Files consist of Henry-Russell Hitchcock's personal and professional correspondence, as well as subject files relating to academic research, teaching, curatorial interests, and professional associations. Subject files are comprised mainly of correspondence and printed material, with a small number of photographs that mostly relate to exhibitions and writings. After 1932, copies of Hitchcock's outgoing letters are almost always included, making the files from 1932-1987 almost complete.
The correspondence includes large numbers of letters from prominent architectural historians, architects, artists, preservationists, museum directors and curators. Also included is correspondence with students, friends, relatives, publishers, and representatives of organizations and institutions.
Among the correspondents of note are: Bernard Berenson, Eugene Berman, Leonid Berman, Lyonel Feininger, Brendan Gill, Robert Goldwater, George Howe, Lincoln Kirstein, J. J. P. Oud, Erwin Panofsky, Kingsley Porter, Paul J. Sachs, R. M. Schindler, Theodore Sizer, E. Baldwin Smith, Peter van der Meulen Smith, James Soby, Victor Spark, Harold Sterner, John Summerson, Virgil Thomson, Paul Vanderbilt, Theo Van Doesburg, Helmut von Erffa, and Gordon Washburn. Other important correspondents represented in a decade or more of correspondence include: Jere Abbott, Winslow Ames, Everett A. (Chick) Austin, Alfred H. Barr, Agnes Rindge Claflin, John Coddington, Walter Cook, John Coolidge, Henry (Harry) Sayles Francis, George Heard Hamilton, Ada Louise Huxtable, Philip C. Johnson, William Jordy, George N. Kates, Edgar Kauffmann, Jr., Richard Krautheimer, Phyllis W. Lehmann, Thomas J. McCormick, Agnes Mongan, Lewis Mumford, Nikolaus Pevsner, A. Kinglsey Porter, Willebald Sauerlander, Vincent Scully, Helen Searing, James Thrall Soby, Dorothy Stroud, John Summerson, Virgil Thomson, Emily Tremaine, Paul Vanderbilt, Rudolph Wittkower, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
See Appendix for a list of individuals, organizations, and subjects in Series 2
Files are arranged with a single alphabet for each year.
Appendix: Individuals, Organizations, and Subjects in Series 2:
Below is an index to individuals, institutions, organizations, and a small number of subject files, found in Series 2: Alphabetical Files. The index indicates the name and the alphabet year(s) in which each can be found.
Hitchcock did not follow strict alphabetical schema when organizing his files and filing eccentricities for the letters D, M, N, and V are explained below. The original arrangement has been left in place due to the difficulties and time involved in re-arranging the material within multiple alphabets.
Note on filing order for D's: Names beginning with the prefix "de" (e.g. De Cordova) are all filed before names beginning with the letters "de" e.g. Deerfield Academy.
Note on filing order for M's: Names beginning with the prefix "Mac" and "Mc" are all filed after names beginning with Ma. They are interfiled according to the first and subsequent letters following the prefix e.g. McIntyre, Mackay, McKean, MacLaren.
Note on filing order for N's: Proper names beginning with the word "new" (e.g. New American Library) are all filed before names incorporating the syllable "new" e.g. Newark Public Library.
Note on filing order for V's: Names beginning with the prefix "van" (e.g. Van Derpool) are all filed before names beginning with the syllable "van" e.g. Vancouver Hotel.
