Benson Bond Moore papers, 1902-1995

A Finding Aid to the Benson Bond Moore Papers, 1902-1995 , in the Archives of American Art, by Jean Fitzgerald

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Biographical Information

Benson Bond Moore (1882-1974) of Washington, D.C. and Sarasota, Florida, was a printmaker, landscape painter, art teacher, and picture restorer.

Benson Bond Moore was born on August 13, 1882 in Washington, D.C., the first child of Caroline and John Benson Moore. From an early age, Moore assisted his father in his picture restoring business. In 1902, he was employed by the Maurice Joyce Photo-Engraving Co., and soon afterwards produced a series of technical drawings for Alexander Graham Bell.

Moore studied at the Corcoran School of Art, and, in 1914, he joined The Ramblers (later the Washington Landscape Club), a group of artists who went on painting and drawing expeditions in the environs of Washington, D.C. Moore taught etching at the private Hill School of Art and was an active member of many regional art associations. He was also a founding member of the Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society. Following the death of his wife Florence (Flossie) in the early 1950s, Moore moved to Sarasota, Florida.

Benson Bond Moore died on October 30, 1974 in Sarasota, Florida.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of printmaker and landscape painter Benson Bond Moore date from 1902 to 1995 and measure 5.7 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, letters, scattered personal business records, notes and writings, twelve scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs. The papers also contain extensive artwork in the form of drawings and sketches, etchings, lithographs, and a few oil paintings.

Biographical material includes genealogical notes, biographical accounts, a baptismal record, marriage license, driver's license, membership cards, an award medal and ribbons, a death certificate, and address books.

Letters are incoming only from friends and colleagues, including Christmas cards from Clifford K. Berryman, Paul Bransom, James Russell Lowe, Rowland Lyon, and Francis Bowes Sayre. There is also a photocopy of a letter from Lou Henry Hoover.

Personal business records include a copy of a patent for Moore's design for an artist's kit, a deed for Moore's father's gallery, priced labels for art work in various media, lists of art work, price lists, records of art work sold, bank account records, miscellaneous receipts, and a ledger concerning Moore's works left in trust after his death.

Notes and writings consist of nine poems by Moore, lists of titles of art work sold, lists of art work by others, and a funeral registry book listing mourners' names. The most notable item in this series is a log book of The Ramblers containing a typescript describing the history of this early 20th century art club.

Art work comprises the most significant series in the collection. It includes 1040 drawings, 43 watercolor sketches, 526 etchings, 187 lithographs, 8 paintings and 5 relief sculptures. Subjects depicted are primarily wildlife and nature, landscapes, seascapes, and scenes of towns and notable buildings primarily in and around Washington, D.C. There are scattered portrait drawings and etchings by Moore of fellow artists Herbert F. Clark, Robert G. Cornett, August H. O. Rolle, and Charles Seaton. There are also 5 bas-relief sculptures.

Twelve scrapbooks contain prints by Moore, letters, printed materials, and photographs of Moore and his artwork. Scrapbook 10 contains a photograph of a Landscape Club banquet at the Cosmos Club.

Printed material consists of clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, a prospectus from the Society of Animal Artists, book Animals of American History illustrated by Paul Bransom, miscellaneous booklets and brochures concerning art-related topics, travel brochures for New York State, and reproductions of art works.

Photographs are of Benson Bond Moore, his family, residence, colleagues including members of The Ramblers painting outdoors, and of art work. There are also travel photographs of locations in the United States.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following terms:

Subjects:

  • Clark, Herbert F.
  • Cornett, Robert G.
  • Rolle, A. H. O. (August H. O.), 1875-1940
  • Seaton, Charles
  • Society of Animal Artists
  • Washington Landscape Club

Subjects-Topical:

  • Artists--Washington (D.C.)
  • Etchers--Washington (D.C.)
  • Landscape painters--New York (State)
  • Landscape painting--20th century--Washington (D.C.)
  • Printmakers Washington (D.C.)
  • Relief (Sculpture)

Subjects-Geographical:

  • New York (State)

Types of Materials:

  • Awards
  • Christmas cards
  • Drawings
  • Etchings
  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Poems
  • Prints
  • Travel sketches
  • Scrapbooks
  • Sketches

Names:

  • Berryman, Clifford Kennedy, 1869-1949
  • Bransom, Paul, 1885
  • Lowe, James Russell
  • Lyon, Rowland, 1904-
  • Sayre, Francis Bowes, 1885-1972

Provenance

The Benson Bond Moore papers were donated by Barbara Nikla and John J. Lyons in 1996, as representatives of the estate of the artist's sister-in-law, Mary Jane Moore. Additional material was donated 1997 from the estate by other relatives, Martha Sigmon and her sister Georgia King.

