Carrig-Rohane Shop records, 1903-1962

A Finding Aid to the Carrig-Rohane Shop Records, 1903-1962, in the Archives of American Art, by Jill Lundin

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Table of Contents:

Historical Information

In 1903 Herman Dudley Murphy, Walfred Thulin and Charles Prendergast began making frames and in 1906 H.D. Murphy opened "The Frame Shop of Herman Dudley Murphy" on Clarendon Street in Boston.

According to the meeting minutes, on June 13, 1911, the frame shop incorporated under the name "The Thulin-Murphy Co." with Walfred Thulin as the President. The shop name was then changed to "Carrig-Rohane" on February 5, 1914, and on October 23, 1915, the shop came under the management of Robert Churchill Vose, Sr. and Nathaniel Morton Vose.

The corporation was eventually dissolved on March 29, 1939, and the framing operations moved to the Vose Galleries' premises.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The Carrig-Rohane Shop records date from 1903 to 1962, and measure 6.7 linear feet. The records document the founding of the company, frame design and production, and the financial transactions of the shop. Series 2: Frame Orders and Specifications is particulary valuable for researching the frames used for late 19th and early 20th century American works of art. The frame patterns can be cross-referenced with the orders to obtain visual documentation of the frame desing used with a specific work of art. The frame patterns are also useful for researchers interested in the history of frame design.

The records of the Carrig-Rohane Shop also include financial and business records, printed material, sketches of frames, and photographs of sketches and sculptures.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged into seven series:

Subjects and Names

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

  • Carrig-Rohane Shop (Boston, Mass.)
  • Murphy, Hermann Dudley, 1867-1945
  • Thulin, Walfred, 1878-1949
  • Thulin-Murphy (Firm : Boston, Mass.)
  • Vose Galleries of Boston
  • Vose, Robert Churchill, 1873-
  • Art, American
  • Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States
  • Photographs
  • Picture frame industry -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Picture frames and framing
  • Works of art


The Carrig-Rohane Shop records were donated by Robert Churchill Vose, Jr., Duxbury, Massachusetts, April 4, 1974, January 13, 1975, April 5, 1984, February 1, 1986, and March 17, 1987.

Funding for the processing and microfilming of this collection was provided by a grant from the Eli Wilner & Company, Inc., New York, New York.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Jill Lundin in 1994.

How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Carrig-Rohane Shop records 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.

Available Formats

The collection is available on microfilm reels 4974-4982. The microfilm is available through interlibrary loan.

How to Cite this Collection

Carrig-Rohane Shop records, 1903-1962. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Frame Patterns, circa 1903-1962
(boxes 1-2, 0.9 linear ft.)

This series contains photographs of the various frames that were constructed at the shop. Most of the photographs include the pattern number assigned by the Carrig-Rohane Shop for order purposes. There are two groups of numerically ordered frame patterns, one assembled from loose photographs in the collection and the other made from a set of negatives found in the collection. The six bound photograph books, the cyanotype photographs, and the loose photographs of frame patterns are primarily unordered duplicates of the two numerical sets. Included is a price list of frame patterns, as well as a book of frame patterns ordered.

Box Reel
1 4974 Photographs of patterns #1-57, circa 1903-1962
1 4974 Photographs of patterns #1-92A and unidentified from slides and negatives, circa 1903-1962
1 Negatives and prints of frame patterns, circa 1903-1962
1 4974 Bound photograph book of frame patterns (original collation), circa 1903-1962
1 4974 Photograph album of frame patterns, circa 1903-1962
1 4974 Photographs of frame patterns (cyanotypes), circa 1903-1962
1 4974 Photographs of frame patterns, circa 1903-1962
Box Reel
2 4974 Price list of frame patterns, circa 1903-1962
2 4974 Frame patterns ordered, circa 1903-1962

Series 2: Frame Orders and Specifications, 1904-1962
(boxes 2-5, 3.1 linear ft.)

Information about frame orders and specifications can be found in this series in the order books dated 1904 to 1962. Information includes the patron or gallery who ordered the frame, the artist and often the title of the work of art, the frame pattern number, frame measurements, the color of the frame, and the materials used. The dates for the frame orders extend past the closure of the Carrig-Rohane Shop because frames continued to be made on the premises of Vose Galleries. The Order/Ledger Book contains order numbers 1333-3692 and can be used to cross-reference information about these particular orders which are also found in the general order books. Indexes in several of the Order Books include the order number printed above the page number where the order can be found. Also included are records of frame orders for photographs and mirrors.

