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Charles Lang Freer Papers

Creator:
Freer, Charles Lang, 1856-1919  Search this
Extent:
131 Linear feet (29 architectural drawings)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Financial records
Correspondence
Photographs
Place:
China
Syria
Egypt
India
London (England)
Japan
Boston (Mass.)
Detroit (Mich.)
Washington (D.C.)
Kandy (Sri Lanka)
Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka)
Date:
1876-1931
Summary:
The personal papers of Charles Lang Freer, the industrialist and art collector who founded the Freer Gallery of Art. The papers include correspondence, diaries, art inventories, scrapbooks of clippings on James McNeil Whistler and other press clippings, and photographs.
Scope Content:
The personal papers of Charles Lang Freer, the industrialist and art collector who founded the Freer Gallery of Art. The papers include correspondence, diaries, art inventories, scrapbooks of clippings on James McNeil Whistler and other press clippings, financial material, architectural drawings, and photographs.

Correspondence, circa 1860-1921, includes Freer's correspondence, 1876-1920, with artists, dealers, collectors, museums, and public figures; letterpress books contain copies of Freer's outgoing letters, 1892-1910; correspondence collected by Freer of James McNeill Whistler, and his wife Beatrix, 186?-1909, with Lady Colin Campbell, Thomas R. Way, Alexander Reid, Whistler's mother, Mrs. George W. Whistler, and others; correspondence of Whistler collector Richard A. Canfield, 1904-1913, regarding works in Canfield's collection; and correspondence of Freer's assistant, Katharine Nash Rhoades, 1920-1921, soliciting Freer's letters from his associates, and regarding the settlement of his estate.

Also included are twenty-nine pocket diaries, 1889-1890, 1892-1898, 1900-1919, recording daily activities, people and places visited, observations, and comments; a diary kept by Freer's caretaker, Joseph Stephens Warring, recording daily activities at Freer's Detroit home, 1907-1910. Inventories, n.d. and 1901-1921, of American, European, and Asian art in Freer's collection, often including provenance information; vouchers, 1884-1919, documenting his purchases; five volumes of scrapbooks of clippings on James McNeill Whistler, 1888-1931, labeled "Various," "Peacock Room," "Death, etc.," "Paris, etc.," and "Boston...London" ; three volumes of newsclippings, 1900-1930, concerning Freer and the opening of the Freer Gallery of Art.

Correspondence regarding Freer's gift and bequest to the Smithsonian Institution, 1902-1916; and photographs, ca. 1880-1930, of Freer, including portraits by Alvin Langdon Coburn and Edward Steichen, Freer with others, Freer in Cairo, China and Japan, Freer's death mask, and his memorial service, Kyoto, 1930; photographs of artists and others, including Thomas Dewing, Ernest Fenollosa, Katharine Rhoades taken by Alfred Stieglitz, Rosalind B. Philip, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Abbott H. Thayer, Dwight Tryon, and Whistler; and photographs relating to Whistler, including art works depicting him, grave and memorial monuments, works of art, the Peacock Room, and Whistler's memorial exhibition at the Copley Society.
Organization of the Papers:
This collection is organized into twelve series.

Series 1: Genealogical and Biographical Data

Series 2: Correspondence

Series 3: Diaries

Series 4: Freer Colleague Materials

Series 5: Art Inventories

Series 6: Financial Materials

Series 7: Exhibition Loan Files

Series 8: Biblical Manuscripts and Gold Treasure Files

Series 9: American School of Archaeology in China

Series 10: Printed Material

Series 11: Outsize Material

Series 12: Photographs
Biographical Note:
1854 February 25 -- Born in Kingston, New York

1873 -- Appointed accountant and paymaster of New York, Kingston and Syracuse Railroad by Frank J. Hecker (1846-1927)

1876 -- Moves to Indiana to work, with Hecker, for the Detroit and Eel River and Illinois Railroad

1880 -- Moves to Detroit, participates in organization of the Peninsular Car Works with Hecker

1883 -- Becomes vice president and secretary of Peninsular Car Company when it succeeds Peninsular Car Works

1883 -- Begins collecting European prints

1884 -- Peninsular Car Company constructs plant on Ferry Avenue

1887 -- Meets Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)

