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General Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Page, William, 1811-1885  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1815-1942, undated
Scope and Contents note:
Letters in this series include the personal and professional correspondence of William Page, his wife, Sophia Candace Stevens Page, and their families, as well as correspondence of Sophia Page's first husband Stephen Hitchcock and his family.

William Page's correspondence is found from 1833 to 1885 only, with the bulk of his correspondence dating from 1852 to 1877. Drafts of outgoing letters written by William and Sophia Page are found throughout the series. Correspondence is arranged chronologically, with undated correspondence filed alphabetically by author at the end of the series. Correspondence of Page's children, which is voluminous from the early 1880s onward, and other family correspondence of the Page, Stevens, and Hitchcock families has not been indexed.

The earliest correspondence is that of Page's relatives of the Mathies, Dunnel, and Baldwin families of New York State. From 1840 through 1852, much of the correspondence is that of the Hitchcock family. See Series 2.3 for correspondence between Sophia and Steven Hitchcock. Love letters between William Page and Sophia (then Hitchcock) are prevalent in 1857, the year they were married. Family correspondence among Sophia Page, her parents, and her brothers Henry, B. Frank, and Simon Stevens is prevalent from the 1850s through the 1880s. By 1884, much of the correspondence is that of the Page children, including their personal, business, and family correspondence. A long, amorous correspondence from Charlotte "Sharly" Briggs to Candace "Dacie" Page, which documents an apparently intimate relationship between the two women, is found from the late 1880s onward, with many undated letters.

William Page's significant correspondents include artists such as Thomas Hicks, Enoch Wood Perry, William Stark, Theodore Tilton, and Lemuel Wilmarth; patrons Wendell Phillips, J. Hopper, William Walker Scranton, and Francis G. Shaw; writers James Russell Lowell, Charles Frederick Briggs (see also Series 2.2), George W. Curtis, and the actress Charlotte Cushman. An unusually lengthy letter from Page to a young artist "W" (possibly William Stark) about painting is dated 1860. Sophia Page's correspondents include Thomas K. Beecher, Mary Olmsted and Bertha Olmsted.

See Appendix for a list of selected correspondents from Series 2.1.
Appendix: Selected Correspondents from Series 2.1.:
The following is a selective list of correspondence of William and Sophia Page in Series 2.1: General Correspondence.

Spellings and abbreviations of names below reflect the actual signatures of letters. Names preceded by question marks indicate partially-legible signatures. Letters with unsigned and illegible signatures which could not be indexed are common in the correspondence, so this index should not be considered comprehensive.

Adam, Sarah W.: 1877-1878

Allan, W.G.: 1848

Allen, Elizabeth Akers: 1863-1864, 1880, 1885-1888, 1892, undated

Alsop, ?H.J.W.: 1871

Ammon, W.E.: 1887-1888

Appleton, Nathan: 1874

Arcadian Club: 1874

Armstrong, William: 1889

Austin Baldwin and Co.: 1863

Avery, Charles: 1870

Avery, Sam P.: undated

Badeau, Adam: 1866

Baker, H.: undated

Baker, W.J.: 1874

Balducci, Y.: 1855

Bard, M.I.: undated

Barney, C. H.: 1863

Barney, Hiram: undated

Bartholemew, E.: 1855-1856

Bartlett, C.E.: undated

Barton, Sam: 1870, 1879

Bates, L.: undated

Beardsley, Annie: 1885

Beatty, John W.: 1900, 1902

Becker, Dr.: undated

Beckwith, James Carroll: 1899

Beecher, Thomas K.: 1850, 1853-1854, undated

Bellinger, Louis: 1887

Benedict, Robert D.: 1856, 1876, 1886

Benedict, Taft, and Benedict: 1880

Benet, W.V.: 1861

?Bennett, J.R.: undated

Berdam, D.W.: 1861

Betty, Edward: 1875

Biglow, L.G.: 1883

Bigmore, Edward: 1880

Birney, E.P.: 1865

Blomeger, Georgina: undated

Boies, H.M.: 1875-1876

Bossange, H.: 1855

Bradford, J.F.: 1870

Brady, J.R.: 1873

Brehart, Mary: 1888, undated

Briggs, Charles Frederick: 1852, 1861, undated (see also series 2.2)

