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In Dickens-Land

Medium:
Chromolithograph
Object Name:
Greeting card
Type:
Greeting card
Credit Line:
Gift of Horace L. Hotchkiss, Jr.
Accession Number:
1950-70-1-a
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1950-70-1-a

In Dickens-Land

Medium:
Chromolithograph
Object Name:
Greeting card
Type:
Greeting card
Credit Line:
Gift of Horace L. Hotchkiss, Jr.
Accession Number:
1950-70-1-b
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1950-70-1-b

In Dickens-Land

Medium:
Chromolithograph
Object Name:
Greeting card
Type:
Greeting card
Credit Line:
Gift of Horace L. Hotchkiss, Jr.
Accession Number:
1950-70-1-c
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1950-70-1-c

In Dickens-Land

Medium:
Chromolithograph
Object Name:
Greeting card
Type:
Greeting card
Credit Line:
Gift of Horace L. Hotchkiss, Jr.
Accession Number:
1950-70-1-d
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1950-70-1-d

In Dickens-Land

Medium:
Chromolithograph
Object Name:
Greeting card
Type:
Greeting card
Credit Line:
Gift of Horace L. Hotchkiss, Jr.
Accession Number:
1950-70-1-e
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1950-70-1-e

In Dickens-Land

Medium:
Chromolithograph
Object Name:
Greeting card
Type:
Greeting card
Credit Line:
Gift of Horace L. Hotchkiss, Jr.
Accession Number:
1950-70-1-f
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1950-70-1-f

Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang

Creator:
Sittig, Mary Margaret  Search this
Names:
L. Prang & Co.  Search this
Heinzen, Rosa Prang  Search this
Prang, Louis, 1824-1909  Search this
Extent:
3.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Watercolors
Prints
Etchings
Paintings
Drawings
Photographs
Date:
1860-1978
Summary:
Art historian Mary Margaret Sittig's research material on Louis Prang dates from 1860 to 1978 and measures 3.5 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material for Louis Prang and for Mary Margaret Sittig, collected letters from various members of the Prang family, and scattered letters to Sittig from friends. Additional collected research materials include scattered personal business records for Louis Prang and his wife, notes and writings, art work, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
Art historian Mary Margaret Sittig's research material on Louis Prang dates from 1860 to 1978 and measures 3.5 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material for Louis Prang and for Mary Margaret Sittig, collected letters from various members of the Prang family, and scattered letters to Sittig from friends. Additional collected research materials include scattered personal business records for Louis Prang and his wife, notes and writings, art work, printed material, and photographs.

Biographical material concerning Louis Prang includes a record book and genealogy listing Prang family members, ephemera, and scattered family papers. Biographical material concerning Mary Margaret Sittig includes resumes, a photograph of Sitting, and scattered ephemera. Letters primarily consist of scattered communications between miscellaneous Prang family members, and a few business-related letters. Letters to Mary Margaret Sittig are primarily from friends and discuss her research activities. Personal business records consist of an account book for Louis Prang's wife, Rosa, and miscellaneous receipts for Louis Prang.

Notes and writings primarily consist of photocopies of research material on Louis Prang collected by Mary Margaret Sittig and include a typescript of her thesis L. Prang and Company, Fine Art Publishers. Art work consists of ink drawings, watercolor sketches, an etching, a block print, and an oil painting on fabric.

Printed material concerning Louis Prang includes clippings, commercial lithographs of book illustrations, chromolithographs of ceramics from the Walters Collection, and printed reproductions of work by others.

Photographs are of Louis Prang, his wives Rosa Prang and Mary Dana Hicks Prang, miscellaneous Prang family members, and of scattered art work. There is also the Prang Family Photograph Album that contains annotations, but no photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1881-1973 (Box 1; 10 folders)

Series 2: Letters, 1864-1974 (Box 1; 23 folders)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1875-1917 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1890-1978 (Box 1; 16 folders)

Series 5: Art Work, circa 1880 (Box 1; 9 folders)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1866-1972 (Box 1-8; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, 1860-1957 (Box 3, 7; 6 folders)
Biographical Note:
Mary Margaret Sittig was a doctoral student at George Washington University in Washington D.C. working on a dissertation about the life and work of Boston lithographer Louis Prang (1824-1909), often referred to as the "father of the American Christmas card." Sittig completed her Master's theses L. Prang and Company, Fine Art Publishers in 1970, but died before completing her doctoral dissertation.