1887 -- Acquires proofs of 26 etchings, Venice, Second Series(1886), by James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)

1887 -- Purchases a small Japanese fan attributed to Ogata Korin(1658-1715)

1887 -- Buys land on Ferry Avenue

1889 -- Meets Frederick Stuart Church (1826-1900) and Dwight William Tryon (1849-1925) in New York

1890 -- Commissions Wilson Eyre (1858-1944) to design house on Ferry Avenue, Detroit, Michigan

1890 -- On first trip to London, meets James McNeill Whistler(1834-1903)

1892 -- Moves to Ferry Avenue house

1892 -- Tryon and Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) undertake decoration of reception rooms

1893 -- Lends American paintings to World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago

1893 -- Purchases first piece of Chinese art, a small painting of white herons by an anonymous Ming dynasty (1368-1644) artist

1894 -- Begins yearlong trip around the world, which includes visit to the Whistlers in Paris and first trip to Asia, stopping in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), India, China, and Japan

1896 -- Meets Matsuki Bunkyo (1867-1940) in Boston

1899 -- Takes part in consolidation of railroad-car building companies then retires from active business

1900 -- Attends Exposition International Universelle in Paris

1900 -- Buys villa in Capri with Thomas S. Jerome

1901 -- Meets Siegfried Bing (1838-1905) in Paris and Ernest Fenollosa(1853-1908), who visits Freer in Detroit

1902 -- Meets Dikran Kelekian (1868-1951)

1902 -- Spends summer in Britain building Whistler collection

1902 -- Views Whistler's, Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room

1904 -- Purchases Whistler's Peacock Room

1904 -- Offers his art collections and funds to build a museum in which to house them to the Smithsonian Institution

1905 -- Smithsonian committee visits Freer in Detroit

1906 -- United States government formally accepts Freer's gift on January 24

1906 -- Freer signs Deed of Gift to Smithsonian Institution on May 5

1907 -- On second tour of Asia, meets Hara Tomitaro 1868-1939) in Yokohama, Japan

1908 -- Takes third trip to Asia, specifically to West Asia to study Rakka ware

1909 -- Tours Europe to study art museums

1909 -- On fourth trip to Asia, attends memorial ceremony for Fenollosa (d.1908 September) at Miidera, Japan, and meets Duanfang (1861-1911) in China

1910 -- On last trip to Asia, visits Longmen Buddhist caves in China

1911 -- Suffers stroke

1912 -- Lends selection of objects for exhibition at Smithsonian Institution

1913 -- Meets Eugene (1875-1957) and Agnes E. (1887-1970) Meyer

1913 -- Commissions Charles Adams Platt (1861-1933) to design museum building in Washington

1914 -- Meets Katharine Nash Rhoades (1885-1965) in Detroit

1915 -- Settles in New York City

1915 -- Site of future Freer Gallery of Art is determined

1916 -- Platt's plans for Freer Gallery are approved by Smithsonian Regents and Commission of Fine Arts and ground is broken in September

1918 -- After falling ill in Detroit, Freer travels to New York for treatment

1918 -- Work on the museum building is delayed by the war

1919 -- Freer appends codicil to will permitting acquisitions of Asian, Egyptian, and Near Eastern (West Asian) art

1919 -- Dies in New York City on 25 September and is buried in Kingston, New York

1919 -- Construction of Freer Gallery completed

1920 -- John Ellerton Lodge (1876-1942) is appointed director of the Freer Gallery

1923 -- Freer Gallery opens to the public on May 9

1930 -- Memorial ceremony for Freer is held at Koetsuji, Kyoto

Charles Lang Freer was an American industrialist who founded the Freer Gallery of Art. He was a well-known collector of Asian art, and strongly supported the synthesis of Eastern art and Western art. One of his most famous acquisitions was James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room.
Index:
Index to cross-referenced correspondents in the series Charles Lang Freer correspondence

Beal, Junius E. -- See: -- Warring, Joseph Stephens

Black, George M. -- See: -- Saint-Gaudens, Augustus

Board of Education (Kingston, New York) See: Michael, M. J.

Bonner, Campbell See: University of Michigan

Boughton, George H. See: Yardley, F. C.

British Museum See: Binyon, Laurence; Hobson, R. L.

