Ira and William Glackens papers, circa 1900-1990

A Finding Aid to the Ira and William Glackens Papers, 1900-1990, in the Archives of American Art, by Catherine S. Gaines

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Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Sansom Foundation.

Table of Contents:



Biographical Information

Ira Dimock Glackens (1907-1990), the first child of painter and illustrator William Glackens and Edith Dimock Glackens, was born in New York City. Raised in the art world, he was well acquainted with his father's friends and colleagues. Upon his father's death in 1938, Ira became responsible for managing and administering the art remaining in William Glackens's estate.

Educated at the Choate School, Ira Glackens became a writer. He published two books about his father: William Glackens and the Ashcan Group: The Emergence of Realism in American Art (1957) and William Glackens and the Eight: The Artists who Freed American Art (1984). An opera expert, Ira Glackens was also the author of Yankee Diva: Lillian Nordica and the Golden Days of Opera (1963) and an authority on apples.

William Glackens (1870-1938) was born in Philadelphia and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with Robert Henri while working as an illustrator for local newspapers, including the Philadelphia Press. In 1895, he departed for a year in Paris and then moved to New York City where he continued to work as an illustrator for various newspapers and periodicals. Before long, Glackens began to focus on scenes of city life and street crowds and, in 1908, he participated in the groundbreaking exhibition of The Eight at the Macbeth Gallery in New York City.

Between 1925 and 1932 William Glackens lived and worked in France and his painting was strongly influenced by Renoir. He spent the remainder of his life in New York City, exhibiting widely from 1894 on. Glackens was named an Associate of the National Academy of Design and was the recipient of several awards including those of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition (gold), the 1904 St. Louis Exposition, the 1915 Pan-Pacific Exposition, the 1933 Society of Independent Artists Exhibition, and the 1936 Carnegie International Exhibition.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The Ira and William Glackens papers, circa 1900-1990, measure 2.3 linear feet. The collection consists primarily of the papers of Ira Glackens relating to the artwork of his father, William Glackens, but also contains scattered correspondence of William and his wife Edith, including letters from Albert Barnes. Ira Glackens' papers include books written by Ira; exhibition catalogs and clippings about William and others; photographs of the Glackens family and friends, of Ira, and of the Glackens residence; and an audio recording of William Glackens' remarks upon accepting an award at the Carnegie International Exhibition in 1936. There are also records of the Sansom Foundation, which was set up by Ira Glackens and his wife Nancy.

Biographical information consists of genealogical research on the Glackens family and a copy of Ira Glackens birth certificate.

Correspondence of the artist William Glackens includes letters to his wife, Edith, written while on a trip to Paris in 1912 to purchase paintings for collector Albert C. Barnes. Barnes' letters to William and Edith Glackens are about paintings in the Barnes Collection, the educational plans of his Foundation, and Glackens' work and exhibitions. Letters to Edith Dimock Glackens are from relatives and friends including her father, Ira Dimock, her sister, Irene Dimock FitzGerald, author James L. Ford, and painter Maurice Prendergast. There is also a copy of a letter concerning the estate of Lenna G. Borton, the Glackens' daughter.

Ira Glackens' correspondence largely concerns exhibitions, sales, loans, donations and the authentication of artwork by William Glackens. Correspondents include museums, galleries and artists, in addition to personal correspondence with family and friends. Names of significant correspondents in Ira Glackens' correspondence include Laura (Mrs. Albert C.) Barnes, Charles Buckley, Delaware Art Museum, Kraushaar Gallery, Walt Kuhn, Vivian Liff, George Luks, Stearns Morse, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Bennard Perlman, Eugenie Prendergast, Arnold T. Schwab, Helen (Mrs. John) Sloan, and Williams College Museum of Art.

Noteworthy writings include speeches, a memoir, and a short play by Ira Glackens, and family recollections of Edith Glackens. A 1936 audio recording is of remarks made by William Glackens upon being presented with an award for his entry in the Carnegie Institute's International Exhibition. Writings by others include essays by John Bullard and Everett Shinn about Glackens.

Printed material includes Ira Glackens' books, catalogs of group and solo exhibitions featuring the work of William Glackens, clippings concerning William Glackens, and reviews of Ira Glackens' books.

Records of the Sansom Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization founded in 1950 by Ira and Nancy Glackens to oversee their art interests, consist of annual reports, a charitable trust registration form, and financial and tax records.

Photographs are of the Glackens family, travel scenes and artwork by William Glackens, The Eight, and other artists.