Separated and Related Materials

Printmaking tools, lithographic plates, and a 24 x 30 inch display board exhibiting specimen prints and plates and a pocket barometer were transferred to the National Museum of American History, Department of Information Technology and Society.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was arranged and preserved in July 1997 by Jean Fitzgerald, and a finding aid created in 2010.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original papers requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Benson Bond Moore 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.

How to Cite this Collection

Benson Bond Moore papers, 1902-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1908-1974
(Box 1; 6 folders)

Biographical material includes genealogical notes, biographical accounts, a baptismal record, marriage license, driver's license, membership cards, an award medal and ribbons, a death certificate, and address books.

Box Folder
1 1 Miscellaneous Biographical Material, 1908-1974
1 2-5 Award Medal and Ribbons, 1925-1960
(4 folders)
1 6 Address Books, undated

Series 2: Letters, 1912-1993
(Box 1; 40 folders)

Letters are from friends and colleagues including Clifford K. Berryman, Paul Bransom, James Russell Lowe, Rowland Lyon, and Francis Bowes Sayre.

Box Folder
1 7 Letters from Correspondents with Surnames "A" - "C," undated
1 8 Letters from Correspondents with Surnames "D" - "K," undated
1 9 Letters from Correspondents with Surnames "L," undated
1 10 Letters from Correspondents with Surnames "M," undated
1 11 Letters from Correspondents with Surnames "N" - "R," undated
1 12 Letters from Correspondents with Surnames "S," undated
1 13 Letters from Correspondents with Surnames "T" - "Z," undated
1 14 Letters, 1912-1919
1 15 Letters, 1922-1923
1 16 Letters, 1924-1926
1 17 Letters, 1927-1929
1 18 Letters, 1930-1939
1 19 Letters, 1940-1941
1 20 Letters, 1942-1945
1 21 Letters, 1946-1949
1 22 Letters, 1957
1 23 Letters, 1960-1964
1 24 Letters, 1966
1 25-26 Letters, 1967
(2 folders)
1 27 Letters, 1968
1 28 Letters, 1969
1 29 Letters, 1970
1 30 Lettrs, 1971
1 31-33 Letters, 1972
(3 folders)
1 34 Letters, 1973
1 35-38 Letters, 1974
(4 folders)
1 39 Letters, 1975
1 40 Letters, 1976
1 41 Letters, 1977
1 42 Letters, 1978
1 43 Letters, 1979
1 44 Letters, 1980-1981
1 45 Letters, 1982
1 46 Letters, 1983-1993

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1924-1994
(Box 1-2; 0.7 linear feet)

Personal business records include a deed for Moore's father's gallery, priced labels for art work, lists of art work, price lists, records of art work sold, bank account records, miscellaneous receipts, and a ledger concerning Moore's works left in trust after his death.

Box Folder
1 47 Copy of Patent for Moore's Design for an Artist's Kit, 1932
1 48 Deed for Moore Galleries, 1941
1 49 Priced Labels for Miscellaneous Art Work, undated
1 50-51 Priced Labels for Etchings, undated
(2 folders)
1 52 Priced Labels for Hand-Colored Etchings, undated
1 53 Priced Labels for Hand-Colored Lithographs, undated
1 54 Priced Labels for Lithographs of Etchings, undated
1 55 Priced Labels for Hand-Colored Lithographs of Etchings, undated
1 56 Priced Labels for Hand-Colored Lithographs of Paintings, undated
1 57-69 Lists of Art Work and Price Lists, 1960-1981, undated
(13 folders)
1 70 Log Book of Lists of Art Work Given Away, 1924-1925
1 71 Log Book of Lists of Art Work and Art Work Sold, 1925-1936
Box Folder
2 1-2 Log Book of Art Work Sold, 1938, 1966
(2 folders)
2 3-5 Bank Account Record Book, 1961-1967, 1974-1976, 1974-1986
(3 folders)
2 6 Bank Account Record Book and List of Art Work, 1976-1978
2 7 Bank Account Record Book, 1979-1981
2 8-10 Bank Account Record, 1985-1988
(3 folders)
2 11 Receipts for Sale of Art Work, 1947-1986
2 12 Miscellaneous Receipts, 1952-1993
2 13 Ledger Concerning Moore's Art Work Left in Trust, 1993-1994

Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1902-1974
(Box 2; 8 folders)

Notes and writings consist of nine poems by Moore, a log book of The Ramblers, lists of art work sold, lists of art work by others, and a funeral registry book listing mourners' names.