Brown, Harold H. See: Art Association of Indianapolis

Buchner, Evelyn B. See: Knoedler, M., and Company

Buckholder, C. H. See: Art Institute of Chicago

Butler, S. B. See: Unidentified correspondents

Carnegie Institute See: Balken, Edward Duff; Harshe, Robert B.

Carpenter, Newton H. See: Art Institute of Chicago

Caulkins, Horace James See: Pewabic Pottery

Chao, Shih-chin See: Gunn, Chu Su

Chicago & North Western Railway Co. See: Hughett, Marvin

Clark, Charles Upson See: Clark, Arthur B.

Cleveland Museum of Art See: Whiting, Frederic Allen

Columbia University See: Braun, W. A.; Gottheil, Richard; Hirth, Friederich

Commission of Fine Arts See: Moore, Charles

Corcoran Gallery of Art See: Minnigerode, C. Powell

Crocker, Anna B. See: Portland Art Association

Dannenberg, D. E. See: Karlbeck, Orvar

De Menoncal, Beatrice See: Lien, Hui Ch'ing Collection

De Ricci, Seymour See: Ricci, Seymour de

Defnet, William A., Mrs., See: Franke, Ida M.

DeMotte See: Vigouroux, J.

Detroit Institute of Arts See: Detroit Museum of Art

Detroit Publishing Company See: Livingstone, W. A.

Detroit School of Design See: George Hamilton; Stevens, Henry

DeVinne Press See: Peters, Samuel T.; Witherspoon, A. S.

Dyrenforth, P. C. See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Eddy, Arthur J. See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Eggers, George Williams See: Art Institute of Chicago

Farr, Daniel H. See: Robinson and Farr

Farrand School (Detroit) See: Yendall, Edith

Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago) See: Laufer, Berthold

Flagg, Frederick J. See: Allen, Horace N.

Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University See: Forbes, Edward; Pope, Arthur Upham; Sachs, Paul J.

French, M. R. See: Art Institute of Chicago

Fu, Lan-ya See: Pang, Lai-ch'en

Fujii, Yoshio See: Yoshio, Fujii

Gerrity, Thomas See: Knoedler, M., and Company

Goupil Gallery See: Marchant, William

Gray, William J. See: Barr, Eva

Great Lakes Engineering Works See: Hoyt, H. W.

Grolier Club See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Heinemann, W. See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Holden, Edward S. See: West Point, U. S. Military Academy

Hudson, J. L. See: Weber, William C.

Hutchins, Harry B. See: University of Michigan

Hutchins, Charles L. See: Art Institute of Chicago

Kelekian, H. G. See: Kelekian, Dikran G.

Kent, H. W. See: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Lee, Kee Son See: Li, Chi-ch'un

Levy, John See: Schneider, A. K.

Library of Congress See: Rice, Richard A.; Wright, Helen

Louvre (Paris, France) See: Midgeon, Gaston

Matsuki, Z. See: Matsuki, Kihachiro

McKim, Mead and White See: White, Stanford

Mills, A. L., Colonel See: Saint-Gaudens, Augustus

Miner, Luella See: Lien, Hui Ch'ing Collection

Minneapolis Institute of Arts See: Breck, Joseph; Van Derlip, John R.

Monif, R. Khan See: Rathbun, Richard

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston See: Lodge, John Ellerton

Naser, Katen & Nahass See: Katen, K.

Nordlinger, Marie, Miss See: Meyer-Riefstahl, Marie

Panama Pacific International Exposition See: Moore, Charles C.; Trask, John E. D.

Peabody Museum See: Morse, Edward Sylvester

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts See: Trask, John E. D.

Perry, Mary Chase, Miss., See: Pewabic Pottery

Philip, Ronald M. See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Pope, G. D. See: Barr, Eva

Reinhart, A. G. See: Gottschalk, E.

Reitz, Sigisbert Chrétien Bosch See: Bosch-Reitz, Sigisbert Chrétien

Rutgers College See: Van Dyke, John C.

Saint-Gaudens, Augusta H. See: Saint-Gaudens, Augustus

Saint-Gaudens, Homer See: Saint-Gaudens, Augustus

Samurai Shokai See: Nomura, Yozo

San Francisco Art Association See: Laurvik, J. Nilsen

Scribner's, Charles, Sons See: Van Dyke, John C.