Briggs, Charlotte "Sharly": 1877, 1882-1883, 1886-1894, 1896, 1899, undated

Brower, Edith: 1878

Brown, Henry J.: 1884

Brown, H.K.: 1871

Brownell, W.C.: 1889

Bullard, Laura Curtis: 1875, 1880, undated

Burt, John: 1860

Carlin, R.: 1863

Carpenter, Edward J.: 1873

Carter, C.M. 1882

Carter, R.: 1864, 1866, 1872, 1874-1876

Carter, Susan N.: 1864, 1879, 187?, 1880, 1882, 1884, 1886-1889, 188?, 1891-1892, undated

Catlin, Henry: 1882

Centennial Commision: 1876

Chase, Thomas: undated

Chase, William M.: 1902

Cheney, E.D.: 1886

Cheney, T.A.P.: 1869

Child, Lydia Marie: 1848, undated

Chilton, James R.: 1848

Chilton, R.I.: 1849

Chilton, W.W.: undated

Choate, Joseph: 1873

Clagstone, H. Glassford: 1884

Clark, Mrs. C.S.: 1871

Clason, Mrs. A.S.: 1868, undated

Clemens, Clara: 1886

Cleveland, Esther Greeley: undated

Clover, Lewis: 1870, 1880

Codling, Geroge: 1862

Conant, B.B. (Harper and Brothers): 1883

Conant, L.B.: 1877

Congers, N.S.: 1863

Cook, Albert S.: 1873

Corbin, Francis: 1852

Cornwallis, H.J.: undated

Cowley, Mrs. Julius D.: undated

Crawford, L.W.: undated

Crawford, Thomas: 1853, undated

Crocker, U.H.: 1875-1876

Curtis, George W.: 1857, 1870, 1880, 1887

Cushman, Charlotte (Charles): 1853, 1858, 1874, undated

Dana, Charles A.: 1854, 1881

Day, Livy: undated

?Decamps, J.: 1880

Dewy, Julius: 1882

Dexter, Franklin B.: 1871

Didama, H.D.: 1867

Dietz, Linda: undated

Dixon, O.H.: 1875

Douglas, Eliza: 1863

Druker, L.E.: undated

Dunnel, John H.: 1861, 1863

Durfee, Rose: 1877, 1879

Easton, Harriet: undated

Eliot, Charles W.: 1876

Elliman, Charles B.: 1870

?Evans, Joseph or George: 1874

Evans, W.W.: 1877

Fagan, John F.: 1888

Farrell, M.: 1869

Fenton, R.: undated

Fields, Annie: 1860, undated

French, W.M.R.: 1877

G.P. Putnam Sons: 1877

Gale, L.D.: 1848

Gay, S.H.: undated

Gibbons, S.J.: 1878

Gifford, S.R.: 1871, 1873

Gilder, R.W.: undated

Godkin, E.L.: 1871-1872

Godwin, Parke: 1880, undated

Goodyear, William Henry: 1882-1883

Gray, David: 1862

Green, H.H.: 1865

Guy, S.J.: 1874, 1885, 1887

Hale, Mrs. E.E.: 1872

Hall, Anna Maria: 1853, undated

Hall, E.W.: 1868, undated

Hammersley, J.W.: undated

Hannah, George: 1870

Harper Brothers: 1879

Harris, Addie A.: 1863

Hart, Burnham: 1885

Hart, John S.: 1873

Hart, Levi Wells: undated

Hastings, Alice: undated

Hawkins and Cothren: 1871

Hazard, W.A.: 1879

Henderson, Ettie: 1891

Henry Holt and Co.: 1879

Hibbard, James N.: 1880

Hicks, Thomas: 1863, 1868

Hills, Mrs. Amelia: 1869

Hinckley, Polly Page: 1873

Holcombe, Emily: 1886

Hooker, J.C. (of Packenham and Hooker): 1854-1858, 1860, undated

Hooper: 1854

Hopkins, Geraldine: 1863

Hopper, J.: 1861-1862, undated

Hoppin, Rosalie: 1858

Hoppin, William J.: 1857

Hudson, John: 1883

Humphreys, Mary Cray: undated

Hunt, Richard M.: 1868

Huntington, D: 1878

