The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.
Henry Varnum Poor's correspondence documents his personal, family, and professional life. Correspondents include family and friends, among them George Biddle, Charles Burchfield, John Ciardi, Marion V. Dorn (who became his second wife), Philip Evergood, Lewis Mumford, John Steinbeck, David Smith, and Mrs. John Work (Alice) Garrett. Among other correspondents are galleries, museums, schools, organizations, fans, former students, and acquaintances from his military service and travels. Family correspondence consists of Henry's letters to his parents, letters to his parents written by his wife, and letters among other family members.
Among the writings by Henry Varnum Poor are manuscripts of his two published books, An Artist Sees Alaska and A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. as well as the text of "Painting is Being Talked to Death," published in the first issue of Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, April 1953, and manuscripts of other articles. There are also film scripts, two journals, notes and notebooks, lists, speeches, and writings by others, including M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston's account of Poor rescuing an Eskimo, and Bessie Breuer Poor's recollections of The Montross Gallery.
Subject files include those on the Advisory Committee on Art, American Designers' Gallery, Inc., William Benton, Harold Dickson, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions Sales, and War Posters. There are numerous administrative files for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
Artwork by Henry Varnum Poor consists mainly of loose drawings and sketches and 45 sketchbooks of studies for paintings, murals, and pottery. There is work done in France, 1918-1919, and while working as a war correspondent in Alaska in 1943. There are commissioned illustrations and some intended for his monograph, A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. Also found are a small number of watercolors and prints. Work by other artists consist of Anne Poor's drawings of her father's hands used for the Lincoln figure in The Land Grant Frescoes and interior views of Crow House by Ernest Watson.
Documentation of Poor's architectural projects consists of drawings and prints relating to houses designed and built for Jules Billing, MacDonald Deming, John Houseman, Burgess Meredith, Isabel Padro, and Elizabeth S. Sargent. Also found is similar material for the new studio Poor built in 1957 on the grounds of Crow House.
Miscellaneous records include family memorabilia and two motion picture films, Painting a True Fresco, and The Land Grant Murals at Pennsylvania State College.
Printed material includes articles about or mentioning Poor, some of his pottery reference books, family history, a catalog of kilns, and the program of a 1949 Pennsylvania State College theater production titled Poor Mr. Varnum. Exhibition catalogs and announcements survive for some of Poor's shows; catalogs of other artists' shows include one for Theodore Czebotar containing an introductory statement by Henry Varnum Poor. Also found is a copy of The Army at War: A Graphic Record by American Artists, for which Poor served as an advisor. There are reproductions of illustrations for An Artist Sees Alaska and Ethan Frome, and two Associated American Artists greeting cards reproducing work by Poor.
Photographs are of Henry Varnum Poor's architectural work, artwork, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. This series also contains negatives, slides, and transparencies. Images of architectural work include exterior and interior views of many projects; Poor's home, Crow House, predominates. Photographs of artwork by Poor are of drawings, fresco and ceramic tile murals, paintings, pottery and ceramic art. People appearing in photographs include Henry Varnum Poor, family members, friends, clients, juries, students, and various groups. Among the individuals portrayed are Milton Caniff, Marcel Duchamp, Wharton Esherick, M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston, and Burgess Meredith. Among the family members are Bessie Breuer Poor, Marion Dorn Poor, Anne Poor, Eva Poor, Josephine Graham Poor, Josephine Lydia Poor, Peter Poor, and unidentified relatives. Photographs of places include many illustrating village life in Alaska that were taken by Poor during World War II. Other places recorded are French and California landscapes, and family homes in Kansas. Miscellaneous subjects are exhibition installation views, scenes of Kentucky farms, and a photograph of Poor's notes on glazes.
The collection is arranged as 9 series:
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1919-1987 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1, OV 18)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1873-1985 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1944-1974 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)
Series 4: Subject Files, 1928-1975 (0.8 linear feet; Box 3, OV 23)
Series 5: Artwork, circa 1890s-circa 1961 (3.5 linear feet; Boxes 4-6, 9-10, OV 19-22)
Series 6: Architectural Projects, circa 1940-1966 (0.7 linear feet; Box 6, OV 24-26, RD 14-17)
Series 7: Miscellaneous Records, 1882-1967 (Boxes 6, 11, FC 30-31; 0.5 linear ft.)
Series 8: Printed Material, 1881-2001 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 11, OV 27-29)
Series 9: Photographs, 1893-1984 (2.3 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 12-13)
Henry Varnum Poor (1888-1970), best known as a potter, ceramic artist, and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, was also an architect, painter, muralist, designer, educator, and writer who lived and worked in New City, New York.
A native of Chapman, Kansas, Henry Varnum Poor moved with his family to Kansas City when his grain merchant father became a member of the Kansas Board of Trade. From a young age he showed artistic talent and spent as much time as possible - including school hours - drawing. When a school supervisor suggested that Henry leave school to study at the Art Institute of Chicago, the family disagreed. Instead, he enrolled in the Kansas City Manual Training High School where he delighted in learning skills such as carpentry, forge work, and mechanical drawing. In 1905, he moved with his older brother and sister to Palo Alto, California and completed high school there. Because Poor was expected to join the family business, he enrolled at Stanford University as an economics major, but much to his father's disappointment and displeasure, soon left the economics department and became an art major.
Immediately after graduation in 1910, Poor and his major professor at Stanford, Arthur B. Clark, took a summer bicycling tour to look at art in London, France, Italy, and Holland. As Poor had saved enough money to remain in London after the summer was over, he enrolled in the Slade School of Art and also studied under Walter Sickert at the London County Council Night School. After seeing an exhibition of Post-Impressionism at the Grafton Galleries in London, Poor was so impressed that he went to Paris and enrolled in the Académie Julian. While in Paris, Poor met Clifford Addams, a former apprentice of Whistler; soon he was working in Addams' studio learning Whistler's palette and techniques.
In the fall of 1911, Poor returned to Stanford University's art department on a one-year teaching assignment. During that academic year, his first one-man show was held at the university's Old Studio gallery. He married Lena Wiltz and moved back to Kansas to manage the family farm and prepare for another exhibition. Their daughter, Josephine Lydia Poor, was born the following year. Poor returned to Stanford in September 1913 as assistant professor of graphic arts, remaining until the department closed three years later. During this period, Poor began to exhibit more frequently in group shows in other areas of the country, and had his first solo exhibition at a commercial gallery (Helgesen Gallery, San Francisco). In 1916, Poor joined the faculty of the San Francisco Art Association. He and his wife separated in 1917 and were divorced the following year. Poor began sharing his San Francisco studio with Marion Dorn.
During World War I, Poor was drafted into the U. S. Army, and in 1918 went to France with the 115th Regiment of Engineers. He spent his spare time drawing; soon officers were commissioning portraits, and Poor was appointed the regimental artist. He also served as an interpreter for his company. Discharged from the Army in early 1919, Poor spent the spring painting in Paris. He then returned to San Francisco and married Marion Dorn.
Once Poor realized that earning a living as a painter would be extremely difficult in California, he and his new wife moved to New York in the autumn of 1919. They were looking for a place to live when influential book and art dealer Mary Mowbray-Clarke of the Sunwise Turn Bookshop in Manhattan suggested New City in Rockland County, New York as good place for artists. In January of 1920, the Poors purchased property on South Mountain Road in New City. The skills he acquired at the Kansas City Manual Training High School were of immediate use as Poor designed and constructed "Crow House" with the assistance of a local teenager. Influenced by the farmhouses he had seen in France, it was made of local sandstone and featured steep gables, rough plaster, chestnut beams and floors, and incorporated many hand-crafted details. Poor designed and built most of their furniture, too. Before the end of the year, he and Marion were able to move into the house, though it remained a work in progress for many years. Additions were constructed. Over time, gardens were designed and planted, and outbuildings - a kiln and pottery, work room, garage, and new studio - appeared on the property.
In 1925, two years after his divorce from Marion Dorn, Poor married Bessie Freedman Breuer (1893-1975), an editor, short story writer, and novelist. Soon after, he adopted her young daughter, Anne (1918-2002), an artist who served as his assistant on many important mural commissions. Their son, Peter (b. 1926) became a television producer. Crow House remained in the family until its sale in 2006. In order to prevent its demolition, Crow House was then purchased by the neighboring town of Ramapo, New York in 2007.
Between 1935 and 1966 Poor designed and oversaw construction of a number of houses, several of them situated not far from Crow House on South Mountain Road. Poor's designs, noted for their simplicity, featured modern materials and incorporated his ceramic tiles. Among his important commissions were houses for Maxwell Anderson, Jules Billig, Milton Caniff, MacDonald Deming, and John Houseman.
Poor's first exhibition of paintings in New York City was at Kevorkian Galleries in 1920, and sales were so disappointing that he turned his attention to ceramics. His first pottery show, held at Bel Maison Gallery in Wanamaker's department store in 1921, was very successful. He quickly developed a wide reputation, participated in shows throughout the country, and won awards. He was a founder of the short-lived American Designers' Gallery, and the tile bathroom he showed at the group's first exposition was critically acclaimed. Poor was represented by Montross Gallery as both a painter and potter. When Montross Gallery closed upon its owner's death in 1932, Poor moved to the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery.
Even though Poor's pottery and ceramic work was in the forefront, he continued to paint. His work was acquired by a number of museums, and the Limited Editions Club commissioned him to illustrate their republications of Ethan Frome, The Scarlet Letter, and The Call of the Wild.
Poor's first work in true fresco was shown in a 1932 mural exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Between 1935 and 1949 he was commissioned to produce several murals in fresco for Section of Fine Arts projects at the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior, The Land Grant Frescoes at Pennsylvania State College, and a mural for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Ceramic tile mural commissions included: the Klingenstein Pavilion, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City; Travelers Insurance Co., Boston; the Fresno Post Office, California; and Hillson Memorial Gallery, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass.
As a member of the War Artists' Unit, Poor was a "war correspondent" with the rank of major in World War II, and for several months in 1943 was stationed in Alaska. An Artist Sees Alaska, drawing on Poor's observations and experiences, was published in 1945. A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality, his second book, was published in 1958. It remains a standard text on the subject. While on the faculty of Columbia University in the 1950s, Poor and other artists opposed to the growing influence of Abstract Expressionism formed the Reality Group with Poor the head of its editorial committee. Their magazine, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, first appeared in 1953 featuring "Painting is Being Talked to Death" by Poor as its lead article. Two more issues were published in 1954 and 1955.
Along with Willard Cummings, Sidney Simon, and Charles Cuttler, in 1946 Henry Varnum Poor helped to establish the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. He served as its first president. Poor and his daughter, Anne, were active members of the Board of Trustees and were instructors for many years. The summer of 1961 was Henry Varnum Poor's last as a full-time teacher, though he continued to spend summers at Skowhegan.
Henry Varnum Poor exhibited widely and received many awards, among them prizes at the Carnegie Institute, Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Architectural League of New York. Poor was appointed to the United States Commission of Fine Arts by President Roosevelt in 1941 and served a five year term. He was elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1943. The National Academy of Design named him an Associate Artist in 1954 and an Academician in 1963. He became a trustee of the American Craftsman's Council in 1956. The work of Henry Vernum Poor is represented in the permanent collections of many American museums including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Addison Gallery of American Art, and Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts.
Henry Varnum Poor died at home in New City, New York, December 8, 1970.
An oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor was conducted by Harlan Phillips for the Archives of American Art in 1964.
Gift of Henry Varnum Poor's son, Peter V. Poor, in 2007. A smaller portion was loaned to the Archives in 1973 by Anne Poor for microfilming and returned to the lender; this material was included in the 2007 gift.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The Henry Varnum Poor papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
The records of the American Federation of Arts (AFA) provide researchers with a complete set of documentation focusing on the founding and history of the organization from its inception through the 1960s. The collection measures 79.8 linear feet, and dates from 1895 through 1993, although the bulk of the material falls between 1909 and 1969. Valuable for its coverage of twentieth-century American art history, the collection also provides researchers with fairly comprehensive documentation of the many exhibitions and programs supported and implemented by the AFA to promote and study contemporary American art, both nationally and abroad.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the American Federation of Arts (AFA) provide researchers with a complete set of documentation focusing on the founding and history of the organization from its inception through the 1960s. The collection measures 79.8 linear feet, and dates from 1895 through 1993, although the bulk of the material falls between 1909 and 1969. Valuable for its coverage of twentieth-century American art history, the collection also provides researchers with fairly comprehensive documentation of the many exhibitions and programs supported and implemented by the AFA to promote and study contemporary American art, both nationally and abroad.
The earliest documentation from 1895 to 1909 concerns the organization's history and founding and is located in Series 1: Board of Trustees. Also found in this series are meeting minutes, 1909-1963 and 1968. Interfiled with the board meeting minutes are minutes of the executive committee and other special and ad hoc committees, reports to the board, financial statements and reports, and lists of committee appointments and board membership. This series also contains the scattered correspondence and subject files of various officers. Although not a complete set of officers' files, Presidents' Frederick Allen. Whiting (1931-1936), Lawrence M.C. Smith (1948-1952), Thomas Brown Rudd (1952-1954), Daniel Longwell (1954-1956), James S. Schramm (1956-1958), and Roy R. Neuberger (1958-1961) are represented. Leila Mechlin served on AFA's board as secretary from its founding to 1929, and her files are a particularly rich resource for AFA's activities during its early years. Lawrence M.C. Smith's files documenting his years as board treasurer are also arranged in this series. Additional officers' correspondence is interspersed throughout the Alphabetical Files and other series.
General information about the scope of AFA's programs, affiliations, founding, functions, and proceedings are arranged in Series 2: Administrative Records. The first subseries, Alphabetical Files, houses a wide variety of subject files that contain memoranda, correspondence, printed materials, lists, reports, and other papers. These files document the AFA's general history and founding, organizational affiliations, buildings and moves, grants, federal and state government art programs, auctions and other fund-raising efforts, publicity and public relations, publications, and fiftieth anniversary celebration. The subject headings by which these files are arranged are, for the most part, the ones designated by the AFA. The second subseries, Staff Records, houses the scattered files of AFA's director, assistant director, registrar, and special state representative, Robert Luck.
During its most active period, the AFA sponsored or participated in several special programs and Series 3: Special Programs houses the files that document many of them. The first subseries consists of the files for the Artists in Residence program that was funded by the Ford Foundation. Awarded in 1963, the grant sponsored short-term teaching residencies for artists in museums throughout the United States. The host museums were encouraged to hold exhibitions of the artists' works. This subseries contains both the general files of the program, as well as individual files on the participating artists. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the AFA and the Ford Foundation also sponsored additional programs for artists, including Grants in Aid, Purchase Awards, and the Retrospective Exhibitions Program. The files documenting these three programs are also arranged in Series 3, under the subseries Ford Foundation Program for Visual Artists. In the late 1950s, the AFA implemented the Museum Donor Program with benefactors and philanthropists Audrey Bruce Currier and Stephen Richard Currier. Through the administration of the AFA, the Curriers donated funds to selected institutions specifically for the purchase of contemporary American art. The Curriers preferred to remain anonymous throughout the program. Files documenting this program include correspondence, applications from the accepted institutions, rejections, a summary report, and clippings about the untimely deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Currier in 1967.
Also found in Series 3 are the files documenting AFAs working relationship with the first state arts council, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). In 1961, AFA and NYSCA implemented a traveling exhibition program in New York State. Found here are files for possible itineraries, proposals, publicity, loans, budgets, and the actual exhibition files. Additional AFA special programs documented in Series 3 include the Picture of the Month program of the mid-1950s and the Jean Tennyson Foundation Color Slide Lecture Program.
AFA Annual Convention files constitute Series 4. Beginning with the Third Annual Convention in 1912 and continuing through the 1963 Annual Convention, the files contain official proceedings, speeches, programs, clippings, correspondence, and press releases. Files are missing for 1913, 1915, 1918, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1931, 1936-1949, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1960, and 1962. There are also audio recordings in the form of reel-to-reel tapes for the 1951 Annual Convention.
Series 5: Exhibition Files forms the bulk of the collection at circa 62 linear feet and is arranged into twenty subseries. The first subseries, Exhibitions, General, houses primarily the records of the Board of Trustees Exhibition Committee and documents the AFA's earliest involvement with traveling exhibitions. These files contain reports, budgets, correspondence, memoranda, scattered exhibition catalogs, and photographs. They are primarily the files of the chair of the Exhibition Committee and include the files of Juliana R. Force, Eloise Spaeth, and Mrs. John Pope. Also found in this series is a subseries of Mrs. John Pope's records documenting circulating exhibitions from 1934 to 1955, arranged by state.
