Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
397 documents - page 1 of 20

Perry Townsend Rathbone papers

Creator:
Rathbone, Perry Townsend, 1911-2000  Search this
Names:
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc.  Search this
City Art Museum of St. Louis  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
Beckmann, Max, 1884-1950  Search this
Faison, S. Lane (Samson Lane), 1907-2006  Search this
Gonzalez, Xavier, 1898-1993  Search this
Howe, Thomas Carr, 1904-1994  Search this
Moore, Lamont  Search this
Parkhurst, Charles  Search this
Ritchie, Andrew Carnduff  Search this
Sabersky, Jane, 1911-1983  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Swarzenski, Hanns, 1903-1985  Search this
Valentin, Curt, 1902-1954  Search this
Valentiner, Wilhelm Reinhold, 1880-1958  Search this
Willard, Marian, 1904-  Search this
Wittmann, Otto, 1911-2001  Search this
Extent:
4.3 Linear feet (5 boxes, 1 OV)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Date:
1929-1985
Summary:
The papers of museum director Perry Townsend Rathbone measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1929 to 1985. The papers document Rathbone's career as museum director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and his later work with Christie's New York office. Found within the papers are biographical materials, correspondence with friends and colleagues, writings, professional and project files, printed materials, and photographs, mostly of exhibitions.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of museum director Perry Townsend Rathbone measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1929 to 1985. The papers document Rathbone's career as museum director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and his later work with Christie's New York office. Found within the papers are biographical materials, correspondence with friends and colleagues, writings, professional and project files, printed materials, and photographs, mostly of exhibitions.

Biographical materials contain curriculum vitae, biographical sketches, citations for honorary degrees and for Rathbone's appointment as Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, a passport, a transcript of an interview with Rathbone and articles written by others about Rathbone, including one by S. Lane Faison.

Correspondence is with Rathbone's friends and colleagues. Notable correspondents include Max Beckmann, Xavier Gonzalez, Hanns Swarzenski, Curt Valentin, Jane Sabersky, William R. Valentiner, and Marian Willard, among others. Rathbone knew several art historians and conservators who served in the U.S. Army as members of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section, also known as the Monuments Men. Correspondence with these colleagues is arranged together as a subseries and includes correspondence with S. Lane Faison, Thomas Carr Howe, Lamont Moore, Charles Parkhurst, Andrew Ritchie, George Leslie Stout, and Otto Wittman. Most of the correspondence with other Monuments Men is post World War II.

Writings by Rathbone consist of student papers, typescript drafts of articles and entries for exhibition catalogs, notes and notebooks from European trips, and lectures.

Professional files encompass a range of documents related to Rathbone's museum directorships, projects, travels and professional affiliations. The folders about his work at the City Art Museum of St. Louis and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston include correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, press releases and notes. There are also folders on specific projects such as the renovation of the historic Dederer-Blodgett House and Rathbone's membership on various art commissions and committees. Also found within this series are correspondence, notebooks, receipts, itineraries and vouchers for Rathbone's business trips to Europe and other locations while working for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Printed materials include news clippings, articles, press releases, a few art magazines and exhibition catalogues, and invitations to events. There are also black and white photographs of exhibitions, including a Max Beckmann exhibit, and a few images of Rathbone.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1930-1982 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1940-1985 (1.1 linear feet; Box 1-2)

Series 3: Writings, 1929-1967 (0.8 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 4: Professional Files, 1938-1984 (2 linear feet; Box 2-4, OV 6)

Series 5: Printed Materials, 1954-1975 (0.2 linear feet; Box 4-5, OV 6)

Series 6: Photographs, 1936-1972 (0.1 linear feet; Box 5)
Biographical / Historical:
Perry Townsend Rathbone (1911-2000) was a prominent museum director who worked primarily in Boston and New York City. He was an early supporter of German Expressionism in America.

Rathbone was director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis from 1940-1955, moving on to direct the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from 1954-1972, where he led a period of extensive reform. After retiring from the museum, he worked for one year for the Chase Manhattan Bank as an art consultant. Rathbone worked as director and senior vice president of Christies USA auction house from 1973-1987. After 1987, he continued working at Christies as a consultant.