In 1864, Prang visited Europe to study the latest techniques in German lithography. He returned to Boston to create high quality reproductions of major works of art using a lithographic process he called "chromos." In 1874, he began producing greeting cards for the popular market in England and began selling the Christmas card in the United States the next year. Also in 1874, Prang began publishing books for drawing and elementary art study for public schools. This latter activity proved so successful that he formed the Prang Educational Company in 1882.
Related Material:
The Archives also holds the Louis Prang papers, 1848-1932.
Provenance:
The papers were donated by Mary Margaret Sittig's brother James C. Sittig in 2001, in memory of Charlotte, Edgar, and Mary Sittig.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art historians -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Topic:
Lithographers  Search this
Greeting cards industry  Search this
Chromolithography  Search this
Lithography  Search this
Genre/Form:
Watercolors
Prints
Etchings
Paintings
Drawings
Photographs
Citation:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.sittmary
See more items in:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sittmary
Online Media:

Oversized Chromolithographs of Ceramics from the Walters Collection

Collection Creator:
Sittig, Mary Margaret  Search this
Extent:
(from Box 1, Folder 68)
Container:
Box 4, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1860-circa 1978,
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang / Series 6: Printed Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-sittmary-ref109

Oversized Chromolithographs of Art Work by Others

Collection Creator:
Sittig, Mary Margaret  Search this
Extent:
(from Box 1, Folder 73)
Container:
Box 4, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1866-1869
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang / Series 6: Printed Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-sittmary-ref110

Two Oversized Chromolithographed and Embroidered Shawls (?) and a Chromolithographed Portfolio Cover; Oversized Fabric-Covered Portfolio Decorated with a Block Print Design

Collection Creator:
Sittig, Mary Margaret  Search this
Extent:
(from Box 2, Folder 25)
Container:
Box 5, Folder 2-5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1860-circa 1978,
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang / Series 6: Printed Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-sittmary-ref114

Oversized Chromolithographed Fabric-Covered Box; Eight Chromolithographed Fabric Squares

Collection Creator:
Sittig, Mary Margaret  Search this
Extent:
(from Box 2, Folder 25)
Container:
Box 6, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1860-circa 1978,
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang / Series 6: Printed Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-sittmary-ref115

Printed Material

Collection Creator:
Sittig, Mary Margaret  Search this
Extent:
(Box 1-8; 2.5 linear feet)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1866-1972
Scope and Contents note:
Printed material includes clippings, commercial lithographs of book illustrations, chromolithographs of ceramics from the Walters Collection and of work by others, The Card Autograph Album by L. Prang and Co., color lithographs of miniature pictures of mammals, birds, fish, insects, and miscellaneous subjects, calendars, miscellaneous greeting cards including salesmen's sample books of cards, programs, labels, and advertising cards. There are chromolithographed and block-printed fabric items including fabric squares, a fabric-covered box, shawls, and fabric-covered portfolio covers displaying images primarily of flowers and young girls. The books published by L. Prang and Co. include Prang's Standard Alphabets, American Text-Books of Art Education, The Prang Elementary Course in Art Instruction, Illustrations of the History of Art, and Yawcob's Dribulatons that is autographed by Charles Follen Adams (a.k.a. Yawcob Strauss). Books published by others are primarily German children's books with fine illustrations. There is also a large portfolio of machine-cut stencil designs.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.sittmary, Series 6
See more items in:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-sittmary-ref69

Chromolithographs of Ceramics from the Walters Collection

Collection Creator:
Sittig, Mary Margaret  Search this
Extent:
(4 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 4)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 65-68
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1860-circa 1978
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang / Series 6: Printed Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-sittmary-ref74

Chromolithographs of Art Work by Others

Collection Creator:
Sittig, Mary Margaret  Search this
Extent:
(5 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 4)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 69-73
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1866-1903, circa 1860-circa 1978
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang / Series 6: Printed Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-sittmary-ref75

Chromolithographed and Block-Printed Fabric Items

Collection Creator:
Sittig, Mary Margaret  Search this
Extent:
(2 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 5 and Box 6)
Container:
Box 2, Folder 25-26
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1860-circa 1978
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang
Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang / Series 6: Printed Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-sittmary-ref91

