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Dewitt Clinton Ramsey

Artist:
Thomas E. Stephens  Search this
Medium:
Portrait, painting, oil on canvas
Dimensions:
2-D - In Frame (H x W x D): 108.6 × 93.3 × 8.3cm (42 3/4 × 36 3/4 × 3 1/4 in.)
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 90.2 x 74.9cm (35 1/2 x 29 1/2 in.)
Type:
ART-Paintings-Portraits
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Dewitt Clinton Ramsey, Washington, DC
Inventory Number:
A19700075000
Restrictions & Rights:
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19700075000

Edward S. Curtis papers and photographs

Creator:
Curtis, Edward S., 1868-1952  Search this
Extent:
86 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1895-2001
bulk 1898-1951
Scope and Contents:
The Edward S. Curtis papers and photographs, circa 1895-2001 (bulk 1898-1951) primarily relate to Curtis's work on his opus, the North American Indian (NAI), although other subjects are documented as well. The papers relate closely to the Edward S. Curtis papers at the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections (UW), as that collection was donated by Curtis's daughter Florence Graybill and appears to be part of the same body of materials that was maintained by Curtis, and after his death, by Florence. Occasionally a correspondence exchange or manuscript draft is divided between the National Anthropological Archives and UW. Also found in both collections are notes, mostly dated 1951, in Curtis's handwriting on slips of paper or the document itself that gives an explanation of the document.

The collection includes correspondence, research notes, NAI files and promotional material, writings and memoirs, a small amount of material relating to a complaint regarding his reporting in NAI of certain Pueblo ceremonies, and correspondence and other documents relating to his gold mining interests. Also included are papers of Florence Graybill, who published on Curtis after his death and maintained contacts with various individuals and entities involved in Curtis exhibits, publications, and sales.

The correspondence exchanges are almost exclusively NAI related and document the relationships Curtis had with various influential people, including Gifford Pinchot, Joseph Blethen, Jacob Riis, William Farabee, Smithsonian scholars Frederick Webb Hodge and Matilda Coxe Stevenson, and the immediate and extended family of Theodore Roosevelt. Included are letters of introduction for Curtis as he sought to promote his work.

The research notes consist of a small mixture of writings on field experiences as well as maps used during his fieldwork (the bulk of Curtis's fieldnotes and NAI manuscripts are at the Seaver Center in the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History). The NAI files chiefly contain material promoting the work, such as published reviews, articles, and ephemera, but there are a few North American Indian Inc. business records (the bulk of the business records are maintained at the Pierpont Morgan Library). Of note is a lengthy annual report for the North American Indian, Inc., in which Curtis explains difficulties encountered in the fieldwork and volume publication. Related to his NAI work are letters and other materials documenting a 1934 complaint from Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior on Curtis's reporting of certain Pueblo ceremonies, as well as Curtis's response.

The writings comprise manuscript drafts on various topics. Most are short, stand-alone stories relating to his NAI work, often relaying a story about his own experiences. Similar stories can be found in Florence Graybill's papers, as she published some of them after his death. Also part of the writings are drafts for several chapters of Curtis's unpublished memoir, "As it Was."

Curtis's interest in gold mining is represented in correspondence and other material dating from 1938-1950. Most of the letters are between Curtis and his son Harold. Curtis's invention of a concentrator for separating fine gold from placer tailings is also documented in photographs and drawings.

Florence Graybill's papers pertain to writings, talks, and projects relating to Curtis after his death. Included are publication files for Graybill's biography of Curtis written with Victor Boesen, Visions of a Vanishing Race, as well as other of her articles and book reviews. Graybill's correspondence reveals her commitment to assist scholars and others interested in researching and exhibiting Curtis material, as well as her communication with individuals having a commercial interest in Curtis. Also present are Graybill's lecture notes for talks given, and articles and newspaper features on Curtis written by others.

The photographs in this collection primarily relate to Curtis's NAI work (1898-1927) and are a mix of original and working copy negatives, prints, and transparencies. The original negatives are remarkable in that they reveal some of Curtis's working methods in crafting his images through pencil and other enhancements, as well as showing removal of unwanted items from the image. Also of note are two original logbooks used for recording negatives from approximately 1895-1916. The majority of the prints appear to be silver gelatin prints made for reference; however, there are a fair number of platinum prints as well as several blue-toned silver prints in the collection. There are only a few cyanotypes.

Among the photographs is a deerskin-bound photograph album containing Harriman Alaska Expedition and NAI photographs, representing some of Curtis's earliest Native American subjects. These include images of people from the Puget Sound area as well as from his 1900 trip to the Blackfoot reservation. There are no annotations in the album; however, tucked among the pages are a few small notes of identification in Curtis's handwriting.

Photographs documenting other subjects are also present to a lesser degree. Among these are photographs of Curtis's Seattle photography studio, a 1915 Grand Canyon trip, hop field workers in the Puget Sound area, and Curtis's illustrations for Marah Ryan's book Flute of the Gods. Additionally, the collection contains a number of photographs of Curtis, his children, and portraits of various individuals including Theodore Roosevelt and actor Anna May Wong.
Arrangement:
The Edward S. Curtis papers and photographs are arranged into the following 10 series:

Series 1: Biographical information, 1919-1952

Series 2: Correspondence, 1904-1951

Series 3: Research notes, 1900-1930, undated

Series 4: North American Indian, circa 1906-1920

Series 5: Writings, 1906, 1948, undated

Series 6: Complaint regarding Curtis's reporting of Pueblo ceremonies, 1924-1935

Series 7: Gold mining, 1938-1950

Series 8. Florence Curtis Graybill papers, 1948-2001

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1896-1927

Series 10: Duplicate material, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Edward Sherriff Curtis (1868-1952) was an American photographer famous for his photographs of the indigenous peoples of North America. His work was highly influential in shaping a sympathetic yet romantic view of cultures that he and many others believed to be "vanishing." Over the course of 30 years, Curtis visited more than 80 Native American communities and published his photographs and ethnographies in the twenty-volume North American Indian (NAI) (1907-1930).

