The papers of art historian, collector, educator, and museum administrator John Davis Hatch measure 24.9 linear feet and date from 1790-1995. Within the papers are biographical materials; correspondence; personal business and legal documents; diaries; research, organization, and teaching files; writings; printed materials; photographs; and works of art (mostly sketches) by American artists. Research files regarding artists and specific subjects comprise the bulk of this collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian, collector, educator, and museum administrator John Davis Hatch measure 24.9 linear feet and date from 1790-1995. Within the papers are biographical materials; correspondence; personal business and legal documents; diaries; research, organization and teaching files; writings; printed materials; photographs; and works of art (mostly sketches) by American artists. Research files regarding artists and specific subjects comprise the bulk of this collection.
Scattered biographical materials include an invitation to the Hatch's anniversary party in 1964, short biographical sketches and resumes, certificates, report cards, a silhouette of the Hatch Family circa 1904, and a typecript of a diary written by Olivia Hatch as a child.
Correspondence includes professional correspondence between Hatch and colleagues; letters from family and friends; and some materials regarding exhibitions from the Hatch Collection. The bulk of correspondence spans Hatch's professional career although there are scattered letters from 1915-1943 from Hatch to his parents. Also found are letters addressed to an unidentified "Henry." Correspondence is also found in the research files.
Personal business and financial records consist of inventories, bills, receipts, and other records for artworks purchased, loaned, or donated by Hatch. Also found are records from the J. D. Hatch Associates Cultural Consultants, a draft of Hatch's will, stock and tax materials, and travel papers and passports.
Scattered diaries and journal fragments and a transcript date from 1925-1965. Thirteen "Daily Reflection Journals" date from 1975-1987.
Research files on artists and subjects are extensive, comprising one-half of the collection. Files are varied and may include primary research materials, correspondence, printed materials, notes, and writings. Some of the artists' letters and other materials dated from 1790-early 1800s may have been purchased by Hatch. Among many other items, there is an illustrated letter written by Oscar Bluemner and photographs of Bluemner; primary research materials dating from the early 1800s on John Vanderlyn including a will, receipts, and correspondence; a letter from Rembrandt Peale dated 1830, and an autograph letter from John Trumbull dated 1790. Also found is an index card file.
Organization files contain files and records related to Hatch's affiliations with many cultural organizations. A small amount of teaching and education files consist of Hatch's notes and lectures from the University of Oregon and the University of Massachusetts, and from his continuing education courses he took at St. John's College. Writings and notes include short essays by Hatch, mostly concerning art, exhibitions and museum administration; book reviews; general notes, lists, and reports.
Printed Materials are comprised of exhibition catalogs and announcements, including those from the American Drawing Annual in the 1940s-1950s; printed articles annotated by Hatch; clippings; pricelists; and published works.
A small number of photographs are of Hatch, some by Dorothy Frazer; of his family and friends; and of artists. The bulk of the photographs are of works of art including those owned by Hatch.
Artwork includes two sketchbooks - one by Kenneth Callahan and another by Lloyd McNeill; and additional drawings and sketches by Julian Scott, Henry Kirke Browne, Kenneth Callahan, Ezra Clark, John Cranch, Jasper Francis Crospey, F. O. C. Darley, C. H. Granger, Seymour J. Guy, George Harvey, Edward Lamson Henry, Henry Inman, as well as unsigned or illegible names.
The collection is arranged as 11 series:
Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1900-1980s (Box 1; 8 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1903-1990s (Box 1-3; 2 linear feet)
Series 3: Personal Business and Legal Records, Date (Box 3; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 4: Diaries and Journals, 1925-1987 (Box 3, 23; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 5: Research Files, 1790-1992 (Box 3-13, 20-21, 24; 12.7 linear feet)
Series 6: Organization Files, 1930s-1990s (Box 13-14; 1.0 linear feet)
Series 7: Teaching and Education Files, 1930s-1993 (Box 14-15; 1.0 linear feet)
Series 8: Writings and Notes, 1936-1990s (Box 15; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 9: Printed Material, 1870s-1990s (Box 15-19, 22, 25-26, OV1; 5.9 linear feet)
Series 10: Photographs, circa 1900-1990s (Box 22; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 11: Artwork, 1851-1973 (Box 22; 0.3 linear feet)
Art historian, collector, educator, and museum administrator John Davis Hatch (1907-1996) worked in the Boston and New England area, as well as the Pacific Northwest, and New York state. Hatch served as director of the Art Institute of Seattle, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Albany Institute of Art and History, and the Norfolk Museum of Art and Sciences.
John Davis Hatch was born in San Francisco, California in 1907. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were architects and Hatch studied landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He served as an apprentice to Lockwood de Forest. After abandoning landscape architecture, he accepted a position as director of the Seattle Fine Arts Society (1928-1931) at the age of twenty-one and taught art history courses at the University of Washington.
In 1932, Hatch accepted the position of assistant director of the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. He also directed the federal Public Works of Art Project in New England. Additionally, Hatch served from 1940-1948 as director of the Albany Institute of Art and History and from 1950-1959 of the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. Hatch worked as an art advisor for exhibitions at five historically African-American colleges in Atlanta and in San Simeon in California. He founded the American Drawing Annual exhibition.
Hatch conducted extensive research on artists Oscar Bluemner and John Vanderlyn, American silverwork, and American drawing. In addition, Hatch collected American drawings and later donated many of works of art from his personal collection to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. Aside from his early teaching in Washington state, Hatch taught at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Oregon. He was a member of numerous professional arts-related organizations.
