorrows of Belgium
  • Caffin, Charles Henry
  • Corn, Wanda M.
  • Genthe, Arnold
  • Greet, Ben, Sir
  • Johnston, Frances Benjamin
  • Kennedy, Charles Rann, 1871- Servant in the house
  • Käsebier, Gertrude
  • Layton, Donna Caffin
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  • Andreyev, Leonid, 1871-1919. Sorrows of Belgium
  • Caffin, Charles Henry
  • Corn, Wanda M.
  • Genthe, Arnold
  • Greet, Ben, Sir
  • Johnston, Frances Benjamin
  • Kennedy, Charles Rann, 1871- Servant in the house
  • Käsebier, Gertrude
  • Layton, Donna Caffin
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