Curtis was born in Whitewater, Wisconsin, to Ellen and Johnson Curtis in 1868. In about 1874, his family moved to a farm in Cordova, Minnesota. At a young age, Curtis built a camera, and it is possible that he may have worked in a Minneapolis photography studio for a time. In 1887, Curtis and his father moved West and settled on a plot near what is now Port Orchard, Washington, with the rest of the family joining them the following year. When Johnson Curtis died within a month of the family's arrival, 20-year-old Curtis became the head of the family.

In 1891, Curtis moved to Seattle and bought into a photo studio with Rasmus Rothi. Less than a year later, he and Thomas Guptill formed "Curtis and Guptill, Photographers and Photoengravers." The endeavor became a premier portrait studio for Seattle society and found success in photoengraving for many local publications. In 1892, Curtis married Clara Phillips (1874-1932) and in 1893 their son Harold was born (1893-1988), followed by Elizabeth (Beth) (1896-1973), Florence (1899-1987) and Katherine (Billy) (1909-?). Around 1895, Curtis made his first photographs of local Native people, including the daughter of Duwamish chief Seattle: Kickisomlo or "Princess Angeline." Curtis submitted a series of his Native American photographs to the National Photographic Convention, and received an award in the category of "genre studies" for Homeward (later published in volume 9 of the NAI). In 1896, the entire Curtis family moved to Seattle, which included Curtis's mother, his siblings Eva and Asahel, Clara's sisters Susie and Nellie Phillips, and their cousin William Phillips. Most of the household worked in Curtis's studio along with other employees. Curtis became sole proprietor of the studio in 1897, which remained a popular portrait studio but also sold his scenic landscapes and views of the Seattle Area. Curtis also sent his brother Asahel to Alaska and the Yukon to photograph the Klondike Gold Rush, and sold those views as well. Asahel went on to become a well-known photographer in his own right, primarily working in the American Northwest.

Curtis was an avid outdoorsman and joined the Mazamas Club after his first of many climbs of Mount Rainier. On a climb in 1898, Curtis met a group of scientists, including C. Hart Merriam, George Bird Grinnell, and Gifford Pinchot, who had lost their way on the mountain, and led them to safety. This encounter led to an invitation from Merriam for Curtis to accompany a group of over 30 well-known scientists, naturalists, and artists as the official photographer on a maritime expedition to the Alaskan coast. Funded by railroad magnate Edward Harriman, the Harriman Alaska Expedition left Seattle in May of 1899, and returned at the end of July. Curtis made around 5000 photographs during the trip, including photographs of the indigenous peoples they met as well as views of mountains, glaciers, and other natural features. Many of the photographs appeared in the expedition's 14 published volumes of their findings.

In 1900, Curtis accompanied Grinnell to Montana for a Blackfoot Sundance. Here, Curtis made numerous photographs and became interested in the idea of a larger project to document the Native peoples of North America. Almost immediately upon returning from the Sundance, Curtis set off for the Southwest to photograph Puebloan communities. By 1904, Curtis had already held at least one exhibit of his "Indian pictures" and his project to "form a comprehensive and permanent record of all the important tribes of the United States and Alaska that still retain to a considerable degree their primitive customs and traditions" (General Introduction, the NAI) had taken shape and already received some press coverage. With his fieldwork now increasing his absences from home, Curtis hired Adolph Muhr, former assistant to Omaha photographer Frank Rinehart, to help manage the Seattle studio.

In 1904, Curtis was a winner in the Ladies Home Journal "Prettiest Children In America" portrait contest. His photograph of Marie Fischer was selected as one of 112 that would be published and Fischer was one of 12 children selected from the photographs who would have their portrait painted by Walter Russell. Russell and Curtis made an acquaintance while Russell was in Seattle to paint Fischer's portrait, and not long afterwards, Russell contacted Curtis to make photographic studies of Theodore Roosevelt's children for portraits he would paint. Curtis subsequently photographed the entire Roosevelt family, and developed a social connection with the President. Several important outcomes came of this new friendship, including Roosevelt eventually writing the foreword to the NAI, as well as making introductions to influential people.

Key among these introductions was one to wealthy financier John Pierpont Morgan, in 1906. After a brief meeting with Curtis during which he viewed several of Curtis's photographs of Native Americans, Morgan agreed to finance the fieldwork for the NAI project for five years, at $15,000.00 per year. It was up to Curtis to cover publishing and promotion costs, with the publication being sold as a subscription. In return, Morgan would receive 25 sets of the 20-volume publication. The ambitious publication plan outlined 20 volumes of ethnological text, each to be illustrated with 75 photogravure prints made from acid-etched copper plates. Each volume would be accompanied by a companion portfolio of 35 large photogravures. With high-quality papers and fine binding, a set would cost $3000.00. 500 sets were planned. Under Morgan, the North American Indian, Inc. formed as body to administer the monies. Also around this time, Frederick Webb Hodge, Director of the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology, agreed to edit the publications.

