Charles Henry Hart papers, 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918

A Finding Aid to the Charles Henry Hart Papers, 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918, in the Archives of American Art, by Jean Fitzgerald

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Biographical Information

Charles Henry Hart (1847-1918) was an art historian, lawyer, writer, and director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1885-1904. He worked primarily in the Philadelphia area and published widely on the subject of eighteenth and nineteenth-century portraiture in America.

Charles Henry Hart was born on February 4, 1847 in Philadelphia, the son of Julia Leavey and Samuel Hart. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1869 and practiced law until 1894, when he turned his interest to art and writing after suffering injuries in a railroad accident. He became a noted author of books and articles about art, especially portraiture. He had a special interest in the work of Gilbert Stuart. Hart's writings often focused on exposing fraudulent attributions of art work.

From 1882 to 1902, Hart was director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. In 1893, he also served as chairman of the Committee on Retrospective American Art at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Hart was a member of several organizations including the American Historical Association, the Essex Institute, and the Players Club.

Hart's first wife, Armine Nixon, was a great-granddaughter of Robert Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. She died in 1897. According to the New York Times, in 1905 he married Marianne Livingstone Phillips, with whom he fathered a son, Charles Henry Hart, Jr. In 1912, Hart married Anita Beatriz Arabe.

Charles Henry Hart died on July 29, 1918 in New York City.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of Philadelphia art historian and writer Charles Henry Hart date from 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918, and measure 6.1 linear feet. Found within the papers are correspondence, subject files, scattered personal business records, a file of images of art work, notes and writings, and printed material. The subject files include letters from art historians, art collectors, dealers, and gallery owners.

Twelve folders of general correspondence consists primarily of letters received from colleagues, dealers, gallery owners, and publishers discussing art-related topics not specifically addressed in the Subject Files arranged in Series 3 below. There is one folder of miscellaneous personal business records.

Subject files comprise the largest and most important series in the collection. The files contain a wide variety of materials, including letters, notes and writings, clippings, reproductions of art work, and photographs. Letters are from art historians, art collectors, dealers, and gallery owners mostly concerning notable subjects of portraits, artists, organizations, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and miscellaneous subjects such as miniature paintings and H. W. Elson's book History of the United States. Several files contain letters from the descendants of John Quincy Adams, Asher B. Durand, Benjamin Latrobe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The images files contain a mixture of printed reproductions of art work, photographs of art work, and original art work compiled and used by Hart as reference material.

Notes and writings consist primarily of notes on art-related topics including the work of various artists, activities of arts organizations, collectors, galleries and museums, sales of art work, and background material about the subjects of portraits. There is also a typescript by Hart containing descriptions of art work to be published in a catalog of the Herbert Lee Pratt collection.

Printed material consists of clippings about Hart and miscellaneous art-related topics, auction catalogs, and an incomplete set of pages from Hart's book Memoirs of the Life and Work of Jean Antoine Houdon: Sculpture of Voltaire and of Washington.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 6 series:

Subjects and Names

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

Subjects:

  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry,1764-1820
  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864
  • Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848
  • Pratt, Herbert Lee, 1871-1945
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Subjects-Topical:

  • Portrait painters
  • Art historians -- Pennsylvania
  • Authors -- Pennsylvania
  • Miniature painting

Types of Materials:

  • Photographs
  • Works of art
  • Notes

Provenance

The Charles Henry Hart papers were donated anonymously in 1971.

Separated and Related Materials

Also found in the Archives of American Art are 2 volumes of an autograph collection compiled by Charles Henry Hart.

The Archives also has a collection of correspondence between Charles and Clarence W. Bowen loaned by the New York Public Library for microfilming on reels N10-N11. The correspondence concerns Hart's activities on the planning committee of the Centennial of George Washington's Inauguration, New York City, 1889; and Hart's chairmanship of the Committee on Retrospective Art for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893.

Additional Charles Henry Hart papers are also available at the Winterthur Library in Delaware.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was initially microfilmed upon receipt in separate accretions on reels 928-935 and 2813; this microfilm is no longer in circulation. All accessions were merged, arranged, and described by Jean Fitzgerald in October 2009.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original papers requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Charles Henry Hart 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

Charles Henry Hart papers, 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Correspondence, 1838-1930
(Box 1; 12 folders)

Correspondence consists primarily of letters received from various colleagues including dealers, gallery owners, and publishers discussing miscellaneous art-related topics not addressed in the subject files.

