The papers of Hudson River School painter Jervis McEntee measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1796 and 1848 to 1905. Letters from close friends and family members to McEntee include many from his mentor Frederic Edwin Church, and fellow artists Samuel Putnam Avery, George Henry Boughton, Sanford Gifford, Richard Henry, Eastman Johnson, Elizabeth B. Stoddard, John Ferguson Weir, Worthington Whittredge, and others. Papers relating to the McEntee family include obituaries, a family genealogy, and letters from and regarding family members. There are also papers relating to the Vaux family (McEntee's brother-in-law's family) and American architect and landscape artist Calvert Vaux, who designed a studio for McEntee. Of special significance are five volumes of diaries dating from 1872 through 1890 which provide a detailed depiction of the American art world in the 1870s and 1880s.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Hudson River School painter Jervis McEntee measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1796 and 1850 to 1905. Letters from close friends and family members to McEntee include many from his mentor Frederic Edwin Church, and fellow artists Samuel Putnam Avery, George Henry Boughton, Sanford Gifford, Richard Henry, Eastman Johnson, Elizabeth B. Stoddard, John Ferguson Weir, Worthington Whittredge, and others. Papers relating to the McEntee family include obituaries, a family genealogy, and letters from and regarding family members. There are also papers relating to the Vaux family (McEntee's brother-in-law's family) and American architect and landscape artist Calvert Vaux, who designed a studio for McEntee. Of special significance are five volumes of diaries dating from 1872 through 1890 which provide a detailed depiction of the American art world in the 1870s and 1880s.
The Jervis McEntee papers have been arranged into five series, based on material type.
Series 1: Letters, 1850-1905, undated (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 2: Vaux Family Letters and Correspondence, 1850-1890, undated (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 3: Third Party Letters, 1861-1873, undated (Box 2; 0.1 linear feet)
Series 4: Miscellany, 1796, 1848-1895, undated (Box 2; 0.1 linear feet)
Series 5: Diaries, 1872-1890 (Box 3-4; 0.6 linear feet)
Jervis McEntee was born in Rondout, New York, July 14, 1828. He had early literary and artistic aspirations and studied under Frederic E. Church, who had himself studied under the Hudson River School master, Thomas Cole. McEntee was to maintain a close relationship with Church for the rest of his life. After an unsuccessful stint as a businessman, McEntee settled in New York in 1857 as one of the charter residents of Richard Morris Hunt's Tenth Street Studio Building. Since many of the other occupants were either bachelors or commuters, and since Mrs. McEntee was a lively, sympathetic hostess, the couple became the center of a spontaneous salon frequented by some of the best-known artists, writers, and actors of the time. After his wife died in 1878, McEntee stayed on, an increasingly neglected widower until his death in 1891.
McEntee was identified with the Hudson River School and an accomplished and sensitive painter of autumnal landscapes. He wrote in 1874, "Perhaps what would mark my work among that of my brother artists is a preference for the soberer phases Nature, the gray days of November and its leafless trees." McEntee stood at the center of the interlocking directorate formed by the National Academy of Design, the Century Club, and the Tenth Street Studio Building. In the latter part of the 19th century, these formed a supreme art establishment whose membership was composed of the old guard American artists, such as McEntee's close friends Eastman Johnson, Sanford Gifford, John Ferguson Weir, Worthington Whittredge, and Church, who were fighting an ultimately futile battle against the encroachment of European influences among both artists and collectors.
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel D9) including a diary dated June 12, 1851-August 17, 1851. This material was returned to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, New York and is not described in the collection container inventory.
The Adirondack Museum lent one diary for microfilming in 1964. The rest of the collection was acquired from several donors between 1959 and 1997. The noted collector Charles E. Feinberg donated letters in 1959 and, Mrs. Helen S. McEntee, who married the nephew of Jervis McEntee, donated the five volumes of diaries in 1964. William Gaffken, director of the insurance company that acquired the McEntee family insurance business, donated the remaining papers in 1997.
Use of original papers requires and appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
5.1 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 5 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, typescripts of books, publications and clippings relating to Bolton's published and unpublished works on American art.