Shaw, Wilfred B. See: University of Michigan

Shirae, S. Z. See: Yamanaka and Company

Smith College See: Clark, Arthur B.

Smithsonian Institution See: Holmes, William Henry; Rathbun, Richard; Ravenel, Walcott, Charles D.

Society of Arts and Crafts (Detroit) See: Plumb, Helen

Societe des Beaux-Arts See: Reid, Alexander

Stevens, George W. See: Toledo Museum of Art

Stratton, Mary Chase Perry See: Pewabic Pottery

Tanaka, Kichijiro See: Yamanaka and Company

Tuttle, William F. See: Art Institute of Chicago

Union Trust Company (Detroit) See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

United States Military Academy See: West Point, U. S. Military Academy

University of Chicago See: Zug, George Breed

University of Pennsylvania, Univ. Mus. See: Gordon, George Bryon

Ushikubo, D. J. R. See: Yamanaka and Company

Wallis & Son See: Barr, Eva; Thompson, C. Croal Ward, Clarence See: Oberlin College

Warren, Edward K. See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Warring, Stephen See: Warring, Joseph Stephens

Watkin, Williams R. T. See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Watson, Margaret, Miss See: Parker, Margaret Watson

Whistler, Anna See: Stanton, Anna Whistler

Whiting, Almon C. See: Toledo Museum of Art

Williams College See: Rice, Richard A

Wright, F. G. See: Orbach and Company

Yatsuhashi, H. See: Yamanaka and Company
Index to cross-referenced correspondence in the series Whistler correspondence

Bell, William See: Unidentified correspondents

Brown, Ernest See: Painter Etchers' Society, Committee

Cowen, John T. See subseries: Charles Lang Freer Correspondence

Ford, Sheridan See: Reid, Alexander

Haden, Francis Seymour See: Painter Etchers' Society, Committee

Haden, Francis Seymour, Lady See: Haden, Deborah Whistler

Leighton, Frederick, Baron See: Campbell, Lady Colin

Moore, Albert See: Reid, Alexander

Morley, Charles See: Pall Mall Gazette

Morris, Harrison S. See: Reid, Alexander

Pennell, Joseph See: Miscellaneous typescripts

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts See: Reid, Alexander

Prange, F. G. See: Reid, Alexander

Societe des Beaux-Arts See: Reid, Alexander

Society of Portrait Painters See: Reid, Alexander

Stevens Fine Art See: Reid, Alexander

Studd, Arthur See: Miscellaneous typescripts

[Vanderbilt?], George, Mrs. See: George, Mrs.

Whistler, William McNeill, Mrs. See: Whistler, Nellie

Whistler Memorial Committee See: Miscellaneous typescripts
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art microfilmed portions of the Freer papers in 1992. The microfilm is available at the Archives of American Art's Washington D.C. office, the Freer Gallery of Art Library, and through interlibrary loan.
Provenance:
Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Topic:
Art, American -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art, Asian -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Architecture -- Asia  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Financial records
Correspondence
Photographs
Citation:
Charles Lang Freer Papers. FSA.A.01. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Gift of the estate of Charles Lang Freer.
Identifier:
FSA.A.01
See more items in:
Charles Lang Freer Papers
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/dc3f1a0e3e0-630c-48d4-ba28-485946b1d615
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-fsa-a-01
Online Media:

Journals: Leaves of Wesley Heights

Collection Creator:
Junkin, Hattie Meyers, 1896-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Text
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
See more items in:
Hattie Meyers Junkin Papers
Hattie Meyers Junkin Papers / Series 3: General materials of Hattie Meyers Junkin
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/pg286c383c8-f28a-4af6-b59e-5e952f5fae8b
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0171-ref139
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  • View Journals: Leaves of Wesley Heights digital asset number 1

Jefferson David Chalfant papers, 1885-1976

Creator:
Chalfant, Jefferson David, 1856-1931  Search this
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts  Search this
Subject:
Ainslie, George H.  Search this
Folsom, George C.  Search this
Morris, Lawrence Johnson  Search this
Robbins, Richard  Search this
Sullivan, H. Wood  Search this
Craig and Evans (Firm)  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Society of American Artists  Search this
American Art Association (Society)  Search this
Type:
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Jefferson David Chalfant papers, 1885-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7364
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209519
AAA_collcode_chaljeff
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209519