Box Folder
2 14-15 Poems, 1902
(2 folders)
2 16 Log Book of The Ramblers, 1917
2 17 Lists of Collectors and Art Work Sold, 1965-1971
2 18 Lists of Art Work by Others, undated
2 19 Funeral Registry Book, 1974
2 20-21 Miscellaneous Notes and Writings, undated
(2 folders)

Series 5: Art Work, 1904-1991
(Box 2-4, 6, OV 8; 2.2 linear feet)

Art work consists of 1040 drawings, 43 watercolor sketches, 526 etchings, 187 lithographs, 8 paintings, and 5 bas-relief sculptures. Subjects are primarily of wildlife and nature, landscapes, seascapes, urban scapes, and architecture. Portrait drawings and etchings by Moore include those of fellow artists Herbert F. Clark, Robert G. Cornett, August H. O. Rolle, and Charles Seaton. The bas-relief sculptures are of a lion, buffalo, fish, and penguin. Art work by others includes drawings and prints by Arthur Beaumont, Herbert F. Clark, Edwin G. Cassedy, J. C. Claghorn, John Doctoroff, Thomas Handforth, F. Dano Jackley, W. L. Maclean, Arvid Nyholm, Eliot O'Hara, Walter King Stone, and Ruel P. Tolman.

A portion of the artwork is organized according to a numbering system of unknown origin, possible created by Moore.