UNMICROFILMED: Included are drafts for AMERICAN BOOK ILLUSTRATORS (N.Y., 1938), EARLY AMERICAN PORTRAIT PAINTERS IN OILS, DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN ARTISTS, A WORKING BIBLIOGRAPHY...RELATING TO ART IN PENNSYLVANIA...NOTES FOR A REVISION (Philadelphia, 1948), a portion of Sinclair Hamilton's EARLY AMERICAN BOOK ILLUSTRATORS, 1670-1870 (Princeton, 1958), "A Brief History of the French Impressionists," "Annotated Bibliography of Early American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers to 1860," A Brief History of Colonial American Painting" (1942); 75 typewritten pages of a working bibliography of books, magazine articles and catalogs relating to art in Pennsylvania by Harold E. Dickson and Bolton, 1948; catalogs of works of several artists; notes on artists, Greek vases and architecture, the Dutch masters, the Museum of San Marco, painting technique, the French Impressionists, Early American Painting, and English historical painting. Also included are checklists of books illustrated by Howard Pyle, Katharine Pyle and Joseph Pennell; articles by R. P. Tolman and related correspondence; sketches and drawings by Bolton; and clippings and book reviews relating to Bolton.
REEL N140: A revised typescript, 1958, of AMERICAN BOOK ILLUSTRATORS.
REELS D9 & D10: A letter from book designer Bruce Rogers, annotated by Bolton, February 14, 1945 regarding Rogers' design of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS; 2 letters from Ruel Pardee Tolman, June 12, 1949 and May 19, 1953, regarding his own painting and miniatures and other paintings he is buying and studying; and 5 letters from illustrator Thornton Oakley, undated and March 10-April 19, 1946.
REELS 439-440: Copy of a photograph - probably from a book, of Winslow Homer (reel 439); and a photograph, ca. 1850, of (L to R.): Henry Kirke Brown, Henry Peters Gray and Asher Brown Durand and Emanuel Leutze, photographer unknown. [A similiar photo filmed on reel NY59-19, fr. 1-2, Mary Bartlett Cowdrey artists' files pictures William Kemble (non-artist) on Brown's right.]
Biographical / Historical:
Art historian, scholar and librarian of the Century Association; New York, N.Y. Died 1973. He specialized in book illustration and portrait miniatures.
From 1956-1959, Bolton donated 3 feet of material to the Archives and 2 feet to the Library of the National Museum of American Art, which subsequently transferred it to the Archives, 1981. There is some duplication within the two groups of material.
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.
The papers of sculptor Hiram Powers measure 12.4 linear feet and date from 1819 to 1953, with the bulk of the material dating from 1835 to 1883. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of Powers' correspondence with business associates, purchasers of his artwork, and numerous friends in the United States and Florence, Italy. Of note is Powers' "Studio Memorandum," from 1841 to 1845, which contains dated notations of letters written, receipts and expenditures, business contacts, works in progress, commissions and price quotations for work, comments on problems encountered during studio work, and other notes. Additional papers include scattered biographical material, financial and legal records, printed materials, photographs of Powers, his family, artwork, as well as an extensive collection of carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of many notable figures. Also found is a small amount of artwork by Powers and others, a scrapbook, and two autograph and memorabilia albums.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor Hiram Powers measure 12.4 linear feet and date from 1819 to 1953, with the bulk of the material dating from 1835 to 1883. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of Powers' correspondence, which is particularly rich in documenting his artwork, methodology, and his interaction with business associates, purchasers of his artwork, and his numerous friends in the United States and Florence, Italy. Other papers include scattered biographical material, writings by Powers and others, financial and legal records, news clippings and printed items, photographs of Powers, his family, artwork, as well as an extensive collection of carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of many notable figures. Also found is a small amount of artwork by Powers and others, a scrapbook, and two autograph and memorabilia albums.
Biographical material consists of documents for honors conferred on Powers, price lists and inventories of his artwork, papers regarding his death, including a translation of his will, and ephemera, such as his studio cap.
The bulk of the collection consists of Powers' correspondence with family, friends, business associates, and others, documenting his career as an artist and his personal life after he and his family moved to Florence, Italy, in 1837. Almost all of the letters have typed unconfirmed transcriptions completed by volunteers at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Besides details of his studio work and business dealings, his letters often discuss his views on aesthetics, American politics, slavery and the Civil War, and Spiritualism. Notable correspondence is with William B. Astor, Edward Everett, Samuel York Atlee, William and E. Clementine Kinney, George P. Marsh, George Peabody, Presidents Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, William Cullen Bryant, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, John C. Calhoun, Thomas Crawford, John A. Dix, Asher Durand, Charles Francis Fuller, Henry Peters Gray, Horace Greeley, George P. A. Healy, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Samuel F. B. Morse, W. W. Story, John Sartain, Frances Trollope, and Daniel Webster.
