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Charles Lang Freer Papers

Freer, Charles Lang, 1856-1919  Search this
131 Linear feet (29 architectural drawings)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Financial records
London (England)
Boston (Mass.)
Detroit (Mich.)
Washington (D.C.)
Kandy (Sri Lanka)
Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka)
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 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.
Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Art, American -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art, Asian -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Architecture -- Asia  Search this
Financial records
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.
See more items in:
Charles Lang Freer Papers
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
Online Media:

Fritz Rumpf Notebooks

Rumpf, Friedrich Karl Georg, 1888-1949  Search this
3 Notebooks (3 notebooks and loose notes. Notebooks are very worn and many pages are likely not in their original order. Notebook 3 is without covers)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Berlin (Germany)
circa 1914-1930s
Scope and Contents:
Three undated notebooks by artist and educator Friedrich Karl Georg (Fritz) Rumpf (1888-1949). With multiple notes in German and Japanese, and drawings in pencil, ink and wash made during his travels and research in Japan. The notebooks also contain many loose paper scraps and letters, including a draft letter addressed to Felix Tikotin.
in a box
Biographical / Historical:
Friedrich (Fritz) Karl Georg Rumpf the Younger was the son of the Potsdam painter Fritz Rumpf (1856-1927). He grew up in Potsdam and at 15 studied Japanese from a Japanese officer who attended the military school in Potsdam. After graduating from middle school, he studied at the Royal School of Arts in Berlin. He moved to Japan in 1908, where he studied woodblock printing under Igami Bonkotsu (1875-1933) and was active in the literary society "Pan no Kai." From 1910 he continued his studies in Berlin under the artist Emil Orlik. At the beginning of World War I he was sent to China as a military officer and was taken prisoner following the surrender of Qingdao to the Japanese in 1914. He was a prisoner of war in Oita and Narashino until 1920. In 1931 under Asian art historian Otto Kümmel, he produced a dissertation on the Ise monogatari woodblock print edition of 1608. Rumpf traveled extensively in Japan throughout his career. In 1927-1928 he accompanied the art collector Felix Tikotin (1893-1986) in Japan.
Local Numbers:
FSA A2015.22
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
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Online Media:

Impey Family Photograph Albums

Impey, Eugene Clutterbuck Captain  Search this
Scowen & Co.  Search this
Woodbury & Page  Search this
304 Albumen prints (approximate count)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Albumen prints
Salted paper prints
India -- description and travel
Sri Lanka
India -- West Bengal -- Calcutta (Kolkata)
circa 1850-1889
Scope and Contents:
Two personal photo albums of Captain Eugene Clutterbuck Impey containing images of his brother, Captain Henry Dixon and other unidentified photographers (some initialled in the negative) of the late 1850's and early 1860's, and British colonials. There are also images of various Indian peoples, a still life of game birds, a panoramic view supposedly of ruins after the Mutiny, and architectural images.
prints (predominantly housed in 2 photo albums) : organized in 3 boxes (2.5 linear ft.)
Biographical / Historical:
E.C. Impey, an important figure in the early photography of India, was one of a number of British soldiers to take up that medium in the 1850's-1860's. Impey, whose grandfather, Sir Elijah Impey and his wife Mary were highly important patrons of Indian painting, was also related to 19th century photographers Sir John Herschel and Julia Margaret Cameron. Sir Elijah Impey was an extremly influencial justice at the onset of British colonization of India. Despite his presence in India for only just over eight years, he was appointed to preside in Sudder Dewannee Adawlet, the court of appeals for civil causes from the provincial council, and also acted as the chief justice of the state of Bengals. In addition, he was responsible for prepring the Code of Rules,Orders and Regulation (1781) , an important colonial cornerstone of the British contribution to the codification of Indian law.
Local Numbers:
FSA A1993.09
Collection is open for research.
Salted paper prints -- 1840-1860
Albumen prints
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
Online Media:

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