Box Folder
1 1 Miscellaneous Correspondence, undated
1 2 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1838-1868
1 3 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1870-1879
1 4 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1880-1889
1 5 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1890-1891
1 6 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1892
1 7 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1893-1896
1 8 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1897-1898
1 9 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1899
1 10 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1900-1905
1 11 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1906-1909
1 12 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1910-1930

Series 2: Personal Business Records, 1893-1917
(Box 1; 1 folder)

Invoices for dues from the Sculpture Society, a stock certificate for 50 shares of The United Editors' Association, and a receipt for a pocket knife.

Box Folder
1 13 Invoices, a Receipt, and United Editors' Association Stock Certificate, 1893-1917, undated

Series 3: Subject Files, 1774-1922
(Boxes 1-4, 8; 4.0 linear feet)

Subject files contain letters from art historians, art collectors, dealers, and gallery owners, notes and writings, clippings, reproductions of art work, and photographs pertaining to notable subjects of portraits, artists, organizations including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and miscellaneous subjects including miniature paintings and H. W. Elson's book History of the United States. Several files contain letters from descendants of notable people including John Quincy Adams, Asher B. Durand, Benjamin Latrobe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The file for Gilbert Stuart contains a letter from Kenyon Cox protesting Hart's opinions, and the file for Robert Morris contains a 1775 paper Continental Currency note. The file for John Paul Jones concerns the controversy over the identification of Jones' exhumed body and includes a photograph of his corpse in 1805.