Writings by Powers include his "Studio Memorandum," a journal-type notebook he kept from 1841 to 1845, which contains dated notations of letters written, receipts and expenditures, business contacts, works in progress, commissions and price quotations for work, comments on problems encountered during studio work, and other notes. Additional writings include poetry and autobiographical essays and instructions for handling his sculptures. Writings by others include poetry, most of which was written in praise of Powers' artwork. Of note are handwritten transcripts of poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Bayard Taylor, and John Quincy Adams. Also found here are short writings about Powers and his artwork.
Scattered financial and legal records in this collection include patent documents for tools invented by Powers, legal agreements, account statements, and bills and receipts. Printed material consists of news clippings, two booklets, an art association brochure, and an exhibition catalog for works by Powers.
This collection contains photographs of Hiram Powers, his family, friends, notable public figures, and artwork. Many of the photographs were taken by his son, Longworth Powers, who had a private photography studio in Florence. Included are portraits of Powers and his family, as well as a collection of 267 carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of artists, performers, politicians, writers, scientists, and other public figures, many of whom were friends with the Powers family. Other photographs depict Woodstock, Vermont, the marble quarry at Carrara, Italy, and artwork by Hiram and Preston Powers. Also found here is a photograph album kept by Louisa Powers.
Artwork consists of three drawings by Hiram Powers, including a caricature of Miner Kellogg. Also found in this collection is a scrapbook containing news clippings regarding the American tour of the sculpture Greek Slave, an autograph album belonging to Louisa Powers, and an album containing pencil drawings by Preston Powers and dried flowers collected on travels.
The collection is arranged into 8 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1841-1927 (Box 1, 15; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1819-1883 (Box 1-10; 9.0 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings, 1827-1887 (Box 10; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 4: Financial and Legal Records, circa 1840s-1892, 1915 (Box 10, OV 17; 8 folders)
Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1845-1953 (Box 10; 5 folders)
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1860s-1900, 1927, 1932, early 1950s (Box 10-13, 16, OV 17; 1.8 linear feet)
Series 7: Artwork, 1860, mid-1800s (Box 11; 4 folders)
Series 8: Scrapbooks and Albums, 1847-1876 (Box 14; 3 folders)
American sculptor Hiram Powers (1805-1873) was born in Woodstock, Vermont, and lived and worked briefly in Washington, D.C. and Boston, before settling permanently in Florence, Italy. Powers is known for portrait busts of prominent American politicians and his idealized neo-classical sculptures, most notably the Greek Slave.
The second youngest of nine children, Powers moved with his family to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1817. When he was 18 he began working in a factory that repaired watches and organs, and he later worked in the mechanical department of Dorfeuille's Western Museum. There, he developed his interest in sculpture and received a commission to create wax figures for a tableau of Dante's Inferno. In 1825 he studied with the Prussian sculptor Frederick Eckstein, who taught him how to model clay and make plaster casts. His early commissions for portrait busts caught the attention of Nicholas Longworth, who became his first patron and funded his travel to Washington, DC, in 1834. While in Washington, Powers completed portrait busts of several prominent politicians, including President Andrew Jackson. He also briefly worked on several commissions in Boston. In 1837, thanks to the patronage of Colonel John S. Preston, he and his family moved to Florence, Italy. He intended to live there for only a few years, but remained there for the rest of his life.
Powers set up a studio in Florence with several assistants, and continued to work on portrait bust commissions. He and his family were active members of the intellectual community of American and English émigrés, such as Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Horatio Greenough, the Trollope family, and many others. His studio was also a frequent stop on tourists' visits to Florence. In 1839 Powers began working on idealized sculptures in the Neo-classical style, based on history, mythology, and religion. Perhaps most famous of these are Greek Slave and Fisher Boy. Completed in 1845, Greek Slave was exhibited in London and toured the United States. The sculpture received wide attention from the press for its depiction of female nudity and its philosophical significance, and established Powers' international success as a sculptor.
During his career Powers received private and government commissions for portrait busts and ideal sculptures, and sold many replicas of his work. He also invented improved tools for use in his studio, which were patented in the United States, and he developed a special finishing process for marble from the Carrara quarry. He maintained friendships with many Americans through extensive correspondence, and openly expressed his views on the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Powers' son Longworth had a photography and sculpture studio nearby, and his son Preston, also a sculptor, took over many of Hiram Powers' remaining projects at the time of his death in 1873.