Louis Prang papers

Creator:
Prang, Louis, 1824-1909  Search this
Names:
L. Prang & Co.  Search this
Prang & Meyer  Search this
Christopher, E. Wrightson, 1894-  Search this
Cook, Clarence, 1828-1900  Search this
Whittier, John Greenleaf, 1807-1892  Search this
Extent:
1.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Photographs
Lectures
Typescripts
Date:
1848-1932
Summary:
The papers of lithographer Louis Prang date from 1848 to 1932 and measure 1.2 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, writings, art work, card samples, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of lithographer Louis Prang date from 1848 to 1932 and measure 1.2 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, writings, art work, card samples, printed material, and photographs.

Biographical material includes a Prussian arrest warrant for Prang, a passport, a receipt for household purchases, patent and membership certificates, and a photocopy of a letter from John Greenleaf Whittier.

Writings are primarily typescripts of lectures by Prang and a typescript "Lithographic Process Used by Louis Prang" by the donor, E. Wrightson Christopher, and a hand-written page concerning a card design competition by Clarence Cook.

Art work consists of a pencil drawing executed by Prang, possibly as a school assignment. Printed material consists of a book of color separation proofs, a sales book of samples of Prang's products, and catalogs for Easter and Valentine cards. Photographs are of Prang, family members, his residence, events, and colleagues.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 5 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1852-1906 (Box 1-2, OV 5; 8 folders)

Series 2: Writings, 1880-1898 (Box 1; 5 folders)

Series 3: Art Work, circa 1848 (Box 2; 1 folder)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1873-1889 (Box 1-4; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographs, 1874-1932 (Box 1-2, OV 5; 8 folders)
Biographical Note:
Louis Prang (1824-1909) of Boston, Massachusetts, was a lithographer and wood engraver, famous for his chromolithographic reproductions of major works of art as well as for a series of publications used for art education in public schools. Because his company was first to make commercially printed greeting cards available to the public, Prang is often referred to as the "father of the American Christmas Card."

Louis Prang was born on March 12, 1824 in Breslau in what is now Poland. He was the only son among the seven children of a French Huguenot father Jonas Louis Prang and a German mother, Rosina Silverman. Louis Prang learned to dye and print calico as an apprentice in his father's shop. After traveling as a journeyman in Europe, he became involved in revolutionary activity against the Prussian government in 1848. Prang went to Switzerland, emigrated to the United States and settled in Boston in 1850, marrying Rosa Gerber in the following year.

Between 1848 and 1856, Prang supported himself by making wood engravings to illustrate various publications. In 1856, he joined with Julius Mayer and formed the partnership of Prang and Mayer, lithographic and copper plate manufacturers. The business continued until 1860 when Prang became sole owner, changing the name to L. Prang and Co. The firm printed business cards, announcements and other forms of ephemera and soon branched into the production of maps of Civil War sites and novelty items including albums and sets of picture cards decorated with a wide variety of images that became popular collectibles.

In 1864, Prang visited Europe to study the latest techniques in German lithography. He returned to Boston to create high quality reproductions of major works of art using a lithographic process he called "chromos." In 1874, he began producing greeting cards for the popular market in England and began selling the Christmas card in the United States the next year, resulting in his being called the "father of the American Christmas card." Also in 1874, Prang began publishing books for drawing and elementary art study for public schools. This latter activity proved so successful that he formed the Prang Educational Company in 1882. During this time, Prang shared his residence and his work with the family of his son-in-law, lithographer Karl K. Heinzen, who married Prang's daughter Rosa.

Through a merger in 1897, L. Prang and Co. became the Taber-Prang Company and moved from Boston to Springfield, Massachusetts. Two years following the death of his first wife in 1898, Prang married Mary Dana Hicks, an art teacher and author associated with the Prang Educational Company. Prang had retired from active business in 1899 and traveled extensively for the next decade. He became ill and died while en route to view an Exposition in Los Angeles in 1909.