Rathbone was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1911 and grew up in New Rochelle, New York. He attended Harvard College, majoring in Art History and graduating in 1933. He then completed the graduate "museum course" taught by Professor Paul Sachs in 1934. The Paul Sachs museum course was famous for cultivating future directors at some of this country's most prestigious museums. After Harvard, Rathbone was appointed as curator of Alger House (later renamed the Grosse Pointe War Memorial), a branch of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Rathbone directed the ''Masterpieces of Art'' exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The success of the exhibit led to his appointment as director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis, Missouri in 1940 at the age of 29, making him the youngest American museum director at the time.

During World War II, Rathbone served in the U.S. Navy from late 1942-1945. He was a commissioned officer in charge of the Navy Art and Poster Section, Office of Public Relations in Washington, D.C. He supervised five Navy "combat artists," who painted naval battles and depicted the daily lives of soldiers. He also served as an officer in New Calcedonia. He separated from service as a Lieutenant Commander in late 1945. This collection does not contain records directly related to his military service. In 1945 Rathbone married Euretta de Cosson while on leave in Washington, D.C. They had three children together: Peter, Eliza, and Belinda.

Rathbone resumed his position as the director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis after the war. The Detroit Institute of Arts director William R. Valentiner introduced Rathbone to German Expressionism. Rathbone helped the German Expressionist painter Max Beckmann, labeled a ''degenerate artist'' by Hitler, and his wife immigrate to America and then arranged a teaching position for Beckmann at Washington University. Rathbone and Beckmann became close, and in 1948, Rathbone organized a Beckmann retrospective at the City Art Museum. Beckmann made a portrait of Rathbone and one of his wife Euretta. Rathbone gave the eulogy at Beckmann's funeral in 1950.

In 1955 Rathbone became the director of the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. During his tenure there he expanded the museum by 80,000 square feet, doubled the staff, and oversaw the renovations of 57 of the Museum's 189 galleries. He mounted exhibitions of Rembrandt, Matisse, Modigliani, Cezanne, van Gogh and Courbet. The Boston Museum's first acquisitions of Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Constantine Brancusi, Paul Klee, Alberto Giacometti and other works by 20th-century artists occurred under Rathbone's directorship. Rathbone also served as curator of paintings and wrote the catalog essays for many of the museum's exhibitions. Working with Frances Weeks Hallowell, he established the first "Ladies Committee" for the museum, which substantially increased membership. He was appointed as Chevalier de L├ęgion d'Honneur by the French government in 1964.

In 1969, the Museum of Fine Arts purchased what was believed to be a Raphael portrait of Eleonora Gonzaga, 1505, from a Genoa art dealer. The work was meant to be the highlight of the museum's centennial celebration. However controversy arose when the Italian government alleged that the work was smuggled out of the country and the museum was forced to return the painting to the Italian government. The situation caused Rathbone to resign in 1972.

At the request of David Rockefeller, Rathbone became an art consultant to Chase Manhattan Bank for one year. In 1973, he became director of Christie's auction house in New York and senior vice president in 1977, working there until 1987, when he retired but still worked as a consultant.

Perry Townsend Rathbone died on January 22, 2000 at the age of 88.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds an oral history interview of Perry Townsend Rathbone conducted in 1975-1976 by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art's oral history program.
Provenance:
Perry Townsend Rathbone donated his paper to the Archives of American Art in 1977 and 1988.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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:
Museum directors -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Citation:
Perry Townsend Rathbone papers, 1929-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.rathperr
See more items in:
Perry Townsend Rathbone papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rathperr
Online Media:

George Leslie Stout with Radcliffe students in class at the Fogg Art Museum

Subject:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Fogg Art Museum  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1928 or 1929
Topic:
Art students  Search this
Art teachers  Search this
Art--Study and teaching  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)14416
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_14416
Online Media:

Walker Hancock, Lamont Moore, George Stout and two unidentified soldiers in Marburg, Germany

