Charcoal Club records, 1885-1988

Charcoal Club (Baltimore, Md.)
Society
Baltimore, Md.

Collection size: ca. 3.4 linear ft. (on 6 microfilm reels)

Collection Summary: Minute books, scrapbooks, membership records, correspondence, a sketchbook, treasurer records, and printed material. REELS 3414-3416: Six minute books, 1888-1965, containing minutes of Board of Directors, Board of Managers, and annual and special meetings of the Charcoal Club; also enclosed are letters, election ballots, President's, Treasurer's and committee reports, financial statements, exhibition invitations, announcements and catalogs, newsletters, and newspapers. Other records include membership lists; a sketchbook containing 9 animal studies by member W.K. Sweeney; and 6 scrapbooks, containing letters, illustrated invitations and dinner menus, exhibition invitations, announcements and catalogs, newspaper clippings, printed material about the Charcoal Club School of Art and events sponsored by the Club, photographs, and memorabilia about I. (Ignatius) L. Glutz (a fictional character created by the Club.) REELS 5131-5133: Treasurer's reports, 1968-1988; newspaper clippings, 1933-1988; profiles of Charcoal Club members; correspondence regarding a proposed club history book, 1965-1972; minutes, Jan. 1968-Dec. 1987; minutes/scrapbooks, Jan. 1965-Jan. 1968; catalogs of the Charcoal Club School of Art; legal papers, 1885-1937; exhibition announcements and invitations, ca. 1920's-1980's; correspondence of founding member Lee Woodward Zeigler; membership lists and by-laws, and proposals for the constitution, ca. 1930-1986; correspondence regarding the club, ca. 1930's-1980, including letters from Mayor Theodore McKeldin, Grace Trumbull, and Governor Spiro Agnew; and Ignatius Glutz material.

Biographical/Historical Note: Art club and school. Organized in 1883 by a group of art students and friends of art for the purpose of conducting art classes and for holding exhibitions. The exhibitions varied from weekly one-man shows to the annual juried exhibition of Contemporary American art. From 1910 to 1926, this all-American show was the high point of Baltimore's brief art season. It brought paintings by such "modernists" as John Sloan, George Luks, Frank Benson, Robert Henri, Leon Kroll, and Arthur B. Davies to Baltimore for the first time. The club's membership, which remained strictly male until 1963, was composed of painters, sculptors, writers, architects, musicians, and art patrons. In the early twentieth century the club had two hundred members including such prominent men as Governor Albert C. Richie, Ferdinand C. Latrobe, Robert Garrett, Waldo Newcomer, General Felix Agnus, Edwin F. Abell, S. Teakle Wallis, William T. Walters and his son Henry, Ross R. Winans, Dr. A. R. L. Dohme, and Theodore Marburg. Aside from serious art exhibitions, the club was known for its practical jokes, smokers, poker nights, wild parties, and spirited battles with the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Lent for microfilming 1985 and 1996 by the Maryland Historical Society.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels 3414-3416 and 5131-5133 available for use at Archives of American Art offices, through interlibrary loan, and at Maryland Historical Society.
  • The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
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