Louis Prang died on June 14, 1909, in Los Angeles, California.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is the Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang.
Provenance:
The Louis Prang papers were donated in 1989 by Thomas West Christopher, M.D., son of E. Wrightson Christopher who compiled the papers while he was a publisher of greeting cards. A photocopied letter and a sales book of samples were donated separately and have unknown provenances.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Greeting cards  Search this
Lithographers  Search this
Lithography  Search this
Greeting cards industry  Search this
Chromolithography  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Photographs
Lectures
Typescripts
Citation:
Louis Prang, 1848-1932. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.pranloui
See more items in:
Louis Prang papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-pranloui
Online Media:

Biographical Material

Collection Creator:
Prang, Louis, 1824-1909  Search this
Extent:
8 Folders (Box 1-2, OV 5)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1852-1906
Scope and Contents note:
Biographical materials include a copy of a Prussian arrest warrant for Prang when he was involved in revolutionary activities in Europe, a passport, a receipt for household purchases, patent certificates for improvements in printing silks and other fabrics and for improvements in envelopes for rolled prints, certificates of membership in various historical and educational organizations, acknowledgment certificates for gifts to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and to the Smithsonian Institution, and a photocopy of a typescript of an 1873 letter from John Greenleaf Whittier calling Prang's attention to an attempted imitation of his chromolithograph of Eastman Johnson's illustration of Whittier's poem The Barefoot Boy.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Louis Prang, 1848-1932. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.pranloui, Series 1
See more items in:
Louis Prang papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-pranloui-ref13

Printed Material

Collection Creator:
Prang, Louis, 1824-1909  Search this
Extent:
0.7 Linear feet (Box 1-4)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1873-1889
Scope and Contents note:
Printed material consists of catalogs for Easter and Valentine cards, a book of color separation proofs for an image of a ceramic vase, and a sales book containing loose pages displaying samples of chromolithographed greeting cards and reproductions of art work offered by L. Prang and Company.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Louis Prang, 1848-1932. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.pranloui, Series 4
See more items in:
Louis Prang papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-pranloui-ref34

Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay Family papers

Creator:
Lay, Oliver Ingraham, 1845-1890  Search this
Lay, Charles Downing, 1877-1956  Search this
Names:
Bridges, Fidelia, 1834-1923  Search this
Lay, Laura Gill  Search this
Lay, Marian Wait  Search this
Extent:
10.54 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Landscape drawings
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Date:
1789-2000
bulk 1870-1996
Summary:
The Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay Family Papers measure 10.54 linear feet and date from 1789 through 2000, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1870-1996. The collection presents an overview of the personal lives and careers of painter, Oliver Ingraham Lay and his son, landscape architect, Charles Downing Lay. In addition, there are the papers of Lay family members and friends, including those of the Marian Wait Lay family (wife of Oliver Ingraham Lay) and of the Laura Gill Lay family (wife of Charles Downing Lay). Also found are the papers of the landscape and nature painter Fidelia Bridges. The collection consists of biographical material, correspondence, diaries, writings and notes, scrapbooks, family business records, exhibition files, printed material, as well as original artwork, sketches, a sketchbook, landscape designs, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay Family Papers measure 10.54 linear feet and date from 1789 through 2000, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1870-1996. The collection presents an overview of the personal lives and careers of painter, Oliver Ingraham Lay and his son, landscape architect, Charles Downing Lay. In addition, there are the papers of Lay family members and friends, including those of the Marian Wait Lay family (wife of Oliver Ingraham Lay) and of the Laura Gill Lay family (wife of Charles Downing Lay). Also found are the papers of the landscape and nature painter Fidelia Bridges. The collection consists of biographical material, correspondence, diaries, writings and notes, scrapbooks, family business records, exhibition files, printed material, as well as original artwork, sketches, a sketchbook, landscape designs, and photographs.

The extensive correspondence files illustrate the interaction between the Lays' and their extended circle of family members and friends, offering a view of the social and cultural milieu of a cross section of New England and New York gentry, from the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries. The papers also provide a resource to study the work of Oliver Ingraham Lay and of Charles Downing Lay through original drawings, sketches, and landscape designs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 3 series.

