Gorham Manufacturing Company, Bronze Division records, [ca. 1905-1978]

Gorham Manufacturing Company. Bronze Division, est. 1831
Silversmith firm
R.I.

Collection size: 750 items (on 2 microfilm reels).

Collection Summary: The business records of the Bronze Division of Gorham include summary historical and technical information, ledgers, and photograph files of statuary. Historical data and background information including a two-page outline, compiled in 1946, of the company's activities from its founding in 1831 to 1906; a single page outline entitled, "Small Statuary Bronzes," 1945, which defines consignment bronze, royalty bronze, Gorham-owned bronze, and small bronzes; and a five page typescript explaining the numbering and royalty systems and price structure, 1947; scattered correspondence and memorandums, 1941-1978, dealing with historical data about art bronze casting and identification of bronzes; 1 v. record of castings of statuary and small bronzes owned by Gorham, 1905-1970, including sequence number, description of pieces, size, and date cast; 2 v. record of castings of statuary and small bronzes owned by sculptors, 1906-1930 and 1930-1979, including dates, sequence numbers, description of pieces, contract number and name of sculptor; 1 v. record of royalties paid to sculptors, 1910-ca. 1949, arranged alphabetically by sculptor and includes records of the number of castings and for whom each piece was cast, date, shipped, and date royalty paid; price lists of statuary and small bronzes; and photograph files, arranged alphabetically, of statuary and small bronzes cast at Gorham. Each photo contains the name of sculptor, title of piece, size and sequence number.

Biographical/Historical Note: The Gorham Company, founded by Jabez Gorham in 1831 in Providence, Rhode Island, began by manufacturing teaspoons and other small silver articles. In 1865, a separate ecclesiastical department was organized. Small bronzes were made by Gorham, ca. 1860, but it was not until 1885 that the first large noneccelastical sculpture was made (Frederick Kohlhagen's Civil War monument, "The Skirmisher"). The Bronze Division was started ca. 1890. Some of the sculptors whose works have been cast by the Division include: Cyrus Dallin, Daniel Chester French, Harriet Frishmuth, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Alexander P. Proctor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and Mahonri Young.

Lent for microfilming 1986 by the Gorham Division of Textron, Inc., and turned over subsequently to Brown University John Hay Library.

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  • Microfilm reels 3680-3681 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
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