The remaining nineteen subseries of the Exhibition Files reflect either specific exhibition programs, many of which have unique numbers assigned by AFA to individual exhibitions, or other exhibition-related files, such rejected, canceled, and suggested exhibitions and miscellaneous installation photographs. The Annual Exhibitions files constitute the largest of the subseries and are numbered according to the system assigned by AFA, following a typical chronological order. Although the documentation for each exhibition varies widely by both type and amount, most of the files contain contracts and legal agreements, correspondence, memoranda, itinerary information, condition reports, publicity materials, catalogs, announcements, price lists, and other such information arranged into one or more files. The files were labeled "documentation files," "dispersal files," "report form files," "loan agreement files," and "publicity files" according to the filing system devised by AFA. Many of the files also house a significant amount of correspondence with museum officials, lenders, and artists.
Additional subseries document AFA's exhibition venues and partnerships with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the New York State Council on the [UNK] Life magazine, and Addison Gallery. A complete list of all of the subseries, including specific exhibition programs, follows in the Series Outline.
The final three series of the collection are small: Printed Material, Miscellaneous Files, and Oversized Material. The printed material was donated much later to the Archives and dates from 1990 to 1993. Found here are scattered press releases, annual reports, and an exhibition program. Miscellaneous Files contain scattered records, 1926-1962, of the Architectural League of New York relating to national award programs. It is not clear why this small group of Architectural League records was found mixed with the AFA records but perhaps the collaboration between the two organizations on several special projects provides an explanation. Also found in Miscellaneous Files is a group of black and white lantern slides from a lecture series, "New Horizons in America." Oversized Material includes a portfolio, a work of art, and posters.
See Appendix for a list of artists exhibiting with the American Federation of Arts
The collection is arranged into eight primary series based primarily on administrative units or program areas. Several of the series are further subdivided into subseries. While processing, it became clear that the two filing systems were redundant and overlapped in both subject area and type of material. Most of these files were subsequently merged into the now broader Alphabetical Files or into separate series. Oversized material may be found at the end of the collection arranged in a separate series.
In most cases, files related to one another by subseries or subject areas (in the case of the Alphabetical Files) or by individual name (in the case of officers and staff files) are arranged in chronological order. The entire subseries of Alphabetical Files in Series 2 is arranged by subject heading, as assigned by the AFA, or individual name. The Alphabetical Files originally formed two broad filing systems as established by the AFA: one for general correspondence arranged by subject; and one for director's and other staff correspondence, also arranged by subject.
Series 1: Board of Trustees, circa 1895-1968 (Boxes 1-3)
Series 2: Administrative Records, 1910-1966 (Boxes 4-8)
Series 3: Special Programs, 1950-1967 (Boxes 9-13)
Series 4: Annual Conventions, 1912-1963 (Boxes 14-16)
Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1934-1969 (Boxes 17-78)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1990-1993 (Box 78)
Series 7: Miscellaneous Files, 1926-1962, undated (Box 79)
Series 8: Oversized Materials, 1890, undated (Boxes 80-85)
Founded in 1909 by Elihu Root, the American Federation of Arts (AFA) exists today as a national nonprofit museum service organization striving to unite American art institutions, collectors, artists, and museums. Elihu Root, then secretary of state in the administration of Theodore Roosevelt, spoke of his idea at the first meeting of the AFA held in New York at the National Academy of Arts. He envisioned an organization that would promote American art most often seen only by the elite in the major cities of the East and upper Midwest by sending "exhibitions of original works of art on tour through the hinterlands across the United States."
The American Academy in Rome, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and Metropolitan Museum of Art were influential organizing member institutions. Individual members included such notables as William Merritt Chase, Charles L. Freer, Daniel C. French, Charles L. Hutchinson, Henry Cabot Lodge, J.P. Morgan, and Henry Walters. The founding of the AFA provided the American art world with a forum for communication and participation among artists, cultural institutions, patrons of the arts, and the public.
To accomplish its mission, the AFA established volunteer committees for membership, exhibitions, and publications. During its first year, the AFA began publishing Art and Progress (later changed to Magazine of Art) and the American Art Annual (now the American Art Directory). In 1909, the AFA also organized its first traveling exhibition, Paintings by Prominent American Artists, which was shown at museums in Fort Worth, New Orleans, Minneapolis, and New Ulm, Minnesota.
By the end of the first year, the headquarters of the organization moved to Washington, D.C., to facilitate lobbying the federal government for favorable art legislation. In 1913, the AFA lobbied successfully for the removal of the tariff on foreign art entering the United States. In 1916, the Federation met with the Interstate Commerce Commission to protest prohibitively high interstate taxes on traveling art exhibitions.
Throughout the next fifteen years, the AFA continued to grow in membership and influence. By 1919, membership included 438 institutions and 2,900 individuals. The AFA's annual conventions were held in major national art centers and were attended by members, chapter delegates, and the public. At the conventions, scholars, patrons, and curators lectured on and discussed subjects of national interest, thereby fostering an exchange of ideas. The AFA also sponsored periodic regional conferences to promote institutional cooperation and to discuss mutual problems and needs. To facilitate exhibition venues west of the Mississippi River, in 1921 the AFA opened regional offices at the University of Nebraska and at Stanford University. The AFA produced and circulated slide programs and lecture series to museums and educational institutions that fostered art education. By 1929, the Federation had developed forty-six slide-lecture programs that covered American mural painting, European and American contemporary art, and textiles.
During the 1930s, the Federation expanded its services by providing schools with teaching guides, student workbooks, slides, and films about art. In 1935, the AFA began publishing Who's Who in American Art, later publishing The Official Directory of Illustrators and Advertising Artists and Films on Art reference guides. To reach an even larger audience, the AFA began collaborating with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to organize national circulating exhibitions to "bring the museum to the people."
One of AFA's priorities was to make American art more visible abroad. The Federation focused on encouraging the representation of American artists in foreign exhibitions, and in 1924 it lobbied successfully for additional American participation in the Venice Biennale. The AFA's focus on exhibiting American art abroad continued to expand, particularly following World War II. In 1950, recognizing that the AFA could assist in promoting American culture, the State Department awarded the AFA a grant for a German "re-orientation program" consisting of educational exhibitions shown in German museums. Additional government funding further enabled the AFA to organize American participation in exhibitions in India, Japan, Paris, Switzerland, and Rotterdam between 1950 and 1970. Later, the AFA collaborated with the United States Information Agency (USIA) to create the Overseas Museum Donor Program which permitted donations of American art to foreign institutions on a restriction-free, tax-deductible basis. During the 1950s, the AFA was a very active member of the Committee on Government and Art, a national committee with members from across the art and museum world concerned with government sponsorship of and legislation affecting art sales, commissions, and trade.
In 1952, the headquarters of the AFA returned to New York, sparking a period of innovation and expanded of programs. Throughout the 1950s, the AFA distributed films about art and co-sponsored the Films on Art Festival in Woodstock, New York. The AFA also introduced its Picture of the Month Program in 1954, renting original works of art to small American art and educational institutions. In 1956, the AFA organized the Art Collectors Club of America to provide fellowship for art collectors through meetings and activities. The club disbanded in the 1970s.
The Federation's exhibition programs continued to flourish during the 1950s and 1960s. Private and public financial support allowed the AFA to achieve many of its goals. In 1958, the Ford Foundation awarded an important grant to organize a series of traveling one-person shows and a series of monographs devoted to contemporary American artists. Milton Avery, Andrew Dasburg, José DeCreeft, Lee Gatch, Walter Quirt, Abraham Rattner, and others were among the artists who participated. Private foundation support for the AFA's Museum Donor Program provided an annual allowance that was distributed to regional museums for the pourchase of contemporary American art. Cooperative programs and joint venues also became popular during this period. For example, public support from the New York State Council on the Arts allowed the AFA to circulate exhibitions to small New York State communities, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts provided the AFA with five exhibitions for national tours.
Throughout its history, the American Federation of Arts has concentrated on its founding principle of broadening the audience for contemporary American art. Through its numerous exhibition and film programs, the AFA has succeeded in "breaking down barriers of distance and language to broaden the knowledge and appreciation of art." Annual exhibitions such as New Talent in the USA and Art Schools USA, organized by the AFA, brought before the public the most contemporary American artists and craftspeople, genres, and artistic forms of experimentation, exposing viewers to new ways of thinking and expression. In 1965, AFA produced The Curriculum in Visual Education, a series of films created to heighten the aesthetic awareness of children.
A vital part of American art history, the AFA was one of the first organizations to develop successfully the concept of traveling art exhibitions on a national and international level. The AFA was instrumental in assisting museums with circulating important juried exhibitions of contemporary art, such as the Whitney Annual and Corcoran Biennial. The AFA also recognized the importance of the exchange of cultural ideas, and it brought exhibitions of the European masters to the American public as well as exhibitions focusing on foreign contempoorary art, photography, and architecture. Many organizations and museums have followed the AFA's precedent, and traveling national and international venues are now commonplace.
Since 1909, women have served as officers and members of the Board of Trustees. Leila Mechlin was a founding participant and served as secretary from 1909 to 1933. Juliana R. Force and Eloise Spaeth both chaired the Exhibition Committee in the late 1940s. Women and artists of diverse backgrounds and nationalities were widely represented in the AFA's exhibition programs, most notably during the 1960s. In 1960, the AFA organized, with financial support from the Ford Foundation, a major Jacob Lawrence retrospective. Additional culturally diverse exhibitions included Contemporary Jewish Ceremonial Art (1961), The Heart of India (1962), 1,000 Years of American Indian Art (1963), and Ten Negro Artists from the United States (1966).
The AFA also had an impact on patronage in the arts. AFA exhibitions of contemporary art provided collectors with knowledge of new artists and avant-garde art forms, creating a broader demand and market for this type of work. Museums and collectors began purchasing work by new or obscure American artists whom they learned about through AFA exhibitions and programs.
The historical records of the American Federation of Arts offer the researcher a unique opportunity to study the development of American art and artists in the twentieth century as well as providing insight into trends in American culture.
1909 -- Founded in New York City. Began publishing Art and Progress (later retitled Magazine of Art) and the American Art Annual.
1910 -- Moved headquarters to Washington, D.C.
1913 -- Lobbied successfully for the removal of the tariff on art entering the United States.
1915-1916 -- Lobbied successfully against the Cummins Amendment and the Interstate Commerce Commission's prohibitively high interstate tax on traveling art.
1920 -- Organized a lobbying campaign for the development of a national gallery of art at its national convention.
1921 -- Opened two new offices at the University of Nebraska and at Stanford University.
1924 -- Arranged American participation in the Venice Biennale exhibition.
1927 -- Closed office at Stanford University.
1929 -- Organized American participation in exhibitions in France and Germany.
1933 -- Closed office at the University of Nebraska.
1935 -- Began publishing Who's Who in American Art.
1948 -- Published The Official Directory of Illustrators and Advertising Artists.
1949 -- Collaborated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to circulate exhibitions from its collections.
1950 -- Participated in the U.S. government's German re-orientation program.
1951 -- Joined forces with the United States Information Agency (USIA) to create the Overseas Museum Donor Program. Published the reference guide Films on Art. Co-sponsored the Films on Art Festival in Woodstock, New York, through 1957.
1952 -- Moved headquarters to New York City.
1953 -- Magazine of Art liquidated.
1954 -- Introduced the Picture of the Month Program.
1956 -- Founded the Art Collectors Club of America.
1958 -- Received a Ford Foundation grant to finance a series of one-person shows of contemporary American artists.
1960 -- Created the Museum Donor Program.
1961 -- Received a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts to circulate exhibitions to small New York state communities.
1963 -- Received a grant from the Ford Foundation for the Artists in Residence program.
1964 -- Introduced the List Art Poster Program.
1965 -- Produced The Curriculum in Visual Education, a series of films that attempted to heighten the aesthetic awareness of children.
Appendix: List of Artists Exhibiting with American Federation of Arts:
The following is an alphabetical list of artists who exhibited with the American Federation of Arts; many are obscure. The alpha-numeric codes and numbers appearing with the artist's name represent specific AFA exhibition programs and, most often, AFA's exhibition numbering system. In cases where the AFA did not assign an exhibition number, Archives' staff have done so.
The primary reference source for the names and name variants is the American Federation of Arts Records. The names are documented in handwritten notes and lists, typed lists, and exhibition catalogs and announcements. The Archives of American Art name authority file was also consulted in questionable cases. The majority of names, however, were not found in either the AAA name authority file or standard bibliographic resources, and only in the AFA records.
55-1: AFA annual exhibitions program
AD-1: Addison Gallery exhibitions
L-1: Life Magazine Exhibitions
ME-1: Misceallaneous exhibitions (numbers assigned by AAA staff)
NMA-1: Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibitions
NE-96: Contemporary Color Lithography
NY-1: New York State Council on the Arts exhibitions
VA-1: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts exhibitions
A. Quincy Jones, Frederick E. Emmons & Assoc: 62-34
The records of the American Federation of Arts (AFA) were donated to the Archives of American Art (AAA) over a thirteen-year period, with the bulk of the material arriving between 1964 and 1966. In 1979, Preston Bolton donated his letters and those from John de Menil, Ann Drevet, Lee Malone, and others regarding planning for the 1957 AFA annual convention held in Houston, Texas; convention committee minutes from 1956; and AFA newsletters. This material, as well as a 1979 gift from Louise Ferrari of transcripts from a panel discussion from the 1957 AFA convention in Houston, was microfilmed on AAA Reel 1780. All material previously microfilmed on Reel 1780 has been fully integrated into the collection and arranged within proper series and subseries. The provenance of the 1990-1993 printed material is unknown.
Use requires an appointment.
The American Federation of Arts records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Via, Ida Virginia Woods, 1914-2010 -- 20th century Search this
22.1 Cubic feet (67 boxes, 3 map-size folders)
Motion pictures (visual works)
Maryland -- Family farms
Prince George's County (Md.)
Arizona -- motion pictures
Charles County (Md.) -- Family farms
Calvert County (Md.) -- Family farms
California -- motion pictures
Bahamas -- motion pictures
Yosemite National Park (Calif.)
Puerto Rico -- motion pictures
Washington -- motion pictures
Oregon -- motion pictures
St. Thomas, V.I. -- motion pictures
Florida -- motion pictures
Papers documenting the farming and family life of the Robinson family of Prince George's County and after 1975, Charles County, Maryland. Papers documenting the farming and family of the Via family of Greene County, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Prince George's and Calvert Counties, Maryland, by 1949.
Scope and Contents:
An extensive and comprehensive collection of papers relating to family, farming, and the Southern Maryland tobacco culture, the Robinson and Via Family Papers cover many aspects of family and farm life. The papers are particularly important in regard to the tobacco culture that defined Southern Maryland for generations. The papers concern two distinct family groups, the Robinson and Via families who are connected through the marriage of Franklin A. Robinson and Adina Mae Via. The papers consist of material generated by the Robinson and Via families in their personal and working lives and as farm owners and operators.
The papers are especially strong in 20th century material. They consist of various types of farm records: account books, bills, receipts, tenant farming agreements, ephemera, land rental and purchase agreements, insurance policies, photographs and 8mm and 16mm films of farming practices and procedures, equipment and landscapes, related to the farming of tobacco, small grains, and livestock. The personal records include diaries, letters both personal and business, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, high school yearbooks, baby books, house plans, recipe books, photographs and 8mm films of birthdays, holidays, weddings, baptisms, family occasions, and family travel, oral histories, and funeral ephemera including photographs, and transcription discs. Of particular interest are the "Serenity Farm Tobacco Production Photographs" documenting the crop year 1999-2000 and the films detailing agricultural practices. There is a memorandum book for Black Walnut Thicket, 1885-1901, the Baden farm in Baden, Prince George's County.
This collection includes a comprehensive range of 8mm and 16mm films and photographs documenting farming practices and landscapes as well as family gatherings, birthdays, holidays, and vacations. The researcher is alerted to the fact that in some cases with the memorandum and account books, books printed for a given year were often saved and used for subsequent years, some were dated, some were not.
The collection is divided into seven series arranged by subject and most often chronologically at folder level within each series.
The collection is divided into seven series:
Series 1: Ferndale Farm (Potomac Landing), Prince George's County, Maryland, 1861-1973, undated
Subseries 1.1: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, and publications, 1861-1973, undated
Subseries 1.2: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, 1945-1960, undated
Subseries 1.3: Farm papers, bills, and receipts, 1960-1965, undated
Series 2: Robinson Family, 1845-2017, undated
Subseries 2.1: Family Papers and Publications, 1845-1993, undated
The Robinson family is thought to be of Scottish origin and appear in the records of Prince George's County, Maryland by the early 18th century. The line has been definitively traced to James Robinson (?-1849). James' father was probably Benjamin Robinson (?-1810), of Prince George's County, Maryland. (Will Book TT1, pg. 15, Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Maryland State Archives (MSA))
James Robinson and Sarah Wynn were issued a marriage license on February 28, 1802 in Prince George's County, Maryland. (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland) Eleven children lived to maturity (not listed in birth order); Thomas Wells (1803-1869), Ann, Priscilla, James Monroe, Benjamin (1813-1882), John C. (1819-1895), Mary Sophia, Thomas Stanley (1800-1874), Alfred, Sarah Ann, Matilda, and Rebecca Maria.