Curtis then began more systematic fieldwork, accompanied by a team of research assistants and Native interpreters. In 1906, Curtis hired William E. Myers, a former journalist, as a field assistant and stenographer. Over the years, Myers became the lead researcher on the project, making enormous contributions in collecting data and possibly doing the bulk of the writing for the first 18 volumes. Upon meeting a new community, Curtis and his team would work on gathering data dealing with all aspects of the community's life, including language, social and political organization, religion, food ways, measures and values, and many other topics. (See box 2 folder 1 in this collection for Curtis's list of topics.) Curtis and his assistants, especially Myers, brought books and papers to the field relating to the tribes they were currently concerned with, and often wrote from the field to anthropologists at the Bureau of American Ethnology and other institutions for information or publications. In addition to fieldnotes and photographs, the team also employed sound recording equipment, making thousands of recordings on wax cylinders. Curtis also often brought a motion picture camera, although few of his films have survived.

The first volume of the NAI was published towards the end of 1907. Already, Curtis was encountering difficulty in finding subscribers to the publication despite great praise in the press and among those who could afford the volumes. Curtis spent progressively more of his time outside the field season promoting the project through lectures and in 1911, presenting his "Picture Musicale"—a lecture illustrated with lantern slides and accompanied by an original musical score—in major cities. After the initial five funded years, only eight of the twenty volumes had been completed. However, Morgan agreed to continue support for the fieldwork and publication continued.

Starting in 1910, Curtis and his team worked among the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation on Vancouver Island, and in 1913 began to develop a documentary film project featuring the community in Alert Bay. In 1914, Curtis produced the feature-length film, In the Land of the Headhunters. The film showcased an all-indigenous cast and included an original musical score. Screened in New York and Seattle, it received high praise. However after this initial success, it did not receive the attention Curtis had hoped for, and resulted in financial loss.

Meanwhile, Curtis's prolonged absences from home had taken a toll on his marriage and in 1919 Clara and Edward divorced. The Seattle studio was awarded to Clara, and Curtis moved to Los Angeles, opening a photography studio with his daughter Beth and her husband Manford "Mag" Magnuson. Daughters Florence and Katherine came to Los Angeles sometime later. Curtis continued with fieldwork and promotion of the project, and in 1922 volume 12 of the NAI was published. Also in 1922, Curtis was accompanied during the field season in California by his daughter Florence Curtis Graybill, the first time a family member had gone to the field with him since the Curtis children were very small.

Curtis continued to push the project and publications along, yet never without financial struggle and he picked up work in Hollywood as both a still and motion picture photographer. John Pierpont Morgan, Jr., continued to provide funding for the fieldwork in memory of his father, but with the various financial upsets of the 1910s and 1920s, Curtis had a difficult time getting subscribers on board. In 1926, Myers, feeling the strain, regretfully resigned after the completion of volume 18. Anthropologist Frank Speck recommended Stewart Eastwood, a recent graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, to replace Myers as ethnologist for the final two volumes.

In 1927, Curtis and his team, along with his daughter Beth Curtis Magnuson, headed north from Seattle to Alaska and Canada on a final field season. Harsh weather and a hip injury made the trip difficult for Curtis, but he was very satisfied with the season's work. The party returned to Seattle, and upon arrival Curtis was arrested for unpaid alimony. He returned exhausted to Los Angeles, and in 1930 the final two volumes of NAI were published without fanfare. Curtis spent the next two years recovering from physical and mental exhaustion. Beth and Mag continued to run the Curtis studio in LA, but for the most part, Curtis had set down his camera for good. With the NAI behind him and his health recovered, Curtis pursued various interests and employment; he continued to do some work in Hollywood, including working on The Plainsman, starring Gary Cooper.

In 1933 Curtis was publicly criticized by John Collier, the Commissioner for Indian Affairs for some of the statements he had made on certain Pueblo ceremonies in the NAI volume 16, published in 1924. In September of 1934 Curtis received a letter from Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior regarding the claims published in volume 16, demanding a printed apology to be distributed among the text of the book as well as removal of the offending text from any undistributed copies of the publication. Curtis spent months writing and compiling supporting documentation in his defense, which he submitted to Ickes in January 1935. Also in 1935, the Morgan estate liquidated the North American Indian, Inc. and sold the remaining sets of the NAI volumes and unbound pages, photogravures, and copper printing plates along with the rights to the material to Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat for $1000.00.

Curtis's interest in gold prospecting took a front seat in the mid-1930s. While he scouted for potentially profitable mines in Northern California, his friend Ted Shell and possibly his son Harold sought investors. However, nothing ever fully panned out, though Curtis did design and build a concentrator for separating fine gold from placer tailings. He later sold the patent for ten dollars. Eventually, Curtis settled down on a farm outside Los Angeles, moving later to live with Beth and Mag, where he stayed until his death. In the mid to late 1940s Curtis began to write his memoirs. His daughter Florence visited him regularly and typed as Curtis dictated his recollections, and at some point he completed a draft of a memoir titled "As it Was." He also went through his papers and annotated or tucked notes among the correspondence and other material giving a brief explanation of the item or its context. Curtis died at home in 1952.