Alma Thomas papers

Creator:
Thomas, Alma  Search this
Names:
Art in Embassies Program (U.S.)  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Bader, Franz, 1903-1994  Search this
Breeskin, Adelyn Dohme, 1896-1986  Search this
Johnson, Nathalie J. Cole  Search this
Sarg, Tony, 1882-1942  Search this
Tarbary, Celine  Search this
Taylor, Joshua Charles, 1917-  Search this
Thomas, J. Maurice (John Maurice), 1900 or 1901-  Search this
Extent:
5.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Audiocassettes
Video recordings
Photographs
Date:
circa 1894-2001
Summary:
The papers of Washington, D.C. painter and art educator Alma Thomas, date from circa 1894-2001 and measure 5.5 linear feet. The papers document Thomas's work as a teacher, and her development and success as a painter of the Washington Color School, through biographical material, letters, notes and writings, personal business records, exhibition files, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographs, an audio recording, and two video recordings.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of Washington, D.C. painter and art educator Alma Thomas, date from circa 1894-2001 and measure 5.5 linear feet. The papers document Thomas's work as a teacher, and her development and success as a painter of the Washington Color School, through biographical material, letters, notes and writings, personal business records, exhibition files, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographs, an audio recording, and two video recordings.

Biographical material includes identity cards, chronologies, an audio recording including a biographical account, and scattered documentation of Thomas's education and teaching careers with D.C. Public Schools, Howard University, and Thomas Garrett Settlement in Wilmington, Delaware. Also found are records relating to Thomas's participation in a summer marionette class taught by Tony Sarg in 1934, and a tour of European art centers which Thomas took in 1958.

Letters relate primarily to the exhibition of Thomas's work and related events and are from galleries, museums, other art institutions, colleagues, and friends including Franz Bader, Adelyn Breeskin, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Howard University Gallery of Art, Martha Jackson Gallery, Nathalie J. Cole Johnson, Vincent Melzac, Celine Tabary, and Joshua Taylor.

Notes and writings include four notebooks and autobiographical writings by Thomas, a "Birthday Book," and an annotated engagement calendar. J. Maurice Thomas's writings about Alma Thomas, her research for a bibliography on James Weldon Johnson, and writings by others, including Jacob Kainen, about Alma Thomas, are also found here.

Exhibition files contain a wide variety of documentation for many group and solo exhibitions of Thomas's work from the early 1950s through a 1998-2000 traveling retrospective exhibition, including solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1972. The records include letters from Franz Bader Gallery, David Driskell at Fisk University, and Vincent Melzac. Photographs include Thomas with individuals including William Buckner, Jeff Donaldson, David Driskell, James W. Herring, and Vincent Melzac. Also found is a photograph of the 1951 Little Paris Studio Group picturing Lois Mailou Jones, Celine Tabary, Alma Thomas, and others. Two video recordings are of events related to the 1998-2000 retrospective at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the Columbus Museum of Art. Records documenting a 1981-1982 exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, A Life in Art: Alma Thomas, includes the script of a video written by Adolphus Ealey.

Personal business records include price lists, gift and loan receipts, and files concerning the Art in Embassies Program, the Martha Jackson Gallery, a benefit auction for the Corcoran School of Art, and the designation of the Thomas family home in Washington, D.C. as a historic property.

Eleven scrapbooks document Thomas's teaching career through the activities of the art classes she taught at Shaw Junior High School.

Printed materials include announcements and catalogs for exhibitions and other events; clippings which document Thomas's career and subjects of interest to her; Christmas cards featuring block prints designed by Thomas; and other programs and publications featuring Thomas.