Huntington, Frank: 1888-1889

Hussey, George B.: 1875

?Ickelheimer, I.: 1872, 1875

Ingersoll, W.H.: 1876

Jay, William: 1888

Jeremiah, Ann; 1880

Johnson, B.: 1863

Johnson, E.H.: 1876-1877

Johnson, E.N.: 1874

Johnson, Josephine M.: 1873

Johnson, Kate: 1886

Johnston, J.B.: 1869, 1876-1877

Johnston, Mrs. : 1868

Keenan, Thomas Jr.: 1889

Kennedy, James C.: 1858

Kidney, John S.: 1872

Kimball, Richard: 1852, 1854

King, Augustu G.: undated

King, Clarence: 1875

Knortz, Karl: 1877

Knowell, John: 1881

Kucsczuski, S.W.: 1861

Kuzynski, Pauline A.: 1855

Laing, Charles G.: 1885

Laurie, Alexander: 1870

Law, S.D.: 1848

Lester, Mrs. L.: 1877

Leupp, Charles: 1852

Lewis, Eliela P.: 1865

Lewis, Juan: 1873

Lines, Mary: undated

Linton, W.J.: 1872-1874, 1876-1886, 1891, undated

Livingston, John Henry: 1878

Loring, E.G.: 1857

Lossing, Bevson J.: 1877

Low, William H.: 1904-1905

Lowell, Effie: 1877

Lowell, James Russell: 1843, 1848, 1874, 1878, 1885-1887, 1889, undated

Lowell, Josephine S.: 1885, 1887, undated

Ludlow, E.H.: 1884

Lyman, Arthur T.: 1876

M. Knoedler and Co.: 1901

MacBeth, W.: 1902-1903

Mackay, W.B.: 1848

MacPherson, William H.: 1874

Mansfield, John W.: 1883

Manton, Walter: 1857

Maquay, George A.: 1853

Marrell, J.H.: 1871

Martin, Charles F.: 1887-1888

Martin, Mrs. C.L.: 1877, 1885 , 1887

Martin, Louise P.: 1885

Martin, ?H.H.: 1872

Maston, William H.: 1866

Mead, Mary V.: 1877, 1882, undated

Menger, Louis R.: 1880, 1887

Merchant, Daniel M.: 1868

Metcalf, Arthur: 1884

Millner, J.B.: 1877

Minturn, Robert B.: 1861, undated

Moulton, Charles: 1886

Moulton, Francis: 1872

Munn and Co.: 1861

Murphy, Charles: 1888

Naramore, E.M.: 1875

Neal, John: 1855

Newton, O.L.: 1864

Nichols, Abel: 1857

Nichols, Florence: 1857

Nichols, George Ward: 1857

Norris, J. Parker: 1870, 1873-1877, undated

Norton, Catherine: 1874, 1878, undated

Nutting, Mary O.: 1883

O'Donovan, W.R.: 1877, 1886, 1890-1891, undated

Olmsted, Bertha: 1853-1854, 1856-1857, 1860

Olmsted, Frederick Law: 1868-1869

Olmsted, John H.: 1851, 1853-1854

Olmsted, Mary A.: 1850, 1853-1854, 1874, 1877, undated

Osborne, Mary: undated

Ostrander, Nathaniel J.: 1885

Pakenham, N.: 1851

Pardue, Charles Inslee: 1873

Parkhurst, Henry M.: 1865-1866

Partridge, James R.: 1862

Patterson, F.B.: 1874

Peabody, Cornelia Marshall: undated

Peck, J.: 1854

Peet, Eileen: 1884

Pentecost, Hugh O.: 1890

Perkins, T.B.: 1872

Perry, Enoch Wood: 1870, 1873, 1877-1878, 1882-1884, 1886, 1902, undated

Phillips, E.O.: 1876

Phillips, Wendell: undated

Powers, H.N.: 1876

Putnam, G.P.: 1866

Quick, Addie T.: 1872

Rawson, Charlotte: 1886, 1888

Raymond, George: 1886

Ream, Vinnie: undated

Reinhart, B.F.: 1873

Rice, Alexander H.; 1882-1883

Richards, T. Addision: 1882, 1886 (see also the letters used as evidence in Page's probate trial; Series 4)