Box Reel
2 4974 Orders, 1904-1907
2 4974 Orders, 1907-1912
2 4974 Orders, 1912-1916
2 4974 Orders, 1916-1918
2 4975 Orders, 1916-1918 cont.
2 4975 Orders, 1918-1919
2 4975 Orders/Ledger, 1915-1924
2 4975 Orders, 1924-1928
2 4976 Orders, 1924-1928 cont.
Box Reel
3 4976 Orders, 1924-1930
3 4977 Orders, 1924-1930 cont.
3 4977 Orders, 1928-1952
3 4978 Orders, 1928-1952 cont.
Box Reel
4 4978 Orders, 1930-1962
4 4979 Orders, 1930-1962 cont.
4 4979 Orders, 1936-1956
4 4979 Orders, 1923-1928
4 4979 Photograph frames and mirror consignments, 1919-1929
Box Reel
5 4979 Frame profiles of orders, 1905-1906
5 4979 Mirror orders, 1905-1919

Series 3: Financial Records, 1908-1939, undated
(boxes 5-7, 1.9 linear ft.)

Financial records are standard and include invoices, accounts receivable ledgers, general ledgers, consignment account ledgers, income tax forms, a cash book, and accounting reports and notes. The reports contain accounts receivable, accounts payable, and trial balances recorded every six months.

Box Reel
5 4979 Invoices, 1923-1930
5 4980 Invoices, 1923-1930 cont.
5 4980 Invoices, 1931-1939
5 4980 Accounts receivable, 1915-1923
5 4981 Accounts receivable, 1915-1923 cont.
5 4981 Accounts receivable, 1917-1937
Box Reel
6 4981 Accounts receivable, 1917-1937 cont.
6 4981 General ledger, 1908-1911
Box Reel
8 4981 General ledger, 1923-1939
Box Reel
6 4981 Consignment accounts ledger, 1915-1916
6 4981 Consignment accounts ledger, 1915-1922
6 4981 Income tax forms, 1911-1914
6 4981 Accounting reports/notes, 1909-1936, undated
Box Reel
7 4982 Accounting reports/notes, 1909-1936, undated cont.
Box Reel
9 4982 Cash book, 1909-1918, undated

Series 4: Business Records, 1903-1955, undated
(box 7, 11, 0.6 linear ft.)

Business records found in this series include scattered official and legal documents for Thulin-Murphy, Inc. and the Carrig-Rohane Shop. Several routine letters can also be found here.

Box Reel
7 4982 Transcribed history notes of R.C. Vose, circa 1903-1939
7 4982 Letters (scattered), 1926, 1927, 1953, 1955, undated
7 4982 Thulin-Murphy Incorporation documents, 1911
7 4982 Meeting record book, 1911-1939
7 4982 Stockholder records, 1911-1915, 1922-1933
7 4982 Thulin-Murphy stock certificates, 1911-1922
7 4982 Insurance Policies, 1914
7 4982 Lease extensions, 1906-1913
7 4982 Inventories, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1936-1938
7 4982 Notes, undated
7 4982 Ephemera, undated
11 Copyright registration, 1905-1909
11 Letters, 1919-1924
11 Inventories, 1933-1935

Series 5: Printed material, 1906
(box 7, 0.1 linear ft.)

This series consists of one folder containing a copy of an article, Individual Treatment of the Picture Frame, by Frederick W. Coburn. The article includes discussion of the work of Herman Dudley Murphy, Charles Prendergast and Walfred Thulin.

Box Reel
7 4982 Printed Material, 1906

Series 6: Works of art, 1931-1936, undated
(boxes 7, OV 10, 0.1 linear ft.)

This series contains detailed sketches of frames drawn in pencil and ink. Most of the sketches have notations such as measurements of the works of art they were intended for, as well as the names of clients purchasing the frame and artists who had produced the artwork to be framed. Some of the sketches are oversized. The series also contains a print and a watercolor sketch by unidentified artists.

Box Reel
7 4982 Sketches of frames, 1931, 1936, undated
7 4982 Print and watercolor, undated
Box Reel
OV 10 4982 Oversize sketches of frames

Series 7: Photographs, undated
(box 7, 0.1 linear ft.)

This series contains 3 folders of photographs. There are several photographs of sketches by famous artists, several photographs of sculpture, primarily of women with children, and a folder of miscellanous photographs showing interiors with frames, furniture, and unidentified individuals.

Box Reel
7 4982 Photographs of Sketches, undated
7 4982 Photographs of Sculpture, undated
7 4982 Photographs, Miscellaneous, undated