Photographs are of Alma Thomas, family, and friends and colleagues including Sam Gilliam, James V. Herring, and Nathalie V. Cole Johnson; art classes taught by Thomas; Thomas's homes in Columbus, Georgia and Washington, D.C.; and exhibitions not documented in Series 4: Exhibition Files, including photographs of Alma Thomas at an opening at Barnett Aden Gallery with Alonzo Aden and others.
Arrangement note:
The papers have been arranged into 8 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1911-2001 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Letters, circa 1930-2001 (Boxes 1-2; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Notes and Writings, circa 1920s-circa 1998 (Box 2; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1951-2000 (Boxes 2-3, OV 7; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 5: Personal Business Records, circa 1950s-1994 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Printed Material, circa 1908-2000 (Boxes 3-5, OV 7; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1930-1946 (Box 5; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1894-2001 (Boxes 5-6; 0.6 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Washington, D.C. painter and art educator Alma Thomas (1891-1978) was known for her abstract paintings filled with dense patterns of color, and was considered a major artist of the Washington Color School.

Thomas was born in Columbus, Georgia, in 1894, and was the eldest of the four daughters of John Harris Thomas and Amelia Cantey Thomas. The family moved to Washington, D.C. in 1906 and Thomas was first introduced to art classes at Armstrong Technical High School. Following her graduation in 1911 she took a course in kindergarten teaching at the Miner Normal School, and subsequently worked as a substitute teacher in the Washington, D.C. public school system until 1914, when she took a teaching position on the Eastern shore of Maryland. From 1916 to 1923 she taught kindergarten at Thomas Garrett Settlement House in Wilmington, Delaware.

Thomas originally enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C. as a home economics major in 1921, but after studying under Lois Mailou Jones amd James V. Herring in Herring's newly established art department, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art in 1924, and became the first person to graduate from the program. Thomas then began her teaching career at Shaw Junior High School in Washington, D.C. that lasted from 1924, until her retirement in 1960. During this time she established community arts programs that would encourage her students to develop an appreciation of fine arts. Activities included marionette programs, distribution of student-designed holiday menu cards for dinners given for soldiers at the Tuskegee Veterans' Hospital, art clubs, lectures, and student exhibitions. In 1943 she became the founding vice president of Barnett Aden Gallery, which was established by James V. Herring and Alonzo Aden and was the first integrated gallery in Washington, D.C.

In 1934 Thomas earned an M.A. degree in Art Education from Columbia University. At American University in Washington, D.C., she studied creative painting under Joe Summerford, Robert Gates, and Jacob Kainen from 1950 to 1960, and began to break away from representational painting and experiment more seriously with Abstract Expressionism. In 1958 she participated in a tour of the art centers of Western Europe under the auspices of the Tyler School of Fine Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Following her retirement from teaching in 1960, Thomas devoted herself full-time to painting, and continued to develop her signature style. She was inspired by nature and the desire to express beauty through composition and color, and refused to be constrained by societal expectations related to her race, gender, and age, achieving her greatest success in the last decade of her life. Her work was exhibited at the Dupont Theatre Art Gallery, Franz Bader Gallery, and the Howard University Gallery of Art, before she was honored in 1972 with exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Thomas's work has been exhibited at the White House and can be found in the permanent collections of major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Separated Materials note:
In 1979, J. Maurice Thomas loaned papers for microfilming. Most, but not all, of the loaned material was later donated and is described in this finding aid. Loaned materials not donated at a later date are available on reels 1541-1543 and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
J. Maurice Thomas, the artist's sister, loaned portions of the collection for microfilming in 1979. Most, but not all of this material was then later donated in several accretions by J. Maurice Thomas, between 1979 and 2004. Charles Thomas Lewis, Thomas' nephew, gave additional papers in 2010.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Educators -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Washington Color School (Group of artists)  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Women painters  Search this
African American educators  Search this
African American painters  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Audiocassettes
Video recordings
Photographs
Citation:
Alma Thomas papers, circa 1894-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.thomalma
See more items in:
Alma Thomas papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw98cd54656-ee02-4a0d-81ad-6db24f1be010
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-thomalma
Online Media:

Alma W. Thomas Retrospective Exhibition (1972), Corcoran Gallery of Art, Printed Material

Collection Creator:
Thomas, Alma  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1972
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Alma Thomas papers, circa 1894-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Alma Thomas papers
Alma Thomas papers / Series 4: Exhibition Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw96e955016-3fd5-4ba0-a399-d49ebda11106
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-thomalma-ref812
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  • View Alma W. Thomas Retrospective Exhibition (1972), Corcoran Gallery of Art, Printed Material digital asset number 1