Additional Hiram Powers papers are available at the Winterthur Museum.
The Archives of American Art also holds materials lent for microfilming. Reel D117 contains "The Sculpture of Hiram Powers," by Paul B. Metzler. Reels 815-818 includes a "Collection of Letters from Old Residents of Cincinnati to Hiram Powers," compiled by Clara Louise Dentler. Reels 1102-1103 are comprised of an unpublished manuscript entitled "White Marble: The Life and Letters of Hiram Powers, Sculptor," by Clara Louise Dentler. Lent materials were returned to the lenders and are not described in the collection container inventory.
The Hiram Powers papers were purchased by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1967 from Christina Seeber, great-granddaughter of Hiram Powers which was subsequenlty transferred to the Archives of American Art in 1984. The Cincinnati Historical Society and Ohio State University also lent the Archives omaterials for microfilming in 1974.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Hiram Powers papers, 1819-1953, bulk 1835-1883. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Shattuck, Aaron Draper, 1832-1928 -- Portraits -- Photographs Search this
Sully, Thomas, 1783-1872 -- Portraits -- Photographs Search this
Tuckerman, Henry T. (Henry Theodore), 1813-1871 Search this
Whittredge, Worthington, 1820-1910 -- Portraits -- Photographs Search this
24 Items (photographic prints, b&w, 17 1/2 x 13 1/2 cm., on sheet 30 1/2 x 24 cm. or smaller.)
Scope and Contents:
Portraits of artists taken by George Rockwood and Napoleon Sarony (Sarony Photographic Co.) for the large paper, extra-illustrated edition of Henry Tuckerman's, "American artist life : comprising biographical and critical sketches of American artists : preceded by an historical account of the rise and progress of art in America : with an appendix containing an account of notable pictures and private collections" (New York, G.P. Putnam & Son, 1867). Also included is a copy of Tuckerman's book (not the extra illustrated version.) Photographs include: Eugene Benson (original missing, copyprint only), Henry Kirke Brown (original missing, copyprint only), Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, J. Francis Cropsey, Christopher Cranch, F.O.C. Darley, Asher Brown Durand, Charles Loring Elliott, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Henry Peters Gray, James M. Hart, Thomas Hicks (incorrectly identified as John Ehninger), Richard W. Hubbard, Henry Inman, George Inness (incorrectly identified as Albert Bierstadt), Eastman Johnson, John F. Kensett (original missing, copyprint only), Emanuel Leutze, Jervis McEntee (original missing, copyprint only), John Rogers, A.D. Shattuck, Thomas Sully (original missing, copyprint only), and Worthington Whittredge (original missing, copyprint only).
The copy of Tuckerman's book was donated in 1958 by Robert McIntyre. The photographs, along with the extra illustrated edition of Henry Tuckerman's, "Book of the Artists..." (1867) were donated in 1960 by McIntyre. The folio was one of the 25 copies produced, possibly acquired by McIntyre through auction of the library of S.K. Cleven of Iowa handled by Anderson Galleries in 1915. The photographs were removed from the folio prior to its transfer to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library. Photographer and provenance information (annotated) from Putnam's Monthly Advertiser is enclosed with the original folio housed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library.
Artists -- United States -- Portraits -- Photographs Search this
Brumbaugh, Thomas B. (Thomas Brendle), 1921- Search this
2 Items (Photographs)
Scope and Contents:
This folder holds two photographs from the collection, one of painter Henry Peter Gray, and the other of sculptor Thomas D. Jones.
Organized alphabetically by subject name.
Biographical / Historical:
Henry Peters Gray was an American portrait and history painter during the 19th century. He served as President of the National Academy for two years, and enjoyed painting mostly classical subjects.
Thomas D. Jones was a sculptor and medallionist who worked primarily in marble, along with some works in bronze and wood. His most popular sculpture is a bust of Abraham Lincoln, completed in 1860. Jones was born in New York, but worked primarily in Ohio. This photograph is signed by Jones. There is a list of his works on the back of the photograph.
FSA A2009.06 8
Other Archival Materials:
Thomas B. Brumbaugh research material on Abbott Handerson Thayer and other artists, 1876-1994 (bulk 1960s-1994); Also located at Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Henry Peters Gray. Henry Peters Gray, New York, N.Y. letter to unidentified recipient, 1866 November 16. Charles Henry Hart autograph collection, 1731-1918. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.