Richmond, Victoria and J.W.B.: 1883, 1886

Rider, George S.J.: 1868

Ridner, Caroline: 1885, 1887

Rively, Mary: 1886-1887

Robertson, Ann Elize Worcester: 1877

Robinson, A.S.: 1852-1853, 1855, 1862

Robinson, E.: 1874

Robinson, George C.: 1868, undated

Robinson, Mrs. Jennie: 1870

Robinson, M.C.: 1853

Robinson, W.H.: 1875-1876

Rogers, John: undated

Rogers, W.K.: 1877

Rose, J.W.: 1882

?Rossel: 1878

Ruggles, Edward: 1861

Sanborn, ?O.H.: 1868

Sartain, John: 1875

Schultz, E.A.: 1873

Schuyler, Louisa Lee: 1877

Schwab, Charles M.: 1906

Scott, Frank H.: 1875

Scott, Julian: 1874

Scranton, William Walker: 1874-1875, 1877-1879, 187?, 1880-1881

Scribner editors: 1879

Searle, L.: undated

Sellstedt, L.G.: 1863-1864, undated

Shaw, Anna K: 1863, undated

Shaw, Francis George: 1850-1851, 1853-1855, 1859, 1861, 1863-1864, 1872-1874, 1876-1877, 1880-1881, undated (see also letters used as evidence in Page's probate trial; Series 4)

Shaw, Sarah B.: 1877, 1879, 1881, 1883, 1885-1889, 1892, undated

Shegogue, J.H.: 1848

Shelton, W.H.: 1905

Shinn, Earl: 1873

Shipman, Andrew: 1892

Shipman, Frank: 1886

Shipman, Mary C.: 1886, undated

Skinner, Mabel R.: 1879

Smith, Charles E.: 1868

Smith, J. Eustace: 1884

Southland, William D.: 1886

Spencer, L: 1862

Sperry, Watson: 1880

Spring, Jeanie: 1861

Spring, Marcus: 1867, 1869, 1872

Spring, R.B.: undated

Spring, Rebecca: 1886

Stafford, John: 1864, 1877

Stafford, O.H.: 1864

Stark, William and Madelaine: 1858, 1860-1862

Stebbins, A.: 1869

Stenton, Josephine: 1872

Stoddard, W.O.: 1870

Storrs, R.S.: 1870

Story, Mr. and Mrs. William Wetmore: 1850, undated

Sturgis, Robert: 1870, 1873, undated

Sturgis, Russell: 1874-1875, 1879, 1881

Suydam, W.A.: 1883

Taylor, Charles J.: 1869

Thayer, A.H.: 1890, undated

Thayer, William Henry: undated

Thompson, E.C.: 1863

Thompson, Launt: 1872

Tilton, Theodore: 1868-1872

Torry, C.P.: 1869

Varnum, Joseph b.: 1875

Vaughn, Virginia: 1854

Vaulchaick, S.W.: 1873

Vlymer, Alice: 1884

Wainwright, C.S.: undated

Wales, George: 1856

Wall, J.W.: undated

War Department: 1877

Ward, J.Q.A.: 1870, 1872, 1873

Ward, Sam S.: 1850

Washburn, B. Davis: 1868

Watson, Fred: 1882

Watson, J.W.: 1886, 1890

Watts, Edmund: 1875, 1887-1889, 1892, 1903, 1907, undated

Weir, ?J or G.F.: 1871, 1874, 1876

Welby, Edgar: 1856

Weston, Eduard Payson: 1863

Weston, Theodore: 1871

Whiting, Julia D.: 1879

Whittingham, Jane: 1881

Wild, Hamilton G.: 1851, undated

Wilds, Howard Payson: 1874

Williams, M.W.: 1857

?Wills (Wells?), Theodore: 1877-1878

Wilmarth, L.E.: 1874, 1877

Winthrop, Robert C.: 1850

Wood, T.W.: 1880

World's Fair St. Louis: 1904

Wright, George F.: undated
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
William Page and Page Family papers, 1815-1947, bulk 1843-1892. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.pagewill, Subseries 2.1
See more items in:
William Page and Page Family papers
William Page and Page Family papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-pagewill-ref26