Box Folder
2 22 Art Work Numbered BBM 51-64, 1917-1934
2 23-75 Art Work Numbered BBMLP 001-844, 1921-1970, undated
(53 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
Box Folder
3 1 Portrait Drawings and Drawings of Human Figures, 1904-1916
3 2-5 Drawings of Animals, undated
(4 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 6-12 Drawings of Birds, 1934-1936, undated
(7 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 13-22 Drawings of Clouds, 1946-1967, undated
(10 folders)
3 23 Drawings of Shells, undated
3 24-25 Drawings of Plants, undated
(2 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 26-34 Drawings of Landscapes and Seascapes, undated
(9 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 35 Drawing of a Cityscape, 1923
3 36 Drawings of Views of Washington, D.C., 1931-1934, undated
(Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 37 Watercolor Sketch of a Boy Fishing, undated
3 38 Watercolor Sketches of Animals and Birds, undated
(Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 39-42 Watercolor Sketches of Landscapes and Seascapes, undated
(4 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 43 Watercolor Sketches of Views of Washington, D.C., 1920-1921, undated
3 44 Portrait Etchings, undated
3 45-49 Etchings of Animals, undated
(5 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 50-57 Etchings of Birds, undated
(8 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 58-60 Etchings of Landscapes and Seascapes, undated
(3 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 61-62 Etchings of Views of Washington, D. C., undated
(2 folders)
3 63-64 Etchings of Miscellaneous Buildings, undated
(2 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 65 Commercial Lithographs of Animals and Birds, undated
3 66 Lithograph Portrait of a Man, undated
3 67 Lithographic Plate of a Landscape, undated
3 68 Lithographs of Views of Washington, D.C., undated
(Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 69 Lithograph and Lithographic Plate of George Washington Tavern in Bladensburg, Maryland, undated
3 70 Lithographs of the Rotunda at University of Virginia, undated
3 71-72 Paintings of Animals, undated
(2 folders)
3 73-74 Paintings of Landscapes and a Town, undated
(2 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
3 75 Relief Sculptures of Animals and Birds, undated
Box Folder
4 1-2 Relief Sculptures of Animals and Birds, undated
(2 folders)
4 3-7 Art Work by Others, 1910-1991, undated
(5 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6 and OV 8)
Box Folder
6 1 Oversized Drawing BBMLP 463 of Landscapes, undated,
(from Box 2, Folder 44)
6 1 Oversized Drawing BBMLP 470 of Landscape, 1952,
(from Box 2, Folder 45)
6 1 Oversized Drawing BBMLP 517of Landscape, undated,
(from Box 2, Folder 49)
6 1 Oversized Drawing BBMLP 519 of Landscape, undated,
(from Box 2, Folder 50)
6 1 Oversized Drawing BBMLP 572 of Landscape, 1958,
(from Box 2, Folder 55)
6 1 Oversized Drawing BBMLP 676 of a Town and Team of Horses, undated,
(from Box 2, Folder 62)
6 1 Oversized Drawing BBMLP 755 of Landscape, 1955,
(from Box 2, Folder 65)
6 1 Oversized Drawing BBMLP 767 of Landscape, 1934,
(from Box 2, Folder 69)
6 1 Oversized Drawing BBMLP 788 of Landscapes, undated,
(from Box 2, Folder 71)
6 2 Six Oversized Drawings of Animals, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 5)
6 2 Four Oversized Drawings of Birds, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 12)
6 3 Two Oversized Drawings of Plants, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 25)
6 3 Six Oversized Drawings of Landscapes, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 34)
6 3 Two Oversized Drawings of Views of Washington, D.C., 1931, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 36)
6 4 An Oversized Watercolor Sketch of a Bird, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 38)
6 4 Two Oversized Watercolor Sketches of Landscapes, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 42)
6 5 Two Oversized Etchings of Animals, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 49)
6 5 Two Oversized Etchings of Birds, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 50)
6 5 Five Oversized Etchings of Landscapes and Seascapes, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 60)
6 5 Two Oversized Etchings of Miscellaneous Buildings, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 64)
6 5 Nine Oversized Lithographs of Views of Washington, D.C. and Vicinity, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 68)
6 6 An Oversized Oil Painting on Board of a Landscape, undated,
(from Box 3, Folder 73)
6 7 An Oversized Etching by J. Docking, a Lithograph by F. J. Frost, and an Etching by Bruff R. LeVan, undated,
(from Box 4, Folder 5)
Box
OV 8 An Oversized Lithograph Portrait of Herbert Hoover by John Doctoroff, undated,
(from Box 4, Folder 5)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1919-1973
(Box 4, 7; 0.9 linear feet)

Scrapbooks 1-7 primarily contain etchings, watercolor sketches, and scattered printed material and photographs of art work. Scrapbooks 8-12 contain clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, reproductions of art work, scattered letters, price lists, photographs of art work, a photograph of Moore, and the occasional original print.

Box Folder
4 8-13 Scrapbook 1, undated
(6 folders)
4 14-16 Scrapbook 2, undated
(3 folders)
4 17-20 Scrapbook 3, undated
(4 folders)
4 21-25 Scrapbook 4, undated
(5 folders)
4 26-29 Scrapbook 5, undated
(4 folders)
4 30-34 Scrapbook 6, undated
(5 folders)
4 35-37 Scrapbook 7, undated
(3 folders)
4 38 Scrapbook 9, 1919-1932
4 39-43 Scrapbook 10, 1924-1971
(5 folders)
4 44-46 Scrapbook 11, 1959-1964
(3 folders)
4 47-54 Scrapbook 12, 1963-1973
(8 folders)
Box Folder
7 1 Scrapbook 8, undated

Series 7: Printed Material, 1916-1995
(Box 5-6, OV 8; 1.0 linear feet)

Printed material consists of clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, a prospectus from the Society of Animal Artists, book Animals of American History illustrated by Paul Bransom, booklets concerning various printmakers, and reproductions of art work, including portraits of Herbert Hoover and Charles Curtis. Brochures concern art schools including the Hill School of Art, arts organizations including the Arts Club of Washington, the Miniature Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers Society, and the New York Graphic Society, and the sale of Moore's art work, and travel brochures for New York State.

