The papers of muralist, painter, and teacher Barry Faulkner measure 2.82 linear feet and date from circa 1858-1973. Faulkner's career; his relationships with family, friends, and fellow-artists; and his thoughts on art and artists are documented in biographical materials, correspondence, writings, sketchbooks, five diaries, two photograph albums and photographs, and one scrapbook. Correspondents include family members, Witter Bynner, Ann and Eric Gugler, Leon Kroll, Isabel Manship, James Johnson Sweeney, Maxfield Parrish and others. An unprocessed addition to the collection dating 1942 includes a one page letter mounted on board from Maxfield Parrish to Barry Faulkner.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of muralist, painter, and teacher Barry Faulkner measure 2.82 linear feet and date from circa 1858-1973. Faulkner's career; his relationships with family, friends, and fellow-artists; and his thoughts on art and artists are documented in biographical materials, correspondence, writings, sketchbooks, five diaries, photograph albums and photographs, and one scrapbook. An unprocessed addition to the collection dating 1942 includes a one page letter mounted on board from Maxfield Parrish to Barry Faulkner.
Biographical materials include biographical sketches, awards, and records documenting Faulkner's military service. Also found are a list of medications, a list of Faulkner's writings, party guest lists, an address book, a calendar, and materials related to the posthumous publication of Sketches From an Artist's Life. Of special interest are oversized architectural drawings by Eric Gugler for Faulkner's Keene, New Hampshire house.
Correspondence includes letters from Faulkner's friends, family, fellow artists, and art organizations and institutions. Faulkner's correspondence with his parents document his 1900-1901 trip to Italy with the Thayer family. Of special interest is his correspondence with writer Witter Bynner about Faulkner's daily life in New Hampshire, his travels through Europe, his artistic practice and career, Bynner's writings, his opinions on artistic and literary works, and his service in World War One. Many of the letters to Bynner include sketches by Faulkner of Abbott Handerson Thayer, Rockwell Kent, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Homer Saint-Gaudens, George de Forest Brush, Kahlil Gibran, and Mark Twain. Additional correspondents include sculptor Frances Grimes, architect Eric Gugler, painter Leon Kroll, and museum director James Johnson Sweeney.
Faulkner's writings are about art, artists, and the New Hampshire art community. Found are essays on Gifford Beal, George de Forest Brush, James Earle Fraser, Harriet Hosmer, Paul Manship, Charles Adams Platt, Hiram Powers, Edward Willis Redfield, Joseph Lindon Smith, Mary Lawrence Tonetti, Mark Twain, Lawrence Grant White, and Mahonri Young. Other writings discuss Faulkner's mural commissions, various aspects of New Hampshire history, and the history of the Dublin and Cornish art colonies whose inhabitants included George de Forest Brush, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and Abbott Handerson Thayer. Of special interest is a manuscript for Faulkner's posthumously published memoir Sketches From an Artist's Life, and an unpublished manuscript titled A Neighborhood of Artists about the history and culture of the Connecticut River Valley.
Four sketchbooks by Faulkner contain drawings of landscapes, city scenes, architecture, people, nature, and studies of artwork by others. Also found are two loose sketches.
Five diaries document Faulkner's 1922-1924 trip through Europe, Africa, and Asia including stops in France, Italy, Egypt, and Turkey. Diaries record Faulkner's thoughts on architecture, tourist sites, and travel amenities. Found is one diary from 1956 that discusses social events, the Saint-Gaudens Memorial, the MacDowell Colony of artists, and various artists including Gifford Beal, Maxfield Parrish, Paul Manship, and Eric Gugler.
The bulk of printed material consists of clippings which document published writings by Faulkner, obituaries and published rememberances of Faulkner, local events in Keene, New Hampshire, and reproductions of Faulkner's artwork. Also found are exhibition catalogs of other artists, an announcement of Faulklner's death from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a publication illustrated with reproductions of Faulkner's murals for the National Archives.
Photographs include formal and informal images of Faulkner throughout his life, and photographs of his family and friends, his studio, and reproductions of his artwork. Also included are two photograph albums, one of which contains photographs of Faulkner during his youth and one that contains photographs primarily from the 1930s of Faulkner's Keene, New Hampshire house, himself, and his friends and family.
The collection also includes a scrapbook prepared for Faulkner's seventieth birthday containing photographs, cards, telegrams, and placecards with hand drawn illustrations which show the "taste and characteristics" of Faulkner.
Series 2: Correspondence, 1900-1973 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings, 1912-1966 (Boxes 1-2; 1.0 linear foot)
Series 4: Sketchbooks and Sketches, circa 1910s-1930s (Boxes 2-3; 8 folders)
Series 5: Diaries, 1922-1956 (Box 2; 6 folders)
Series 6: Printed Materials, circa 1858-1966 (Boxes 2-3; 8 folders)
Series 7: Photographs, 1892-1960s (Boxes 2-3; 15 folders)
Series 8: Scrapbook, 1951 (Box 3; 2 folders)
Francis Barrett Faulkner was born on July 12, 1881 in Keene, New Hampshire. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and went on to study at Harvard College. Around this same time, Faulkner began an apprenticeship with his cousin and painter Abbott Handerson Thayer and painter George de Forest Brush. He also met sculptors James Earle Fraser and Augustus Saint-Gaudens, both of whom became Faulkner's lifelong friends.
In 1901, Faulkner traveled to Italy for the first time with Thayer and his family. He returned to New York in 1902 and studied at the Art Students League and Chase School. He also completed illustration work for Century magazine.
In 1907, Faulkner won the Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome. shortly thereafter, he left to study in Italy for three years, studying with George de Forest Brush and befriending sculptor Paul Manship. Upon his return in 1910, he started working on his first mural, commissioned by the wife of railroad executive E.H. Harriman. Having found his niche, Faulkner continued taking mural commissions until his career was interrupted by World War I and his service in the camouflage section of the army. Shortly after the war, he completed a mural for the marine headquarters in Quantico, Virginia.
Between 1923-1924, Faulkner worked in collaboration with Eric Gugler and Paul Manship to create the American Academy in Rome war memorial. Also following the war, Faulkner completed murals for the Eastman School of Music in 1922, the Rockefeller Center in 1932, and the National Archives in 1936. That same year, Faulkner bought and refurbished a house named "The Bounty" in Keene, New Hampshire, and built a studio nearby. In 1930, he was elected as a trustee of the American Academy in Rome.
During the 1940s, Faulkner created murals for numerous public buildings and sites around New Hampshire including the Senate Chambers in Concord, the Elliot Community Hospital, Keene National Bank, and the Cheshire County Savings Bank in Keene. During his final decades, Faulkner wrote an unpublished manuscript on the history of art in the Connecticut River Valley entitled A Neighborhood of Artists, and his posthumously published memoirs, Sketches of an Artist's Life. Faulkner died in 1966, in Keene, New Hampshire.
Found in the Nancy Douglas Bowditch papers at the Archives of American Art is correspondence, photographs, and printed materials related to Barry Faulkner. The Library of Congress, Manuscript Division also holds a small collection of Barry Faulkner's papers. Additional correspondence from Faulkner is found in the papers of Witter Bynner at the University of New Mexico and at Harvard University.
The collection was donated by Francis Faulkner, Barry Faulkner's nephew, in 1974. An addition to the collection was donated by Jocelyn Faulkner Bolle in 2014.
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
The Barry Faulkner 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.