Desmond Fitzgerald papers, 1868-1930

Fitzgerald, Desmond, b. 1846 d. 1926
Collector, Art patron, Engineer
Active in Brookline, Mass.

Collection size: 0.6 linear ft. (on 3 microfilm reels)

Collection Summary: Correspondence; press clippings; 28 volumes of a diary; an account book; and a catalog.

REEL D177: Letters from Macknight to Desmond Fitzgerald, Boston critic, collector, dealer, and biographer of Dodge Macknight; press clippings concerning Macknight exhibitions; and letters to Fitzgerald from Isabella Gardner, Claude Monet, and John Henry Twachtman, mostly relating to Macknight.

REELS 2774-2775: 28 volumes of Fitzgerald's personal diary (not in consecutive order) which include a few clippings and photographs; Early volumes relate to Fitzgerald's professional work. Later volumes after 1900 reflect his art interests, giving a full picture of his involvement in the art world. Also contains an account book and a catalog of Fitzgerald's estate sale after his death, IMPORTANT PAINTINGS BY THE INPRESSIONISTS: THE FITZGERALD COLLECTION, 1927.

Biographical/Historical Note: Art patron, art collector, and engineer; Brookline, Mass. Served on the boards of the Boston Public Library and of the Copley Society. In 1913, he arranged to have the Armory Show come to Boston. His collection of mainly French and American impressionist paintings by Claude Monet, Dodge Macknight, and others became a kind of semi-public museum. Upon his death, the collection was sold at auction.

Material on reel D177 was lent for microfilming 1965 by Andrew Oliver; material on reels 2774-2775 was purchased 1979 from an auction in New Hampshire by the dealers R. & D. Emerson of Falls Village, Conn. The Archives of American Art arranged to purchase them through a grant from the Hope Foundation of Providence, R.I., a philanthropic organization founded by the Brown family. Fitzgerald was a cousin of John Nicholas Brown.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels D177 and 2774-2775 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
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