Coddington, John (1945-1949, 1951, 1956-1957, 1959, 1961-1962, 1968-1970, 1977, undated)
Coe, Bill (1958)
Coe, R. E. (Ted) (1962)
Coe, Ralph T. (1953, 1955, 1974)
Coffin, David R. (1965, 1968, 1973)
Cogswell, Dorothy (1951, 1959, 1962)
Cohen, Alfred (1946)
Cohen, Joan L. (1954-1957, 1960, 1963-1965)
Cohn, David N. (1984)
Cohn, Suzanne (1968)
Colby College (1968)
Cole, Dorothy (1958)
Cole, Harry (1957)
Coletti, Joseph (1961)
Coletti, Paul (1957)
Colgate University (1976, 1978)
Colibris Editora Ltda. (1962, 1964-1965, 1967)
Colin, Mrs. Ralph F. ( 1955)
Collaborazione Culturale, Instituto per la (1962)
College Art Association (1940, 1946-1953, 1955-1959, 1961-1964, 1966, 1969-1971, 1973-1979)
Colliers Encyclopedia -- (1947-1949, 1958-1959)
Collins, Cecil (1956)
Collins, Colin (1955)
Collins, Elizabeth (1959)
Collins, George R. (1960-1961, 1964, 1968, 1975-1976, 1979, 1983)
Collins, Peter (1964-1965, 1967-1968)
Colonial Travel Bureau (1955)
Columbia Historical Society (1982)
Columbia University 1937, 1939-1941, 1945, 1947-1948, 1954-1956, 1958-1959, 1961, 1964-1969, 1971, 1973-1977, 1979-1983, 1985-1986 ( -- see also -- : Avery Library; Avery Study Center, Columbia University)
Columbia University, Temple Hoyle Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture (1984)
Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts (1948-1949)
Colvin, Howard M. (1959)
Colwell, Miriam (1976)
Combs, Tom (1975)
Comite Francais D'Historie de L'Art (1967)
Commercial Credit Corporation (1947)
Committee for the Centennial Exhibition of New England Architecture (1957)
Committee for the Preservation of Architectural Records (1979)
Committee on Education and Labor, U. S. Congress (1954)
Committee on Government and Art (see: Government and Art, Committee on)
Community Arts Center (1945)
Community Chest (1958)
Comparative Studies in Society and History -- (1958)
Conant, Kenneth G. (1946-1947, 1952, 1973)
Concrete Quarterly -- (1955)
Condit, Carl W. (1963)
Condolence Letters [on death of mother] (1952)
Conference Board of Associated Research Councils (1948, 1951)
Congress on the History of Art, Twentieth International (1960-1961)
Conlon, Kathleen M. (1969)
Connaissance des Artes -- (1959)
Connecticut Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (1946-1947)
Connecticut College (1938-1942, 1944, 1947, 1953, 1956, 1963, undated)
Connecticut Commission on the Arts (1968)
Connecticut, Department of Agriculture (1937)
Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection (1986)
Neutra, Richard (1928, 1940-1941, 1954, 1969, undated)
Neville, Elizabeth (1964)
Neville, Richard G. (1958)
Neville, Harriett Elizabeth (1966)
New American Library (1952)
New Amsterdam Casualty Co. (1948)
New England Antiquities, Society for the Preservation of (1972-1973) ( -- see also -- : Preservation of New England Antiquities, Society for the; Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities)
New England Architecture, Committee for the Centennial Exhibition of (1957)
New England Quarterly -- (1955)
New Gallery (1963)
New Haven Festival of Arts (1959)
New Haven Preservation Trust (1964, 1966-1969)
New Jersey Historical Society (1962)
New Jersey Society of Architects (1957)
New Liberty (1952)
New London (1976)
New Mexico, University of (1957)
New Watson Hotel (1955)
New York Central Railway (1956)
New York City (1972)
New York City, Art Commission of (1983)
New York City Planning Commission (1972)
New York Graphic Society (1970
New York Herald Tribune -- (1947)
New-York Historical Society (1950-1951, 1961-1962, 1969)
New York State Association of Architects (1949)
New York State, Temporary Commission on the Restoration of the Capitol (1980-1981)
New York, State University of (1952)
New York Times -- (1947-1948, 1957, 1960-1961)
New York University (1945-1949, 1951-1954, 1958, 1960-1961, 1968-1986) ( -- see also -- : Gray Art Gallery; Institute of Fine Arts) New York University Seminar (1977, 1980)
Porter-Phelps-Huntington House, Inc. (1953, 1955-1957)
Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation (1962-1964, 1967)
Portnoy, Martin (1986)
Portsmouth Priory (1949)
Posener, Julius (1964-1966, 1968-1969)
Postmaster, Western District, London (1956)
Potter, Brooks ( 1956)
Potter, Inc. (1969)
Powell, Herbert ( 1963)
Powell, Philip (1952)
Powell, Philip and Moya (1954)
Praeger, Inc. (1962-1963, 1967-1971, 1973)
Prairie School Press (1963, 1966, 1968, 1970)
Prakapas, Eugene J. (1974, 1985)