Series 1: Oliver Ingraham Lay and Marian Wait Lay Papers, 1789-1955 (4.2 linear ft.; Boxes 1-5, OV 11)

Series 2: Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay Papers, 1864-1993 (4.2 linear ft.; Boxes 5-9, OV 12-13)

Series 3: Fidelia Bridges Papers, 1857-2000 (1.4 linear ft.; Boxes 9-10)
Biographical / Historical:
Oliver Ingraham Lay (1845-1890) was a painter of portraits and genre scenes. Charles Downing Lay (1898-1956) was a landscape planner, architect, and painter.

Born in 1845 in New York City, Oliver Ingraham Lay studied under the painter Thomas Hicks (1823-1890) and attended the Cooper Institute and the National Academy of Design. Best-known for his portraiture, Lay's subjects included socially and politically prominent individuals, as well as artists, actors, and friends, such as Fidelia Bridges and Edwin Booth, among others. In 1876, Lay was elected to membership to the National Academy of Design and the Artists' Fund Society; in 1887 he became a member of the Century Association. Lay was married to Marian Wait, the niece of the pre-eminent pomologist, Charles Downing (1802-1885) and landscape gardener and rural architect, Andrew Jackson Downing (1815-1852).

Oliver's son, Charles Downing Lay was born in Newburgh, New York in 1898. He attended the School of Architecture at Columbia University from 1896-1900 and earned a Bachelor of Science from Harvard University's School of Landscape Architecture in 1902. That same year, Lay established a landscape practice in New York City; he also served as Landscape Architect for the City of New York from 1911-1912. In 1904, he married Laura Brown Gill.

In addition to his public work projects, he received numerous commissions for private homes and estates in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Lay, along with Henry V. Hubbard and Robert Wheelwright founded the professional magazine, Landscape Architecture where he served as publisher, editor, and contributor. He was a consulting architect to the 1939 New York World's Fair. In 1948, he established the Housatonic Valley Planning Association.

Oliver and Charles's lifelong friend, Fidelia Bridges (1834-1923) was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1834. Orphaned in her youth, she supported herself as a mother's helper in the Quaker household of the Salem merchant, William A. Brown. In the mid-1850s, after Brown had moved to Brooklyn, New York, Fidelia Bridges joined the family, where she took on the role of governess to Brown's daughters. Around this time, she met Oliver Ingraham Lay.

In the 1860s, Bridges studied art at the studio of William Trost Richards (1833-1905) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1867, Bridges, along with a group of young women artists that included Anne Whitney (1821-1915) left for Rome to pursue her artistic training. Upon her return, Bridges set up a studio in New York City. In the early 1890s, Fidelia settled permanently in Canaan, Connecticut.

Bridges, influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite school, depicted landscapes and nature scenes with detailed renderings of birds, meadows, and wildflowers. In addition, Bridges sold her artwork commercially; in the mid-1870s, Louis Prang and Company produced her chromolithographic designs on greeting cards and calendars. Bridges also illustrated magazines and books.
Related Materials:
A small collection of Oliver Ingraham Lay papers were loaned for microfilming and are available on reel 801. The originals are at the New-York Historical Society. The bulk of Charles Downing Lay's papers, 1898-1956 reside in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Provenance:
George C. Lay, grandson of portrait painter Oliver Lay and the son of Charles Downing Lay donated the Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay Family Papers to the Archives of American Art in 2002.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center.
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:
Landscape painters  Search this
Painters -- Connecticut  Search this
Topic:
Landscape architects  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Landscape drawings
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Citation:
Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay Family Papers, 1789-2000, bulk 1870-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.layoliv
See more items in:
Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay Family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-layoliv
Online Media:

Printed Material

Collection Creator:
Lay, Oliver Ingraham, 1845-1890  Search this
Lay, Charles Downing, 1877-1956  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1867-2000
Scope and Contents:
This subseries includes Bridges' chromolithographs of her illustrated greeting cards, reproductions of artwork, exhibition invitations, announcements, exhibition catalogs, brochures, clippings, an offprint, and copies of photographs of artwork by Bridges. Several of the greeting cards are inscribed. Most clippings are reviews of the exhibitions. Also found are two published books illustrated by Fidelia Bridges, A Garland of Love, 1882 and Songs of Birds, 1886.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay Family Papers, 1789-2000, bulk 1870-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.layoliv, Subseries 3.5
See more items in:
Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay Family papers
Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay Family papers / Series 3: Fidelia Bridges Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-layoliv-ref244

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