George Grey Barnard papers, 1884-1963

Barnard, George Grey, b. 1863 d. 1938
Active in New York, N.Y.; Bellefonte, Pa.

Collection size: 13.2 linear feet

Collection Summary: Biographical material, diaries, business records, photographs and printed material mainly concerning Barnard's activities as a sculptor, art collector, and dealer.

REEL 118: Correspondence, 1925-1964, relating in part to the sale of Barnard's "Cloisters"; including letters from Barnard's son to his mother concerning the Barnard estate; family financial records, clippings, and photograhs of Barnard's sculptures.

REEL 1116: Photographs of Barnard's sculptures, 1884-1938. Included are photographs of full-scale plaster models for "The Rainbow Arch," a monumental complex representing peace and the labors of man which was never completed.

UNMICROFILMED: Biographical and autobiographical data; lists of prospective patrons; diaries, 1900, 1904, 1931-1938; employee records for France and New York studios; financial records, 1909-1940; studio inventories; clippings; notebooks concerning Barnard's activities as collector and dealer (some with sketches); and papers concerning his art collections; the "Old Cloisters," 1914-1925, bought by John D. Rockefeller for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the "Abbaye," 1925-1938, most of which was purchased by the Philadelphia Museum of Art after Barnard's death.

Also included are 176 photographs of Barnard 8 taken by Doris Ulmann, 2 by George C. Cox, and 2 by Carl Van Vechten, of him at work in his studio, his family, studios in France and New York, models, patrons, including Edward J. Clard, Alfred Corning Clark, Robert C. Ogden and Ida M. Tarbell, portraits of Barnard and other paintings by Anna Bilinski; and 167 photographs of Medieval artifacts bought by Barnard, many showing their location as he found them and including price and provenance information. In addition, there are ca. 320 sermons, 1881-1926, of his father, Dr.J.H. Barnard, Presbyterian minister in Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa.

UNMICROFILMED [gift of Penn State Archives, 2 ft.]: Seven letters; photographs and negatives of sculpture and artifacts; business papers concerning the construction of Barnard's residence in New York, 1924-1925; clippings, and miscellany.

Biographical/Historical Note: Sculptor, art collector and dealer. Trained at Chicago Art Institute and L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Commissioned to do statues for the Capital in Harrisburg, Pa., a statue of Lincoln for Cincinnati, Ohio. He spent the last years of his life on a monument to peace entitled "Rainbow Arch" which was never realized. Barnard supported himself by selling Medieval art and artifacts. He built the "Cloisters" in New York City to house his personal collection and sold it in 1925 to John D. Rockefeller, who donated it to the City of New York. A second collection, The Abbaye, was sold by his estate to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The bulk of the George Grey Barnard papers, ca. 16 linear ft., was transferred from the National Collection of Fine Arts August 7, 1975, where they had been given by Barnard's son Monroe in March 1970 along with related statuary given to NCFA. Ca. 450 photos received with the transfer were microfilmed (reel 1116) and returned to NCFA's Photo Archives. They were subequently transferred to AAA in 2003. Monroe Barnard had previously donated 0.4 linear ft. of papers directly to AAA (microfilm reel 118) June 1971. An additional two feet of material was received from Pennsylvania State University in October 1976 where it had been given by Barnard's daughter, Vivia. In 1985, AAA borrowed for microfilming ca. 4 feet of Barnard papers from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which are cataloged separately.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reel 118 and 1116 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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