Box Folder
5 1-2 Clippings, undated
(2 folders)
5 3-4 Clippings of Images of Waterfowl, undated
(2 folders)
5 5 Clippings of Images of Trees, undated
5 6-15 General Clippings, 1924-1994
(10 folders)
5 16 Prospectus from the Society of Animal Artists, 1973
5 17-22 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1928-1995, undated
(6 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
5 23-25 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs for Others, 1945, 1984-1987, undated
(3 folders)
5 26 Book Animals of American History Illustrated by Paul Bransom, 1939
5 27 Booklet Charles Meryon by Frederick Heppel, undated
5 28 Booklet Concerning the Etchings of Mr. Whistler, undated
5 29 Booklet Dry-Points by Paul Helleu, undated
5 30 Booklet Ernest D. Roth by Herbert C. Pell, Jr., 1916
5 31 Booklet Five Birds of Latin America by Lillian Cox Athey and Cover Illustration by Benson Bond Moore, 1944
5 32 Miscellaneous Booklets, 1936-1995, undated
(Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
5 33-35 Brochures for the Sale of Art Work by Moore, undated
(3 folders)
5 36 Brochures Concerning Art Schools, 1939-1967, undated
5 37 Brochures Concerning Arts Organizations, 1931, undated
5 38 Travel Brochures for Mohonk, New York, 1929-1931
5 39 Travel Brochures for Lake Minnewaska, New York, 1930, undated
5 40 Miscellaneous Brochures, 1993, undated
5 41 Art Supply Catalogs, undated
5 42-44 Reproductions of Art Work Depicting Animals, undated
(3 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
5 45-47 Reproductions of Art Work Depicting Birds, undated
(3 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
5 48 Reproductions of Art Work Depicting Landscapes, undated
(Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
5 49-52 Reproductions of Art Work Depicting Seascapes, undated
(4 folders)
5 53 Reproductions of Art Work Depicting Views of Washington, D.C. and Vicinity, undated
(Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
5 54 Reproductions of Art Work by Others, undated
(Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
5 55 Miscellaneous Printed Material, undated
(Oversized Material Housed in Box 6 and OV 8)
Box Folder
6 8 An Oversized Exhibition Announcement, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 17)
6 8 An Oversized Booklet, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 32)
6 9 Three Oversized Reproductions of Art Work Depicting Animals, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 42)
6 9 Two Oversized Reproductions of Art Work Depicting Birds, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 46)
6 9 An Oversized Reproduction of Art Work Depicting a Landscape, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 48)
6 9 Twenty-Two Oversized Reproductions of Art Work Depicting Views of Washington, D.C. and Vicinity, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 53)
6 9 Two Oversized Reproductions of Art Work by Others, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 54)
6 9 An Oversized Map of Asia, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 55)
Box
OV 8 An Oversized Map of the Society Islands, undated,

Series 8: Photographs, 1924-1971
(Box 5-7, OV 8; 0.7 linear feet)

Photographs are of Benson Bond Moore, his family, residence, colleagues including members of The Ramblers painting outdoors, and of art work. There are also travel photographs of Alabama, Florida (Miami), Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana (New Orleans), North Carolina, Mississippi (Biloxi), Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Box Folder
5 56-58 Photographs of Benson Bond Moore, 1958-1969, undated
(3 folders)
5 59-60 Photographs of Family Members, undated
(2 folders; Oversized Material Housed in OV 8)
5 61-67 Photographs of Friends and Colleagues, 1924-1971, undated
(7 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
5 68-70 Photographs of Moore's Residence, 1958-1959
(3 folders)
5 71-79 Photographs of Travel in the United States, 1954, undated
(9 folders)
5 80 Photographs of Miscellaneous Subjects for Art Work, undated
(Oversized Material Housed in Box 6)
5 81-83 Photographs of Art Work Depicting Animals, undated
(3 folders)
5 84-85 Photographs of Art Work Depicting Birds, undated
(2 folders)
5 86-87 Photographs of Art Work Depicting Landscapes, undated
(2 folders)
5 88 Photograph of Miscellaneous Art Work, undated
5 89-90 Photographs of Art Work by Others, undated
(2 folders)
Box Folder
6 10 Oversized Photograph of Unidentified Colleague and Three Oversized Photographs of Unidentified Woman, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 62)
6 10 Two Oversized Photographs Autographed by Herbert Hoover; Oversized Photograph Autographed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1931-1933, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 62)
6 10 Two Oversized Photographs of 19th Century Sailors and Battleships at War, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 80)
Box Folder
7 2 Oversized Album of Photographs of Art Work, undated
Box
OV 8 Oversized Panoramic Photograph of Boy on Bicycle, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 59)