Prior to his death, Curtis had been out of the public eye for some years, and the NAI had slipped into relative obscurity. The Curtis studio in Los Angeles continued to sell Curtis's Native American photographs, and Florence gave occasional talks on her father, but it wasn't until the early 1970s that Curtis's work saw a renewed interest. This renaissance took place largely in the art photography market, but Curtis's biography and the NAI were also getting treatment in publications. Florence Curtis Graybill partnered with Victor Boesen to produce two narrative histories of Curtis and his work, and these were followed by many others. Florence continued to publish short works on her father for many years, and stayed in touch with numerous people involved in projects both scholarly and commercial that related to Curtis's work.

Sources Cited

Davis, Barbara. Edward S. Curtis: the life and times of a shadowcatcher. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1984.

Gidley, Mick. The North American Indian, Incorporated. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Chronology

1868 -- Curtis is born in Whitewater, Wisconsin

circa 1874 -- Curtis family moves to Cordova, Minnesota

1887 -- Moves with his father to Washington territory to be joined by his mother and siblings in 1888

1891 -- With Rasmus Rothi forms Rothi & Curtis photography studio in Seattle

1892 -- Marries Clara Phillips With Thomas Guptill forms Curtis & Guptill Photographers and Photoengravers in Seattle

circa 1895 -- Becomes interested in photographing the indigenous people of the area

1897 -- Guptill leaves, Curtis establishes himself as Edward S. Curtis, Photographer and Photoengraver

1898 -- Meets C. Hart Merriam, George Bird Grinnell, and Gifford Pinchot during climb on Mount Rainier Receives first place award from the National Photographic Convention in the "Genre Studies" for his photographs of Native Americans

1899 -- Joins Harriman Alaska Expedition as official photographer at request of C. Hart Merriam and George Bird Grinnell

1900 -- Accompanies George Bird Grinnell to Blackfoot reservation in Montana for Sundance Becomes interested in a major project to document Native American tribes Travels to Arizona to photograph Hopi communities

circa 1902 -- Travels again to the southwest to photograph Native communities

1903 -- Holds first formal exhibit of Native American photographs in his studio

1904 -- Publicly announces intention to produce major publication on Native Americans Portrait entered in the Ladies Home Journal "Prettiest Children in America" contest is selected for publication and as a result, Curtis is asked to photograph President Theodore Roosevelt's family

circa 1904-1906 -- Conducts fieldwork among Native communities of the southwest

1906 -- Meets with J. P. Morgan, who agrees to finance the fieldwork for Curtis's project Hires William E. Myers as researcher and writer for the project

1907 -- Volume 1 of NAI is published

1908 -- Volumes 2 and 3 of NAI are published

1909 -- Volumes 4 and 5 of NAI are published

1911 -- Volumes 6, 7, and 8 of NAI are published Presents and tours the "Picture Musicale"

1913 -- J. P. Morgan dies, but his son agrees to continue to provide support for NAI Volume 9 of NAI is published

1914 -- Releases film In the Land of the Headhunters

1915 -- Volume 10 of NAI is published

1916 -- Volume 11 of NAI is published

1919 -- Edward and Clara Curtis divorce and the Seattle studio is awarded to Clara Moves to Los Angeles and opens new studio with daughter Beth and her husband, Manford Magnuson

1922 -- Volume 12 of NAI is published Conducts fieldwork in California with daughter Florence Curtis Graybill

1924 -- Volumes 13 and 14 of NAI are published

1926 -- Volumes 15, 16, and 17 of NAI are published William E. Myers resigns as chief writer and ethnologist of NAI

1927 -- Conducts fieldwork in Alaska and Canada for final NAI volume with daughter Beth Curtis Magnuson

1928 -- Volume 18 of NAI is published

1930 -- Volumes 19 and 20 of NAI are published

circa 1930-1950 -- Applies himself to various interests, especially gold mining

1952 -- Dies in Los Angeles at the home of Beth and Manford Magnuson
Related Materials:
The National Anthropological Archives holds additional Curtis papers and photographs in MS 2000-18, the Edward Curtis investigation of the battle of Little Bighorn and Photo Lot 59, the Library of Congress copyright prints collection.

The Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University holds Curtis's wax cylinder audio recordings from 1907-1913.

The Braun Research Library at the Autry Museum of the American West holds the Frederick Webb Hodge papers (1888-1931), which contain substantial correspondence from Curtis. The Braun also holds a small amount of Curtis papers and photographs, including some of Curtis's cyanotypes.

The Getty Research Institute holds the Edward S. Curtis papers (1900-1978), which include the original manuscript scores for the Curtis Picture Musicale and film In the Land of the Headhunters.

The Palace of the Governors at the New Mexico History Museum holds original Curtis negatives pertaining to the southwest.

The Pierpont Morgan Library holds the Edward S. Curtis papers (1906-1947), which contain the records of the North American Indian, Inc., as well as Curtis's correspondence to librarian, and later library director, Belle Da Costa Greene. The library also holds a large collection of Curtis's lantern slides, used in his Picture Musicale.

The Seattle Public Library holds correspondence of Curtis to Librarian Harriet Leitch (1948-1951), pertaining to his career.

The Seaver Center for Western History Research at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History holds collection GC 1143, which contains Curtis's field notes as well as manuscript drafts for the North American Indian.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian holds NMAI.AC.080, the Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs, as well as NMAI.AC.053, the Mary Harriman Rumsey collection of Harriman Alaska Expedition photographs.