In 1939, Hatch married Olivia Stokes with whom he had four children: Sarah, John, Daniel and James. He died in 1996.
The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with John Davis Hatch: June 8, 1964 conducted by H. Wade White and 1979-1980 conducted by Robert F. Brown. Also found is a separately cataloged photograph of Hatch and Henry Francis Taylor from 1933.
Additional research materials complied by Hatch are located in the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Metropolitan Museum, the library of the National Gallery of Art, and the Senate House, Kingston, New York.
Hatch donated two hundred and seventy American drawings to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Four books annotated by Bluemner, a letter from Bluemner, a letter from A. Stieglitz to Bluemner, photographs of works of art, and exhibition materials were removed from the papers and merged with the Oscar Bluemner papers at the Archives of American Art.
John Davis Hatch and the John Davis Hatch estate donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in several installments between 1960-1996. Many of the primary materials relating to John Vanderlyn were acquired by Hatch from a photographer in Kingston, New York who received them from a niece of Vanderlyn. Robert Graham of James Graham and Sons gave Vanderlyn's will to Hatch.
Use of originals requires an appointment.
The collection measures 0.65 cubic feet, dates from 1932 - circa 1970s, and is primarily comprised of photographs taken by M. Marvin Breckinridge Patterson during her trip with Olivia Stokes Hatch from Capetown, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt in 1932. The photographs document the peoples of Africa in Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Tanganyika (now Tanzania), Uganda, Congo (Democratic Republic) and Zanzibar, including the Baila, San, Shona, Xhosa and Zulu peoples. There are also some publications and contact sheets in the collection.
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes 113 black and white photographic prints taken by M. Marvin Breckinridge Patterson during her trip with Olivia Stokes Hatch from Capetown, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt in 1932; 3 color photographic prints taken in 1971 of mbira, pipes, and a sculpture; publications; and contact sheets. Many of the photographs from the 1932 trip were published in Olivia's African Diary: Cape Town to Cairo," (Washington, D.C.: Eastern Press, 1980).
The photographs document the peoples of Africa in Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Tanganyika (now Tanzania), Uganda, Congo (Democratic Republic) and Zanzibar, including the Baila, San, Shona, Xhosa and Zulu peoples. Subjects include a bride and groom at Lovedale, South Africa; dancers at the Crown Mine near Johannesburg, South Africa; flower vendors in Cape Town, South Africa; two leading elders at Amanzimtoti, South Africa; a craftsman making spears; a tanner in the Sudan; miners with their wives in Katanga (now Shaba), Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo); schoolboys in the Sudan; a Shona man; women lining-up to receive rations in the Belgian Congo; workers pouring gold at the Crown Mine near Johannesburg, South Africa; and a Zulu woman at a market in Durban, Natal, South Africa.
Depicted architecture includes the Queen Hatshepsut's room at Karnak, Luxor, Egypt; and the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. Images of the natural world include a mountain at Cape Town, South Africa; a park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa; and Victoria Falls, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Finally, there are numerous images of animals, including egrets, ostriches and wildebeests.
Photographs from the collection were published in the Boston Herald (July 31, 1933) and the Crown Colonist (August 1933).
Arranged in three series. Series 1 is arranged by country. Series 2 is arranged in chronological order.
Series 2: Publications, circa 1960s-1970s (Box 3, 4 folders)
Series 3: Contact Sheets, 1932 (Box 3, 0.2 cubic feet)
Photographer, broadcaster, and filmmaker Mary Marvin Breckinridge Patterson (1905-2002), grandchild of Vice President John Cabell Breckinridge, was a photographer, broadcaster and filmmaker. Following graduation from Vassar College in 1928, Breckinridge worked for the Frontier Nursing Service (a group comprised mainly of women that provided medical services to remote areas in Appalachia), earned a pilot's license (the first woman in Maine to do so), and assisted in the office of the Democratic National Committee. In 1932 she traveled to Africa where she documented the peoples and places throughout the continent.
She enrolled in the Clarence White School of Photography in New York in 1933, taking trainings on photographic developing and printing. She then worked in the office of Democratic congresswoman, and distant relative, Isabella Selmes Greenway, but soon returned to the Clarence White School of Photography for a longer course of study. Following graduation, she began selling photographs and sometimes articles in several magazines, including LIFE, Harper's Bazar, and Town and Country. Her film credits include "She Goes to Vassar" (1931), a film that provides an overview of college life at Vassar, and "The Forgotten Frontier", a documentary about the activities of the Frontier Nursing Service, a group comprised mainly of women that provided medical services to remote areas in Appalachia.
Travelling to Europe in 1939 on photojournalism assignments, Breckinridge was in Switzerland when the Nazis invaded Poland, starting World War II. She traveled to London to photograph the evacuation of English children, one of only four American photographers in England for the first months of the war. Edward Murrow hired her as the first female news broadcaster for the CBS World News Roundup to report from Europe. As the only female member of "The Murrow Boys", an elite group of only eleven broadcasters handpicked by Murrow, she broadcasted 50 reports from seven countries.
While working in Berlin, she married Foreign Service Officer Jefferson Patterson. She resigned from CBS, hoping to resume her career in photojournalism, but State Department policies restricted her ability to publish. The couple was posted in Peru, Belgium, Egypt, the Balkans and Uruguay.
Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details.
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
M. Marvin Breckinridge Patterson collection, EEPA 1985-009, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution