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Letter To Mrs. Parsons

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1860, January 20
Scope and Contents note:
Concerns purchasing color and beginning to paint Laramie Peak.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref15

Letter To Professor Whitney

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1873, June 12
Scope and Contents note:
Concerns Whitney's being replaced on an irrigation committee by Mr. King. Bierstadt mentions that he is going to Yosemite and invites Whitney to join him.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref17

Letter to Unidentified Person

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1880s
Scope and Contents note:
Bierstadt sends an invitation to a meeting at his Tenth Street studio.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref19

Letter To Mr. Coffin

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1880s, June 14
Scope and Contents note:
Inquiry written on behalf of a "quite destitute" artist, John Irving, and his family, asking Coffin if he knows of a furnished apartment available for the family.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref21

Letter To Mr. Rives

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Extent:
(includes transcript)
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1880, June 16
Scope and Contents note:
Bierstadt writes from New York City, describing the opportunities available to art students in the city.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref23

Letter To Bierstadt's Sister

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1884, December 1
Scope and Contents note:
Concerns a commission.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref25

Letter To Mrs. Ely

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1887, April 8
Scope and Contents note:
Bierstadt invites her brother, and any of her friends, to visit him at his studio.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref27

Letter To Mr. Stedman

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Extent:
(includes transcript)
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1887, November 20
Scope and Contents note:
Letter conveys the the gift of a fragment salvaged when breaking up a piece of quartz that suggested to Bierstadt "a scarf pin for some good fellow." Bierstadt writes to Stedman of the "glorious old mountains which have given me so much happiness" from which such a fragment came.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref29

Letter To Mr. Jules Lévita

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 9
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1887, December 23
Scope and Contents note:
Bierstadt introduces David Wallace.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref31

Letter to Unidentified Person

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Extent:
(handwritten copy)
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1888, June 28
Scope and Contents note:
Discusses commissions that may result from the fact that Bierstadt has "spent much time and money on the matters referred to in your letter."
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref33

Letter To Mr. Adams

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1892, October 6
Scope and Contents note:
Bierstadt states that he is happy to show Mr. Adams's friend "the new motor."
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref35

Letter To Mr. Cooke

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1893, March 7
Scope and Contents note:
Discusses financial matters.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref37

Letter To General Miles

Collection Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Extent:
(photocopy)
Container:
Box 1 (pam), Folder 13
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1900, January 6
Scope and Contents note:
Bierstadt informs General Miles that he is sending a small painting of a Swiss landscape, The Jungfrau, as a gift for the General's daughter on the occasion of her marriage.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bieralbe-ref39

Mary K. McGuigan and John F. McGuigan, Jr. artists' letters collection, 1794-1938

Creator:
McGuigan, Mary K.  Search this
McGuigan, John F. (John Fuller)  Search this
Subject:
Rosenthal, Toby Edward  Search this
Stillman, William James  Search this
Jones, Hugh Bolton  Search this
Falconer, John Mackie  Search this
Benson, Eugene  Search this
Peale, Rembrandt  Search this
Whittredge, Worthington  Search this
Boughton, George Henry  Search this
McGuigan, John F. (John Fuller)  Search this
Tanner, Henry Ossawa  Search this
Hunt, William Morris  Search this
Bierstadt, Albert  Search this
Kensett, John Frederick  Search this
Beard, W. H. (William Holbrook)  Search this
Inness, George  Search this
White, Stanford  Search this
Stillman, Marie Spartali  Search this
Neagle, John  Search this
French, Daniel Chester  Search this
West, Benjamin  Search this
Kurtz, William  Search this
Carey, Mathew  Search this
Harding, Chester  Search this
Sartain, William  Search this
Thayer, Abbott Handerson  Search this
Inman, Henry  Search this
Cox, Kenyon  Search this
Hassam, Childe  Search this
Healy, G. P. A. (George Peter Alexander)  Search this
Palmer, Erastus Dow  Search this
Low, Will Hicok  Search this
Copley, John Singleton  Search this
Huntington, Daniel  Search this
Darley, Felix Octavius Carr  Search this
Weir, Robert Walter  Search this
Tuckerman, Henry T. (Henry Theodore)  Search this
Claghorn, James Lawrence  Search this
Church, Frederic Edwin  Search this
Morse, Samuel Finley Breese  Search this
Peale, Rubens  Search this
Colman, Samuel  Search this
Greenough, Horatio  Search this
Cropsey, Jasper Francis  Search this
Topic:
Artists  Search this
Art critics  Search this
Arts administrators  Search this
Historians  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5972
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)228068
AAA_collcode_mcgumary
Theme:
The Art Market
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_228068
Additional Online Media:

Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1880-1893

Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Topic:
Landscape painters  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Hudson River school of landscape painting  Search this
Art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5939
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208780
AAA_collcode_bieralbe
Theme:
Art Movements and Schools
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208780
Additional Online Media:

Albert Duveen collection of artists' letters and ephemera, 1807-1946

Creator:
Duveen, Albert, 1892-1965  Search this
Subject:
Olmsted, Frederick Law  Search this
Church, Frederic Edwin  Search this
Mosler, Henry  Search this
Peale, Rembrandt  Search this
Bierstadt, Albert  Search this
Rosenthal, Albert  Search this
Church, Frederick S. (Frederick Stuart)  Search this
Mayer, Constant  Search this
Inman, Henry  Search this
McEntee, Jervis  Search this
Topic:
Artists  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Collectors and collecting  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7075
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209208
AAA_collcode_duvealbe
Theme:
The Art Market
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209208
Additional Online Media:

James D. Smillie and Smillie family papers, 1853-1957

Creator:
Smillie, James David, 1833-1909  Search this
Subject:
Colman, Samuel  Search this
Smillie, George H. (George Henry),  Search this
Johnson, Eastman  Search this
Smillie, James David  Search this
Smillie, James  Search this
Smillie, Catherine Van Valkenburg  Search this
Church, Frederick S. (Frederick Stuart)  Search this
Bierstadt, Albert  Search this
Hart, Charles Henry  Search this
Smillie, Nellie Sheldon Jacobs  Search this
Tait, A.T.  Search this
Topic:
Painters  Search this
Artists  Search this
Engravers  Search this
Scrapbooks  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Engraving  Search this
Diaries  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Etchings  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13469
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209525
AAA_collcode_smilsmil
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209525
Additional Online Media:

Sanford Robinson Gifford papers, 1840s-1900, circa 1960s-1970s, bulk 1855-1881

Creator:
Gifford, Sanford Robinson, 1823-1880  Search this
Subject:
Whittredge, Worthington  Search this
Bierstadt, Albert  Search this
Topic:
Diaries  Search this
Sketchbooks  Search this
Landscape painting  Search this
Hudson River school of landscape painting  Search this
Landscape painters  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8974
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211161
AAA_collcode_giffsanf
Theme:
Diaries
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211161
Additional Online Media:

Albert Bierstadt letter collection

Creator:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Place:
Yosemite National Park (Calif.)
Date:
1860-1900
Summary:
This small collection measures 0.2 linear feet and comprises 13 letters written by renowned Hudson River School landscape painter Albert Bierstadt between 1860 and 1900. The majority of the letters were penned in the last two decades of his life and discuss his painting, the inspiration he found in nature, his studio, and concerns relating to commissions and finances.
Scope and Content Note:
This small collection measures 0.2 linear feet and comprises 13 letters written by renowned Hudson River School landscape painter Albert Bierstadt between 1860 and 1900. The majority of the letters were penned in the last two decades of his life.

Bierstadt writes specifically of his work in several of the letters and refers to two paintings, Laramie Peak and The Jungfrau. In one letter he writes of the inspiration he finds in nature through his love of the mountains. Bierstadt invites friends to his studio in New York City, mentions a trip to Yosemite in the 1870s and writes letters of introduction on behalf of friends. Two of the letters concern commissions and discuss financial matters.
Arrangement:
Due to the small size of this collection, items are arranged as one chronological series.

Series 1: Albert Bierstadt Letters, 1860-1900 (Box 1; 13 items)
Biographical Note:
Albert Bierstadt was born in Solingen, Germany, in January 1830. His family emigrated to the United States when he was two years of age and settled in Bedford, Massachusetts.

In 1853 Bierstadt traveled to Germany to study painting at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. In 1858, following his return to the United States, he gained national attention for organizing a large exhibition of paintings including fifteen of his own works. Bierstadt drew inspiration from the painters of the Hudson River School, and regularly visited the White Mountains of New Hampshire to make sketches for his landscape paintings.

In 1859 Bierstadt traveled to the Colorado and Wyoming territories sketching landscapes in the company of a United States government survey expedition. On his return he took studio space at the new Tenth Street Studio Building in New York City and began a series of large-scale western landscape paintings, including Yosemite Valley and Thunderstorm in the Rocky Mountains. These paintings, known for their theatrical and romantic depiction of the grandeur and drama of the American West, brought Bierstadt great popularity during the 1860s.

Bierstadt's paintings were widely exhibited in the United States and abroad and commanded some of the highest prices in American art at the time, although his reputation began to decline somewhat in the 1880s in the face of changing public tastes.

Bierstadt was a member of the Century Association from 1862-1902 and a member of the National Academy of Design from 1860 until his death in 1902.
Related Material:
Also found at the Archives of American Art are the Robert Neuhaus papers concerning Clyfford Still and Albert Bierstadt, 1884-1984 (bulk 1941-1984). A circa 1875 photograph of Bierstadt by Bierstadt Brothers given to the Archives by an unknown donor is available in the Archives of American Art's Photographs of Artists Collection I and online.
Provenance:
The collection was acquired by the Archives of American Art in a series of accessions between 1955 and 2001. Six letters were donated by Charles Feinberg in 1955-1957; one letter was donated by Letitia Howe in 1976; one letter was donated by Mrs. Miles Reber, grandaughter-in-law of General Nelson in 1976; two letters were purchased from Charles Hamilton Autographs in 1956; one letter was purchased from Steele in 1956; and one letter was purchased from Scott J. Winslow Associates in 2001.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Rights:
The Albert Bierstadt letter collecton is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Hudson River school of landscape painting  Search this
Landscape painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Citation:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection, 1860-1900. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bieralbe
See more items in:
Albert Bierstadt letter collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bieralbe
Additional Online Media:

Sanford Robinson Gifford papers

Creator:
Gifford, Sanford Robinson, 1823-1880  Search this
Names:
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Whittredge, Worthington, 1820-1910  Search this
Extent:
0.9 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Place:
Europe -- description and travel
Egypt -- description and travel
Date:
1840s-1900, circa 1960s-1970s
Summary:
The papers of landscape painter Sanford Robinson Gifford, date from the 1840s through 1900, and circa 1960s-1970s. The bulk of the papers fall between 1855-1881; material from the circa 1960s-1970s consists of photographic copy prints for which the Archives does not have the originals. The small collection measures 0.9 linear feet of scattered documentation of Gifford's life, primarily extensive biographical accounts of his travels in the mid 1850s and late 1860s in the form of bound letters to his father. These serve as detailed journals of his impressions of Europe and the Middle East, the development of his painting, and his relationships with other artists such as Albert Bierstadt and Worthington Whittredge. The collection also contains sketches by Gifford, printed material including catalogs of Gifford's paintings, and photographs of Gifford and others.
Scope and Content Note:
The collection dates from the 1840s through 1900, and circa 1960s-1970s with the bulk of the material falling between 1855-1881. Material from circa 1960s-1970s consists of photographic copy prints of original photographs from the mid to late 1800s for which the Archives does not own the originals. The papers measure 0.9 linear feet and provide detailed documentation of the life of Hudson River School landscape painter, Sanford Robinson Gifford, during the mid 1850s and late 1860s. The papers contain extensive accounts of Gifford's travels in 3 bound volumes of typewritten letters from Gifford to his father. These letters serve as travel journals and provide extensive and vivid descriptions of Gifford's work and experiences in Europe and the Middle East, and document his relationships with a variety of other artists, including Alfred Bierstadt and Worthington Whittredge, during this period.

Additional records provide scattered documenation of other periods of Gifford's life. Letters refer to his travels in the American west and his Civil War service and its effect on his painting. Printed material includes clippings and exhibition catalogs, and includes a catalogue of his paintings published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1881. Artwork by Gifford includes sketches by the artist and prints, engravings and paintings by various others. Original photographs date from 1856-1900 and include images of Gifford during the Civil War. Copyprints for which the Archives does not own the originals date from the circa 1960s-1970s and include two images of a family home in Hudson, New York, where Gifford had a studio in the mid 1860s, a portrait photograph of Gifford, and an image of Gifford on the Hayden expedition.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 4 series:

Series 1: Letters, 1855-1874 (Box 1; 3 volumes, 1 folder)

Series 2: Printed Material, circa 1850s-1881 (Box 2; 4 folders)

Series 3: Artwork, circa 1840s-circa 1870s (Box 2, OV 3; 4 folders)

Series 4: Photographs and Copy Prints, 1856-circa 1900, circa 1960s-1970s (Box 2, 5, OV 4; 11 folders)
Biographical Note:
Sanford Robinson Gifford was born in Greenfield, New York, in 1823. He attended Brown University from 1842-1844 and moved to New York City in 1845 where he studied drawing, perspective and anatomy under the direction of the British watercolorist and drawing-master, John R. Smith. He also studied the human figure in anatomy classes at the Crosby Street Medical college and took drawing classes at the National Academy of Design. In 1846 he visited the Berkshire Hills and the Catskill Mountains, sketching from nature. "These studies," he wrote to O. B. Frothingham in 1874, "together with the great admiration I felt for the works of Cole developed a strong interest in landscape art, and opened my eyes to a keener perception and more intelligent enjoyment of nature. Having once enjoyed the absolute freedom of the landscape painters life I was unable to return to portrait painting."

The American Art Union bought and showed some of Gifford's first pictures in 1847. In 1851 he was elected an associate, and in 1854 an academician, of the National Academy of Design.

Gifford traveled widely to sketch landscapes for future paintings, recording his experiences in letters to his father which he intended would "serve the double purpose of letter and journal, and be an economy of time." He requested that his father number the letters sequentially and keep them together.

In the summer of 1855 Gifford visited England, Scotland and Paris, where he spent the winter of 1855 transforming his English and Scottish sketches into paintings. In the fall of 1856 he rented a studio in Rome and, over the course of the winter, painted pictures that reportedly pleased him "pretty well," including Lake Nemi. During the spring of 1857, Gifford spent time with fellow artists Worthington Whittredge, William H. Beard and Albert Bierstadt before leaving Rome in May with Bierstadt for a walking tour of southern Italy, where they planned to reconnect with Whittredge and Beard. Gifford ended his European tour with a visits to Innsbruck, Munich, Vienna, Prague, Dresden, Berlin and Paris, before returning to the United States at the end of the summer.

On his return Gifford rented studio Number 19 in the Tenth Street Studio Building in New York City, which he retained until his death. Over the next few years he also made frequent summer trips to various northeastern locales including the Catskills, the Adirondacks, the Green Mountains in Vermont, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, Maine and Nova Scotia.

Gifford served in New York's Seventh Regiment when it marched to the defense of Washington in April 1861, and again in 1862 and 1863. Several paintings resulted from this experience, including Sunday Morning at Camp Cameron (1861), Bivouac of the Seventh Regiment at Arlington Heights, Virginia (1861) and Camp of the Seventh Regiment, near Frederick, Maryland, in July 1863 (1864).

In 1868 Gifford returned to Europe, again visiting London and Paris, where he met with friends Jervis McEntee and his wife. He then spent the summer visiting the Alps and Sicily before wintering in Rome. In 1869 he traveled to Egypt where he and a small party hired a boat to take them on a two-month voyage from Cairo down the Nile River. Subsequently, Gifford traveled to the Middle East with Alfred Craven via the Suez Canal, where his itinerary included Syria, Jerusalem, Samaria, Damascus, Greece and Turkey. Gifford arrived in Venice in June 1869 and sailed for the United States at the beginning of September.

In 1870 Gifford visited Colorado with Worthington Whittredge and John Frederick Kensett, and accompanied a United States Geological party under Dr. Hayden in the exploration of Wyoming, Utah, and the Colorado Territories. In the summer of 1873 he visited California, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska.

Gifford married in 1877 but in 1880 became ill and died of malarial fever and pneumonia at the age of 58. That same year he was honored with the Metropolitan Museum of Art's first monographic retrospective and a memorial catalogue of his known pictures.
Related Material:
Five sketchbooks were loaned by Vassar College in 1966 and the originals were returned to the donor after microfilming on reel D254.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels D254 and 688) including twenty-one sketchbooks, photographs, passports and certificates, an 1888 European travel diary of Mary Louise Willard, wife of Gifford's nephew, Harold, and a 1966 letter. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Edith Wilkinson first donated the Sanford Robinson Gifford papers in 1955 and 1957. James C. Gifford donated copy prints of photographs in 1964. Five sketchbooks were lent for microfilming by the Vassar College Art Library in 1966 and George and Frances Gifford Cummings donated additional material in 1973. In 1974, sixteen sketchbooks, photographs, and other materials were lent for microfilming by Dr. Sanford Gifford, Gifford's great-nephew.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Rights:
The Sanford Robinson Gifford papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865  Search this
Landscape painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Hudson River school of landscape painting  Search this
Landscape painting -- 19th century -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Sanford Robinson Gifford papers, 1840s-1900, circa 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.giffsanf
See more items in:
Sanford Robinson Gifford papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-giffsanf
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