John T. Harris papers

Creator:
Harris, John T. (John Taylor), 1908-1972  Search this
Names:
State Teachers College at Cheyney  Search this
Hardy, Lavinia Harris  Search this
Extent:
1 Microfilm reel
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Microfilm reels
Scrapbooks
Date:
1943-1988
Scope and Contents:
This microfilm collection of the papers of African American painter, printmaker, and instructor John T. Harris date from 1943 to 1988. The collection contains biographical information; correspondence (1965-1979) regarding paintings, as well as a draft of a letter detailing Harris' family history; and financial information (1960-1977). Also included are teaching records (1958-1979) from State Teachers College at Cheyney, including class notes, exhibition checklists, an annual report, and a scrapbook containing photographs of Harris' students in class; lists of paintings; exhibition guest lists; printed material (1943-1988), including exhibition catalogs and announcements; and 13 works of art, including prints and drawings. Photographs of Harris, works of art, and works by Lavinia Harris Hardy, Harris' sister, are also included in the collection.
Biographical / Historical:
John T. Harris (1908-1972) was an African American painter, printmaker, and instructor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming 1991 by Earl Harris, John Harris' nephew. Microfilmed in 1991 as part of AAA's Philadelphia Arts Documentation Project.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Printmakers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Portrait painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Educators  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching -- Pennsylvania  Search this
African American artists  Search this
HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)  Search this
African American educators  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Identifier:
AAA.harrjohn
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw99f58a74d-b8e9-4265-927e-edb4dbdef633
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-harrjohn

Cecilia Beaux papers, 1863-1968

Creator:
Beaux, Cecilia, 1855-1942  Search this
Subject:
Andrew, A. Piatt (Abram Piatt)  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Poems
Diaries
Citation:
Cecilia Beaux papers, 1863-1968. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Theme:
Diaries  Search this
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Women  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5882
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208722
AAA_collcode_beauceci
Theme:
Diaries
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Women
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208722
Online Media:

Maltby Sykes papers, 1936-1992

Creator:
Sykes, Maltby, 1911-1992  Search this
Subject:
Rivera, Diego  Search this
Christ-Janer, Albert  Search this
Eichenberg, Fritz  Search this
Miller, George Charles  Search this
Type:
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Maltby Sykes papers, 1936-1992. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration -- Mexico -- Mexico City  Search this
Prints -- Technique  Search this
Lithography  Search this
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Theme:
Latino and Latin American  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13473
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208803
AAA_collcode_sykewill
Theme:
Latino and Latin American
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208803

Carl Bohnen papers, 1888-1977

Creator:
Bohnen, Carl A., 1872-1951  Search this
Subject:
Bryan, William Jennings  Search this
Caruso, Enrico  Search this
Bernhardt, Sarah  Search this
Feld, Fritz  Search this
Collier, Constance  Search this
DuBois, Paul  Search this
Kellogg, Frank B. (Frank Billings)  Search this
Ferber, Edna  Search this
Garden, Mary  Search this
Erskine, John  Search this
Hayes, Helen  Search this
Marr, Carl von  Search this
Neal, Grace  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Etchings
Sketches
Writings
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Carl Bohnen papers, 1888-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6751
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208876
AAA_collcode_bohncarl
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208876
Online Media:

Murray Percival Bewley papers, 1896-1964

Creator:
Bewley, Murray Percival, 1884-1964  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Murray Percival Bewley papers, 1896-1964. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6815
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208942
AAA_collcode_bewlmurr
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208942

Jacob Eichholtz daybook, 1804-1817

Creator:
Eichholtz, Jacob, 1776-1842  Search this
Citation:
Jacob Eichholtz daybook, 1804-1817. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Artists' writings  Search this
Portrait painting -- 19th century -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7000
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209133
AAA_collcode_eichjaco
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209133

Rebecca Beal papers, 1949-1982

Creator:
Beal, Rebecca J.  Search this
Subject:
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim  Search this
Eichholtz, Jacob  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum  Search this
Citation:
Rebecca Beal papers, 1949-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women art historians  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Research and writing about art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7149
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209283
AAA_collcode_bealrebe
Theme:
Women
Research and writing about art
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209283