The University of Washington Libraries Special Collections holds the Edward S. Curtis papers (1893-1983). Additionally, the Burke Museum holds papers and photographs of Edmund Schwinke, which relate to Curtis's work with the Kwakwaka'wakw community.
Separated Materials:
Artifacts collected by Curtis that were a part of this donation comprise Accession No. 2058745 in the collections of the Department of Anthropology in the National Museum of Natural History.
Provenance:
The papers and photographs were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Jim Graybill, grandson of Edward S. Curtis, in 2010 and 2011.
Restrictions:
Viewing of the photographic negatives and transparencies requires advance notice and the permission of the Photo Archivist.

Access to the Edward S. Curtis papers and photographs requires an appointment.
Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Identifier:
NAA.2010-28
See more items in:
Edward S. Curtis papers and photographs
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-2010-28
Additional Online Media:

Lilly Martin Spencer papers

Creator:
Spencer, Lilly Martin, 1822-1902  Search this
Names:
Sorosis (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Avery, Samuel Putnam, 1822-1904  Search this
Ingersoll, Robert Green, 1833-1899  Search this
Sartain, John, 1808-1897  Search this
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 1815-1902  Search this
Extent:
0.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1828-1966
Summary:
The papers of portrait and genre painter Lilly Martin Spencer, measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1828-1966. The collection includes biographical material, scattered lists, notes, receipts, and legal documents relating to Spencer's life and work, Spencer's business and family correspondence, printed material, a lithograph, photographs of Spencer and others, and photographs of Spencer's artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of portrait and genre painter Lilly Martin Spencer, measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1828-1966. The collection includes biographical material, scattered lists, notes, receipts, and legal documents relating to Spencer's life and work, Spencer's business and family correspondence, printed material, a lithograph, photographs of Spencer and others, and photos of Spencer's artwork.

The collection documents Spencer's popularity and success as a painter, her involvement with art associations and civic organizations such as Sorosis, and her personal life as a wife, mother, and breadwinner through correspondence with family, artists including John Sartain and Benjamin John Lossing, dealers including Samuel Putnam Avery, writers and editors such as Robert Green Ingersoll and Fannie Raymond Bitter, and social activists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as four series:

Series 1: Biographical Material and Other Papers, 1853-1959 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, OV 3)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1828-1966 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1857-1961 (0.2 linear feet; Box 2, OV 3)

Series 4: Photographs, circa 1890-circa 1950 (0.1 linear feet; Box 2)
Biographical / Historical:
New York and Ohio painter Lilly Martin Spencer (1822-1902) was known for her popular portrait paintings and humorous domestic genre scenes.

Spencer was born Angelique Marie Martin in England to French parents, Giles and Angelique Martin, who were followers of the French social critic Charles Fournier. The family came to New York in 1830, moved to Marietta, Ohio, in 1833 and, in 1845, co-founded the communal settlement, Trumbull Phalanx, near Braceville, Ohio. In 1848, after her marriage to Benjamin Spencer at the age of 22, Spencer returned to New York. She achieved much success as a painter and was the main breadwinner for her family while giving birth to thirteen children, seven of whom survived to adulthood. The family moved several times, to Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Newark, New Jersey; and Highlands and Poughkeepsie, New York.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also has microfilm (reel 132) of the Martin family papers and Campus Martius Museum records regarding Lilly Martin Spencer. Originals are located at the Campus Martius Museum, Ohio Historical Society.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming on reel 131 including family history; biographical material; circa 50 photographs of Spencer and her paintings; M.A. thesis, "Lilly Martin Spencer: American Painter of the Nineteenth Century," by Ann Byrd Schumer; articles about Spencer's life and work, 1959; and a list of paintings owned by her granddaughter, Lillian Spencer Gates. Loaned materials were returned to the donor and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 1971 by Lillian Spencer Gates, Spencer's granddaughter.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
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.
Occupation:
Portrait painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre painters -- Ohio  Search this
Portrait painters -- Ohio  Search this
Topic:
Women painters  Search this
Citation:
Lilly Martin Spencer papers, 1828-1966. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.spenlill
See more items in:
Lilly Martin Spencer papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-spenlill

New Perspectives on Portraiture: Prince Demah - National Portrait Gallery

Creator:
National Portrait Gallery  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2018-11-20T21:43:52.000Z
Topic:
Portraits  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
NatlPortraitGallery
YouTube Channel:
NatlPortraitGallery
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_SZ90wmx4im8

Portrait in a Minute: Charles Willson Peale - National Portrait Gallery

Creator:
National Portrait Gallery  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2014-05-13T19:19:31.000Z
Topic:
Portraits  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
NatlPortraitGallery
YouTube Channel:
NatlPortraitGallery
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_nx_o_RbApQc

Sargent : obras maestras / Stephanie L. Herdrich ; traducción, María Luisa Balseiro

Author:
Herdrich, Stephanie L.  Search this
Subject:
Sargent, John Singer 1856-1925 Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Physical description:
221 pages : illustrations (some color), portraits (some color) ; 29 cm
Type:
Biography
Catalogs
Place:
United States
Date:
2018
Topic:
Painters  Search this
Watercolor painting, American  Search this
Portrait painting, American  Search this
Call number:
ND237.S3 H4718 2018
N40.1.S24 H47sa 2018
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1109184

Special exhibition of Indian : Portraits painted from life / by Mr. J. H. Sharp. From Dec. 17 to 22, inclusive

Author:
Sharp, Joseph Henry 1859-1953  Search this
Physical description:
6 p. : ill. ; 16 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1901
Topic:
Portraits  Search this
Call number:
E89 .S4
E89.S4
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_337982

Salon Particulier de la Reine au Palais de Buckingham. (The Queen's Sitting Room at Buckingham Palace)