Prats, Joan (1956)
Pratt and Whitney Aircraft (1945)
Praz, Mario (1955-1956)
Prentice-Hall, Inc. (1962)
Pre-Raphaelite Decorative Arts Exhibition (1971)
Preservation League of New York (1981)
Preservation of New England Antiquities, Society for the (1956, 1963, 1966) ( -- see also -- : New England Antiquities, Society for the Preservation of; Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities)
Preservation Society of Newport Co. [Rhode Island] (1948, 1955) ( -- see also -- : Newport Co. [Rhode Island], Preservation Society of)
Prestel Verlag (1975)
Preston, James (1963)
Preusser, Robert (1957)
Prey, Pierre du (1968-1969)
Preziosi, Donald (1981)
Price, Eric J. (1946)
Price, Paton (1949)
Priest, Allen (undated)
Primex Trading Co. (1950)
Prince, Charlotte (1969)
Princeton University (1945-1947, 1951-1952, 1955, 1957-1958, 1963, 1972, 1974-1978, 1985)
Prior, Harris K. (1947-1949, 1951, 1954-1956, 1962)
Smith, Alexander Mackay (1949) ( -- see also -- : Mackay-Smith, Alexander)
Smith and Sons (1953)
Smith, Anna L. (undated)
Smith, Betty (1928-1929)
Smith College (1946-1964, 1966-1973, 1975-1976, 1978, 1981-1982) ( -- see also -- : Department; Kennedy Fund)
Smith College Alumnae Association (1954) ( -- see also -- : Alumnae Association)
Smith, E. Baldwin (1946-1947, 1953)
Smtih, Edith (1928-1929)
Smith, Fred S. (1928)
Smith, Mrs. Frederick (1945)
Smith, G. E. Kidder (1957, 1961, 1963, 1965)
Smith, George Walter Vincent Museum (1961)
Smith, Gertrude D. (1972)
Smith, Hinchman and Grulls Associates, Inc. (1976)
Smith, Kathryn (1976-1980, 1983, 1986)
Smith, Linn (1947)
Smith, Meg (1972, 1974)
Smith, Patricia Anne (1950)
Smith, Peter van der Meulen (1927-1928)
Smith, Robert C. (1950-1952, 1956)
Smith, Sidney (1947)
Smith, Vincent (1971)
Smith, William and Son (1949)
Smithson, Peter (1966)
Smithsonian Associates (1975)
Smithsonian Institution (1967, 1976, 1979)
Smyser, H. M. (1965)
Smyth, Craig Hugh (1951-1952, 1956, 1983)
Snow, Florence (1955)
Snow, Wilbert (1945)
Snowden, Ernest (1927-1928)
Snyder, John (1974)
Soby, James Thrall (1945-1950, 1954-1955, 1957-1958, 1960-1961, 1968, 1977, 1979)
Soby, Nellie (1951-1953)
Societe Editions de France (1958)
Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities ( -- see -- : Long Island Antiquities, Society for the Preservation of)
Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (1948, 1972, 1975) ( -- see also -- : New England Antiquities, Society for the Preservation of; Preservation of New England Antiquities, Society for the)
Society of Architectural Historians (1949-1985, 1987)
Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (1958-1980, 1983-1986)
Society of Mayflower Descendants ( -- see -- : Mayflower Descendants, Society of)
Solomon, Arthur and Marny (1975)
Solomon, Pringle (1948)
Somerset Co. [N.J.] Park Commission (1970)
Somerwil, J. (1962)
Sommer, Clifford C. (1958)
Sommer, Frank (1970)
Sonne, Fi (1955-1956)
Sonnenberg, Benjamin (1972)
Sorem, Lucia (1961)
Soria, Martin (1958)
Sotheby Parke Bernet, Inc. (1971, 1982)
Southern California, University of (1966, 1968)
Southern Regional Education Board (1966)
Spaeth, John W. (1945-1946)
Spark, Victor (1948, 1971)
Spear, Dorothea (1955)
Speed Art Museum ( -- see -- : Louisville, J. B. Speed Art Museum)
Speed, Herbert (1946)
Speirs, Bruce (1982)
Spence, Basil (1963-1964)
Spence, Eleanor (1954)
Spencer, Brian (1973-1974)
Spencer, Stephen (1956)
Spencer, Walter L. (1975-1976, 1978)
Sperling, Harry G. (1955)
Speyer, Darthea (1952)
Spokes, P. S. (1955)
Sprague, Joan Forrester (1960)
Sprague, Paul (1973, 1980, 1983)
Springarn, J. E. (1938)
Springfield [Mass.] (1980-1981)
Springfield [Mass.] City Planning Department (1971)
Springfield [Mass.] Museum of Fine Arts (1949, 1954)
Springfield [Mass.] Republican (1944-1945)
Springfield [Miss.] Art Museum (1949)
Stabile, Elizabeth (1963)
Stadt Koln (1957)
Stahl, Frederick A. (Tod) (1969-1970)
Staib, Hermann (1966, 1968-1969, 1974)
Staley, Karl A. (1953)
Stamm, Gunther (1979)
Stamp, Gavin (1978, 1985)
Stanford University (1985)
Stanton, Phoebe B. (1952-1954, 1958, 1965, 1968, 1970)
Staples Press (1950)
Starr, Mrs. Nathan C. (1952)
State Department, U. S. (1955, 1956, 1958) ( -- see also -- : Department of State; United States Department of State)
State Department, U.S. Information Agency (1957)
State Historical Society of Wisconsin ( -- see -- : Wisconsin, State Historical Society of)
Stebbins, Theodore E. (1965-1969, 1972-1973, 1977-1978)