William Page and Page Family papers

Creator:
Page, William, 1811-1885  Search this
Names:
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Beecher, Henry Ward, 1813-1887  Search this
Beecher, Thomas Kinnicut, 1824-1900  Search this
Briggs, Charles F. (Charles Frederick), 1804-1877  Search this
Curtis, George William, 1824-1892  Search this
Cushman, Charlotte, 1816-1876  Search this
Fenton, Rueben  Search this
Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805-1879  Search this
Hicks, Thomas, 1823-1890  Search this
Lowell, James Russell, 1819-1891  Search this
O'Donovan, William Rudolph, 1844-1920  Search this
Olmstead, Bertha  Search this
Olmstead, Mary  Search this
Page, Sophia Stevens, 1827-1892  Search this
Page, William, 1811-1885  Search this
Perry, E. W. (Enoch Wood), 1831-1915  Search this
Phillips, Wendell, 1811-1884  Search this
Scranton, William Walker  Search this
Shaw, Francis George, 1809-1882  Search this
Stark, William, 1825-1873  Search this
Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874  Search this
Tilton, Theodore, 1835-1907  Search this
Wilmarth, Lemuel Everett, 1835-1918  Search this
Extent:
11.06 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketches
Poems
Drawings
Diaries
Date:
1815-1947
bulk 1843-1892
Summary:
The papers of the portraitist and art theorist William Page and the Page family measure 11.06 linear feet and date from 1815 to 1947, bulk 1843-1892. In addition to the papers of William Page, the papers include documents related to Page's wife's career as a writer and records documenting their personal lives and the lives of their family members. Types of documents found include personal documents and artifacts, correspondence, essays, lectures, diaries, poems, notes and notebooks, financial records, legal records, published works, clippings, catalogs, photographs, and artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of the painter William Page and the Page family measure 11.06 linear feet and date from 1815 to 1947, with the bulk of papers dating from 1843 to 1892. Papers contain records related to the life and career of William Page, president of the National Academy of Design from 1871 to 1873 and prominent portraitist and art theorist of his day. Also found are records related to his wife's career as a writer and records documenting their personal lives and the lives of their family members. Types of documents found include personal documents and artifacts, correspondence, essays, lectures, diaries, poems, notes and notebooks, financial records, legal records, published works, clippings, catalogs, photographs, and artwork.

Correspondence includes the personal and professional correspondence of William and Sophia Page, and their parents, siblings, and children. Significant correspondents include Thomas Hicks, Enoch Wood Perry, William Stark, Theodore Tilton, Lemuel Wilmarth, Wendell Phillips, William Walker Scranton, Francis G. Shaw; James Russell Lowell, Charles Frederick Briggs, George W. Curtis, Charlotte Cushman, Thomas K. Beecher, Mary Olmsted, and Bertha Olmsted.

Writings include the essays and lectures of William Page, as written by him and revised by Sophia Page in the late 1870s, as well as Sophia's writings as a columnist in Europe in the 1850s. Notes, notebooks, diaries, and poems are also found. Personal Business Records include business records related to the sale and exhibition of artwork as well as financial and legal documents. A small number of memoranda and documents related to Page's work at the National Academy of Design are also found. Printed Materials include exhibition catalogs, published works by William and Sophia Page, and clippings and articles about Page.

Photographs consist mainly of portraits, most of them mounted cabinet photographs or cartes-des-visites, some of which appear to have been used as studies for Page's painted portraits. Among those pictured are William Page, James Russell Lowell, Henry Ward Beecher, Reuben Fenton, Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, William R. O'Donovan, and William Lloyd Garrison. Many of the photographic portraits are unidentified. Artwork includes sketches, drawings, prints, and a small number of notes made by Page in the course of painting portraits.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.

Series 1: Biographical Materials and Artifacts, 1847-1917 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1815-1942 (Boxes 1-4, 9-10; 3.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Notes and Writings, 1839-1888, 1949 (Boxes 4-5, OV 10; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1848-1932 (Boxes 5 and 9; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Materials, 1845-1938 (Boxes 5-7, 9, OV 11; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, 1845-1947 (Boxes 7-9, OV 12, MGP 5-6; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, 1856-1874 (Box 8, OV 13-16, rolled documents 17-19; 0.6 linear feet and 3 rolled documents)
Biographical Note:
The painter William Page was born in 1811 in Albany, NY. He attended public schools in New York City, and after working briefly in the law firm of Frederick de Peyster, was placed in the studio of the painter/engraver James Herring in 1825, where he received his first formal art training. He took classes at the National Academy of Design the year it was formed, in 1826, under Samuel F.B. Morse, and in 1827 he was awarded one of the National Academy's first annual student prizes.