Artist:
James Roberts, British, active France, ca. 1800–1867  Search this
Medium:
Brush and watercolor, gouache, gum Arabic, graphite on white wove watercolor paper Attached label: Brush and black ink, graphite, ruled lines over gold paint on cream paperboard
Type:
interiors
Drawing
Object Name:
Drawing
Date:
August 1848
Credit Line:
Thaw Collection
Accession Number:
2007-27-85
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_2007-27-85

View of the Picture Gallery at the Château d'Eu (Vue de la Galerie au Château d'Eu)

Artist:
Alexandre Dominique Denuelle, 1818 – 1879  Search this
Medium:
Brush and watercolor, white gouache, graphite on paper
Type:
interiors
Drawing
Object Name:
Drawing
Date:
1844
Credit Line:
Thaw Collection
Accession Number:
2007-27-34
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_2007-27-34

Salon Interior with Gabriel d'Arjuzon Playing the Violin and Pascalie Hosten, Comtess d'Arjuzon, Playing Guitar

Possibly:
Achille-Louis Martinet, 1806 – 1877  Search this
Medium:
Brush and watercolor on white wove paper
Type:
interiors
Drawing
Object Name:
Drawing
Date:
1810–20
Credit Line:
Thaw Collection
Accession Number:
2007-27-83
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_2007-27-83

Talking Heads: Naked

Design Director:
Tibor Kalman, American, b. Hungary, 1949–1999  Search this
Designer:
Douglas Riccardi, probably American, active late 20th century  Search this
Artist:
Paula White  Search this
Photographer:
Frederic Lewis  Search this
Firm:
M&Co, New York, New York, USA, 1979–1992  Search this
Medium:
Offset lithography
Type:
graphic design
Album Cover
Object Name:
Album Cover
Place:
USA
Date:
1988
Credit Line:
Gift of Tibor Kalman/ M & Co.
Accession Number:
1993-151-77-1,2
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1993-151-77-1_2
Additional Online Media:

Design for Frame Surrounding the Portrait of Sir Francis Walsingham

Artist:
Hubert-François Gravelot, French, active England, 1699 - 1773  Search this
Medium:
Pen and ink, brush and wash on paper
Type:
interiors
Drawing
Object Name:
Drawing
Made in:
France
Date:
1737–38
Credit Line:
Purchased for the Museum by the Advisory Council
Accession Number:
1911-28-163
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1911-28-163

Set Of Prints And Booklet In Envelope

Collector:
Lillian T. Samuelson  Search this
Donor Name:
Lillian T. Samuelson  Search this
Length:
32 cm
Width:
24 cm
Culture:
Blackfoot (Niitsitapi)  Search this
Object Type:
Print / Booklet
Place:
Montana, United States, North America
Accession Date:
3 Aug 2010
Collection Date:
1958
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
2052523
USNM Number:
E434620-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_12545979

John White Alexander papers

Creator:
Alexander, John White, 1856-1915  Search this
Names:
MacDowell Club of New York  Search this
Abbey, Edwin Austin, 1852-1911  Search this
Alexander, Elizabeth A., d. 1947  Search this
Carnegie, Andrew, 1835-1919  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916  Search this
Gibson, Charles Dana, 1867-1944  Search this
James McNeill Whistler, 1834-1903  Search this
James, Henry, 1843-1916  Search this
La Farge, John, 1835-1910  Search this
Levy, Florence N. (Florence Nightingale), 1870-1947  Search this
Millet, Francis Davis, 1846-1912  Search this
Remington, Frederic, 1861-1909  Search this
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894  Search this
Extent:
11.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Awards
Interviews
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Medals
Date:
1775-1968
bulk 1870-1915
Summary:
The papers of the painter, muralist, and illustrator John White Alexander measure 11.9 linear feet and date from 1775 to 1968, with the bulk of materials dating from 1870 to 1915. Papers document Alexander's artistic career and many connections to figures in the art world through biographical documentation, correspondence (some illustrated), writings, 14 sketchbooks, additonal artwork and loose sketches, scrapbooks, photographs, awards and medals, artifacts, and other records. Also found is a souvenir engraving of a Mark Twain self-portrait.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of the painter, muralist, and illustrator John White Alexander measure 11.9 linear feet and date from 1775 to 1968, with the bulk of materials dating from 1870 to 1915. Papers document Alexander's artistic career and many connections to figures in the art world through biographical documentation, correspondence (some illustrated), writings, 14 sketchbooks, additonal artwork and loose sketches, scrapbooks, photographs, awards and medals, artifacts, and other records. Also found is a souvenir engraving of a Mark Twain self-portrait.

Biographical Information includes multiple essays related to Alexander, his family, and others in his circle. Also found is an extensive oral history of Alexander's wife Elizabeth conducted in 1928. Correspondence includes letters written by Alexander to his family from New York and Europe at the start of his career, and later letters from fellow artists, art world leaders, and portrait sitters of Alexander's. Significant correspondents include Charles Dana Gibson, Florence Levy, Frederick Remington, Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry James, John La Farge, Francis Davis Millet, and Andrew Carnegie. Correspondence includes some small sketches as enclosures and illustrated letters.

Certificates and records related to Alexander's career are found in Associations and Memberships, Legal and Financial Records, and Notes and Writings, which contain documentation of Alexander's paintings and exhibitions. Scattered documentation of Alexander's memberships in various arts association exists for the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy in Rome, the National Academy of Design, the Onteora Club in New York, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany, the Ministère de L'Instruction Publique et des Beaux-Arts, the Union Internationale des Beaux Arts et des Lettres, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notes and Writings include speeches written by Alexander, short stories and essays written by his wife, and articles by various authors about Alexander. Extensive documentation of the planning and construction of the Alexander Memorial Studio by the MacDowell Club is found, along with other awards, medals, and memorial resolutions adopted by arts organizations after Alexander's death.