Box Folder
1 14 John Quincy Adams, 1909-1915, undated
1 15 Francis Alexander, 1897
1 16 John James Audubon, 1885-1917, undated
1 17 Sir William Berkeley, 1905, undated
1 18-20 William Russell Birch, 1892-1914, undated
(3 folders)
1 21-22 Amelia Bloomer, 1909-1910, undated
(2 folders)
1 23 W. W. Boyle, 1895
1 24 James Britton, 1913
1 25-33 John Henri Isaac Browere, 1896-1912, undated
(9 folders)
1 34-35 William H. Brown, undated
(2 folders)
1 36-38 John C. Calhoun, 1896-1897, undated
(3 folders)
1 39 Ludovico Caracci, 1888
1 40 Mrs. James Chestnut, 1910
1 41-46 Henry Clay, 1896-1897, undated
(6 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 8)
1 47 James Goodwin Clonney, 1895, undated
1 48 Christopher Columbus, 1892-1898, undated
1 49-54 John Singleton Copley, 1876-1909, undated
(6 folders)
1 55 The Copley Gallery, 1913-1915
1 56 Captain Nathaniel Cunningham and Family, 1898, undated
1 57 Alexander James Dallas, 1887
1 58 Moseley Isaac Danforth, 1890
1 59 John Wood Dodge, 1908
1 60 Sally Ward Downs, 1909
1 61 Sir Francis Drake, 1905
1 62 Asher B. Durand, 1887-1915, undated
1 63-64 Ralph Earl, 1913-1916, undated
(2 folders)
1 65 Jean Pierre Henri Elouis, 1907, undated
1 66-87 H. W. Elson's History of the United States, 1896-1907, undated
(22 folders)
Box Folder
2 1 Federico Faruffini, undated
2 2 George Fox, 1895-1905, undated
2 3-22 Benjamin Franklin, 1879-1913, undated
(20 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 8)
2 23-24 Ed Frossard, 1890-1898, undated
(2 folders)
2 25 Sarah Margaret Fuller, 1909
2 26 The Gordon Family, 1918, undated
2 27 Zilpah Polly Grant (Mrs. William B. Banister), 1909
2 28 Rebecca Gratz, 1909
2 29 John Valentine Haidt, 1900
2 30 Sarah Josepha Hale, 1909
2 31-32 Alexander Hamilton, 1881-1897
(2 folders)
2 33-36 James Hamilton, 1858-1914, undated
(4 folders)
2 37 Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1893-1903, undated
2 38 Benjamin R. Haydon, 1846-1897
2 39-45 Gustavus Hesselius, 1896-1929, undated
(7 folders)
2 46 Joseph Hunt, 1913-1914
2 47 Governor Thomas Hutchinson, undated
2 48-49 Independence Hall (Albert Rosenthal Scandal), 1917
(2 folders)
2 50 Indian Portraits, 1904-1905
2 51 Washington Irving, 1897
2 52-57 Andrew Jackson, 1885-1898
(6 folders)
2 58-59 Thomas Jefferson, 1896-1899
(2 folders)
2 60-78 John Paul Jones, 1812-1913, undated
(19 folders)
2 79-88 Matthew Jouett, 1896-1902, undated
(10 folders)
2 89 Horace Kneeland, 1896
2 90 Marquis de Lafayette, 1896-1897
2 91 John Lambert, 1897-1914
2 92 John Laurens, 1897, undated
2 93 Octavia Walton LeVert, 1909
Box Folder
3 1 Abraham Lincoln, 1899
3 2 George Linen, 1897, undated
3 3 William Lovett, undated
3 4 Mary Lyon, 1909
3 5-7 Gabriel Edward Manigault, 1888-1897
(3 folders)
3 8-11 John Marshall, 1892-1897, undated
(4 folders)
3 12-26 Miniatures, 1888-1915, undated
(15 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 8)
3 27-48 Robert Morris, 1774-1912, undated
(22 folders)
3 49-57 Napoleon, 1899-1913, undated
(9 folders)
3 58 Gilbert Stuart Newton, 1890-1892
3 59 The James Otis Family, 1909
3 60 The Peale Family, 1891-1897
3 61 William Penn, undated
3 62-68 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1810-1912, undated
(7 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 8)
3 69 Wendell Phillips, 1912
3 70-77 Photographers Who Did Work for Hart, 1896-1898, undated
(8 folders)
3 78 Pocahontas, undated
3 79 Edgar Allan Poe, 1897, undated
3 80 Charles Peale Polk, 1892, undated
3 81 Mrs. James K. Polk, 1907-1909, undated
3 82 Sara Pryor (Mrs. Roger Pryor), 1910
3 83-97 John Ramage, 1873-1907, undated
(15 folders)
3 98 John Rand, 1898, undated
Box Folder
4 1-3 John Randolph, 1896-1899, undated
(3 folders)
4 4-6 Edward Savage, 1905-1916, undated
(3 folders)
4 7-11 John Smibert, 1898-1917, undated
(5 folders)
4 12 Xanthus Smith, undated
4 13-29 Gilbert Stuart, 1805-1922, undated
(17 folders)
4 30 Major General John Sullivan, 1897
4 31 Robert M. Sully, 1891-1897, undated
4 32 Thomas Sully, 1896-1916, undated
4 33 Ida Tarbell, undated
4 34 William Thornton, undated
4 35 Benjamin Trott, 1893
4 36 John Trumbull, 1884-1906, undated
4 37 John Tyler, 1908
4 38-40 John Vanderlyn, 1884-1896
(3 folders)
4 41 Voltaire, 1907-1908
4 42-58 George Washington, 1799-1918, undated
(17 folders; Oversized Material is Housed in Box 8)
4 59 John Watson, 1899
4 60 Anthony Wayne, 1910
4 61-68 Daniel Webster, 1896-1900, undated
(8 folders)
4 69-77 Adolph Ulric Wertmuller, 1887-1914, undated
(9 folders)
4 78-86 Benjamin West, 1888-1914, undated
(9 folders)
4 87 Lady Diana Whichcote, 1915, undated
4 88 Esther and Thomas White, undated
4 89 John Baptist Wittkamp, 1891, undated
4 90-92 Henry Wolf, 1915-1916, undated
(3 folders)
4 93 George B. Wood, 1891
4 94 Robert Wylie, 1884
Box Folder
8 1 Four Oversized Galley Sheets about Henry Clay, undated,
(from Box 1, Folder 46)
8 1 An Oversized Pencil Sketch about Benjamin Franklin, undated,
(from Box 2, Folder 9)
8 1 Two Oversized Clippings about Miniatures, 1897,
(from Box 3, Folder 22)
8 1 An Oversized Announcement of an Art Survey by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1899,
(from Box 3, Folder 67)
8 2 Oversized Letter about a Portrait of George Washington, 1899,
(from Box 4, Folder 47)
8 2 Oversized Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of George Washington, undated,
(from Box 4, Folder 52)

Series 4: Images File, circa 1890-1900
(Box 5, 8; 0.6 linear feet)

This series consists of printed reproductions of art work, photographs of art work, and original art work compiled and used by Hart as reference material. Subjects of the art work range from portraiture to landscapes to scenes from American history.