James worked as overseer for Benjamin Oden on Oden's estate Bellefields near Upper Marlborough, Prince George's County. (Oden Papers, Maryland Historical Society) The Robinsons and their children, moved to Wood County, Virginia (now West Virginia) on April 18, 1818 where James acted as Oden's land agent (Deed Book 6, pg. 123, Land Records of Wood County, West Virginia). They brought with them three slaves described in the above reference as, "Kate a woman 45 years of age very black; Colonel a boy aged 8 years yellow complexion: and George a boy aged six years of a dark brown complexion." They settled on part of what was known as the "Burnt Mill" tract in the general area where the Hughes River meets the Little Kanawha River. (Deed Book 9, pg. 110 and Deed Book 14, pg. 40, Land Records of Wood County)
Thomas Wells Robinson may not have accompanied his family to Virginia as he has a presence in Prince George's County prior to 1822 and was employed as overseer for Benjamin Oden at least until 1832. He married Elizabeth I. Richards on December 15, 1829 (Robinson Family Bible). They had nine children; Richard Thomas (1831 1906), Rebecca Maria (1832-1895), Mary Wynn (1834-1916), James George (1835-1883), Virlinda Victoria (1837-1838), Elizabeth Ann (1839-1916), Sarah Ann Sophia (1840-1874), Franklin Alexander (1841-1905) and John Alfred (1843); seven lived to maturity. (Robinson Family Bible) Elizabeth died on August 17, 1843 from complications in childbirth. She was buried in the churchyard of Page's Chapel (later known as St. Thomas Episcopal Church), Croom, Prince George's County.
In 1843, Thomas purchased the plantation of Dr. Benjamin B. Hodges for $10,000 or approximately $15 an acre. Hodges was a brother-in-law of Benjamin Oden. The deed dated September 7, 1843 describes the parcel as containing, "Six hundred and twenty nine acres of land more or less and constitute that plantation or Estate of the said Benjamin Oden heretofore commonly called "Brown's Quarter Place" being the Land tracts and parcels of land sold by the said Benjamin Oden to the said Benjamin B. Hodges and by deed bearing date the tenth day of December eighteen hundred and thirty five and recorded in Liber AB no. 10 folio 162 also one of the land Records of the County aforesaid". (JBB no. 3 pgs. 312 314, Land Records of Prince George's County) The land was level to rolling bordered on the north by a tributary of Piscataway Creek and generally termed "white oak land". Underlying the whole property was a large strata of gravel and sand. The entire parcel went by the name, Potomac Landing.
Thomas supplemented his land holdings with later purchases. With the exception of twenty acres purchased from Sarah Talbert in 1844, (JBB no. 3 pg. 475, Land Records of Prince George's County) and the purchase of lot #3 consisting of 195 acres, part of the estate of John Townshend in 1856, these purchases were not contiguous to Potomac Landing. By the time of his death in 1869 these non-contiguous parcels had been sold. Thomas sold eighty-six acres of Potomac Landing and Jeffries to Edward Eversfield in October of 1843. (JBB no. 3, pg. 198, Land Records of Prince George's County) On January 13, 1846 Thomas married the widow Martha Ann Walls, daughter of George and Martha Naylor Walls. They had two sons; Benjamin Wells (1848-1849) and Robert Henry (1851-1937).
In addition to his sons, Thomas owned slaves. The number varied from six in 1849 (JBB 6, folio 186, Land Records of Prince Georges' County) to eleven as noted in the census for 1850, and finally six as noted in the census of 1860. The 1867 Maryland Slave Statistics noted that, "at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of Maryland, in the year 1864, . . ." Thomas owned six slaves, their names and ages being; Isaac Franklin age 31, Alfred West age 19, Susan West age 17, Margaret Franklin age 14, Fannie Franklin age 12, and Peter Franklin age 9. All were noted as being in good physical condition. (Prince Georges' County Slave Statistics 1867 1869, C 1307 1, MdHR:6198, page 185, MSA)
In April 11, 1855 Thomas excuted a deed of trust to J.W. & E. Reynolds of Baltimore for securing a loan. At that time the farm was described as, "about five hundred and seventy acres . . . also the following personal property to wit Eight head of horses, nine cows, two mules, twelve work oxen, twenty Eight Sheep, one bull, two colts and all other stock of every description now on the aforesaid land, also the farming utensils and the following named Slaves, Stephen aged Sixty three years, Isaac aged twenty six years, Elvia aged twenty Eight years Alfred aged twelve years, Hanson aged ten years, Henrietta aged twelve years Susanna aged eight years, and Margaret aged three years. Together with the crop of Tobacco now in the house and the crop of wheat now growing." (EWB 1 pages 155 156, Land Records of Prince Georges' County)
Thomas's financial problems began in the mid-1800s when Deeds of Trust appear in the county records securing outstanding loans. In 1856 and 1857 Thomas joined with others as bondsman for his son, Richard who was serving as "Collector of the State and County Taxes" for the 4th collection district, making he and the other signatories liable for any uncollected taxes. This, coupled with poor investments, led to his almost being "sold out" in 1859-1860 by J.W. & E. Reynolds of Baltimore to pay his debts. He executed three drafts on Penn & Mitchell, also of Baltimore, to pay off J.W. & E. Reynolds. (Equity Case #597, Prince Georges' County) Thomas was in poor health and his son James managed the plantation in 1857 and 1858, and again from 1861 to October of 1862 (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County)
In October of 1862 Thomas' two sons, James and Franklin, traveled to Richmond to join the Confederate States Army. James enrolled in the 5th Battalion, Local Defense Arsenal and Franklin enrolled in the 5th Virginia Infantry, the Stonewall Brigade. (CSA Military Records, National Archives) James visited home frequently but was captured by the Union Army in St. Mary's County, Maryland on May 15, 1864 and spent the remainder of the war in Point Lookout Prison Camp. He was released on May 14, 1865. Franklin was not able to visit home at all during the war but survived to return home in 1865.
In 1865, Thomas surveyed a parcel of 172 acres for his daughter Rebecca Maria. Rebecca had married her second cousin, William B. Robertson, on November 18, 1855. He made a gift of fifty acres, and Rebecca agreed to purchase the remainder. The Robertsons named this parcel Holly Grove. In Equity Case #849 (1872) filed after Thomas' death, his widow Martha and Samuel H. Berry, as executrix and executor, sought to recover payment for this land. At that time, William B. Robertson described this 172 acres of Potomac Landing: "There was no fences on the line which separated this land from the old gentleman's land, but he was to put a fence on it which he agreed to do before we agreed to come there. The land was thin, unimproved, with gullies and scrubby pine. If witness had been a judge of land he would not have given five dollars for it. All the improvements were one comfortable quarter the other indifferent with a poor oak shingle roof, worn out which made it not tenantable." Further along in his testimony, William gave an account of a conversation, "In a few days my father in law Thos. W. Robinson came to Washington and told me there his children had returned from the South, his two sons, that his debts were small and he was a happy man." Rebecca and William built a house on the property, a side-hall, double parlor plan that most likely her brother James was builder. They also built accompanying farm structures. (Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Equity Case #849, MSA)
Thomas' son, Franklin, managed the farm after the War. In December 1868 Thomas entered into a sharecropping agreement with Edward Hanson, an African-American. After about a year-long illness, on May 16, 1869, Thomas died, deeply in debt. He was buried beside Elizabeth in the graveyard at St. Thomas' Church. He named as executrix his wife, Martha, and his friend and lawyer, Samuel H. Berry, as executor. His will divided the farm into thirds, one third going to his wife and their son Robert Henry, one third to his son James, and one third to his son Franklin. The land was surveyed according to the will. His personal property was sold but not enough profit was realized to pay off his creditors. The Commissioners of Prince George's County sued the estate on behalf of Thomas' creditors. The outcome was that in 1876 the property was sold at public auction. The Notice of Sale dated September 1, 1876 in the local county newspaper, The Prince Georgian, describes the farm as, "containing 514 2/3 acres More or less. The Improvements consist of a SMALL DWELLING, Three Barns, Stabling, and other necessary outbuildings. It is well wooded and watered, and the soil of fair quality. It has recently been divided into three lots and will be offered in lots, a description of which will be given at the time of sale." The sale was held on September 27, 1876, Lot No. 1 was purchased by Robert for $6.00 an acre, Lot #2 was purchased by Franklin for $5.00 an acre and Lot #3 was purchased by James for $4.00 per acre. Robert and Franklin eventually paid off their mortgage, but James defaulted on his purchase and later moved to St. Mary's County, Maryland. His portion later came to be owned by the Hawkins family, some members who had worked on the Robinson farm. (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County, MSA)
Lot #1, purchased by Robert from his fathers' estate, consisted of 177-1/3 acres, including the dwelling and farm buildings. On July 24, 1872, he married Amanda Malvina Baden (1849-1940), daughter of Robert W. G. and Margaret Caroline Early Baden. The Baden and Early families were both prominent south county families. Robert and Amanda had eight children; Caroline Early (1873 1967), Lucy Tennent (1875 1958), Albert Henry (1878 1914), Martha Perry (1880 1961), Robert Gover (1882 1882), Frank Alexander (1883 1970), Margaret Baden (1886 1956) and Grace Malvina (1889 1965).
By 1880 Robert had paid off his debt on the property and was fully engaged in farming. Unlike his father, or perhaps because of his father, Robert did not add to his land holdings, choosing to remain relatively debt free for his lifetime. The only land transactions he participated in were the sales of 79-3/4 acres in 1921 of Amanda's inheritance from her father and her interest in two smaller parcels of her father's land sold in 1894 and 1928 respectively. In 1928 he transferred 3.09 acres to his son Frank.
As late as the Federal census of 1880, Franklin was living with Robert and his household, both men engaged in farming. Sometime after 1880, Franklin took up residence on his part of Potomac Landing. His brother James most likely built the side-hall double parlor house that copied the main house at Potomac Landing. On February 18, 1897, Martha Robinson, died at the age of ninety. She was buried in the graveyyard of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden, Prince George's County.
Robert continued cultivation of tobacco and small grains as his father before him. The first reference to the farm being named Ferndale is found in the "Communion Record" of Robert's daughter, Martha Perry "Pattie", dated 1896. (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The exact origin or reason for this new name is lost but perhaps the name Potomac Landing held such bitter memories of debt and hardship that, as a symbolic break with the past, a new name was found. It also may have simply been a way to distinguish this portion of Potomac Landing from the others. The farm continued to be listed on tax bills as Potomac Landing well into the 20th century, but was known to the general public and businesses as the Ferndale Farm. (Robinson and Via Family Papers)
Robert served as deputy inspector at the State Tobacco Warehouse in Baltimore for eight years under W.B. Bowie. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Brandywine. In July of 1905, Franklin died, a bachelor farmer. He was buried facing south in the graveyard of the Church of the Atonement, Cheltenham, (a chapel in St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish) where he had served as vestryman, treasurer, and cemetery custodian. Franklin died intestate and a lengthy process of dividing his estate began. This resulted in the sale of his part of Potomac Landing (Lot #2) in July 1908 to William E. Boswell. The court declared Robert ineligible for any inheritance due to his being " . . . a brother of the half blood." The Boswell family later sold the property to the Billingsley family of St. Mary's County. (Equity Case 3209, Prince George's County)
In 1910, after living in the farm's original home for approximately sixty seven years, the Robinson family built a new home. It was described in a 1956 insurance policy as, "2 story, frame, metal roof, 16x43, wing 14x28, 9 rooms." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The house design was a simple Victorian with plastered walls, and lit by carbide gas. Electrical lighting was installed in 1951. The house was built with monies from Robert and Amanda, and their son Frank, who served as builder and contractor.
On Tuesday March 9, 1937, "During a celebration in honor of his wifes birthday anniversary, Mr. Robinson collapsed at the table and died immediately without a word or a sigh." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) Robert was buried beside his mother in the cemetery at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden.
At Robert's death, Ferndale Farm was valued at $30.00 an acre, the total acreage, 174 acres, being valued in the whole at $5,220.00. Robert died intestate, again the fate of the land was in question. He left eight heirs, his widow, Amanda, six of his children and his son Albert Henry's only surviving child, R. Henry Robinson. Rather than have the farm sold and his mother's life disrupted, Frank purchased the estate and personal property from the heirs. Before this could take place, a deed had to be granted the heirs for the property since one had never been recorded after the 1876 sale. Equity case 873 was reopened sixty-two years after its supposed resolution. Frank testified, "over a period of about thirty years I would on a number of occasions, talk about the fact that he had purchased and paid for this property and that a deed had never been executed to him and [he] kept saying he was going to have someone straighten this matter out for him." It was discovered that Robert had fully paid for his part of Potomac Landing. On February 14, 1938 the farm was deeded from Amanda along with Robert''s heirs to Frank. (Book 499, page 334, Land Records of Prince George's County) According to the deed and a 1937 fire insurance policy the farm consisted of 177 1/3 acres, "1 two story dwelling, one tenant house, 1 barrack, 1 tobacco barn, 1 corn house & cow stable, 1 Stable, and 1 Granary & Stable." (Robinson and Via Family Papers)
Frank A. Robinson, now the sole owner of Ferndale Farm, was born August 17, 1883. He learned farming and in addition took up the trade of builder and contractor. As a young man, he worked in the general store of his uncle Robert Baden. He was the contractor for the first Bank of Brandywine and many homes in and around the town of Brandywine, including the home of his cousin Robert E. Baden, DDS. He was secretary of the Building Committee for construction of the Chapel of the Incarnation in Brandywine, a mission chapel for St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish. His success in the building trade gave him disposable income that he invested in land. His first purchase was in August, 1915 of a 2-9/100 acre of land in Brandywine that was being sold by the Board of County School Commissioners; the purchase price was $300. In March 1916 he purchased 38.09 acres of his Uncle Franklin's farm. This property adjoined Ferndale Farm.
Over the next fifty-four years of his life, Frank bought and sold many pieces of real estate. Perhaps his most significant purchases were: 18-1/3 acres purchased from The German American Colonization Land Company of Maryland in October 1915 (Book 115, pg. 140, Land Records of Prince George's County); 147.99 acres purchased from August and Wilhelmina Noltensmeir in December 1917 (Book 129, pg. 263, Land Records of Prince George's County) and 320 acres called the Vineyard purchased from William M. Wilson in March 1928. Frank used these three parcels as collateral for other purchases. Never once did he mortgage Ferndale Farm, insuring that no matter what financial stormy seas might blow, his home was secure. Over the course of his life, especially in the case of the Noltensmeir farm, when cash was needed a parcel of land would be surveyed off and sold. He inherited his grandfather Thomas' love of land but had fortunately developed a shrewd business sense to go along with it.
On November 20, 1929, he married Elizabeth Freeland Bourne, daughter of Joseph Blake and Maria Gantt Bourne of Calvert County, Maryland. They had three children: Mary Elizabeth (1930-2009), Franklin Alexander (1932), and Robert Lee (1935-1997). In addition to his construction business he continued farming, raising tobacco, hay, and small grains. He engaged in sharecropping with tenants on his various properties. He was active in community affairs serving on the Board of The Maryland Tobacco Growers Association (MTGA), the Vestry of St. Thomas Parish, and as sheriff of Brandywine. On January 9, 1940 Amanda Baden Robinson died. She was buried next to her husband at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden. In February 1958, Frank and Elizabeth conveyed 1.57 acres of Ferndale Farm to son Franklin where he and his fiancée, Adina M. Via, were building their new home prior to their marriage in July of that same year.
The booming economy and suburbanization of the Washington metropolitan area in the early 1960's led to the high quality gravel lying beneath Ferndale into becoming a valuable commodity. In October 1962, Franklin and his parents granted a three-year lease to William C. Nolte for mining sand and gravel on the Ferndale Farm at .174 per yard. (Book 2747, pg. 11, Land Records of Prince George's County) From now until 1975 when the property was sold, gravel would be mined from under the farm by various companies. In November 1962, Elizabeth and Frank transferred to Franklin the 38.09 acres Frank had purchased from Fitzhugh Billingsley in 1916. (Book 2754, pg. 99, Land Records of Prince George's County) That same year they transferred 6.754 acres, part of the Vineyard, to son Robert and his wife Lois, (Book 2765, pg. 201, Land Records of Prince George's County)
On December 28, 1965, Frank and Elizabeth participated in a land exchange/purchase of the farm of Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown located along the Patuxent River in Benedict, Charles County, Maryland. Franklin had rented this farm the year before and was impressed enough by its location and arability to work out a purchase. Frank and Elizabeth traded 65.9920 acres that would eventually become Franklin's under Frank's will. On February 21, 1966 they deeded the Charles County farm to Franklin and Adina. Adina named this property Serenity Farm. The property consisted of 480.66 acres. (Liber 179, page 708 etc., Land Records of Charles County)
On February 5, 1970, after a short illness, Frank died at Cafritz Memorial Hospital. He was buried at St. Paul's Episcopal Church near his parents. In his will, probated March 4, 1970 he left thirty acres of the property purchased from the German American Land Company and A. Noltensmeir to Elizabeth. He willed forty acres of the same parcel to daughter Mary Robinson Conner. The remainder of Ferndale Farm was willed to Franklin and the remaining acreage of the Vineyard was left to Robert Lee.
