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Beatrice Fenton papers

Creator:
Fenton, Beatrice, 1887-1983  Search this
Names:
Bishop, Emily Clayton, 1883-1912  Search this
Martinet, Marjorie D., 1886-1981  Search this
Extent:
9.36 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Sound recordings
Photographs
Date:
1836-1984
bulk 1890-1978
Summary:
The papers of sculptor Beatrice Fenton date from 1836-1984 (bulk 1890-1978) and measure 9.36 linear feet. The collection documents Fenton's career as a sculptor and art instructor, as well as her life-long friendships with artist Emily Clayton and art educator Marjorie Martinet. Found are scattered biographical materials, correspondence primarily with Martinet (approximately 1/2 of the collection), business records, notes and writings, scattered records of arts organizations, transcripts of interviews with Fenton, sketches and sketchbooks, a scrapbook, brochures, clippings, postcards, reproductions of artwork, and photographs of friends and family, travels, and artwork. Writings include several illustrated hand-made books of poetry by Emily Clayton.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor Beatrice Fenton date from 1836-1984 (bulk 1890-1978) and measure 9.36 linear feet. The collection documents Fenton's career as a sculptor and art instructor, as well as her life-long friendships with artist Emily Clayton and art educator Marjorie Martinet. Found are scattered biographical materials, correspondence primarily between Fenton and Martinet (approximately 1/2 of the collection), business records, notes and writings, scattered records of arts organizations, transcripts of interviews with Fenton, sketches and sketchbooks, a scrapbook, brochures, clippings, postcards, reproductions of artwork, and photographs of friends and family, travels, and artwork.

The collection includes scattered biographical material for Fenton, Emily Clayton Bishop, and Marjorie Martinet, such as biographical accounts, membership cards, and a diploma. The correspondence is primarily between Fenton and Martinet and documents the development of their close friendship and professional concerns. There are also scattered letters from Fenton's instructor, Alexander S. Calder and Emily Clayton Bishop. Personal business records include those of Fenton and Martinet and include wills, estate papers, insurance and banking records, price lists, receipts, and records from the Oldfields School where Marjorie Martinet taught for 36 years. Found within the Notes and Writings series are address books, hand-made illustrated booklets of poems by Emily Clayton Bishop, lecture manuscripts, and notes and typescripts on various topics, including a file Fenton created to promote Bishop's artwork following Bishop's death.

There is a series of scattered records of arts organizations to which Fenton belonged, including the Charcoal Club, the Three Arts Club, Lizette Wood Reese Memorial Association, and the Maryland Institute Alumni Association. Also found in the papers are interview tapes and transcripts of interviews conducted with Fenton by Mary Hamel-Schwulst and Marlene Obarzaneck, artwork consisting primarily of sketchbooks and loose drawings by Fenton and Bishop, a scrapbook concerning Martinet, additional printed material, and photographs and photograph albums depicting Fenton, Martinet, Bishop, other family, colleagues, studios, artwork, and travel destinations.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1897-1967 (Boxes 1, 10; 5 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1857-1980 (Boxes 1-5, 10; 4.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Business Records, 1836, 1907-1978 (Box 5; 39 folders)

Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1866-1971 (Boxes 5-6; 58 folders)

Series 5: Organization Records, 1903-1938 (Box 6; 9 folders)

Series 6: Interviews, 1978 (Box 6; 5 folders)

Series 7: Artwork, 1903-1943 (Boxes 7, 10; 21 folders)

Series 8: Scrapbook, 1905-1925 (Boxes 10; 1 folder)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1865-1984 (Boxes 7-8, 10; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographs, 1890-1978 (Boxes 9-10, MGP 6; 1.0 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Beatrice Fenton was born on July 12, 1887 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to ophthalmologist Thomas H. Fenton and Lizzie Remak Fenton, who was the daughter of prominent lawyer Gustavus Remak.

From 1903-1904 Fenton began to study art at the Philadelphia School of Industrial Art under Alexander Stirling Calder. Through her father's aunt, Mary Fenton Holmes, she met Thomas Eakins who advised her to sculpt in clay in order to overcome flatness in drawings. In 1904 Eakins painted a portrait of Fenton as the central figure in The Coral Necklace.

Fenton was attracted to sculpture and continued her studies in this field from 1904-1908 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, under Charles Grafly. Here she began life-long friendships with fellow students Marjorie Martinet and Emily Clayton Bishop.

A Cresson European Traveling Scholarship enabled Fenton to visit Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, France, and England during the summer of 1909. She returned to the Pennsylvania Academy and won a second scholarship that financed further travel to Spain, France, Holland, Belgium, and England in 1910 with Marjorie Martinet. On her return from Europe Fenton began working as an artist in Philadelphia.

Both Fenton and Martinet were deeply affected by the sudden death of Emily Clayton Bishop in 1912, and spent several years promoting Bishop's sculpture. Martinet, who changed the spelling of her surname from Martenet to Martinet in June 1918, established her own art school in Baltimore, Maryland, and later taught painting at the Maryland Institute of Art. Fenton and Martinet maintained a close relationship for fifty years, primarily through correspondence.

Fenton's first success came with a portrait bust of her father's friend, painter and etcher Peter Moran, brother of Thomas Moran. The bust was purchased by the painter's friends for the Art Club and in 1915 won Honorable Mention in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. The success of Fenton's Seaweed Fountain in 1922 generated many commissions, primarily for fountains.