Wright, Frank Lloyd, Home and Studio Foundation (1977, 1984)
Wright, Frank Lloyd, and -- In the Nature of Materials -- (1941)
Wright, John Lloyd (1968)
Wriston, Barbara (1952-1953, 1956, 1960, 1962, 1967)
Wurm, Heinrich (1966)
Wurster, William W. (1943-1944, 1946,-1948, 1950, 1951-1957, 1959, 1961)
Wurster, William W. and Catherine 1945
Wyoming, University of (1975)
Xenakis, Jason (1958)
Yale Review -- (1966-1968, 1970)
Yale University (1947-1960, 1962-1963, 1965-1979, 1982, 1986)
Yardley, Michael (1975-1978)
Yeon, John (1954)
York City Art Gallery (1958)
York Institute of Architectural Study (1957-1959, 1961)
York, University of (1962, 1970)
Yorke, R.F.S. (1952)
Youell, William (1948)
Young, E. A. (1947)
Young, Elaine (1962)
Young, Elizabeth (1961)
Young, Paul E. (1949)
Young, Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred B. (1954-1955)
Youritzin, Glenda Green (1974)
Zacchwatowicz, Jim (1963)
Zador, Anna (1970, 1972)
Zarnecki, George (1953)
Zaroff, Anne T. (1975)
Zawisa, Bernard J. (1952-1953, 1956)
Zenith Corp. (1969-1970)
Zenobi Sarto (1963)
Zerkowitz, A. (1957)
Zevi, Bruno (1952)
Zewicher, Mrs. Victor K. (1950)
Zimmerman Brothers (1963-1966, 1969)
Zimmerman, Mrs. Isadore (1952)
Zodiac Revue -- (1959-1969)
Zorn, Kate (1979)
Zubarec, Michael (1956-1957)
Zwemmer, A. (1946-1948, 1955, 1959)
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Henry-Russell Hitchcock papers, 1919-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
This series consists of the business and personal correspondence of Edith Gregor Halpert and the Downtown Gallery. For the most part, this series is general business correspondence concerning routine activities of the Downtown Gallery, including the American Folk Art Gallery and the Daylight Gallery, both operated by the Downtown Gallery on the same premises. Included are correspondence with clients, employees, other galleries, and colleagues concerning sales, loans, purchases, appraisals, and so forth; arrangements for shipping, framing, photography, reproduction permissions, and insurance; and gallery housekeeping and improvements, ordering of supplies, and other administrative concerns.
Also included is personal correspondence of Edith Gregor Halpert. There are letters and greeting cards from nieces, nephews, and other relatives; correspondence with longtime friends, including some who were art collectors, museum curators, or museum directors; and correspondence concerning upkeep and improvement of her Newtown, Connecticut, country home and entertaining there.
See Appendix A for a list of selected correspondents from Series 1
Letters (with enclosures) are arranged chronologically, with those of the same date alphabetized by name of correspondent; undated material is arranged alphabetically, followed by unidentified correspondents and letters bearing illegible signatures.
Box numbers provided in the Container Listing are approximate.
Appendix A: List of Selected Correspondents in Series 1:
Names and titles indicated in this list are those that appear on the letters. Where appropriate, terms have been standardized and cross-referencing provided. Because filing is not always consistent, researchers are advised to check both the name of an individual and the institution that he or she represented.
Abate Associates, Inc., 1956
Abbot and Land, 1965
Abbot, B. Vincent, 1944
Abbot, Bernice, 1957
Abbot, John E., 1945, 1948
Abbot Laboratories, 1950, 1952
ABC Employment Agency, 1951
Richard Abel and Co., Inc., 1968
Abendroth, Robert W., 1966-1967
Abercrombie and Fitch Co., 1962
Abilene Museum of Fine Arts, undated, 1949, 1954
Abingdon Square Painters, 1965
Abraham and Straus, 1930, 1960, 1965-1966, 1968
Abraham, Mae C., 1965
Abrahamsen, Mrs. David, 1962
Abramowitz, M., 1958
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1958-1960, 1965-1966, 1968-1969
[incomplete; without signature], undated, 1953, 1961, 1967, 1968
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
The Downtown Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. 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. Prior to publishing information regarding sales transactions, researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from both artist and purchaser involved. If it cannot be established after a reasonable search whether an artist or purchaser is living, it can be assumed that the information may be published sixty years after the date of sale.
Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974, bulk 1926-1969. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing, microfilming and digitization of the microfilm of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
5 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 6 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Biographical information, correspondence, subject files, notebooks, photographs, clippings, price lists concern Francis' work at the Cleveland Museum of Art, his friendship with George Kates, and his interest in painter William Sommer.
REELS 881-882: Primarily research material compiled by Francis and his wife Frances Merriman Francis for the Ten Thirty Gallery Sommer retrospective in 1946 and the Cleveland Museum of Art's William Sommer Memorial Exhibition, held November 1-December 10, 1950. Included are biographical material; correspondence of Henry Sayles Francis and other museum staff regarding Sommer, and copies and transcripts of Sommer's correspondence (including a few letters from Hart Crane); reminiscences of Sommer from friends and colleagues; exhibition catalogs; notebooks of information on Sommer's works; and a bibliography.
REELS 3838-3841: Biographical information; correspondence, arranged chronologically, with colleagues, friends, dealers, collectors, and others; and subject/correspondence files, arranged alphabetically, on colleagues, dealers, exhibitions, and various art topics; photographs of Francis, juries (Charles Sheeler is in one), Matisse in his studio, Somerset Maugham, Frits Lugt, and his wife; and clippings relating chiefly to the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Subject/correspondence file titles include: Jere Abbott, Sir Geoffrey Agnew, Winslow Ames, Harry W. Anderson Collection, R. Kirk Askew, Bernard Berenson (ca. 50 letters received), John Bergschneider, Walter Blodgett, Rowland Burdon-Muller, David Carritt, Charles Chetham, Cleveland Museum of Art, John I. Coddington, Ralph Tracy Coe, Contini Collection, Cooper Union, Richard S. Davis, Robert Tyler Davis, Harold S. Ede, Ross Edman, Everett Fahy, Julia Feininger, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Howard C. Hollis, Charles Hopkinson, Michael Jaffeé, Harold Joachim, Lincoln Kirstein, Henry Adams LaFarge, Viktor Langen, Nicky Mariano, William Mathewson Milliken, Agnes Mongan, William Mostyn-Owen, Roger Hale Newton, Benedict Nicolson, Luisa Nicolson, Harold Woodbury Parsons, John Pope-Hennessy, Alan Priest, John Rewald, Marvin C. Ross, Henry Preston Rossiter, Paul Joseph Sachs, Meryle Secrest, Germain Seligman, Peter Shepherd, Theodore Sizer, William Sommer (exhibitions), Frederick A. Sweet, Daviel Varney Thompson, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Gertrude Underhill, Peter Vanderbilt, Langdon Warner, Nancy and William Wixom, and Richard H. Zinser.
UNMICROFILMED: Primarily letters from and material on George Norbert Kates, an authority on pre-communist China and Francis's lifetime friend and additional material on William Sommer. Kates material consists of ca. 1000 letters to Francis, ca. 1924-1984, concerning personal affairs, financial ventures, their research efforts and careers, and Kates's research on the 15th century Duchess Eleanor of Scotland. A significant number of letters from 1953 refer to Bernard Berenson and his art research and collection. Also included are a subject file on Kates' interest in Herman Hesse; and a file of Kates' research material on Duchess Eleanor of Scotland.
Unmicrofilmed Sommer material includes a letter from Sommer to C.P. Marsh, 1931; a Christmas card from Josephine and Theodor Braasch to Sommer; a page of writings by Sommer; photographs of Sommer and of a studio; several sketches and drawings; and printed material.
REEL 440 AND SCANNED One photograph of Sommer, microfilmed under Photos of Artists I, and scanned.
The remaining unfilmed material consists of Francis's notebooks (4 v.) primarily about the history of European paintings, drawings and prints, including notes about individual works of art; financial records, including price lists of European works of art, ca. 1930-1969, price list, insurance values and appraisals of two collections from the Cleveland Museum of Art, ca. 1923-1957; and minutes from two accessioning meetings at the Museum, 1930 and 1931.