Franklin Alexander Robinson was born August 13, 1932 at the Garfield Hospital in Washington, D.C.. He received his schooling in the public school system of Prince George's County, graduating from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. He was a charter member of Gwynn Park's chapter of The Future Farmers of America. He was extremely active in FFA, achieving the Degree of Maryland Farmer in 1950 and their highest award, the Degree of American Farmer at their convention in Kansas City, Missouri in October 1953. He obtained his private pilots license in 1954. He entered the United States Army in February 1955 and went through basic training at Camp Gordon, Augusta, Georgia. After basic training he was transferred to Camp Hanford, Washington State. There he worked part time on the farm of Dick and Theresa Laurent during his off duty hours and began a lifelong friendship with them. He returned home to farming on an agricultural discharge in October of 1956. On July 27, 1958 he married his high school sweetheart, Adina Mae Via, daughter of Robert Milton and Virginia Woods Via. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962), and Adina Theresa (1963).
Franklin continued expanding and improving the farming operation by modern methods and means. At times, he farmed over one thousand acres, both owned and rented. On February 21, 1966, his parents deeded their purchase of the Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown farm in Benedict to he and Adina, later known as Serenity Farm Franklin and Adina engaged an architect to draft house plans for an anticipated new residence. A small A frame vacation home was built on the property so the family could spend weekends there.
On December 14, 1966, after a long illness, Adina died from complications associated with Hodgkin's Disease. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Waldorf, Charles County. Franklin married Margaret Walker Lennox (nee Tallen, known as Rita) on August 21, 1970 (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland). This marriage ended in divorce in 1977. There were no children from this marriage.
On July 14, 1975 the Robinson family, Franklin, his second wife, Margaret, her daughter Margaret W. Lennox, Franklin, Jr., R. David, A. Theresa and Elizabeth B. Robinson, moved to Serenity Farm. On July 17, 1975 Franklin and Elizabeth sold the remaining acreage of Ferndale Farm to Brandywine Sand and Gravel, thus ending 131 years of ownership by the Robinson family. Elizabeth Bourne Robinson died on July 15, 1976 and was buried beside her husband at St. Paul's Church, Baden. Franklin married Hiltrud (Ceddie) Harris (nee Sedlacek) on July 15, 1978. (Robinson Family Bible) This marriage ended in divorce in 1986. There were no children from this marriage. Franklin married Diedre Gale Merhiage on April 19, 1989; this marriage ended in divorce in 1997. There were no children from this marriage. He married Remelda Henega Buenavista on January 13, 2007.
The Robinson family continue day-to-day operations of Serenity Farm. The land is well suited to the growing of tobacco and small grains, which crops, (with the exception of tobacco) along with a flock of sheep, are cultivated there to the present time. After the crop year 2001 the Robinson family took the tobacco buyout program offered by the state of Maryland and ceased growing tobacco. Franklin is active in farming and community affairs having served on the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, the Board of Directors of MTGA, the Board of the Production Credit Association, the Boards of three schools, Holy Trinity Day School, Queen Anne School, and Calverton School, and numerous other organizations. Currently the farm consists of approximately 275 acres. In 1981 a state agricultural land preservation district of 222.755 acres was created. This was the first such district in Charles County and one of the first in the state of Maryland.
In 1985, R. David began a greenhouse business for the sale of spring flowering bedding plants and hanging baskets but currently works in conjunction with Farming 4 Hunger to grow produce for local area foodbanks. A. Theresa is involved in the daily running of the farm along with Franklin. Franklin, Jr., obtained a BFA degree in Drama from The Catholic University of America in 1981 and an MA from The American University in Film and Video Production in 1988. He was a civilian employee of the United States Air Force (USAF) from November 1981 to January 1986. He pursued a full time career as a professional actor from 1986-2007 and is a published author and produced playwright. The three siblings have been involved in community affairs, with R. David sitting on the Charles County Agricultural Preservation Board, A. Theresa having served on the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Parish, Charles County, and Franklin, Jr. having served on the vestries of both Trinity Parish and St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, the Board of the Washington Literacy Council, a choir member of the choir at St. Thomas Church, among other church related posts and as chair of the Charles County Historic Preservation Commission.
The Via family traces its origins to the colony of Virginia, where the probable progenitor of the line, Amer Via, a French Huguenot, settled in Manakin Town, Albemarle County between 1670-1700. It is impossible to trace the Via line definitively due to the loss of Virginia county records during the Civil War.
The Via family line covered in this collection can be definitively traced to William Via of Fredericksville Parish, Louisa (later Albemarle) County, Virginia. The William Via family lived west of the present day town of Whitehall at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, an area commonly known as Sugar Hollow. William Via III served in the Virginia Line during the Revolutionary War. He married Mary Craig, daughter of Thomas Craig and Jane Jameson, on March 17, 1784. William died on June 27, 1836, in Albemarle County (Rev. War Pension Appl. 6363, National Archives). His son Thomas married Sally, widow Griffin, on January 1, 1811 (Albemarle County Marriage Records). Their son, Hiram Karl Via (1812-1893), married Harriet Ardenia Naylor by license dated March 7, 1836 (Albemarle County Marriage Records).
Hiram and Harriet's son, Robert St. Clair Via (1844-1925), served as a private in Company I, 7th Virginia Infantry of the Confederate States Army (CSA Military Service Records, National Archives). After the war he married his first cousin, Mary Frances Naylor, daughter of Samuel Chapman Naylor and Eliza Jane Gardner, on April 3, 1866 in Rockingham County (Rockingham County, Virginia, Marriage Records). Sometime between 1870 and 1872, they moved to Linn County, Missouri, and settled about seven miles from the town of Bucklin. Their son, Hiram Chapman Via (1872-1933), was born there. In 1893, the family returned to Virginia, and settled on a farm in Greene County near the town of Stanardsville.
Hiram Chapman Via operated a mill as well as a farm. On March 15, 1899, he married Adina Eleanor Eusebia Runkle, daughter of Milton D. L. Runkle and Roberta A. Beadles (Greene County, Virginia, Marriage Records). They had three children: Bernice Olive (1902-1999), Robert Milton (1906-1983), and Deward Daniel (1909-1977).
Robert moved to Washington, D.C.. In December 1927 he began employment with the Capitol Traction Company as a streetcar conductor (Robinson and Via Family Papers). During the early 1930s, Robert rented a townhouse at 715 A St., SE, where he lived with his sister Bernice V. McMullan and her son, William C. McMullan; his brother and sister in law, and his parents. Next door, at 717, lived the Moses Albright family, including Moses's stepdaughter Ida Virginia Woods (1914-2010), daughter of Jesse Lee Woods (1894-1918) and Donna Mae Barker (1896-1928) of Frederick County, Maryland. Robert and Virginia began a courtship and on September 3, 1932 were married in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland (Frederick County, Maryland, Marriage Records).
After their marriage, Robert and Virginia lived in various locations in the Washington metropolitan area. Their first child, Robert Delano, was born on March 24, 1933, and their second child, Adina Mae, was born on April 12, 1937. Virginia was employed outside the home while her children were in school. Her first job before her marriage had been with Woolworth's in Martinsburg, WV working the candy counter and then before the birth of her son at The Hecht Company on F St. in Washington, D.C.. After her marriage she worked briefly for the United States Postal Service in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Beginning in the 1950s, she worked for Charles of the Ritz as a receptionist in their beauty salon located in Woodward & Lothrop's F Street store in Washington, D.C.. She also worked as salon manager at the Charles of the Ritz salons in the Woodward & Lothrop stores in Seven Corners, Virginia, and Chevy Chase, Maryland. She retired due to health reasons in 1973.
On September 10, 1941, Robert and Virginia purchased Lot #43 in Woodlane subdivision in Prince George's County. (Book 619, pg. 12, Land Records of Prince George's County) A house was designed for them for this lot by Clyde E. Phillips. They did not construct a home on this property due to the outbreak of World War II. Robert, due to his employment in public transportation, did not serve with the Armed Services in World War II. On October 18, 1946, they purchased approximately thirty acres bordering on Burch's Creek near the towns of Clinton, also know as Surrattsville, and T.B. in Prince George's County from Joseph H. and M. Pauline Blandford. (Book 873, pg. 483, Land Records of Prince George's County) Over the next three years, hiring private contractors, doing work themselves, and with the help of Robert's brother Deward, they built the two story house designed by Phillips in 1941. They moved to the farm from Capitol Heights in 1949. Robert raised hogs, small grains and a crop of tobacco yearly on this farm and also maintained his job with Capitol Transit (formerly Capitol Traction).
In 1954, Robert and Virginia purchased a farm of approximately 150 acres in Island Creek, Calvert County, Maryland. The intention was for Robert and his son to enter into a full time farming operation on expanded acreage. Robert D. Via, known as Delano, graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. Delano was a part-time farmer and pursued a career as a country and western singer with Bashful Bob and the Rhythm Rangers, he being Bashful Bob. He was employed in various jobs, and began a tour in the Army in 1953. By the time the Via family moved to Calvert County in 1956, he decided to pursue careers other than farming. He eventually traveled and worked in various parts of the United States. He married first Delores Cooper, second Gloria J. Irick, and finally Candice Marinelli in December 1974, they had two children, Robert Marin (1975) and Kirstin Marin (1976).
On June 1, 1956 Robert resigned from his position at Capitol Transit due to health reasons. He and his family moved to the farm in Island Creek, Calvert County where he began full time farming. He and Virginia sold the thirty-acre farm in Prince George's County on June 21, 1956 to Melvin C. and Geraldine H. Rardia. (Book 2003, pg. 564, Land Records of Prince George's County) Virginia continued her employment with Charles of the Ritz. Adina, now a graduate of Gwynn Park High School, was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland. They both commuted daily from Calvert County to their places of employment.
Robert farmed in Calvert County, raising hogs, cattle, small grains and tobacco. Over the course of the next twenty-seven years, Robert and Virginia sold smaller parcels off the farm. In 1974, Robert and Virginia built a small retirement home designed for them by Calvert Masonry Contractors. Robert died on December 22, 1983. He was buried beside his daughter Adina in Trinity Memorial Gardens. At the time of Robert's death, the farm consisted of 28.694 acres. In 1998, Virginia deeded the remainder of the farm, then less than six acres, to her grandson, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr. who sold all but a one-acre lot in April 1999.
Virginia continued to live on the farm in Calvert County, maintaining a small herd of cattle. In the fall of 1989 Franklin, Jr. went to live with her. In 1993, the onset of Alzheimer's Disease required her to move to Serenity Farm and take up residence with her granddaughter A. Theresa. Virginia participated in various studies on Alzheimer's Disease conducted by the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland beginning in 1992. She was profiled in the September 1997 issue of Washingtonian Magazine. In October of 1998 she moved to All American Senior Care in Brandywine, Maryland and in 1999 she moved to Morningside, an elderly care facility in Waldorf, Maryland. In 2002, she moved to St. Mary's Nursing Center in Leonardtown, Maryland. The remainder of the farm was sold in 1999 and 2002. She died January 14, 2010 and was buried at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Waldorf.
Adina Mae Via was born April 12, 1937 at the Homeopathic Hospital in Washington, D.C.. Adina grew up in Washington, D.C. attending public schools. She moved with her family to the Burch's Creek farm, Prince George's County, in 1949. She enrolled in the Prince George's County school system, and graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June of 1955. After graduation, she was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs.
In July of 1956, she moved with her family to the Via farm in Island Creek, Calvert County. On July 27, 1958 she married Franklin A. Robinson at the Chapel of the Incarnation. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962) and Adina Theresa (1963). In the fall of 1958, she and Franklin took up residence in the home they had built on Ferndale Farm. She resigned from her position with the USAF in 1959.
On December 14, 1966, at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, Adina died from complications due to Hodgkin's Disease. She had been battling this disease for many years prior to her death. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Charles County.
Materials at Other Organizations
The Maryland Historical Society holds items (costume, farming related implements) related to the Robinson and Via families.
Materials at the National Museum of American History
The Division of Work and Industry (Agriculture Collection) holds agricultural implements and artifacts associated with both the Robinson farms and the Via farm; the Division of Home and Community Life holds clothing, textiles (crib quilt), jewelry, cosmetics and Adina M. Robinson's sewing box and dress patterns; (Costume and Textiles Collection). See accession numbers: 1989.0688, 1990.0394, 1991.0010; 1991.0722, 1992.0184, 1992.0283, 1992.0321, 1992.0474, 1992.3106, 1994.0064, 1994.0304, 1997.0327, 1998.0038, 1998.0129, 2001.0196, 2002.0087, 2003.0015, 2005.0009.
Division of Armed Forces History (National Numismatics Collection) holds the Robert M. Via Trolley Token Collection.
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center, by Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., in November 1993.
Unrestricted research use on site to portions of collection, but some papers of living persons are restricted. Access to restricted portions may be arranged by request to donor. Gloves required for unprotected photographs. Viewing film portions of the collection and listening to LP recording requires special appointment.
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. Copyright for all materials is retained by the donor, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.; permission for commercial use and/or publication may be requested from the donor through the Archives Center. Military Records for Franklin A. Robinson (b. 1932) and correspondence from Richard I. Damalouji (1961-2014) are restricted; written permission is needed to research these files. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. The collection documents Kuh's career as a pioneer modernist art historian and as the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Biographical material consists of copies of Kuh's birth certificate, resumés, passports, award certificates, honorary diplomas, and address books listing information about several prominent artists and colleagues.
Four linear feet of correspondence offers excellent documentation of Kuh's interest in art history, her travels, her career at the Art Institute of Chicago, her work as a corporate art advisor, and as an author. There are letters from her mother Olga Woolf, friends, and colleagues. There is extensive correspondence with various staff members of the Art Institute of Chicago, the First National Bank of Chicago, and The Saturday Review. Also of interest are letters from artists and collectors, several of whom became life-long friends including Walter and Louise Arensberg, Cosmo Campoli, Serge Chermayeff, Richard Cox, Worden Day, Claire Falkenstein, Fred Friendly, Leon Golub, Joseph Goto, David Hare, Denise Brown Hare, Jean Hélion, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Len Lye, Wallace Putnam, Kurt Seligmann, Shelby Shackelford, Hedda Sterne, and Clyfford Still. Many letters are illustrated with original artwork in various media.
There are also scattered letters from various artists and other prominent individuals including Josef Albers, George Biddle, Marcel Breuer, Joseph Cornell, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, Joseph Hirshhorn, Daniel Catton Rich, and Dorothea Tanning.
Personal business records include a list of artwork, Olga Woolf's will, inventories of Kuh's personal art collection, miscellaneous contracts and deeds of gift, receipts for the sale of artwork, files concerning business-related travel, and miscellaneous receipts.
Artwork in the collection represents a wide range of artist friends and media, such as drawings, watercolors, paintings, collages, and prints. Included are works by various artists including lithographs by David Hare and a watercolor set, Technics and Creativity, designed and autographed by Jasper Johns for the Museum of Modern Art, 1970.
Notes and writings include annotated engagement calendars, travel journals for Germany, a guest book for the Kuh Memorial gathering, and many writings and notes by Kuh for lectures and articles concerning art history topics. Of interest are minutes/notes from meetings for art festivals, conferences, and the "Conversations with Artists Program (1961). Also found are writings by others about Kuh and other art history topics.
Six scrapbooks contain clippings that document the height of Kuh's career as a gallery director and museum curator. Scrapbook 6 contains clippings about Fernand Léger, the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953.
Additional printed material includes clippings about Kuh and her interests, a comprehensive collection of clippings of Kuh's articles for The Saturday Review, exhibition announcements and catalogs, calendars of events, programs, brochures, books including Poems by Kuh as a child, and reproductions of artwork. Of particular interest are the early and exhibition catalogs from the Katharine Kuh Gallery, and rare catalogs for artists including Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Stanley William Hayter, Hans Hofmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Pablo Picasso.