Page joined the Presbyterian church and attended Phillips Academy and Amherst with the intention of becoming a minister, but his artistic ability won out, and by 1830 he was painting commissioned portraits in Albany, Rochester, and New York. He married Lavinia Twibill in 1833, and they had three daughters between 1834 and 1839. He joined the American Academy and served on its board of directors in 1835. He exhibited at the American Academy, the National Academy of Design, the Boston Athenaeum, and other venues throughout the 1830s. Favorable reviews brought steady portrait commissions, including John Quincy Adams and the New York governor William L. Marcy. He was made a full member of the National Academy in 1837.

In the 1840s, Page's reputation and maturity as a painter grew. His first wife left him around 1840, and in 1843 he married Sarah Dougherty. The couple moved to Albany, Boston, and back to New York seeking portrait commissions and patronage. He became friends with the poet James Russell Lowell and the writer and publisher Charles Frederick Briggs, two writers and editors who helped to promote his artwork in Boston and New York and published his theoretical writings. In 1844, Lowell dedicated his first published book of poetry to Page, and the following year, Briggs published a series of articles by Page in the Broadway Journal, entitled "The Art of the Use of Color in Imitation in Painting." The series described Page's arduous experiments with color and glazes, and his ideas about correspondences between spirituality and the natural world as expressed in art.

In 1850, Page traveled to Florence, Italy, where he painted several copies of the works of Titian in the galleries of the Uffizi and Pitti palaces, studying his use of color and further developing his own experimental techniques. He became friends with the sculptor Hiram Powers, who introduced him to the writings of Emmanuel Swedenborg, a Christian metaphysician whose ideas fueled Page's interest in the spiritual aspects of art. In 1852, Page moved to Rome, a city with an international artists' community and a strong market for art. Page found a loyal following in Rome's large circle of American ex-patriates, including the sculptors Thomas Crawford and Harriet Hosmer, the actress Charlotte Cushman, and the poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, all of whom sat for portraits by Page.

In 1854, Page's second wife left him amidst public scandal, and he sank deep in debt to his bankers at Packenham and Hooker, an English firm that by 1856 had a lien on all the paintings in his studio. That same year Page met Sophia Stevens Hitchcock, an American widow traveling in Rome with Bertha Olmsted, Frederick Law Olmsted's sister. Hitchcock was from Barnet, Vermont and came to Europe after her first husband died in 1852 after only a year of marriage. She traveled to England and Paris, where she wrote regular columns on local customs and events for the New York Tribune that were published under the by-line "An American Woman in Paris." She and Page met in Rome in 1856, and in October 1857, after Page traveled back the United States to obtain a divorce from Sarah Dougherty, he and Sophia married.

The couple stayed in Rome until 1860. His wife's three brothers, all businessmen, helped to promote his artwork in Europe and America. Page's paintings of this period include several Venus subjects, one of which was championed by his most loyal patrons, who raised $3000 by subscription to buy the painting for the Boston Athenaeum. A later Venus painting was rejected from the Paris salon for indecency, a controversy that was later leveraged for publicity in a touring exhibition in the United States.

The Pages returned to the United States in 1860 and settled in Tottenville, New York. They had six children between 1858 and 1870. Page had a studio at Eagleswood, NJ, and later in the Studio Building on 10th Street in Manhattan, where he held a large exhibition in 1867. In the 1860s, he painted a self-portrait and a companion portrait of Sophia set in Rome, as well as a series of civil war heroes including Robert Gould Shaw, Winfield Scott, and David Farragut. Photographs played a consistent part in Page's technique of portraiture, and he is known to have worked with the photographer Matthew Brady, who attended art classes early on with Page, as well as the photographers Sarony and Charles Williamson, who taught classes on drawing from enlarged photo-transparencies. Brady photographs taken for Page include David Farragut and Reuben Fenton.