Biographical / Historical:
Art museum curator; Cleveland, Ohio. Francis worked at the Cleveland Museum of Art from 1927 to 1929, leaving for a position at the Fogg Museum as assistant to directors Edward Forbes and Paul Sachs. He returned to the Cleveland Museum in 1931, remaining there as Curator of Paintings and Prints until 1967.
Research material on William Sommer donated 1975 by Henry Sayles Francis; he donated the remainder in 1984.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
0.3 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 21 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, annual reports and bulletins, scrapbooks, photographs, catalogs, clippings and a telegram.
REELS D1-D3: Annual reports, 1890-1919, and bulletins, 1891-1952.
REELS D10A-D20: Scrapbooks, 1882-1957.
REEL 911: Correspondence of William Valentiner concerning C.S. Price murals. Correspondents include George H. Field, Assistant to the Administrator, Federal Works Agency, Holger Cahill, Gladys M. Everett, Field Representative, and Robert Tyler Davis of the Portland Art Museum. Valentiner writes in an attempt to transfer two of Price's WPA murals promised to the Portland Art Museum, where they had been allocated by the Federal Works Agency, to the DIA. His bid is unsuccessful, as Davis won't release them.
REELS 1892-1897: 21 scrapbooks containing clippings, press releases, and other printed material.
REEL 3482: A letter to M.D. Ferry, Jr., December 21, 1932 and to Clyde Burroughs, January 21, 1933, from F. Ernst Zimmerman of Zimmerman Gallery, Boston, offering several Winslow Homer paintings for sale.
REEL 3894: A telegram regarding a New York Statue Commission.
UNMICROFILMED: Photographs of installations and one of Mrs. Edsel Ford (Eleanor Ford); clippings, a furniture catalog and an exhibition catalog for "For Modern Living," 1949, at the D.I.A.
Biographical / Historical:
Art museum; Detroit, Michigan. Incorporated 1885 as Detroit Museum of Art and name changed to Detroit Institute of Arts in 1919.
Material on reels D1-D3, D10A-D20 and 1892-1897 lent for microfilming 1953-1979 by Detroit Institute of Arts. Material on reels 911, 3482, 3894 and unmicrofilmed donated 1959-1972 by the DIA.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Robert Tyler Davis (1904-1978) was born in Los Angeles, California. He was a museum administrator and an educator in art and art history, specializing in Pacific Northwest
Native American art, and decorative arts, particularly tapestries. He graduated from Franklin High School, Los Angeles, and studied art history, drawing, and painting at the
University of California at Los Angeles, and at Harvard, A.B., 1926, A.M., 1928. He was a Carnegie Fellow (1927-1929), and studied fine arts abroad, taking courses at the
Sorbonne. He taught drawing, painting and art history at the University of Rochester, in New York (1929-1933), and at the Erskine School for Girls, Boston, when he returned
to Harvard for graduate museum studies between 1933 and 1934.
On September 6, 1934 Davis married mystery novelist Lillian Soskin, and became Director of Education at the Albright Gallery in Buffalo, New York. In 1939 Davis was named
Director of the Portland Art Museum in Oregon, where he researched and collected Native American art. His book, Native Arts of the Pacific Northwest, was published in 1949.
From 1947 to 1952 Davis was Director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and Professor of Fine Arts at McGill University in Montreal. Davis was Director of the Vizcaya-Dade
County Art Museum, 1953-1957; Interim Director of the Joe and Emily Lowe Gallery, University of Miami, 1955-1956; and Coordinator of Humanities and Professor of Art at the
University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, 1956-1959. Lillian Davis died October 12, 1957. Davis was remarried January 29, 1959 to Janet Evans Golby.
In 1960 Davis was hired as museum consultant and liaison for the French and Company art dealership in New York. In September 1968 Davis became Assistant Director of the
National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, D.C.; Acting Director, June 1969-January 1970; and later Special Assistant for the Collections, 1972-1975. His son, Martin M.
Davis, died in 1969, and Janet Davis died in 1973. In 1975 Robert Tyler Davis retired to Lily Dale, New York, and traveled extensively. He died in 1978 in Pasadena, California.
This accession consists of a photograph album and miscellaneous photographs of Robert Tyler Davis and his family. Included are images of his wife, Lilian Soskin Davis,
and their son, Martin M. Davis. The images follow the Davis family as they lived and worked in Pasadena, California; Rochester, New York; Portland, Oregon; Miami, Florida;
and Washington, District of Columbia. Materials include a photograph album, images, negatives, and clippings.