Photographs provide important documentation of the life and career of Katharine Kuh and are of Kuh, family members, friends, colleagues, events, residences, and artwork. Several of the photographs of Kuh were taken by Will Barnet and Marcel Breuer and there is a notable pair of photo booth portraits of Kuh and a young Ansel Adams. There are also group photographs showing Angelica Archipenko with Kuh; designer Klaus Grabe; painters José Chavez Morado and Pablo O'Higgins in San Miguel, Mexico; Kuh at the Venice Biennale with friends and colleagues including Peggy Guggenheim, Frances Perkins, Daniel Catton Rich, and Harry Winston; and "The Pre-Depressionists" including Lorser Feitelson, Robert Inverarity, Helen Lundeberg, Arthur Millier, Myron Chester Nutting, and Muriel Tyler Nutting.
Photographs of exhibition installations and openings include views of the Katharine Kuh Gallery; Fernand Léger, Man Ray, and László Moholy-Nagy at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. There are also photographs depicting three men posing as Léger's "Three Musicians" and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a photograph by Peter Pollack of an elk skull used as a model by Georgia O'Keeffe.
Additional photographs of friends and colleagues include Ivan Albright, Alfred Barr, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Willem De Kooning, Edwin Dickinson, Marcel Duchamp, Claire Falkenstein, Alberto Giacometti, poet Robert Graves with Len Lye, Philip Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Carlos Mérida, José Orozco, Hasan Ozbekhan, Pablo Picasso, Carl Sandberg, Ben Shahn, Otto Spaeth, Hedda Sterne, Adlai Stevenson, Clyfford Still, Mark Tobey, and composer Victor Young.
Photographs of artwork include totem poles in Alaska; work by various artists including Claire Falkenstein, Paul Klee, and Hedda Sterne; and work donated to the Guggenheim Museum.
Four audio recordings on cassette are of Katharine Kuh's lectures, including one about assembling corporate collections, and of Daniel Catton Rich reading his own poetry. There is also a recording of the Second Annual Dialogue between Broadcasters and Museum Educators.
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Undated correspondence, artwork, and photographs of individual artists are arranged alphabetically. Otherwise, each series is arranged chronologically.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1945-1992 (Box 1; 16 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1908-1994 (Boxes 1-5, 13-14, OV 15; 4.0 linear feet)
Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1941-1989 (Box 5; 19 folders)
Series 4: Artwork, 1931-1986 (Boxes 5, 13-14, OVs 15-23; 1.7 linear feet)
Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1914-1994 (Boxes 5-7; 1.7 linear feet)
Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1953 (Box 7; 8 folders)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1916-1992 (Boxes 7-10, 13, OV 22; 3.0 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographs, 1875-1993 (Boxes 10-13; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 9: Audio Recordings, 1977 (Box 12; 1 folder)
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) worked primarily in the Chicago area as an modern art historian, dealer, critic, curator, writer, and consultant. She operated the Katharine Kuh Gallery from 1935-1943 and was the first woman curator of European and Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Katharine Kuh (née Woolf) was born on July 15, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the three daughters of Olga Weiner and Morris Woolf, a silk importer. In 1909, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois. While traveling with her family in Europe in 1914, Katharine contracted polio, causing her to spend the next decade in a body brace. During this time of restricted movement, she developed an interest in art history through the collecting of old master prints.
After her recovery, Katharine Woolf attended Vassar College where one of her professors, Alfred Barr, encouraged her to study modern art. She graduated from Vassar in 1925 and received a master's degree in art history from the University of Chicago in 1929. Later that year, she moved to New York to pursue a Ph.D. in Renaissance and medieval art at New York University.
In 1930, Katharine Woolf returned to Chicago and married businessman George Kuh and began to teach art history courses in the suburbs of Chicago. After divorcing George Kuh in 1935, she opened the Katharine Kuh Gallery, the first gallery devoted to avant-garde art in Chicago. It was also the first gallery to exhibit photography and typographical design as art forms, and featured the work of Ansel Adams, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, and Man Ray, among others. From 1938 to1940, Kuh was the Visiting Professor of Art at the University School of Fine Arts, San Miguel, Mexico.
After the Katharine Kuh Gallery closed in 1943, Kuh was hired by museum director Daniel Catton Rich to fill a position in public relations at the Art Institute of Chicago. During the following years, Kuh edited the museum's Quarterly publication, took charge of the museum's Gallery of Interpretive Art, and began a long term relationship with Rich. In 1946, Kuh was sent on a special mission for the U. S. Office of Indian Affairs to make a detailed study of Native American totemic carvings in Alaska.
In 1949, Kuh persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Walter Arensberg of Los Angeles to exhibit their collection of modern art, creating the first post-war exhibition of modern art in Chicago. She published her first book Art Has Many Faces in 1951, and in the following year, she began writing art criticism for The Saturday Review. In 1954, Kuh was appointed the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute. She assembled the American contribution for the Venice Biennale in 1956 and during these years, Kuh helped acquire many of the works of modern art currently in the museum's collection.
A year following Daniel Catton Rich's 1958 resignation from the Art Institute of Chicago, Kuh also resigned and pursued a career in New York as an art collection advisor, most notably for the First National Bank of Chicago. In 1959, Kuh was made art critic for The Saturday Review, and she continued to publish books, including The Artist's Voice in 1962, Break-Up: The Core of Modern Art in 1965, and The Open Eye: In Pursuit of Art in 1971.
Katharine Kuh died on January 10, 1994 in New York City.
The Katharine Kuh papers were donated in several installments from 1971 to 1989 by Katharine Kuh and in 1994 by her estate. Artwork was donated in 1995 by Kuh's former employer, the Art Institute of Chicago.
Authorization to quote, publish or reproduce requires written permission until 2019. Contact the Archives of American Art Reference Services department for additional information.
The Katharine Kuh papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
This collection consists of a scrapbook relating to Manila Davis Talley and her aviation career.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of one scrapbook which contains newspaper clippings, membership cards, programs, photographs, and pilot's licenses, mostly relating to Manila Davis Talley and her aviation career. The focus of the collection is on the years 1929-42, and highlights Talley's career as a salesperson for Curtis-Wright, and her association with the 99s and the Betsy Ross Corps. Also included is the scrapbook is information on the Women's National Air Races, the Women's National Air Meets, and Talley's work with the Civil Air Patrol. The scrapbook also includes clippings and other items related to Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Doolittle and General Balbo.
Single item in original order.
Biographical / Historical:
Manila Davis Talley (1898-1973) soloed in October 1929 and received her pilot's license in April of 1930. She joined Curtis-Wright Corporation as a saleswoman in late 1929 or early 1930. Talley joined the 99s (international association of female pilots) in 1930 and was a founding member of Betsy Ross Corps, a private 1930s female auxiliary/reserve for the Army Air Corps. Talley was the third woman to go through Air Force War College, in December 1966.
Estate of Manila Davis Talley, Gift, Unknown, NASM.XXXX.0041
No restrictions on access.
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadcast materials from the collection must be requested from the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to email@example.com.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation Records, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
The papers document the life and work of William R. Hutton, a civil engineer during the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Materials include diaries, notebooks, correspondence, letterpress copy book, printed materials, publications, specifications, photographs, drawings, and maps that document the construction of several architectural and engineering projects during this period. Most notable are the records containing information related to the construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Hudson River Tunnel, the Washington Aqueduct, the Kanawha River Canal, and the Washington/Harlem River Bridge. There are also several records about railroads in the state of Maryland, the District of Columbia and elsewhere, including the Western Maryland Railroad, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Colorado Midlands Railway, Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad, the Northern Adirondack Railroad, and the Pittsfield and Williamstown Railroad. The records can be used to track the progression of these projects, and engineering innovation during the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
Scope and Contents:
These papers document William R. Hutton's professional career as a civil engineer and his personal affairs. Although the personal materials in the collection provide insight into a man and a family that have been largely forgotten by biographers, it is the professional materials that are perhaps the most interesting to researchers. They provide a compelling narrative of the push to the West that occurred in 19th century America and the internal improvements movement typified by the American System plan proposed by Henry Clay. Perhaps best remembered for the high tariffs that accompanied it, the American System plan was also concerned with the advancement of internal improvements, such as canals, that would unite the East and West in communication, travel, and trade. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal can be seen as one of the products of this movement (1) and was in fact initially heralded as the first great work of national improvement (2).
The papers in this collection that are related to the construction and maintenance of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal are an invaluable documentation of efforts during this turbulent time to unite the eastern and western United States. They provide details of the canal from its initial construction to its decline with the incline at Georgetown project. The canal also serves as an example, or perhaps a warning against, federal involvement in state improvement efforts as it was the first project to be directly funded and staffed by the federal government (3). The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by then President John Quincy Adams whose toast, "to the canal: perseverance," (4) became an ironic omen, as construction of the canal took over twenty-two years to be completed. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal materials can be used as a case study for the problems encountered during canal building (5). These problems are best typified in the collection by the papers relating to the Georgetown incline. This project was headed by Hutton and was plagued with construction problems, boating accidents, and obsolescence from the moment of its completion. Despite these issues, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal remains a structure of historical significance in America. As the third and last effort to construct an all-water route to the West (6), the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is an important artifact of 19th century attitudes and efforts towards commerce, trade, travel, and communication between the eastern and western United States. Other significant canals and water structures represented in the collection are the Kanawha Canal, the Washington Aqueduct, and a large collection of materials relating to the Kingston Water Supply (New York).
One of the most significant internal improvements made during this time was the railroad. The legal conflicts that arose between the canal companies and railroads is also represented in the materials relating to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. These materials specifically deal with the legal conflict's between the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The development and construction of the railroads is also represented in the materials documenting the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad, the Northern Adirondack Railroad, the Western Maryland Railroad, the Mexican National Railroad, the Colorado Midlands Railroad, and the Columbia Railroad.
The collection also demonstrates the spirit of innovation and invention that was prevalent in the engineering field in the nineteenth century. Joseph Gies writes, "...one of the distinctive characteristics of the great nineteenth century engineering adventurers was their readiness to gamble on the translation of theory into practice" (7). In this quote, he is speaking of the civil engineer Dewitt Clinton Haskins and a project that truly encapsulates engineering invention in the nineteenth century, the Hudson River Tunnel. Responding to the increase in the population of the City of New York in the late nineteenth century from sixty thousand to three and a half million, the Hudson River Tunnel was originally devised as a way to alleviate traffic and to transport train passengers directly across the Hudson River (8). Beginning with records dating from 1881 to 1901, the Hutton papers can be used to document not only the advances in engineering during this time but also the costs of progress. Haskins' initial efforts to build the tunnel using submerged air pressurized caissons were marked by failure and in some cases fatalities. Workers on the tunnel often suffered from what came to be known as "caisson disease" or "the bends," caused by the immense forces of compression and decompression experienced while working in the tunnels (9). This problem was so prevalent that as construction progressed the rate of worker deaths caused by "the bends" rose to twenty-five percent (10). Materials in the collection document worker complaints and deaths resulting from this disease as well as providing a technical record of the construction of the tunnel. The highlight of the materials relating to the Hudson River Tunnel is an album that contains photographs of workers in the tunnel and a detailed daily report of the construction progress on the tunnel that was maintained by Hutton's assistant, Walton Aims. The first hand account in these reports provides insight not only into the construction of the tunnel, but also the problems encountered.
Another project featured in the Hutton collection that was devised in response to the population explosion in the City of New York in the nineteenth century is the Harlem River Bridge, or as it is now known, the Washington Bridge. Known as one of the longest steel arch bridges of its time, the Harlem River Bridge also represents that spirit of invention and innovation that was prevalent in the civil engineering field during the nineteenth century. The collection provides an invaluable resource for those wishing to track the construction of the bridge from early concept drawings and proposals to finalized plans. Also present are photographs of the construction and workers. Societal response to the bridge in the form of newspaper and magazine clippings help to create the narrative of the Washington Bridge, and these are supplemented by correspondence from the builders, suppliers, and planners.
This collection also includes diaries, 1866-1901; letterpress copybooks, 1858-1901; correspondence on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Hudson River Tunnel, Washington Bridge over the Harlem River, and Maryland and Colorado railroads, 1861-1901, and on Hutton's financial and real estate affairs, 1835-1921; construction photographs of the Harlem River, Cairo, Poughkeepsie, Niagara bridges and the Hudson River Tunnel, Washington Aqueduct, and Capitol Dome (in the form of albumen, cyanotype, salted paper print); data and drawings; rolled land profile drawings; canal notes, 1828-1892; Hudson River Tunnel construction reports, 1889-1891; publications, drawings, and maps of railroad routes; pamphlets and reprints on hydraulic works and water supply; road, railway, bridge, and hydraulic construction specifications, 1870-1900; drawings (linen, oil cloth, and heavy drawing paper), and blueprints; account books, 1891-1899; and plans, drawings, field notebooks, and publications on American and European construction projects, especially in Maryland, New York, and France; personal correspondence detailing his role as executor for the estates of Benjamin H. Hutton, Joseph Hutton, Annie Theller, and the Countess H. De Moltke-Hvitfeldt and his relationships with his children, siblings, cousins, and colleagues, 1850-1942.
Materials are handwritten, typed, and printed.
Special note should be made that any materials dated after the year 1901 were added to the collection by another creator who is unidentified. It can be speculated that professional materials added after this date were contributed by his brother and colleague Nathanial Hutton or his son Frank Hutton. Personal materials contributed after this date may have been added by his wife, daughters, or other members of his extended family.
Series 1, Letterpress Copybooks, 1858-1901, consists of twenty seven letterpress copybooks containing correspondence between Hutton and other engineers, architects, and building suppliers. The letterpress copybooks in this series have been arranged chronologically. The books involve a process by which ink is transferred through direct contact with the original using moisture and pressure in a copy press. The majority of the correspondence is business- related. Some letterpress copybooks are devoted to specific projects such as the Washington/Harlem River Bridge, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad, Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad, and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The letterpress copybooks provide a record of correspondence written by Hutton, which makes it distinctive from the other correspondence in the collection. Most of the other correspondence has Hutton as recipient.
The letterpress copybooks also document Hutton's various residences throughout his life and provide a glimpse into the civil engineering profession at the time by demonstrating how engineers shared ideas and comments about projects. This can be supplemented with the printed materials in the collection as many of the authors also appear in the correspondence. Other topics covered in the letterpress copybooks include business reports (specifically the report of the president and directors of the Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad), records of people and companies involved in projects, pasted in engineering sketches, engineering specifications and notes, travel expenses and estimates, construction histories and progress, legal issues with family estates, tax information, Colorado Railroad, payment certificate schedules, St. Paul Railroad, personal correspondence, title guarantees, Hudson River Tunnel, financial matters, real estate matters, insurance information, sketches and drawings, supply lists, cost estimates, the Memorial Bridge, Coffin Valve Company, engineering expenses, engineering calculations, payroll notes for Kingston Water Supply, proposals, account information, Hutton Park, reservoirs, contract drafts, French Society of Civil Engineers, inspection results (specifically Piedmont Bridge), land descriptions, damage reports, Morse Bridge, Illinois Central Railroad, North Sea Canal, moveable dams, iron works, site histories, Potomac Lock and Dock Company, Kanawha River canal (lock quantities, specifications, payroll information), Pennsylvania Canal, and bills for services.
Series 2, Professional Correspondence, 1861-1901, consists of correspondence that relates to Hutton's architectural and engineering projects. This series is further subdivided into two subseries: Project Correspondence and General Correspondence. Subseries 1, Project Correspondence, 1876-1899, correspondence is divided by project and arranged alphabetically. Subseries 2, General Correspondence, 1861-1901, is arranged chronologically. Both series contain handwritten and typed letters. Some letters are on letterpress copybook pages and are most likely copies. Some materials are in French and Spanish. Special note should be made that this series does not contain all of the professional correspondence in the collection. Some correspondence has been separated according to project and placed in Series 8, Professional Projects, 1830-1965, in order to make it easier for researchers to access materials related to those subjects.
Subseries 1, professional correspondence topics include comparisons between construction projects (specifically comparisons of the Kanawha River Canal to other canals), supply lists, location recommendations, sketches, construction plans and modifications, bills for supplies and works, leaks in the gates, cost estimates, Brooklyn Water Supply, use of lake storage (Ramapo Water Supply), water supply to states and counties, damages to water supply pipes, estimates of water quantities, responses to construction reports, legal issues related to projects, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and payment for services.
