2.4 Linear feet (ca. 1000 items (on 3 microfilm reels))
Scope and Contents:
REEL 2669: Biographical information; notes; correspondence; other correspondence and legal documents regarding the acquisition by the Smithsonian Institution of Ferris's collection of historical paintings and other art objects; lists of paintings and painting labels; sketches; and printed source material for his paintings.
REEL 2670: Source material for paintings, including printed and photographic reproductions and circa 130 cartes-de-visites primarily of Civil War figures, among them Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, Willam Seward and many others; a series of reproductions of paintings comprising "A Pageant of Nations"; and a manuscript of "Liber Patriae Nostrae," containing pen and ink drawings and text, and reproductions of his paintings, 1926.
REEL 3002: A photograph of Ferris, ca. 1920, at work at his easel; source material for his paintings; and reproductions of his paintings.
UNMICROfILMED: Two oil paintings by Stephen James Ferris of J. L.G. Ferris and his wife.
Biographical / Historical:
Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930) was a painter of Philadelphia, Pa. Ferris studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and in Paris at the Académie Julian and with Jean Léon Gérôme. He signed some works as G. Ferris. In 1900, he began a series of paintings on American history.
Transferred from the National Museum of American History in 1982.
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.
Correspondence; photographs; index card files; books; pages from a notebook; artwork; notes and diagrams; and printed material.
Correspondence with Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1927-1928, Ferris's widow, 1930-1941, and others, 1926-1945, regarding Ferris's gift to the Smithsonian Institution of his prints, paintings, miscellaneous items, and works of art by his father Stephen James Ferris. Included are photos of Mrs. Ferris, Jean Leon Gerome Ferris's studio, 1939, and his brass vessel collection; 21 letters from artist Jean Leon Gerome to Stephen James Ferris (in French, 9 with translations), 1887-1903; a letter and a postcard from Gerome to J. L. G. Ferris, 1903; notes to the Ferrises from Gerome's widow, 1904; and an invitation to Gerome's memorial service, 1904.
Pages from a notebook, circa 1940, and a sketch by Tolman; a 1929 letter from Mantle Fielding, regarding miniatures by Gilbert Stuart; and correspondence between Roma Harlan and Tolman, while Tolman was Director of the National Collection of Fine Arts.
Card files on art collections, artists, dealers, collectors, sales transactions and lost paintings; photographs, mostly 1930s, of Tolman's family, dealers, collectors, galleries, places visited, Smithsonian buildings, scenes of Washington, D.C., works of art and miscellaneous subjects; the book " The Life and Works of Edward Greene Malbone, 1777-1807" by Tolman, 1958; letters, 1910-1948 and undated; notes and diagrams about color and painting; artwork, undated and 1921-1951, including etchings, prints, watercolor sketches, many produced as Christmas cards; printed material including newspaper clippings, 1910-1952 and two exhibition catalogs, 1920 and 1924. Also included are a catalog of works, undated, by Charles Gruppe, signed by Gruppe, and the book "Early American Portrait Painters in Miniature" by Theodore Bolton, 1921, signed by Tolman. A photograph of Tolman and Bolton seated, 1950, is attached to the cover page of the book.
Biographical / Historical:
Ruel P. Tolman (1878-1954) was a museum director and printmaker in Washington, D.C. Tolman was the Director of National Collection of Fine Arts, 1946-1948.
Card files and some photographs donated 1979 by Thomas M. Beggs, Tolman's successor as director of NCFA. Material on reels 2677 and 3480 transferred 1981 and 1986 from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Additional unmicrofilmed material transferred 2006 and 2015 from SAAM/NPG library.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.