Box Folder
5 1-15 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Unidentified Subjects, undated
(15 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 8)
5 16 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "A," undated
5 17 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "B," undated
(Oversized Material Housed in Box 8)
5 18-20 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "C," undated
(3 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 8)
5 21 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "D," undated
5 22 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "E" - "G," undated
(Oversized Material Housed in Box 8)
5 23 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "H," undated
5 24 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "J" - "L," undated
5 25-26 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "M," undated
(2 folders)
5 27 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "N" - "P," undated
5 28 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "R," undated
5 29 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "S," undated
5 30 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "T," undated
5 31 Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Identified Subjects, Surnames "V" - "Y," undated
5 32-34 Reproductions and Photographs of "Historical Scenes - American," undated
5 35-39 Reproductions and Photographs of Art Work, undated
(5 folders; Oversized Material Housed in Box 8)
5 40-43 Original Art Work, undated
(4 folders)
Box Folder
8 3 Ten Oversized Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of Unidentified Subjects, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 15)
8 3 Ten Oversized Reproductions and Photographs of Portraits of the Biddle Family, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 17)
8 3 An Oversized Reproduction of a Portrait of James Cox, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 20)
8 3 An Oversized Reproduction of a Portrait of Gideon Fairman, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 22)
8 3 Two Oversized Reproductions of Art Work, undated,
(from Box 5, Folder 38)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1890-1922
(Boxes 5-6; 0.8 linear feet)

This series consists primarily of notes on art-related topics including the work of various artists, activities of arts organizations, collectors, galleries and museums, sales of art work, and background material about the subjects of portraits. There is also a typescript by Hart containing descriptions of art work to be published in a catalog of the Herbert Lee Pratt collection.

Box Folder
5 44 Early Inventory of the Papers of Charles Henry Hart, undated
5 45-64 File of Clippings and Notes on Miscellaneous Topics, 1890-1922, undated
(20 folders)
Box Folder
6 1-7 File of Clippings and Notes on Miscellaneous Topics, 1890-1922, undated
(7 folders)
6 8-9 Typescript and Galleys for the Pratt Catalogue, 1917
(2 folders)
6 10-13 Miscellaneous Notes, undated
(4 folders)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1822-1925
(Box 6-7; 0.8 linear feet)

Printed material consists of clippings about Hart and miscellaneous art-related topics, auction catalogs, and an incomplete set of pages from Hart's book Memoirs of the Life and Work of Jean Antoine Houdon: Sculpture of Voltaire and of Washington.

Box Folder
6 14-15 Clippings, undated
(2 folders)
6 16 Clippings, 1822-1881
6 17 Clippings, 1890-1897
6 18 Clippings, 1898-1899
6 19 Clippings, 1901-1903
6 20 Clippings, 1904
6 21 Clippings, 1907-1909
6 22 Clippings, 1910-1913
6 23 Clippings, 1914
6 24 Clippings, 1915
6 25 Clippings, 1916
6 26 Clippings, 1917-1918
6 27 Clippings, 1921
6 28-32 Clippings, 1922
(5 folders)
Box Folder
7 1-7 Clippings, 1922
(7 folders)
7 8-17 Clippings, 1923
(10 folders)
7 18 Clippings, 1924
7 19 Clippings, 1925
7 20-28 Clippings Concerning Individual Artists, 1878-1918, undated
(9 folders)
7 29 Clippings Concerning Rembrandt Frauds, 1923
7 30 Auction Catalogs, undated
7 31 Pages from Book Memoirs of the Life and Work of Jean Antoine Houdon: Sculpture of Voltaire and of Washington, 1912
7 32 Miscellaneous Printed Material, undated