Page lectured frequently on Titian and Venetian art, a subject in which he was considered an expert, and on painting technique and his philosophical ideas about nature, art, and spirituality. In 1871, Page was elected the president of the National Academy of Design, a post he held until 1873, but his poor health following a collapse in 1872 limited his accomplishments in office. Despite these limitations, he continued to paint, including portraits of General Grant, an idealized portrait of the president based on early photographs and Charles Sumner. He also became interested in portraiture of William Shakespeare around this time, and his studies resulted in a book, Shakespeare's Portraits, a bust based on existing portraiture, and a full-length portrait entitled "Shakespeare Reading," based on Page's measurements of a supposed death mask in Darmstadt, Germany, which he went to inspect against the advice of his doctor in 1874.

In 1877, another collapse left Page incapacitated for the remainder of his life. Sophia Page tried editing and publishing his writings and lectures, but with little success. Page died in 1885. A life marked by personal scandal ended the same, when two of his daughters from his first marriage contested his will, tying up his estate in a lengthy and public probate trial. Their suit was dismissed in 1889, and Sophia Page died in 1892.

This biography relies heavily on Joshua Taylor's William Page: The American Titian (1957).
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds materials lent for microfilming (reel 1091) including letters from Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Lydia Maria Child, Charlotte Cushman, James Russell Lowell, Charles A. Dana, and others. Lent material was returned to the donor and is This material is not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
A portion of the collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Mrs. Lesslie S. (Pauline Page) Howell, William Page's grandaughter, in 1963. William S. Page, Pauline Page Howell's nephew, donated additional papers in 1964 and 1973. Pauline Page Howell and William S. Page also loaned a group of letters to the Archives in 1964 which were microfilmed on reel 1091 and then returned to the donors. Mrs. Howell's son, William Page Howell, donated material in 1980.

Letters of Charles F. Briggs to James Russell Lowell (Series 2.2) were a part of Pauline Page Howell's 1963 donation to the Archives of American Art. They had been given to Mrs. Howell by Charlotte Briggs, daughter of Charles F. Briggs, because of her father's lifelong friendship with William Page. Letters from Lowell to Briggs are in the James Russell Lowell papers in Houghton Library at Harvard University.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painting -- 19th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Poems
Drawings
Diaries
Citation:
William Page and Page Family papers, 1815-1947, bulk 1843-1892. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.pagewill
See more items in:
William Page and Page Family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-pagewill
Online Media:

William Page and Page Family papers, 1815-1947, bulk 1843-1892

Creator:
Page, William, 1811-1885  Search this
Subject:
Page, William  Search this
Page, Sophia Stevens  Search this
Olmstead, Mary  Search this
Olmstead, Bertha  Search this
O'Donovan, William Rudolph  Search this
Lowell, James Russell  Search this
Hicks, Thomas  Search this
Fenton, Rueben  Search this
Cushman, Charlotte  Search this
Curtis, George William  Search this
Briggs, Charles F. (Charles Frederick)  Search this
Beecher, Thomas Kinnicut  Search this
Tilton, Theodore  Search this
Wilmarth, Lemuel Everett  Search this
Stark, William  Search this
Sumner, Charles  Search this
Scranton, William Walker  Search this
Shaw, Francis George  Search this
Beecher, Henry Ward  Search this
Phillips, Wendell  Search this
Garrison, William Lloyd  Search this
Perry, E. W. (Enoch Wood)  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Sketches
Poems
Drawings
Diaries
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painting -- 19th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8925
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211111
AAA_collcode_pagewill
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211111
Online Media:

William Walker Scranton, (painting)

Painter:
Chase, William Merritt 1849-1916  Search this
Subject:
Scranton, William Walker  Search this
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Unlocated
Date:
Ca. 1905
Topic:
Portrait male--Full length  Search this
Control number:
IAP 89780340
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_433418

Portrait of William Walker Scranton, (painting)

Painter:
Unknown  Search this
Subject:
Scranton, William Walker  Search this
Medium:
Oil
Type:
Paintings
Date:
Ca. 1890
Topic:
Portrait male--Bust  Search this
Control number:
IAP 46660029
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_285778

William Walker Scranton, (painting)

Painter:
Chase, William Merritt 1849-1916  Search this
Subject:
Scranton, William Walker  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
National Academy of Design 1083 Fifth Avenue New York New York 10128
Date:
Ca. 1905
Topic:
Portrait male--Bust  Search this
Occupation--Other--Businessman  Search this
Control number:
IAP 36270141
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_43791

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