George Catlin manuscripts and drawings, [ca. 1893]

Creator:
Catlin, George, 1796-1872  Search this
Type:
Drawings
Citation:
George Catlin manuscripts and drawings, [ca. 1893]. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art and race  Search this
Indians of North America -- Portraits  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7357
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209511
AAA_collcode_catlgemd
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209511

George Catlin papers, undated

Creator:
Catlin, George, 1796-1872  Search this
Subject:
Sully, Thomas  Search this
Clay, Henry  Search this
Seward, William Henry  Search this
Type:
Photogravures
Citation:
George Catlin papers, undated. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Miniature painters  Search this
Indians of North America -- Portraits  Search this
Illustrators  Search this
Ethnological illustrators  Search this
Art and race  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5435
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209512
AAA_collcode_catlgeor
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209512
Online Media:

Frederick H. Clark papers, 1875-1934

Creator:
Clark, Frederick H. (Frederick Hatfield), 1861-1948  Search this
Subject:
Chase, William Merritt  Search this
American Society of Miniature Painters  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts  Search this
School of Industrial Design (Trenton, N.J.)  Search this
Society of American Artists  Search this
World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Citation:
Frederick H. Clark papers, 1875-1934. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7461
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209619
AAA_collcode_clarfred
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209619

Martin Johnson Heade papers, 1853-1904

Creator:
Heade, Martin Johnson, 1819-1904  Search this
Subject:
Church, Frederic Edwin  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Martin Johnson Heade papers, 1853-1904. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Hummingbirds  Search this
Painting -- United States  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7699
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209863
AAA_collcode_headmart
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209863
Online Media:

Milne Ramsey papers, 1882-1973

Creator:
Ramsey, Milne, 1846-1915  Search this
Citation:
Milne Ramsey papers, 1882-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8381
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210555
AAA_collcode_ramsmiln
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210555

John White Alexander papers, 1775-1968, bulk 1870-1915

Creator:
Alexander, John White, 1856-1915  Search this
Subject:
Abbey, Edwin Austin  Search this
Alexander, Elizabeth A.  Search this
Carnegie, Andrew  Search this
Chase, William Merritt  Search this
La Farge, John  Search this
James, Henry  Search this
Levy, Florence N. (Florence Nightingale)  Search this
Remington, Frederic  Search this
Millet, Francis Davis  Search this
Stevenson, Robert Louis  Search this
Whistler, James McNeill  Search this
Gibson, Charles Dana  Search this
MacDowell Club of New York  Search this
Type:
Awards
Interviews
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Medals
Citation:
John White Alexander papers, 1775-1968, bulk 1870-1915. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Portrait painting -- 20th century  Search this
Portrait painting -- 19th century  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painting, American  Search this
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8637
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210817
AAA_collcode_alexjohn
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210817
Online Media:

Theodore Bolton papers, 1917-1958

Creator:
Bolton, Theodore, 1889-  Search this
Subject:
Brown, Henry Kirke  Search this
Durand, Asher Brown  Search this
Gray, Henry Peters  Search this
Rogers, Bruce  Search this
Tolman, Ruel P. (Ruel Pardee)  Search this
Oakley, Thornton  Search this
Citation:
Theodore Bolton papers, 1917-1958. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Illustration of books  Search this
Portrait painting -- United States  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9021
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211210
AAA_collcode_bolttheo
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211210

Longacre family papers, [ca. 1810]-1952

Creator:
Longacre fam, Longacre family  Search this
Subject:
Bolton, Theodore  Search this
Catlin, George  Search this
Durand, Asher Brown  Search this
Herring, James  Search this
Neagle, John  Search this
Sully, Thomas  Search this
Longacre, Andrew  Search this
Longacre, Augusta M.  Search this
Longacre, James Barton  Search this
Longacre, Lydia E. (Lydia Eastwick)  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Place:
Egypt -- description and travel
Citation:
Longacre family papers, [ca. 1810]-1952. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Coin design -- United States  Search this
Engraving, American -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Portrait painting, American  Search this
Portrait prints, American  Search this
Theme:
Diaries  Search this
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9192
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211387
AAA_collcode_longlong
Theme:
Diaries
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211387

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