Selected material from the Lyme Historical Society's Lyme Art Colony Archives relating primarily to the activities of the Lyme Art Association and Lyme Art Colony (4.0 ft.) and including Florence Griswold's personal papers (0.4 ft.)
REELS 4678-4680: Included are: constitution, by-laws, minutes of the "Lyme Exhibition," 1911-1914, and the Lyme Art Association and Artists' Committee; account books containing treasurer's reports, minutes of annual and artists' committee meetings, expenses, sales, cash assets, and other information; letters from members; files, chiefly on artists, containing letters, a few photographs, writings on the Griswold House, exhibition catalogs, and summaries of conversations and interviews about Griswold and the art colony, conducted in 1954 by a Society staff member;
photographs of artists, the Florence Griswold House, and an exhibition; 4 scrapbooks of clippings, 1933-1940, and a scrapbook about William Henry Howe, ca.1880-1930; notebook of James Weiland chiefly on painting technique; diaries of Clark Voorhees, 1890-1905; a Robert Vonnoh sketchbook; specifications for the Lyme Art Association Gallery; list of locations of artists' work; directions for gilding by Griswold; "Wilson's Return," an account of President Woodrow Wilson's return visit to Lyme; an album containing information on Alphaeus P. Cole's career compiled in 1986; an autograph book, "Ghosts of My Friends," 1909-1914 containing signatures;
exhibition catalogs, announcements and posters; and articles, 1902-1966, regarding the Lyme Art Colony and artists Childe Hassam, Henry Ward Ranger and Louis Dessar.
Also, spliced to end of reel 4680 are additional photographs of artists, exhibition installations, and a photograph album. Included are: Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, Charles Vezin, Harry Hoffman, William Henry Howe, Henry Ward Ranger, Will Howe Foote, Frank Vincent DuMond, William O. Goodman and his wife at a ceremony marking his retirement as President of the Association, Florence Griswold, and others; interior and exterior views of the Griswold House; art works; the first exhibition of the Association in the "new" gallery, summer, 1921, and an exhibition in 1926; and an album, "Illustrated Lecture on Wild Animals of New England," containing photos of Howe, Foote, Metcalf, Allen Talcott, Arthur Heming, and others, and the Griswold House.
Artists represented in the artists' files include Thomas Ball, Martin Borgord, William Chadwick, Bruce Crane, Charles H. Davis, Elizabeth Ebert, Will Howe Foote, Harry L. Hoffman, Richard F. Maynard, Henry Rankin Poore, Gregory Smith, Nelson White, and Margaret H. Wright (contains letters from W.Bicknell and Chauncey Ryder).
REEL 4599: Material (0.2 ft.) from the Florence Griswold papers, 1896-1938, includes a biographical note; a posthumous certificate from the American Artists Professional League honoring Griswold; correspondence with artists and others; estate documents and a copy of her will; "The Saga of Florence Griswold's Harp" by Clarence T. Hubbard, an account of the formation of the Colony; postcards showing Griswold and art work in the house by Childe Hassam, William Henry Howe and Henry R. Poore; and obituaries.
Correspondents included in Griswold's papers are George Ainslie, Frank Bicknell, Charles Bittinger, William Chadwick, E.H. Clement, Lewis Cohen, Frank DuMond, Schumacker Duncan, Charles Ebert, Will Howe Foote, Frank B. Gay, Charles L. Goodwin, Walter Griffin, Childe Hassam, Arthur Heming, Harry L. Hoffman, William Henry Howe, William H. Hyde, Lydia Longacre, Willard Metcalf, Curtis Moyer, Henry R. Poore, William S. Robinson, Edith and Edward Rook, Allen B. Talcott, Charles Vezin, Robert and Bessie Vonnoh, Everett Warner, and Ellen and Woodrow Wilson.
Biographical / Historical:
The Lyme Art Association was established in 1914 as an outgrowth of the Lyme Art Colony, in Old Lyme, Conn. In 1921, a summer art gallery was built to house its exhibitions. Henry Ward Ranger is the artist credited with discovering Old Lyme as a painters' haven in 1899, encouraging a few artists to come the following summer. Florence Griswold's summer boarding house became a center for artists who came to Lyme over the years; Griswold even acted as an agent for some of the artists. Gradually membership expanded and the number of exhibitions increased. Ranger and some of his colleagues painted in the Barbizon style, but Impressionism also gained favor there partially due to Childe Hassam's presence in Old Lyme from 1903 onwards.