Subseries 2, general correspondence topics include employment opportunities, committee meetings and elections, land surveys, sketches, engineering plans and ideas, work on projects, dismissal from projects, notes on supplies, Washington Aqueduct, construction progress, land purchases, Civil War, Jones Falls, cost of water pumps, steam drills, lots divisions and prices, repairs, report of the engineering bureau, tidewater connection at Annapolis, bridge construction, construction costs, statement of vessels that entered and cleared Baltimore, technical questions from colleagues, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, supply costs, letters of introduction, requests for reference, changes to plans and designs, survey reports, St. Andrew's lot, Canal Coal Company, publication process, American Society of Civil Engineers and its members, responses to project inquiries, Graving Dock gross revenue, job offers, specifications, trade figures, contracts, water levels, appointment dates and times, moveable dams, proposals for membership, salaries, Piedmont Coal Lands, maps, land profiles, Washington Bridge, board payments, Nicaragua Canal, Grant Coal Company, statistics, engineering notes, Hartford Bridge, water pressures, coal deposits, Colorado Coal, pipe lines, reservoirs, boat costs for canals, floods, bridges, letters of resignation, engines, Ruxton Viaduct, Colorado and Midland Railroad, Morse Bridge, share values, railroad locations, membership invitations, call for submissions, structural tests, record of accounts for room and board, appointments, water rights (Putnam County), publications, blueprints, visitation programs, cotton compresses, street trenches, pressures in dams, level tests, Portland Transportation bureau, trade information, concrete steel, Chicago drainage canal, ship canals, Augusta Cotton and Compress Company, Sooysmith case, Consolidated Gas Company, masonry, book binding, Columbia Railway Company, jetties, land grades, Chesapeake and Delaware canal, water wheels, pneumatic lock, tunnel arches, rifton power, Hutton's health, elevators, Brooklyn Bridge Terminals, girder weights, legal issues and their results, rating table for the Potomac, land profiles, transmission lines, transformers, water turbines, and water power on the Potomac River.
Correspondents for this series include the following: Captain Montgomery C. Meigs, Captain T.W. Symons, William Bryan, Ernest Flagg, John Hurd, Jake Wolfe, J.C. Saunders, J.H. Dolph, Charles J. Allen, G.H. Mendell, Virgil S. Bogue, B.A. Mounnerlyn, Edward Burr, H.G. Prout, R. William, H. Dodge, C.R. Suter, M. Mink, W.R. King, John Lyons, Alex Brown and Sons, John G. Butler, D. Condon, Bernard Carter, R.P. McCormick, D.R. Magruder, Andrew Banks, Isaac Solomon, C.J. Mayer, C.W. Kern, John Herring, James S. Mackie, D.R. Magunde, D. Rittaguide, R.S. Stevens, J.L. Raudolph (Baltimore and Ohio Railroad), J.M. Lane, W.D. Stuart, W.G.P. Palmer (Committee Church of the Ascension), C. Crozet, General W. Hughes, V.R. Maus, J.M. Hood (Western Maryland Railroad Company), Ernest Pontzen, M. Haus, William F. Craighill, Harry Hutton, John W. Pearce, Reverend James A. Harrald, William Watson, A.L. Rives, Thomas Monro, A.F. Croswan (Commander United States Navy), H.R. Garden, William McAlpine, James Forrest, Wm. Bloomsfield, Daniel Ammen, Linel Wells, A. and Otto Sibeth, Alfred Noble, Clemens Hershel, Sidney Warner, E.H. de Rheville, Theodore Cooper, William Findlay Shunk, Lewis S. Wolfe, Rufus Mead, Theodore F. Taylor, John Bogart, J. Whaler, B. Williamson, Colonel F.V. Greene, Robert H. Sayre (Lehigh Valley Railroad Company), Charles W. Pussey, Louis Q. Rissel, V.C. Bogue, H.C. Eckenberger, Melville E.G. Leston, Edwin Parson, Rudolph Hering, R.S. Hale, F.M. Turner, Thosl Martindale, Justus C. Strawbridge, William M. Ayresm, R.L. Austin, A.M. Miller, P. Livingston Dunn, T.J. Cleaver, C.S. Dutton, H.A. Carson, William Bainbridge Jaudon, H.A. Presset, Thomas H. McCann, Russel Sturgis, H.G. Prout, Alexis H. French, John K. Cowen, F.W. Williams, J. Waldorf, B.H. Byrant, B.H. Jones, M.H. Rogers, J.W. Ogden, General W. Cashing, William Longhudge, A.J. Cameron, T.L. Patterson, J.J. Hagerman, H. Wigglesworth, Charles B. Rowland, E. Bantz, W.G. Lathrop, Clarence King, George Rowland, George A. Tibbals (Continental Iron Works), George N. Vanderbilt, Eugene C. Lewis, F.P. Burt, Colonel John C. Clarke, Lieutenant Thomas Turtle, W.S.M. Scott, E. Bates Dorsey, Bernard Carter, George M. Shriver (Baltimore and Ohio Railroad), Russel Sturgis, Macmillan Publishing, James Abernethy, B. Baker, J.G.W. Fynje, A. Mallet, Jean Hersuy, L.F. Vernon Horcourt, Robert Lilley, A.J. Johnson, F.M. Colby, Henry D. Loney, A.S. Cameron, James A. Harrald, William Watson, John B. Lervis, A.L. Rives, Edwin F. Bidell, Frank H. Stockett, E. McMahon, C.F. Elgin, Enrique Budge, G. Clayton Gardiner, Dwight Porter, William A. Chapman, T.E. Sickels, Theodore Cooper, C.J. Warner, Institution of Civil Engineers, Robert Gordon, United States Coast of Geodetic Survey Office, C.P. Pattun, J.N. Putnam, Sidney B. Warner, H.D. Fisher, Union Pacific Railway Company, Lewis S. Wolle, George E. Waring Junior, The American Exhibition, G.F. Swain, American Society of Civil Engineers, N.H. Whitten, U.S. Engineer Office, Government Works Committee, J.J. Hagerman, D. Jackson, Sterling Iron and Railway Company, E.P. Alexander, E. Williamson, Central Railway Company of New Jersey, William A. Underwood, F. Collingwood, James Dun (Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company), Henry F. Kilburn, Louis A. Bissell, Virgil G. Boque, H.C. Eckenberger, Melville Egleston, Charles Parson, George Swain, Continental Iron Works, Rudolph Hering, J.B. Gordon, Mayor's Office (Baltimore), Harry Robinson, Pennsylvania Railway Company, W.H. Gahagan, L. Luiggi, B.H. Bryant, T.J. Cleaver (Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company), H.A. Carson, H.A. Presset (Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey), John K. Cowen, Vernon H. Brown, J. Waldorf, B.H. Bryant, L.F. Root, P.W. White, Metropolitan Railroad Company, Charles F. Mayer (Consolidated Coal Company, Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad Company), J.M. Lane (Western Maryland Railroad), Dr. R.S. Stewart (Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad), Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad (John Lyons, John G. Butler, D. Candon, R.P. McCormick, Andrew Banks), Thomas F. Rowland, J.A. Bensel, Walton Aims, S.D. Coykendall, H.C. Rogers, John F. Ward, T.B. Jewell, H.A. Pressey, C.S. Armstrong, J. Nennett, V.G. Bague.
Series 3, Personal Correspondence, 1850-1942, contains correspondence with immediate and extended family, specifically the heirs to the Benjamin H. Hutton and Joseph Hutton estates and Adele Gorman. Correspondence is primarily arranged chronologically, but some files have been divided based on subject or author (the Deer Park and Adele Gorman files), or by form (the Telegrams, and Cablegrams file). Special note is made of the posthumous correspondence file, which includes correspondence both relating to Hutton's death and correspondence that was written by family members after the years of his death. The series contains both hand written and typed letters. Some correspondence is in French. The correspondence demonstrates his relationship with his children specifically Elizabeth (Bessie) Hutton, and illuminates his role in his family. This series also provides details about nineteenth century upper class society and activities. Special note should be made that this folder does not contain all of the personal correspondence contained in the collection. Some correspondence has been separated according to recipient, or subject in order to make researching these recipients or subjects easier.
Series 3 correspondence topics include: estate payments, distribution of assets, funds transfers, estate lines, conflicts with tenants, sketches, lot maintenance, real estate sales, deeds, real estate sales negotiations, congratulations wishes on new babies, family illnesses, family affairs and travels, traveling directions, personal investments, invitations for social occasions, family debts, professional interests, professional and personal appointments, family issues, requests for money, sketches, advice to children (specifically Frank Hutton), life insurance, books, letters of introduction, legal issues, funeral expenses, charity donations, advertisements, minutes from professional organizations, army enlistment, deaths of friends and family, recipes, estimates of personal expenses, renovations, stock certificates (Great Northern Railway Company, New York), food, social activities, the weather, marriages, real estate and construction plans, and loan agreements.
Correspondents include the following: Frank Hutton, Thomas B. Brookes, J.L. Marcauley, C.M. Matthews, Edward J. Hancy, John M. Wilson, H.A. Carson, William H. Wiley (of John Wiley and Sons Scientific Publishers, New York), Georgina Hutton, Pierre and Jane Casson, George McNaughlin, Henrietta Hutton, Aaron Pennington Whitehead, J.B. Wheeler, B. Williamson, Robert De Forest, Elizabeth (Bessie) Hutton, Grace Beukard, J.C. Saunders, Mary Hutton, William J. Pennington, C.S. Hurd, Henry C. Cooper, Henry J. Segers, S.F. Miller, Annie Theller, Alfred Noble, Maria Burton, Joseph Hobson, E. Lennon, F. Hulberg, Charles Gordon Hutton, Edward C. Ebert, A. William Lewin, E.R. Dunn, William P. Craighill, Theodore Cooper, P.I. Chapelle, Anita McAlpine, Clarence King, Victoria Raymond, and Adele Gorman.
Series 4, Personal Materials, 1835-1946, contains documentation about Hutton's personal finances, role as executor of the Benjamin H. Hutton, Joseph Hutton, Annie Theller, and Countess H. De Moltke-Hvitfeldt estates, Mary Augusta Hutton (wife), Mary Hutton (daughter), Frank Hutton, John Caulfield (son-in-law), and B.F. and C.H. Hutton. The series has been divided into four subseries: Financial Records, 1876-1901, Estate and Real Estate Records, 1835-1921, Other Huttons, 1876-1936, and Personal Material, 1878-1946. Subseries 2, Estate and Real Estate Records, 1835-1921, contains correspondence relating to specific family estates and family members. This correspondence was separated from Series 3, Personal Correspondence, 1850-1942, to make it easier for researchers to access all records relating to the family estates. This series includes hand written, typed, and printed materials. Some materials are in French. All material dated after 1901 has been added to the collection by other creators such as Hutton's wife and children.
Subseries 1, Financial Records, 1876-1901, includes account books, account records, correspondence related to bank accounts, bank statements, financial notes, bills and proofs of payment, rent receipts, tax bills (New York, Flatbush, Montgomery County), checks, money exchanges, receipts for tax payments, real estate receipts, stock and bond certificates, loan agreements, executor accounts, rebate calculation sheet, and tax and insurance payments.
Subseries 2, Estate and Real Estate Records, 1835-1921, includes property maps and information (rent, mortgage costs, deeds), correspondence, notes on estate distribution, estate assets, value of estate and estate payments, account records, loan agreements, receipts, proof of payments, checks, financial records, legal documents, insurance documents, tax bills, auction receipts, and wills relating to the estates of Benjamin H. Hutton, Joseph Hutton, Countess H. de Moltke-Hivtfeldt, Annie Theller, and William R. Hutton. Also included are correspondence, property maps and information, and deeds and mortgages on Hutton properties.
Subseries 2, the estate and real estate records correspondence topics include: Virginia state building codes, construction costs, construction notices, purchasing offers for property, real estate prices, receipts of payments, property lines, real estate purchases and sales, real estate sales negotiations, deeds insurance estimates and costs, loan costs, property estimates, renovation costs, mortgages, property damages and repairs, property tax payments, insurance rates and payments, rent payments, telephone installation, building permits, rental agreements, reports on property condition, contracts of sale, conflicts with tenants, changes of address, deeds, distribution of estate monies, details about the Countess' illness, estate arrangements, changes of address, problems arising out of estate distribution, payment of debts, will details, selling of mortgage shares, accounts, estate settlement, money cables and transfers, dealings with lawyers, rent on Hutton Park property, legal and accounting fees, power of attorney transfer, investments, property security, land appraisals, lists of assets, legacy taxes, mortgages transfers, property management, Flatbush property, property rent and values, and physicians bills.
Correspondents include the following: A.C. Weeks, Walter I. Green, John D. Probsh, A.G. Darwin, Thomas H. McCann, Allan Farguhar, Thomas Dawson, Potter and Crandall Real Estate and Insurance Brokers, George C. Tilyou, H.D. Olephant, F. Winston, Richard E. Calbraith, Frank P. Martin, Henry DeForest, Henry C. Cooper, Metropolitan Telephone and Telegraph Company, John Ecker, C.K. Avevill, Georgina Hutton, Edward J. Hancy, Robert Graham, W.M. Bennett, Willis E. Merriman, Nathan L. Miller, Harry Hutton, Marquise de Portes (Adele Gorman), Annie Theller, Samuel L. Theller, Mrs. R. Locke, Frank Z. Adams, John Palmer (Secretary of State, New York), J.T. Cammeyer, Frank P. Martin, Florence Theller, Francis H. Seger, Henry C. Cooper, D.W.G. Cammeyer, Campbell W. Adams, Jane Casson, Elizabeth Hutton, Rene de Portes, H.G. Atkins, Grace Beukard, Aaron Pennington Muikhead, J.E. Delapalme, T.H. Powers, Egerton L. Winthrop Junior, George B. Glover, William Jay and Robert W. Candler, B. Williamson, J.E. Knaff, Cornelius C. Vermeule, S.V. Hayden, Charles G. Landon[?], H.A. Hurlbert, F.A. Black, John L. Calwalder, the Health Department of New York, A.G. Darwin, William Laue, Frederick Frelinghuysen, Charles S. Brown, Henrietta Hutton, Edward Gelon.
Subseries 3, Other Huttons, 1874-1936, includes professional drawings and proposals, checks, insurance information, correspondence, tax information, medical information, tax bills, relating to Mary Augusta Hutton (wife), Mary Hutton (daughter), Henry and Harry Hutton, Frank Hutton (son), John Caulfield (son-in-law), B.F. Hutton, and C.H. Hutton.
Subseries 4, Personal Materials, 1878-1946, contains handwritten property notes, school notes, sermons, travel documents, menus, Christmas cards, jewelry box, postal guide, typed religious materials and flyers.
Series 5, Diaries, 1866-1901, contains twenty nine diary books that document both Hutton's personal and professional life. These diaries provide not only a record of Hutton's life, but were also used by Hutton himself as a reference tool. When working on projects he would refer to notes and observations he made in his diary (as evidenced by notes made in his diaries). The first pages of the diaries often list his height, weight and clothing sizes as they varied from year to year. A researcher could probably use the cashbooks (see Series 7) and the diaries in conjunction as both detail the purchases made by Hutton. Many of the diaries also include a short record of accounts in the back. The diaries are arranged chronologically.
Topics found in the diaries include short form accounts of daily activities and appointments, records of the weather, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project, construction progress on projects, steam pumps, sketches and calculations, extension of Washington railroads, cost of food, work supplies, travel costs, costs of goods and food, work deadlines, home renovations, visits to family, cash accounts, accounts of household duties, produce on Woodlands property, records of deaths, debts owed, account of clearing Woodlands property, church visits, Hancock and Tonoloway Aqueduct, canals, Drum Point Railroad, Montgomery C. Meigs, Washington Aqueduct, Annapolis Water Works, telegram costs, wages for Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project, William Craighill, Morris Canal, Annapolis Railroad and Canal, professional duties (inspections), Kanawha River Canal, travel schedules, professional expenses, cash received from Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, John's Dam, cathedral construction (St. Patricks?), Piedmont Bridge, Cumberland, account of farm property belonging to Major Campbell Bruns, Cunard Pier, Marquise de Portes, rent costs, Baltimore Canal, Kingston Water Supply, Croton Orange Estate, Pierre Casson, Hudson River Tunnel, Washington/Harlem River Bridge, entertainment costs, Greenwood cemetery, train schedule, notes on illness, real estate sales, Hutton Park, Benjamin H. Hutton estate and heirs, estimates, accounts of correspondence received and sent, Central Railroad, rent on Orange properties, addresses, contracts and building supplies for projects, personal finances, Joseph Hutton property on Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, amounts paid and received, medical appointments, Ramapo Water Company, drawing progress of maps and diagrams, Harbor Board (New York), property repairs, inspection and test reports, reservoirs, lists of birthdays, Boston Tunnel, family financial issues, tax payments, and prayers.
Series 6, Notebooks, 1860-1900, document the engineering and architectural projects worked on by Hutton. The series has been divided into three subseries: Subseries 1, Engineering and Survey Field Notes, 1860-1899; Subseries 2, Notebooks, 1871-1886; and Subseries 3, Notes, 1863-1900. Subseries 1, Engineering and Survey Field Notes, 1860-1899, contains sixteen field notebooks used by Hutton. Subseries 2, Notebooks, 1871-1886, contains seven notebooks. Subseries three, Notes, 1863-1900, contains four documents.