Artwork includes fourteen sketchbooks with sketches related to Alexander's commercial illustration and cartooning, murals, paintings, and travels. Dozens of loose drawings and sketches are also found, along with two volumes and several dozen loose reproductions of artwork, among which are found fine prints by named printmakers. Many sketches are also interspersed throughout the correspondence. Eight Scrapbooks contain mostly clippings, but also scattered letters, exhbition catalogs, announcements, invitations, and photographs related to Alexander's career between 1877 and 1915. Additional Exhibition Catalogs and later clippings, as well as clippings related to the career of his wife and other subjects, are found in Printed Materials.

Photographs include many portraits of Alexander taken by accomplished photographers such as Zaida Ben-Yusuf, Aimé Dupont, Curtis Bell, Elizabeth Buehrmann, and several signed Miss Huggins, who may have been Estelle Huntington Huggins, a New York painter and photographer. Portraits of others include Alexander's friends William Merritt Chase and Edward Austin Abbey. Also found are photographs of groups, juries, family, friends, and studios in New York, Paris, and New Jersey, and a handful of scenic photographs of Polling, Bavaria, where Alexander had an early studio. A large number of photographs of works of art are found, many with annotations. Among the photographs of murals are a small collection of snapshots of the Carnegie Institute murals in progress. Miscellaneous artifacts include a palette, several printing plates, and an inscribed souvenir engraving of a self-portrait caricature of Mark Twain.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 11 series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1887-1968 (Box 1, OV 23; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1870-1942 (Box 1; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Associations and Memberships, circa 1897-1918 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 4: Legal and Financial Records, 1775, 1896-1923 (Box 1; 5 folders)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, circa 1875-1943 (Boxes 1-2; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Awards and Memorials, circa 1870-1944 (Box 2, OV 24; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1875-1915 (Boxes 2-3, 6, 14-16, OV 23; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, circa 1877-1915 (Boxes 17-22; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 9: Printed Materials, circa 1891-1945 (Boxes 3-4, OV 23; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographs, circa 1870-1915 (Boxes 4-8, MGP 1-2, OV 25-43, RD 44-45; 4.2 linear feet)

Series 11: Artifacts, circa 1899-1915 (Box 6, artifact cabinet; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
John White Alexander was born in 1856 in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. He was orphaned at age five and taken in by relatives of limited means. When Alexander left school and began working at a telegraph company, the company's vice-president, former civil war Colonel Edward Jay Allen, took an interest in his welfare. Allen became his legal guardian, brought him into the Allen household, and saw that he finished Pittsburgh High School. At eighteen, he moved to New York City and was hired by Harper and Brothers as an office boy in the art department. He was soon promoted to apprentice illustrator under staff artists such as Edwin A. Abbey and Charles Reinhart. During his time at Harpers, Alexander was sent out on assignment to illustrate events such as the Philadelphia Centennial celebration in 1876 and the Pittsburgh Railroad Strike in 1877, which erupted in violence.

Alexander carefully saved money from his illustration work and traveled to Europe in 1877 for further art training. He first enrolled in the Royal Art Academy of Munich, Germany, but soon moved to the village of Polling, where a colony of American artists was at its peak in the late 1870s. Alexander established a painting studio there and stayed for about a year. Despite his absence from the Munich Academy, he won the medal of the drawing class for 1878, the first of many honors. While in Polling, he became acquainted with J. Frank Currier, Frank Duveneck, William Merritt Chase, and other regular visitors to the colony. He later shared a studio and taught a painting class in Florence with Duveneck and traveled to Venice, where he met James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

Alexander returned to New York in 1881 and resumed his commercial artwork for Harpers and Century. Harpers sent him down the Mississippi river to complete a series of sketches. He also began to receive commissions for portraits, and in the 1880s painted Charles Dewitt Bridgman, a daughter of one of the Harper brothers, Parke Godwin, Thurlow Weed, Walt Whitman, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Alexander met his wife Elizabeth, whose maiden name was also Alexander, through her father, James W. Alexander, who was sometimes mistaken for the artist. Elizabeth and John White Alexander married in 1887 and had a son, James, in 1888.

Alexander and his family sailed for France in 1890, where they became a part of the lively literary and artistic scene in Paris at the time. Among their many contacts there were Puvis de Chavannes, Auguste Rodin, and Whistler, who arrived in Paris shortly thereafter. Alexander absorbed the new aesthetic ideas around him such as those of the symbolists and the decorative style of art nouveau. Critics often note how such ideas are reflected in his boldly composed paintings of women from this period, who titles drew attention to the sensual and natural elements of the paintings. His first exhibition in Paris was three paintings at the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts in 1893, and by 1895 he has become a full member of the Société.

