The James Stillman letters relating to Homer Dodge Martin measures 0.2 linear feet and consists of 28 letters and 2 pencil sketches dating from 1882-1898. Primarily from late-19th century painter Homer Dodge Martin and his wife, Elizabeth, to art patron and banker, James Stillman, the letters discuss consignment, exhibition and sale of Martin's artwork, his experiences painting while living in France, his financial struggles, and his physical and mental condition. Two pencil sketches by Martin are accompanied by a note dated 1884. Also found are 2 letters from Martin to Mr. Van Loon discussing payment for paintings and 2 letters to Stillman from Bancel La Farge concerning Stillman's purchase of a La Farge watercolor.
Scope and Content Note:
The James Stillman letters relating to Homer Dodge Martin measures 0.2 linear feet and consists of 28 letters from Martin and his wife Elizabeth to banker and art patron James Stillman documenting Stillman's financial and practical assistance to the Martin's through consignment, exhibition and sale of Martin's artwork. The letters provide insight into Martin's experiences painting while living in Honfleur and Villerville, France, his financial struggles, and his physical and mental condition. They also reveal Elizabeth Martin's efforts as advocate for her husband's work and reputation, and her dismay at his physical and mental decline due in part to lack of financial success.
Also found are 2 1884 pencil sketches by Martin, of a view in Honfleur; 2 letters from Martin to Mr. Van Loon discussing payment for paintings; and 2 letters to Stillman from Bancel La Farge concerning Stillman's purchase of a La Farge watercolor.
The collection contains no letters from Stillman.
The collection is arranged as 1 series:
Series 1: James Stillman Letters Relating to Homer Dodge Martin, 1882-1898 (Box 1; 4 folders)
Banker and art patron James Stillman, was committed to promoting the artwork of landscape artist Homer Dodge Martin and providing financial investment in and practical assistance with the logistics of handling Martin's artwork over a period of at least 16 years.
Homer Dodge Martin (1836-1897) was born in Albany, New York. He studied briefly with James Hart and spent his summers during the 1860s in the Adirondacks, the Catskills and the White Mountains, and painted landscapes from the sketches he made there in the style of the Hudson River school at his studio in New York City's Tenth Street Studio Building.
In 1876 he took his first trip to Europe and from 1882-1886 lived in Normandy, France in Honfleur and Villerville. There he was influenced both by the Barbizon school of painting and the Impressionists and his painting took on darker, more melancholy tones.
By 1897 Martin had returned to New York City and in 1893 Martin moved to St. Paul, Minnesota where, nearly blind, he painted one of his best-known works, Adirondack Scenery (1895) from memory.
Although never successful within his lifetime, within 2 years of his death Adirondack Scenery sold for $5500 and Harp of the Winds (1895) was aquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Martin's paintings can be found in the collections of other important American museums including the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Martin became a member of the National Academy of Design in 1874 and in 1877 was one of the founders of the Society of American Artists.
The Archives of American Art also holds the Thomas B. Clarke letters from or about Homer Dodge Martin, 1893-1897. Additional material relating to Homer Dodge Martin, including correspondence with Thomas B. Clarke and Elizabeth Martin, can be found in the Macbeth Gallery records.
Six letters from Homer Dodge Martin were donated to AAA by Chauncey Stillman, grandson of James Stillman, in 1955 and 1959. Additional letters to Stillman from Martin, Elizabeth Martin, and Bancel La Farge, and from Martin to Mr. Van Loon, were donated by Mrs. P. S. Paine, grandaughter of James Stillman, in 1978.
Use of the original papers requires an appointment.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Fragile original scrapbooks are closed to researchers.
Macbeth Gallery records, 1838-1968, bulk 1892 to 1953. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Getty Grant Program. Digitization of the scrapbooks was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee. Correspondence, financial and shipping records, inventory records, and printed material were digitized with funding provided by the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Walton Family Foundation.
Series 8: Business Records, Subseries 8.1: Studio Session Registers are restricted. Digital copies available for research. See repository for details.
Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements required to view negatives due to cold storage. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
When the Museum purchased the collection from the Estate of Robert S. Scurlock, it obtained all rights, including copyright. The earliest photographs in the collection are in the public domain because their term of copyright has expired. The Archives Center will control copyright and the use of the collection for reproduction purposes, which will be handled in accordance with its standard reproduction policy guidelines. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution
The collection was acquired with assistance from the Eugene Meyer Foundation. Elihu and Susan Rose and the Save America's Treasures program, provided funds to stabilize, organize, store, and create digital surrogates of some of the negatives. Processing and encoding funded by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.