Martinet taught at Oldfields School from 1925 to 1961. From 1942 to 1953, Fenton taught at the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, and later joined the faculty of St. John's Night School for Adults.

Beatrice Fenton died February 11, 1983 in Germantown, Pennsylvania.
Provenance:
The Beatrice Fenton papers were donated from 1987-1991 by Joan Martin, a sculptor and former Fenton student, who inherited Fenton's studio and its contents.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Sculptors -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Sound recordings
Photographs
Citation:
Beatrice Fenton papers, 1836-1984 (bulk 1890-1978). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.fentbeat
See more items in:
Beatrice Fenton papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b4850d88-8ab5-4600-aaa3-ca667521dc63
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fentbeat
Online Media:

Unidentified Man, (sculpture)

Title:
Unknown Gentleman, (sculpture)
Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Broad & Cherry Streets Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19102
Date:
1909
Topic:
Figure male--Bust  Search this
Control number:
IAS 77001378
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_12174

Portrait of Old Woman with Bow, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Subject:
Unidentified  Search this
Medium:
Cast plaster
Type:
Sculptures-Relief
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th & G Streets, N.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 1976.127.14
Date:
1912
Topic:
Portrait female--Elderly  Search this
Control number:
IAS 08580146
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_30948

Standing Female Nude, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Cast and patinated plaster
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th & G Streets, N.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 1976.127.15
Date:
1911
Topic:
Figure female--Nude  Search this
Control number:
IAS 08580149
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_30951

Standing Nude, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: bronze; Base: wood
Type:
Sculptures-Relief
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th & G Streets, N.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 1976.127.6
Date:
1910
Topic:
Figure female--Nude  Search this
Control number:
IAS 08580150
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_30952

Head of Mr. Fenn, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Subject:
Fenn  Search this
Medium:
Cast and patinated plaster
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th & G Streets, N.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 1976.127.9
Date:
1906
Topic:
Portrait male--Head  Search this
Control number:
IAS 08580143
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_30945

Comedy, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Founder:
Roman Bronze Works  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Broad & Cherry Streets Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19102
Date:
1907
Topic:
Allegory--Arts & Sciences--Drama  Search this
Control number:
IAS 77001369
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_12165

Standing Nude, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Type:
Sculptures-Relief
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Broad & Cherry Streets Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19102
Date:
1910
Topic:
Figure--Nude  Search this
Control number:
IAS 77001376
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_12172

The Bacchanal Dancer, (sculpture)

Title:
Girl Dancing, (sculpture)
Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Type:
Sculptures-Relief
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Broad & Cherry Streets Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19102
Date:
1909
Topic:
Figure female  Search this
Recreation--Dancing  Search this
Control number:
IAS 77001371
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_12167

Baby Joe, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Subject:
Unidentified  Search this
Medium:
Cast plaster with varnish
Type:
Sculptures-Relief
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th & G Streets, N.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 1976.127.1
Date:
1909
Topic:
Portrait male--Joe  Search this
Portrait male--Child  Search this
Control number:
IAS 08580137
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_30939

Comedy, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Cast plaster, patinated
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th & G Streets, N.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 1976.127.13
Date:
1907
Topic:
Allegory--Arts & Sciences--Drama  Search this
Figure female--Nude  Search this
Control number:
IAS 08580139
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_30941

Dancing Male Figure, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Cast and stained plaster
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th & G Streets, N.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 1976.127.4
Date:
1908
Topic:
Figure male  Search this
Recreation--Dancing  Search this
Control number:
IAS 08580140
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_30942

Student Model, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Plaster
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Washington County Museum of Fine Arts 91 Key Street, P. O. Box 423 Hagerstown Maryland 21741
Topic:
Figure  Search this
Control number:
IAS 19660074
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_29036

Greed, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Broad & Cherry Streets Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19102
Date:
1907
Topic:
Allegory--Quality--Gluttony  Search this
Control number:
IAS 77001373
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_12169

Bacchic Dancer, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: cast bronze; Base: oak wood
Type:
Sculptures-Relief
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th & G Streets, N.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 1976.127.3
Date:
1909
Topic:
Figure female  Search this
Mythology--Classical--Bacchanal  Search this
Ceremony--Dance  Search this
Control number:
IAS 08580138
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_30940

Female Nude with Back Turned, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: cast bronze; Base: marble
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th & G Streets, N.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 1976.127.5
Date:
1910
Topic:
Figure female--Nude  Search this
Control number:
IAS 08580142
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_30944

Reclining Female Nude, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Cast plaster with varnish
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th & G Streets, N.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 1976.127.8
Date:
1910
Topic:
Figure female--Nude  Search this
Control number:
IAS 08580147
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_30949

Conquest of the Great Northwest through Agriculture, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Plaster with patina
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Washington County Museum of Fine Arts 91 Key Street, P. O. Box 423 Hagerstown Maryland 21741
Date:
1908
Topic:
Allegory--Arts & Sciences--Agriculture  Search this
Control number:
IAS 19660075
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_29037

An American Totem Pole, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Broad & Cherry Streets Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19102
Date:
1907
Topic:
Allegory--Place--America  Search this
Control number:
IAS 77001367
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_12163

The Passing of the Seasons: Winter Into Spring, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bishop, Emily Clayton 1883-1912  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Broad & Cherry Streets Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19102
Date:
1908
Topic:
Allegory--Season--Spring  Search this
Allegory--Season--Winter  Search this
Control number:
IAS 77001374
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_12170

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