Independent and secession artist societies emerged throughout Europe during this period, and Alexander exhibited with several of them, including the Société Nouvelle in Paris, the Munich Secession, and the Vienna Secession. He was also elected an honorary member of the Royal Society of Belgian Artists and the Royal Society of British Painters in London. His exhibited works sold well, and his influence began to be felt back in the United States. Andrew Carnegie and John Beatty of the Carnegie Institute consulted closely with Alexander in the planning and execution of the first Carnegie International Exhibitions. Alexander also became active in supporting younger American artists who wanted to exhibit in Europe, a stance which resulted in his resignation from the Society of American Artists in Paris, which he felt had become a barrier to younger artists. His promotion of American art became an central aspect of his career for the remainder of his life, most visibly through his presidency of the National Academy of Design from 1909 until shortly before his death in 1915. He also served frequently on juries for high-profile exhibitions, and was a trustee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, and the national Institute of Arts and Letters. Around 1912, he helped to form the School Art League in New York, which provided art instruction to high school students.

Alexander returned to the United States nearly every summer while based in Paris, and among his commissioned paintings were murals for the newly-constructed Library of Congress, completed around 1896. In 1901, the Alexanders returned to New York permanently. The demand for portraits continued, and he had his first solo exhibition at the Durand-Ruel Galleries in 1902. Around 1905 he received a commission for murals at the new Carnegie Institute building in Pittsburgh for the astounding sum of $175,000. He created 48 panels there through 1908. During this period, the Alexanders spent summers in Onteora, New York, where Alexander painted his well-known "Sunlight" paintings. There they became friends and collaborators with the actress Maude Adams, with Alexander designing lighting and stage sets, and Elizabeth Alexander designing costumes for Adams' productions such as Peter Pan, the Maid of Orleans, and Chanticleer. The couple became known for their "theatricals" or tableaux, staged at the MacDowell Club and elsewhere, and Elizabeth Alexander continued her design career when her husband died in 1915.

Alexander left several commissions unfinished upon his death at age 59, including murals in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth Alexander held a memorial exhibition at Arden Galleries a few months after his death, and a larger memorial exhibition was held by the Carnegie Institute in 1916. Alexander won dozens of awards for artwork in his lifetime, including the Lippincott Prize at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1899, the Gold Medal of Honor at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900, the Gold Medal at the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1901, and the Medal of the First Class at the Carnegie Institute International Exhibition in 1911. In 1923, the Alexander Memorial Studio was built at the MacDowell colony in New Hampshire to honor his memory.
Provenance:
Papers were donated in 1978 and 1981 by Irina Reed, Alexander's granddaughter and in 2017 by Elizabeth Reed, Alexander's great grandaughter.
Restrictions:
Use of the original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
Rights:
The John White Alexander 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:
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Portrait painting -- 20th century  Search this
Portrait painting -- 19th century  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painting, American  Search this
Genre/Form:
Awards
Interviews
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Medals
Citation:
John White Alexander papers, 1775-1968, bulk 1870-1915. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.alexjohn
See more items in:
John White Alexander papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-alexjohn
Additional Online Media:

Unidentified Sitters

Collection Creator:
Alexander, John White, 1856-1915  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 24-25
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents note:
(2 glass plate negatives housed in MGP 1-2)
(Probably subjects of portrait paintings by JWA)
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
Collection Rights:
The John White Alexander 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.
Collection Citation:
John White Alexander papers, 1775-1968, bulk 1870-1915. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
John White Alexander papers
John White Alexander papers / Series 10: Photographs / Portraits of Others
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-alexjohn-ref280
Additional Online Media:

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 William Page and Page Family 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
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
Additional Online Media:

Portrait Painting of Fielding Bradford Meek (1817-1876)

Creator:
Unknown  Search this
Subject:
Meek, F. B (Fielding Bradford) 1817-1876  Search this
Ulke, Henry 1821-1910  Search this
United States National Museum  Search this
Physical description:
10 x 8;
Type:
Glass negatives
Date:
1880
1880s
Topic:
Portraits  Search this
Painting  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 11-006 [MAH-9699]
Restrictions & Rights:
No access restrictions Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at osiaref@si.edu
No Copyright - United States
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_391028

Painting of First Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry

Creator:
United States National Museum Photographic Laboratory  Search this
Subject:
Henry, Joseph 1797-1878  Search this
Ulke, Henry 1821-1910  Search this
United States National Museum  Search this
Physical description:
8 x 10;
Type:
Glass negatives
Date:
1879
Topic:
Portraits  Search this
Painting  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 11-006 [MAH-2826]
Restrictions & Rights:
No access restrictions Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at osiaref@si.edu
No Copyright - United States
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_387357

Portrait Painting of SI Regent John Maclean (1800-1886)

Creator:
United States National Museum Photographic Laboratory  Search this
Subject:
Maclean, John 1800-1886  Search this
Ulke, Henry 1821-1910  Search this
United States National Museum  Search this
Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents  Search this
Physical description:
8 x 10;
Type:
Glass negatives
Date:
1880
1880s
Topic:
Portraits  Search this
Painting  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 11-006 [MAH-2827]
Restrictions & Rights:
No access restrictions Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at osiaref@si.edu
No Copyright - United States
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_387358

Negative Log Book Number 3, (72-1 to 72-11410)

Creator:
Smithsonian Institution Archives Smithsonian Photographic Services  Search this
Physical description:
Ink on paper
Type:
Logs (records)
Date:
1972
Topic:
Photography--History  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 10-001 [SIA_10-001_NLB03]
Restrictions & Rights:
No restrictions. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Contact SIA Reference Staff for further information (email photos@si.edu)
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_367100
4 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Negative Log Book Number 3, (72-1 to 72-11410) digital asset number 1
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  • View Negative Log Book Number 3, (72-1 to 72-11410) digital asset number 3
  • View Negative Log Book Number 3, (72-1 to 72-11410) digital asset number 4

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