Subject:
Hancock, Walker Kirtland  Search this
Moore, Lamont  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1945 June
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)14417
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_14417
Online Media:

George Leslie Stout

Photographer:
Jacobi, Lotte, 1896-  Search this
Subject:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
circa 1965
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)14418
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_14418
Online Media:

George Leslie Stout, Langdon Warner, and Japanese officials at Nishi Honganji temple in Kyoto, Japan

Subject:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Warner, Langdon  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Place:
Kyoto, Japan
Date:
1946 May 29
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)14421
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_14421

Haruki Watsuji, Kyoto, Japan letter to George L. (George Leslie) Stout, Tokyo, Japan

Creator:
Watsuji, Haruki  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie), 1897-1978  Search this
Subject:
Warner, Langdon  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Place:
Kyoto, Japan
Date:
1946 June 27
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)14539
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_14539

George Leslie Stout letter to Margaret Hayes Stout

Creator:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie), 1897-1978  Search this
Stout, Margaret Hayes  Search this
Subject:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Stout, Margaret Hayes  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1943 June 11
Topic:
Love letters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15080
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15080

George Leslie Stout's Bronze Star medal and case

Subject:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
Type:
Artifacts
Date:
1945
Topic:
Awards  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15081
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15081
Online Media:

George Leslie Stout letter to Margaret Hayes Stout

Creator:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie), 1897-1978  Search this
Stout, Margaret Hayes  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1943 October 11
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15582
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15582

George Leslie Stout letter to Margaret Hayes Stout

Creator:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie), 1897-1978  Search this
Stout, Margaret Hayes  Search this
Subject:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1944 December 5
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16188
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16188
Online Media:

George L. Stout in conservation lab looking through a microscope

Photographer:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie), 1897-1978  Search this
Subject:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
circa 1940
Topic:
Conservation and restoration  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16204
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16204

George Stout letter to his wife Margaret Stout

Creator:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie), 1897-1978  Search this
Stout, Margaret Hayes  Search this
Subject:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1945 April 4
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16217
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16217
Online Media:

George Stout sketch of Mt. Athos from Karyas

Creator:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie), 1897-1978  Search this
Type:
Artworks
Date:
1971 August
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16536
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16536

View from the window of Room No.3

Creator:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie), 1897-1978  Search this
Type:
Artworks
Date:
August 1971
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16537
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16537

Road to the Entrance Gate, Hilander Monastery, Mt. Athos, Greece

Creator:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie), 1897-1978  Search this
Type:
Artworks
Date:
August 1971
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16538
See more items in:
George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16538

Herr Sicher, George Stout and Thomas Carr Howe inspecting paintings

Subject:
Howe, Thomas Carr  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1945 July 9
Topic:
Art and war  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15085
See more items in:
Thomas Carr Howe papers, 1932-1984
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15085
Online Media:

George Stout at entrance to the Altaussee salt mine

Subject:
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Place:
Altaussee, Austria
Date:
1945
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15087
See more items in:
Thomas Carr Howe papers, 1932-1984
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15087
Online Media:

Stephen Kovalyak, George Stout and Thomas Carr Howe transporting Michelangelo's sculpture Madonna and child

Subject:
Howe, Thomas Carr  Search this
Kovalyak, Stephen  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1945 July 9
Topic:
Art and war  Search this
Sculpture, Renaissance  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15088
See more items in:
Thomas Carr Howe papers, 1932-1984
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15088
Online Media:

Walker Hancock, Lamont Moore, George Stout and two unidentified soldiers in Marburg, Germany

Subject:
Hancock, Walker Kirtland  Search this
Moore, Lamont  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1945 June
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15969
See more items in:
Thomas Carr Howe papers, 1932-1984
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15969
Online Media:

Thomas Carr Howe, George Stout, and Karl Sieber in the Kammergrafen mine in Altaussee, Austria

Subject:
Howe, Thomas Carr  Search this
Sieber, Karl  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1945 July 9
Topic:
Art and war  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)16207
See more items in:
Thomas Carr Howe papers, 1932-1984
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_16207
Online Media:

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By