Some notebooks correspond to specific projects such as the Kanawha River Canal (lockgate and Phoenix Waterline), Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Buffalo Reservoir, Potomac Lock and Dock Company, Northern Adirondack Railroad account, Washington Aqueduct, Little Rock Bridge, Wilson-Adam Dock, Croten Brick Works, Hutton Park, Centennial Iron Works, Cumberland Canal, Williamsport Aqueduct, Catoctin Aqueduct, Alexandria Canal, Miller's Saw Mill, Seneca Dam, Union Tunnel, Cumberland Waterworks, Victoria Bridge, Welland Canal, North Sea Canal, Ramapo Water Company, Annapolis Water Company, Antietam Aqueduct, Interoceanic Canal, San Quentin Canal, Suez Canal, Amsterdam Canal, Harlem Bulkhead, Morris Canal, Blue Lake Canal, and Nicaragua Canal.
These notebooks should be used in conjunction with the other materials in the collection related to professional projects, as they often provide more detailed accounts of the construction and land surveys. Some of the notebooks contain entries from several different sources. The notebooks were probably shared among the engineers working on these projects. The notebooks also contain looseleaf ephemera such as hand written calculations, newspaper clippings, and blueprints. Languages found in this series are English and French.
Notebook topics include construction projects, supply needs, costs for labor, sketches (Woodland Mills, landscapes, dams, railway cars, Noland Tunnel), costs of crops, survey measurements, cost of livestock, aqueducts, inspections, canal bridges, seed prices, dams, measurements, coffer dam, canal maintenance, worker salaries, calculations, towpath sketches and measurements, shipping rates, worker accidents, water and coal used, geometrical sketches (Washington Aqueduct), locks, damage reports, interactions with other engineers (William Reading), coal shipments on the canal, travel expenses, land survey notes, drafts for correspondence, William Craighill, Victoria docks, lists of personal supplies used, construction time estimates, surveying expenses, telegram costs, sand pump, canal from Sherling to Tuxedo Bay, analysis of several artificial lakes and reservoirs, distances of reservoirs to main pipes, calculations for the Austin Wheel, engine construction, bridges, gauging water depth, results and observations of tests and performance, problems with construction, to-do lists, cost of land surrounding towpaths, Fawcett's Lock, Tarman's Lock, comparison of costs in transporting coal by water and by rail, inspection notes, iron work, drainages, leaks, cost of supplies, watergates, harbor ferries, railroad station distances, flood protection, Panama Canal via the Nicaraguan route, cost of jetties, water levels, pressure of steam, boilers, steam and water cycle, water depth, cement, Great Falls, Virginia, waterflow, soundings, time of floats, flow of currents, rain fall measurements, tunnel measurements, cost of trenching San Francisco water supply, record of livestock, cost of food, rates of sawing woods and mills, preliminary railroad line measurements, profile of final line, and railroad line profiles.
Series 7, Cash Books, 1856-1899, contains seven cashbooks which list prices for personal items purchased by Hutton. Topics include groceries, church dues, clothes, hygiene products, cigars, some short journal entries about his work (Williamstown), concerts, dinners, family addresses, cakes, meals, cars, stamps, office supplies (pencils and papers), valentines, glasses, gloves, fabric, medicine, needles, diapers, tobacco, shoes (adult and childrens), travel expenses, telegrams, candles, newspapers, liquor, coal oil, jewelry, allowances given to family members, bank deposits, monies paid and received, taxes, subscriptions, tailoring costs, deposits and payments into estate trusts, and notes about payments to Benjamin H. Hutton heirs. The cashbooks also contain some personal loose leaf ephemera such as prayers, sketches, and engineering notes collected by Hutton.
Series 8, Professional Projects, 1830-1965, contains documents about engineering and architectural projects throughout Hutton's career, including information about the professional organizations and the legal issues in which he was involved. This series has been divided into eight subseries based on project, document form, and document subject. Some materials are in French and Italian.
Series 8, Professional Projects, also includes correspondence related to specific projects, primarily the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, the Hudson River Tunnel, the Washington/Harlem River Bridge, and the Georgetown Incline.
Topics include construction and repair to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, engineering and use of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, worker contracts, supply and labor purchases, design plans and proposals, construction and repair costs, supply notes and costs of supplies, water pressure and power, shipping materials and routes (specifically the shipping of coal), inspections and their findings, condition of canal dam and locks, water supply, drainage, sketches, board proceedings, business meetings, deeds, cost comparisons to other shipping methods, hiring processes, wages, cost estimates, Hutton's consulting fees, measurements and calculations, funding issues, worker conflicts, negotiations with municipal governments, payment schedules, bills for services, air pressure in Hudson River Tunnel, permission for construction, specifications, mortality rate among workers on the Hudson River Tunnel, construction reports, outlet incline, proposals for construction, letters of introduction, railroad versus water for trade, controversy with Tiersey, construction contracts, construction schedules, construction issues, construction progress, construction damage, basis for estimates, supply requests, internal politics, changes to construction plans, contract and price adjustments, issues with suppliers, construction delays, work permits, bills, worker issues, engineering notes, construction excavations, expenses, construction instructions, Union Bridge Company, lighting installations, construction processes, hiring practices, electrical conductors, water proofing, hydraulics, cement, concrete, payment of contributors, processes of approval for construction, meeting dates of the Harlem River Bridge Commission, and contract restrictions.
Correspondents include the following: W.W.M. Kaig, Henry Dodge, E. Mulvany, John Shay, James Clarke, H.D. Whitcomb, Horace Benton, J. Rellan, J.R. Maus, W.E. Merrill, A.P. Gorman, J.H. Staats, Vernon H. Brown, Charles H. Fisher (New York Central and Hudson River Railway Company), B. Baker, John Fowler, Benjamin and John Dos Passos, Charles B. Colby, Charles B. Brush, S. Pearson, Stanford White, Horace E. Golding, R.H. Smith, Daniel Lord, A. Fteley, Herbert Hinds, J.R. Bartlett, D.M. Hirsch, M.H. Bartholomew, Thomas O. Driscoll, W.E. Porter, Thomas F. Rowland, George Edward Harding, R.H. Dames, William Watson, James B. Eads, J.D. Bright, H. Aston, Charles Suley, A.M. Maynard, W.R. Henton, G. Geddes, H.P. Gilbut, Malcolm W. Niver (Secretary of the Harlem River Bridge Commission), J.D. Patterson, George Devin (Assistant Engineer Washington/ Harlem River Bridge), J.B. Wheeler, John Bogart, Charles Burns, J. McClellon, Rob Bassee, B. Williamson, Theodore Cooper, Lewis Cass Ledyard, R.M. Hunt, John Cooper, Henry Wilson, A.A. Caille, Myles Tierney, W. Pentzen, L.B. Cantfield, George Q. Grumstaid Junior, M.J. Funton, George Pierce, W.O. Fayerweather, Noah S. Belthen, Herbert Steward, W.M. Habirsham.
Subseries 1, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 1828-1965, consists of plans, blueprints, land profiles, drawings, boat rates, contract forms, order forms, descriptions of the canal, design information, engineering data, sketches, cost estimates, land titles, microfilm, business papers, supply bills, patent bills, news clippings, reports, specifications, stockholder's reports, receipts, water leases, printed materials, and correspondence.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project was started in 1828 and completed twenty two years later in 1850. The canal's main objective was to connect Georgetown to the coal banks above Cumberland, Maryland, providing a short and cheap trade route between the eastern and western United States. It was also hoped that the canal would provide greater communication and travel between these two regions. Plagued by natural disasters, and construction setbacks, the canal was never completed in time to be useful and became obsolete shortly after its completion. Canal trade was eventually put out of business by the increase of railroads. Although it was an important development in engineering at its inception, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is no longer in use and has become what locals affectionately refer to as "the old ditch." The canal was designated a National Historical Park in 1971 and consists of 184.5 miles of hiking and biking trails.
Subseries 2, Hudson River Tunnel, 1887-1901, consists of agreements for construction, certificates, contracts, and cost estimates, construction reports, engineering notebooks, engineering notes, sketches, land profiles, maps, progress profiles, plans, proposals, printed material, statements of expenses, and correspondence.
The Hudson River Tunnel project was started in 1874, and the final tubes were opened in 1910 after several construction setbacks. The tunnel connects Weehawken, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, New York City. Today the Hudson River Tunnel, known as the North River Tunnels is used by Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and New Jersey Transit rail lines.
Subseries 3, Harlem River Bridge, 1878-1982, consists of blueprints, printed materials, photographs, engineer's estimates, schedules, costs, reports, proposals, contracts, specifications, and correspondence.
The Harlem River Bridge project was started in 1885 and was completed in 1889. It spans the Harlem River in New York City, New York and connects the Washington Heights section of Manhattan with the Bronx. It was later named and is still known as the Washington Bridge and has been adapted over time to carry highway traffic. These adaptations have allowed the bridge to remain in use today.
Subseries 4, Other Projects, 1858-1832, consists of drawings, maps, blueprints, plans, proposals, cost estimates, bills, correspondence, sketches, land profiles, dimensions, engineering notes, account records, photostats, supply lists, calculations, legal documents, surveys, inspection reports, financial data, and measurements on architectural and engineering projects. Highlights of this subseries include: Western Maryland Railroad, Washington Aqueduct, Panama Canal, Ramapo Water Company, Piedmont Bridge, Northern Adirondack Railroad, Columbia Railroad, Morris Canal, Pittsfield and Williamstown Railroad, Suez Canal, St. Gothard Canal, Tansa Dam, Colorado Midland Railroad Company, Memorial Bridge, Mersey Tunnel, Little Rock Bridge, Kingston Water Supply, Kanawha River Canal, Florida Ship Canal, East Jersey Water Company, Consolidated Coal Company, Dismal Swamp Canal, Boston and Baltimore Tunnels, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Annapolis Water Company, Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad Company, and the Baltimore Beltline.
Subseries 5, Unidentified Project Files, 1872-1900, consists of bills of sale, engineering forms and regulations, cement test results and methods, census bulletin, contracts, cost estimates, correspondence, notes on publications, engineering data and notes, drawings, surveys, sketches, payrolls, photographs, and reports.
Subseries 6, Specifications, 1870-1900, consists of documents related to some of Hutton's projects, including specifications for bridges, reservoirs, canals, viaducts, docks, buildings, water works, and tunnels. Some specifications are more general, and some are blank proposal/specification forms. There are also proposals for estimates and a "call" or advertisement to contractors to bid on certain projects. Many of the specifications deal with projects in New York State, but projects in Pennsylvania, the City of Baltimore, and Europe are represented. The materials are arranged alphabetically by project name. There is one folder of documentation for the Potomac River Bridge (Arlington Memorial Bridge) in Washington, D.C. The Arlington Memorial Bridge was part of the 1901 McMillan Commission's plan for restoring Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant's original plan for the capital. Two decades passed before construction was initiated by the architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White. The documentation for the Memorial Bridge consists of calculations and monetary figures for materials such as granite.
Subseries 7, Legal Documents, 1886, contains documents related to a patent infringement suit for moveable dams involving Alfred Pasqueau vs. the United States. This file contains both a printed version of the case and a handwritten statement from Hutton.
Subseries 8, Professional Organizations, 1870-1902, contains documents related to professional organizations where Hutton held membership. Specific organizations represented are American Institute of Architects, American Society of Civil Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Boston Society of Civil Engineers, Societe des Ingenieurs Civils de France, Librarie Polytechnique, American Agency of "Engineering" in London, Imperial Institute, League of Associated Engineers, Railroad Corporation, American Institute of Mining Engineers, and the Century Association. Material in the subseries includes correspondence, candidates for membership, membership payments, membership lists, meeting minutes, schedule of terms, professional practices, charges, articles of association, invitations for membership, and election notes. Some materials are in French.
Series 9, Printed Materials, 1850-1913, contains a variety of printed materials relating to engineering and architectural projects written by Hutton and fellow engineers. This series can be used to examine not only professional developments of the period and responses to those developments, but also to track how ideas were transferred between engineers across countries and continents. This series should be used in conjunction with the professional correspondence found in this collection, as many of the authors also appear there. Some materials are in French, German, Spanish, and Italian.
Subseries 1, Printed Materials by Hutton, 1852-1900, includes printed papers on the Missouri flood wave, the Ravine du Sud, the Potomac waterfront, the Colorado midlands, and the application of water supply machinery.
Subseries 2, Printed Materials by Others, 1826-1913, includes printed materials on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canals, Tehuantec Ship Railway, Interoceanic canals and railways, jetties, Nicaragua Canal, uses of cements, mortars, concretes, steam power, harbors, Niagara Falls, Kanawha River canal, Mississippi River, Hudson River Bridge, sewage disposal, Washington Aqueduct, specifications, construction progress reports, hydraulic experiments, water supply, drainage, road surfacing, sea walls, water-cooling apparatus, pollution reports, bridges, pipes, channels, reservoirs, irrigation, water power, and sewers.
Subseries 2 contains an issue of The North American Review in which Hutton has specifically highlighted an article entitled, "The Inter-Oceanic Canal." Please see the container list for names of authors.
Subseries 3, Printed Materials with No Author, 1852-1903, includes printed materials on harbor reports, Annapolis Water Company, Ramapo Water Company, water departments and boards, maps, engineer's reports, sea walls, preservation of structures, annual reports, Coal and Iron Railway Company, sewers, Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad, contract specifications, proposals, social club life, Croton Water Supply, law suits, water supplies, moveable dams, reservoirs, East River Bridge, Eastern Canal, water filtration, Kingston New Water Supply, water pipes, locks, docks, contracts, construction reports, Croton Water Supply, and surveys. Also included are issues of journals such as Le Correspondant, Circular of the Office of Chief Engineers, The Club, VIII Congres International de Navigation, Journal of the Association of Engineering Studies, and Journal of the Franklin Institute.
Subseries 4, Newspaper, Journals and Magazine Clippings, 1873-1900, contains clippings from a variety of newspapers such as Scientific American, andRailroad Gazette. Subjects included are the Union Tunnel opening in Baltimore, Drum Point Railroad, railroad company conflicts, Washington/Harlem River Bridge, Metropolitan Railroad, Western Maryland Railroad, crop prospects, lumber trade, North Avenue Bridge, Nicaraguan Canal, harbors, river improvements, reactions to engineering projects, Belt tunnel, city transit, Washington, D.C. flood in 1880, tunnel shields, Springfield Bridge, railroad patents, Panama Canal, jetties, Hudson Tunnel, steel boilers, composition and use of cement, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Subseries 5, Oversized Printed Materials, 1889-1892, contains large printed materials related to the Washington Aqueduct, General Post Office Building, subway arches, cornices, Warwick's Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle, Renaissance paintings, botanical drawings, school buildings, church architecture, the Hospital for the Insane of the Army and Navy and the District of Columbia, the Panama Canal, Morningside Park, and the Mississippi Jetties. Also includes engravings of Hutton, T.N. Talfound, and F. Jeffrey and photographs of Montgomery C. Meigs, and Hutton. Some materials are in German and French.
1. Ward, George Washington, "The Early Development of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Project," Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science Series XVII, no. 9-11 (1899): 8.
2. Ibid., 88.
3. Ibid., 55.
4. Ibid., 90.
5. Sanderlin, Walter S., "The Great National Project: A History of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal," Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science Series LXIV, no. 1 (1946): 21.
6. Ibid., 282.
7. Gies, Joseph, Adventure Underground (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Company Inc., 1962): 134.
8. Ibid., 131-132.
9. Ibid., 135-136.
10. Ibid., 145.
The collection is arranged into ten series.
Series 1, Letterpress Copybooks, 1858-1901
Series 2, Professional Correspondence, 1861-1901
Subseries 1, Project Correspondence, 1876-1899
Subseries 2, General Correspondence, 1861-1901
Series 3, Personal Correspondence, 1850-1942
Series 4, Personal Materials, 1835-1946
Subseries 1, Financial Records, 1876-1901
Subseries 2, Estate and Real Estate Records, 1835-1921
Subseries 3, Other Huttons, 1874-1936
Subseries 4, Personal Materials, 1878-1946
Series 5, Diaries, 1866-1901
Series 6, Notebooks, 1860-1900
Subseries 1, Engineering and Survey Field Notes, 1860-1899
Subseries 2, Notebooks, 1871-1886
Subseries 3, Notes, 1863-1900
Series 7, Cashbooks, 1856-1899
Series 8, Professional Projects, 1830-1965
Subseries 1, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 1828-1965
Subseries 2, Hudson River Tunnel, 1887-1901
Subseries 3, Harlem River Bridge, 1878-1892
Subseries 4, Other Projects, 1858-1932
Subseries 5, Identified Project Files, 1872-1900
Subseries 6, Specifications, 1870-1900
Subseries 7, Legal Documents, 1886
Subseries 8, Professional Organizations, 1870-1902
Series 9, Printed Materials, 1826-1913
Subseries 1, Printed Materials by Hutton, 1852-1900
Subseries 2, Printed Materials by Others, 1826-1913
Subseries 3, Newspaper, Journals, and Magazine Clippings, 1855-1901
Not much is known about the history of William Rich Hutton outside of his role in architectural and engineering projects of the late 1800s and early 1900s. In many cases, he is spoken of only in reference to his projects, and the short biographies that have been written read more like a resume than a life story. Because of this lack of information, this note will focus on Hutton's professional accomplishments, but will attempt to make some comments on his personal life.