Lyme Art Colony Archives
Lent for microfilming 1992 and 1993 by the Lyme Historical Society, Florence Griswold Museum. Records are maintained as the Lyme Art Colony Archives. Arrangement of the photographs was devised by the lender and has been maintained.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
The estate papers of New York tonalist painter Henry Ward Ranger, measure one linear foot and date from 1888-circa 1999, with the bulk of the material dating from 1904-1954.The collection primarily documents the settlement of Ranger's contested will and the administration of his estate, but also provides scattered biographical information on Ranger's life, provenance information about his work, and documentation of the significance of his estate gift to the National Academy of Design. Records include appraisal information including an estate ledger, correspondence and memoranda including two letters from Ranger, court documents, financial and real estate records, news clippings, and two photographs and eight negatives of Ranger.
Scope and Contents:
The estate papers of New York tonalist painter Henry Ward Ranger, measure one linear foot and date from 1888-circa 1999, with the bulk of the material dating from 1904-1954.The collection primarily documents the settlement of Ranger's contested will and the administration of his estate, but also provides scattered biographical information on Ranger's life, provenance information about his work, and the significance of his estate gift to the National Academy of Design. Records include appraisal information including an estate ledger, correspondence and memoranda including two letters from Ranger, court documents, financial and real estate records, news clippings, and two photographs and six negatives of Ranger.
Series 1 documents the appraisal, administration, and distribution of Ranger's estate by the National Academy of Design. The bulk of the material comprises appraisal records, including an appraisal of Ranger's Noank studio by William Macbeth; correspondence and agreements with museums and other art institutions that received artwork purchased by the Ranger fund, including the Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, Des Moines Association of Fine Arts, Fine Arts Society of San Diego, Museum of Fine Arts , Houston, Oberlin College, and others; and financial records documenting assets and liabilities, including cancelled checks, receipts, investment and tax records, and records documenting real estate investments that contributed to the estate. Also found is a folder of personal papers, including two letters from Ranger, and a photograph and six negatives of Ranger, and a folder of nine letters from Ranger family members.
Series 2 primarily comprises court documents and legal counsel notes and correspondence related to the litigation of Ranger's will, and the process of proving the the legitimacy of Ranger's original will and the fraudulence of the will presented by Edith Ranger's lawyers.
The collection is arranged as two series.
Series 1: Henry Ward Ranger Estate, 1888-circa 1999 (0.95 linear feet; Boxes 1, 4)
Series 2: Settlement of Will, 1907-1920 (1.05 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)
Biographical / Historical:
Tonalist landscape and marine painter, Henry Ward Ranger (1858-1916), became a full academician of the National Academy of Design in 1906 and bequeathed his entire residuary estate to the academy. The investment of this substantial gift of nearly $400,000, known as the Ranger fund, would provide for the purchase of paintings by living American artists, which were distributed or accessioned by the Smithsonian Institution's then National Collection of Fine Arts.
Ranger was born in western New York State and attended Syracuse University for two years before opening a studio in New York City in the mid-1880s. He traveled to Europe and lived in the Netherlands for several years, where he was influenced by the Dutch watercolorists and the Barbizon masters. Ranger was known for his experiments with pigments and colors, his interiors of forests, and marine views of the shoreline in Connecticut, where he spent summers and helped to establish the artist colony in Old Lyme. He further divided his time between a country studio in Noank, Connecticut, his studio in the city, and trips to Puerto Rico and Jamaica in the winter months.
Following his death in 1916, Ranger's will was probated and involved in costly litigation for two years due to the presentation of another will asserting Ranger's sister, Edith, as the beneficiary. The second will was proven to be false and the Ranger fund went on to make a significant contribution to the Smithsonian's collection of American art, allowing the institution to ultimately claim sixty-six of the paintings purchased by the fund and amass a collection which represented popular academic tastes in American art over more than half a century.
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by the National Academy of Design in 2018.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Henry Ward Ranger estate papers, 1888-circa 1999, bulk 1904-1954. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
En plein air : the art colonies at East Hampton and Old Lyme, 1880-1930 : [exhibition] Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut, 10 June-30 July 1989 [and] Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York, 18 June-30 July 1989