William Rich Hutton was born on March 21, 1826 in Washington, D.C., the eldest son of James Hutton (died 1843) and his wife, the former Salome Rich (1). He was educated at the Western Academy (Washington, D.C.) from 1837-1840 under George J. Abbot and then at Benjamin Hallowell's School in Alexandria, Virginia, where he received special training in mathematics, drawing, and surveying (2). Hutton began his professional career in California when he, along with his younger brother James, accompanied their uncle William Rich to work for the United States Army. His uncle was a paymaster for the army and Hutton became his clerk. They traveled around the new state paying the various platoons stationed there, but Hutton also occupied his time by drawing the landscapes and structures he saw in the settlements of Los Angeles, San Francisco, La Paz, Mazatlan, Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Pedro, San Diego, and Cape San Lucas (3). These drawings are now held by the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Hutton held the position of clerk until the spring of 1849, and in July of that year he began working with Lieutenant Edward O.C. Ord and completed the first survey of Los Angeles and its surrounding pueblo lands and islands. Hutton continued surveying in California from 1850-1851. He was hired by William G. Dana to survey the Nipomo Ranch in San Luis Obispo County and also surveyed the ranches Santa Manuela and Huer-Huero, both owned by Francis Z. Branch. After his employment with Dana, he became the county surveyor for San Luis Obispo County, where he prepared the first survey and map of the region. He also continued to survey ranches for Captain John Wilson during this time. In August 1851, he resigned from his position as county surveyor and moved to Monterey where he worked as an assistant to Captain (later General) Henry W. Hallack, superintendent of the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine in Santa Clara County (4). He remained in this position until March, 1853 when he returned to Washington, D.C. by way of Mexico (5).
Hutton began his career as a civil engineer in Washington, D.C. He was first assigned to the position of assistant engineer on a survey of the projected Metropolitan Railroad in 1853, which was chartered to connect Washington, D.C. with the mainline of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In 1855 he began his professional relationship with Montgomery C. Meigs when he was appointed to the position of assistant engineer on the Washington Aqueduct. He also served as division engineer on this project until construction was shut down in 1861 because of the outbreak of the Civil War. Fortunately for Hutton, the construction on the Aqueduct was resumed in 1862, and when Congress transferred the supervision of the aqueduct project from the War Department to the Department of the Interior, Hutton was made chief engineer. By the end of the Civil War, Hutton's reputation as a civil engineer was established (6).
During this decade Hutton also served as the chief engineer for the Annapolis Water Works (1866) and as chief engineer for one of his most famous projects, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (1869-1871). Although some historians minimize Hutton as just one of many engineers to work on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, he did make one major contribution to its construction: the Georgetown Canal Incline. Perhaps the final effort of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal company to compete with the emerging and fast expanding railroad, the Georgetown Incline was designed to allow canal boats to travel through the canal with low water levels and to alleviate canal congestion. Unfortunately, by the time the incline was completed use of the canal had decreased so significantly that it was no longer needed to help control traffic (7). Despite this, Hutton continued to work as a consulting engineer for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company until 1881, when he was let go because of the dwindling fortunes of the company (7).
In the 1870s and 1880s Hutton was busy with several engineering projects. During 1871-1873, he was the chief engineer in the completion of the Western Maryland Railroad to Hagerstown and Williamsport (9). He also practiced as an architect with his brother, the prominent Baltimore architect Nathanial Henry Hutton, during the years 1873-1880. He relocated to New York in 1880, serving as chief engineer for the Washington Bridge in 1888 and 1889 and the Hudson River Tunnel from 1889 to 1891. In 1886, he became the consulting engineer for the New Croton Aqueduct and served in the same position for the Colorado Midland Railway between the years of 1886-1889 (10).
As his personal and professional correspondence shows, Hutton continued to work on various engineering and architectural projects until his death on December 11, 1901. In addition to these projects, he also invented the innovative system of locks and moveable dams used in the Kanawha River Canal. He was awarded the Diplome d'Honneur for this featat the Paris Exposition in 1878 (11). His correspondence also demonstrates how Hutton was respected within his professional community. These letters refer to the accuracy of his work, his willingness to help other colleagues and supply them with reference materials and information, and, in addition to all this, his politeness. It seems that these qualities defined not only his personality but also his ideology. In one of the cashbooks in the collection, dated 1899, a hand written note contains a religious parable of "The Straw." The phrase in this parable that speaks most to Hutton's work ethic, and to the spirit of inventors everywhere, is this: "Even so however lowly may be the act, however little opportunities we may have of assisting others, we may still do something. Let us beg to fulfil our duty in this regards by making ourselves useful to others by some little act of thoughtful charity..." (12). Hutton, in his dedication to civil engineering, seems to have lived up to this virtue, and in his work he changed the landscape of Washington, D.C. and New York.
The Fairy Godfather: Hutton's Personal History
His professional records reveal a man who was fiercely dedicated to his work. His obituary references his professional life more than his personal life (13). Despite his reputation in the professional engineering community, his personal records demonstrate that Hutton was also dedicated to his family and children. In 1855, he married Montgomery County native Mary Augusta Clopper (died 1915). Together they lived on her family's estate known as the Woodlands, and had five children: Frank C. Hutton, Mary Hutton, Elizabeth Hutton (later Caulfield), Rosa Hutton, and Annie Salome Hutton (14). It is at this estate that Hutton died and was buried. The personal letters to his wife found in the Woodlands Collection held at the Montgomery County Historical Society show a man in love and willing to take time from his work to write to his wife. His letters to his children show a similar interest and compassion. In the many letters found in this collection from his daughter Elizabeth (Bessie) one can see a father who is interested in not only his daughter's activities abroad, but also in her opinion. This interest also extends to his son Frank Hutton, as their correspondence shows Hutton offering his son advice on his own engineering projects.
Hutton also served as executor to many of his extended family's estates. Many letters show the conflicts that Hutton had to mediate and the dependence of his cousins on him for advice and money. Although his family was wealthy (his cousin was Benjamin H. Hutton whose daughters married into the court of Napoleon III), they were volatile, and his records seem to indicate that he served as a mediator for many of their disputes. In addition to this, as his nickname of Fairy Godfather suggests, Hutton was always willing to lend his family either financial or moral support when needed. Unfortunately, little other documentation concerning Hutton's personal life exists outside of this collection and the one held at the Montgomery County Historical Society.
1. Waters, Willard O., "Introduction," California 1847-1852 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942).
2. Waters, Willard O., "Memoir," Glances at California 1847-1853 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942): ix.
3. Waters, Willard O., "Introduction," California 1847-1852 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942). and Waters, Willard O., "Memoir," Glances at California 1847-1853 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942): x-xi.
4. Waters, Willard O., "Introduction," California 1847-1852 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942).
5. Waters, Willard O., "Memoir," Glances at California 1847-1853 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942): xvii.
6. Waters, Willard O., "Memoir," Glances at California 1847-1853 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942): xvii-xviii.
7. Skramstad, Harold, "The Georgetown Canal Incline," Technology and Culture, Vol. 10, no. 4 (Oct. 1969): 555.
8. Business Correspondence, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 22 February 1881, William R. Hutton Papers, 1830-1965, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number 27, folder number 29.
9. "William Rich Hutton," The Club: A Journal of Club Life for Men and Women,(July 1894):37
12. Cashbook, 1899, William R. Hutton Papers, 1830-1965, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number 23, folder number 5.
13. The Woodlands Collection, Montgomery County Historical Society.
Materials in the Archives Center
The Montgomery C. Meigs Papers, 1870-1890, (AC0987). Contains materials relating to the construction of the Washington Aqueduct including a book of drawings illustrating reservoirs, tunnels, culverts, and other structural elements, a Government Senate Document relating to construction progress, scrapbooks created by Meigs that include newspaper clippings about the Washington Aqueduct project, water supply, engineering projects, building construction, architecture and other subjects. Collection is currently unprocessed, but is available for research.
Materials in Other Organizations:
The William Rich Hutton Papers, 1840-1961, are located at the Huntington Library in California (see http://catalog.huntington.org).
The collection contains 95 drawings, 13 letters, and 39 facsimile copies of letters and manuscripts. The illustrative material includes both watercolor and pencil drawings of California (including Los Angeles, Monterey, San Francisco, the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine, and the California missions), Baja California, Mexico, and Peru. There are also five pieces in the collection related to the author María Amparo Ruiz de Burton. In 1942, the Huntington Library published Glances at California 1847--853: Diaries and Letters of William Rich Hutton, Surveyor and California 1847--852: Drawings by William Rich Hutton.
The Hutton family papers are located at the Montgomery County Historical Society, Sween Library (see http://www.montgomeryhistory.org/sites/default/files/Family_Files.pdf).
The collection contains account books from the Woodlands estate, recipe books, livestock records, records of Mary Augusta Hutton (wife), Mary and Rose Hutton (daughters), newspaper clippings (including his obituary), correspondence, record books, deeds, bills and receipts, engineering papers, religious momentos (funeral service cards), and insurance papers.
The collection was donated by Mr. and Mrs. James J. Madine, a relative of Hutton's and last owners of the Woodlands estate; the Department of Forests and Parks, Maryland; Louis Fischer; and Mr. and Mrs. Mayo S. Stuntz, 1965-1966, 1974.
The collection is open for research. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Letters are primarily written to Mosler with scattered letters written by him. Of particular note is a letter to his parents written from 3 miles outside Corinth, Mississippi on 22 May 1862 in which he describes the scene during the Siege of Corinth following the Battle of Shiloh.
Calling/congratulation cards were sent in response to Mosler's winning the gold medal at the Paris Salon in 1888 and being awarded the Ordre National Légion d'Honneur in 1892.
Correspondents include members of the military regarding his service in 1861-1863 and can be found in several places. A folder of Civil War letters includes Brigadier General R. W. Johnson's request for Mosler to serve as aide-de-camp, and a March 1863 letter from a friend (Bradley?) encamped at Murfreesboro and referring to the building of fortifications there following the Second Battle of Murfreesboro. Letters from Harper's Weekly include a summary of Mosler's military service from 1861-1863 and a handwritten account of his experiences in September 1861 in and around Louisville, Kentucky. Also found are letters from the United States Army and the Department of the Interior in 1885 introducing Mosler as a "distinguished artist" visiting the West. Included are 3 letters from General Philip Sheridan in which he refers to the "indians, in their uncivilized state," and Mosler's desire "to be able to depict them in a correct light."
Other letters are from museums and art associations, Mosler family members, including Mosler's children, artist Gustave Henry Mosler and Edith Mosler, friends and colleagues including artists James Henry Beard, Julien Dupré, Gabriel Ferrier, François Flameng, Ernest Hébert, William Henry Howe, Heinrich Mücke (history painter and Mosler's Düsseldorf professor), J. Francis Murphy, William Ordway Partridge, and Leon Germain Pelouse, among others. Letters from the Ministere de l'Instruction Publique et des Beaux-Arts include the 1879 purchase certificate for Mosler's painting Le Retour, and a letter assigning the painting to the Luxembourg Museum.
Letters from the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States confirm Mosler's election as a Member-at-Large to the order in 1896. Also found is a list of autographs of Cincinnati Artists representing a petition to suggest that the Cincinnati Museum purchase Mosler's painting The Last Moments.
Many of the letters are in French and German.
See Appendix for an extened list of correspondents in Series 2.
The bulk of the series is arranged alphabetically by correspondent in general files or in named files if there are 5 or more letters from an individual correspondent. A group of files arranged by subject can be found at the beginning of the series.
Appendix: Extended List of Correspondents from Series 2:
This appendix is taken from an existing list compiled at some point after the collection was accessioned and is intended to assist in identifying correspondents, as many signatures are difficult to decipher or illegible. Completeness and accuracy of the list cannot be guaranteed.
Abraham, Victor Emmanuel
Aldine, Publishing Co.
Allis, Edward Phelps
Avery, Samuel P.
Barria, J. (?)
Bartell, Prof. V.
Bassier, Cabinet du Ministre
Bates, Harry, Godey Co.
Beard, James Henry
Bigelow, C. B., American Art Association
Bradley, L. P.
Bridgman, F. A.
Buhler, F. Zuber
Burgers, H. J.
Butler, E., Cincinnatti Art Club
Cabinet du Ministre
Cauffman, Sig. J.
Chamberlin, W. H., Loyal Legion
Chambre des Deputes
Champney, J. Wells
Cincinnatti Commercial Office
Ckenbracher (?), T.
Corrington (?), John
Cramer, Mary (letter of introduduction to President Ulysses S. Grant)
Davis, Charles (?)
Davis, Margaret S.
de Campan, P.
De Chavannes, P.
de Czachorski, Ladislas
de Lambert, Marguerite
de Luce, Percival
de Mun, Albert
d'Almeida, W. B.
Delabbe (?), A.
Dennis, W. J.
Dix, M. (?), miniature painter
Dodge, Harrison H.
Dougan, D. H.
Du Nimes (?), Renee
Dustin, Silas S. (?)
Dyer, Charles Gifford
Ehrich, Louis R.
Faber, L. E.
Fleury, J. (?) Robert
Garvier (?), Edward
Goshorn, A. S. (Director Cincinnati Museum Association)
Gross, P. A.
Guygellion, Louise (?)
Harper & Bros.
Henger, Thomas E. (?)
Henry, Edward L.
Hoebel, Arthur, -- New York Times
Homer, W. H.
Howe, W. H.
Ingalls, M. E.
James, Maj. F. B. (Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States)
Johnson, Brigadier General R. W.
Jordan, D. M.
Kaplan, A. O.
Kauffmann, S. H. (?), Corcoran
Knoedler, R. F.
Kroyer (?), F.
Lamar, L.Q.C., Secretary of the Interior (letter of introduction)
Lau-, Frederick S.
Le E-, L. M.
Le Leusche, L. M. (?)
Le Roux, Hector
Leipziger, H. M.
Leisten (or Leister), Jacobus
Loyal Legion of the United States
Mabel-Trevor, Helen (?)
MacPherson, G. G.
Masson, Charles, Ministere de l'Instruction Publique
Mehaus, C. H. (?)
Meikie (?), H.
Merson, Luc Olivier
Mieuer, D. J.
Miller, L. W., Art Club of Philadelphia
Ministere de l'Instruction Publique et des Beaux-Arts
Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres
Moch, M. E.
Moffat, W. D.
Morris, A. K., YMCA
Morton, Levi Parsons
Moses, Otto A.
Mullin, Alex J.
Murphy, J. Francis
New York Herald
Nicoll, J. C., National Academy of Design
Niehaus, Charles H.
Noble, T. S.
Paine, H. G., -- Harper's Weekly
Panhauts, C. M. (?)
Partridge, William Ordway
Pearce, Charles Sprague
Pelouse, Leon Germain
Pengelly, W. G.
Picknell, William L.
Pleinpent (?), F. B.
Plimpton, C. A.
Profesional Photographer's Society of New York
Race, G. F.
Rea, John S.
Read, Thomas Buchanan
Reid, J. (?)
Reid, Robert S.
Rosenthal, Toby E.
Roth, Th. (?)
Royal Academy (invitation)
Sherard, Robert (?)
Sayler, Nelson (letter of introduction)
Schatz, Joseph L.
Schaus, W (?)
Seissen, F. (?)
Sh-, R. M.
Shearard, Robert M.
Simmons, Sallie M.
Smith, Rufus H.
Thierot, J. H.
Townsend, George Alfred
Turner, C. Y.
Turquel, Edmund: see Ministere de l'Instruction Publique et des Beaux-Arts
United States Army, Sheridan, Lt. General Philip Henry (letters introducing Mosler)
United States Department of the Interior (letters introducing Mosler)
von Catharin, D. (from Henry Mosler)
von Piloty, Carl
Vonnoh, Robert W.
Watrous, H. W.
Wattson, A. Francis
Webber, C. T.
Weeks, E. L.
Whistler, J. McNeill (1 calling card)
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The Henry Mosler papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Henry Mosler papers, 1856-1929. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.