A card index of William Glackens' paintings, prepared by Ira Glackens, provides details of artwork in William Glackens' estate.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Subjects and Names

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

  • Barnes, Albert C. (Albert Coombs), 1872-1951
  • Barnes, Laura L., 1875-1966
  • Buckley, Charles E.
  • Bullard, E. John(Edgar John), 1942-
  • Delaware Art Museum.
  • Dimock, Ira
  • Fitzgerald, Irene Dimock
  • Glackens, Edith
  • Glackens, William J., 1870-1938
  • Kraushaar Galleries.
  • Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949
  • Liff, Vivian
  • Luks, George Benjamin, 1867-1933
  • Morse, Stearns
  • National Gallery of Art (U.S.).
  • National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
  • Perlman, Bennard B.
  • Prendergast, Eug´┐Żnie
  • Prendergast, Maurice Brazil, 1858-1924
  • Schwab, Arnold T.
  • Shinn, Everett, 1876-1953
  • Sloan, Helen Farr, 1911-
  • Williams College. Museum of Art.
  • Art--Collectors and collecting
  • Authors--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
  • Eight (Group of American artists)--Photographs
  • Illustrators--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
  • Painters--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
  • Painting, American
  • Painting, Modern--20th century--United States
  • Photographs
  • Sound recordings
  • Writings

Provenance

The Ira and William Glackens papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Ira Glackens in 1987, and by his estate in 1991. In 2007 a small cache of papers found in the Glackens home was donated by Susan Corn Conway, who had purchased the Glackens' house.

Separated and Related Materials

Published books not authored by Glackens family members or related to Glackens' family members were transferred to the Smithsonian's American Art Museum Library in 2007. A few pieces of artwork were given to Williams College, also in 2007.

The Archives also holds several collections related to Ira and William Glackens, including the Ira Glackens letters to Jane Wasey; the Illustrations by William Glackens and letter from Ira Glackens; the Lillian E. Travis papers relating to William Glackens and Charles Prendergast; and the Thomas Hart Benton and Ira Glackens letters. Substantial correspondence between William Glackens and the Kraushaar Gallery can also be found in the Kraushaar Galleries records.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was processed in 1992 and subsequently microfilmed on reels 4708-4710. The 2007 addition was merged and a finding aid prepared by Catherine Gaines in 2007. The collection was digitized in 2015 with funding provided by the the Sansom Foundation.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original papers requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Ira and William Glackens 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.

Available Formats

The bulk of this collection was digitized in 2015 and is available on the Archives of American Art's website. Materials which have not been scanned include photographs of works of art; duplicates; routine banking records; blank pages in bound volumes; blank versos of photographs; and exhibition catalogs of other artists. In some cases, exhibition catalogs and other publications have had their covers, title pages, and relevant pages scanned.

The sound recording in this collection was digitized for research access in 2009 and is available at the Archives of American Art offices. Researchers may view the original recording for the archival notations on it, but the original sound disc is not available for playback due to fragility.

How to Cite this Collection

Ira and William Glackens papers, circa 1900-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1900-1990
2 Folders; Box 1

Biographical information consists of research and a copy of Ira Glackens' birth certificate.

This series has been scanned in its entirety.

Box Folder
1 1 Genealogical Research, circa 1900-1990
(many photocopies)
1 2 Birth Certificate of Ira Glackens (photocopy; born 1907, document issued 1933), circa 1933

Series 2: Correspondence, 1902-1989
0.7 Linear feet; Box 1

This series has been scanned in its entirety.

The series is arranged as 3 subseries:

2.1: William Glackens, 1902-1938

Correspondence of William Glackens includes letters from James L. Ford to William Lloyd Garrision and from the Library of Congress, in addition to letters to his wife, Edith, written while on a trip to Paris in 1912 to purchase paintings on behalf of Albert C. Barnes. Barnes' letters to William and Edith are about paintings in the Barnes Collection, the educational plans of his Foundation, and Glackens' work and exhibitions.

Box Folder
1 3 Letters, 1902-1938
1 4 Letters to Edith Glackens, 1912
1 5 Letters from Albert C. Barnes, 1922-1938

2.2: Edith Glackens, 1902-1946

Letters to Edith Glackens are from relatives and friends, including her father, Ira Dimock, her sister, Irene Dimock Fitzgerald, James L. Ford, and Maurice Prendergast. There is also a copy of a letter concerning the estate of Lenna G. Borton, the Glackens' daughter.

Box Folder
1 6 Caskey, John F. (re. Estate of Lenna G. Borton), 1944
1 7 Dimock, Ira, 1908-1917
1 8 Family and Friends, undated, 1902-1946

2.3: Ira Glackens, 1922-1989

Ira Glackens' correspondence primarily documents arrangements for loans to exhibitions, sales, donations, and authentication of artwork and gifts of paintings by William Glackens, in addition to including personal correspondence with friends and family.

Correspondents in this series include: Laura (Mrs. Albert C.) Barnes, Ada Britton (cousin), Charles Buckley, Delaware Art Museum, Irene Dimock Fitzgerald (aunt), Kraushaar Gallery, Walt Kuhn, Vivian Liff, George Luks, Middlebrook family (in-laws), Stearns Morse, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Bennard Perlman, Eugenie Prendergast, Arnold T. Schwab, Helen (Mrs. John) Sloan, Ben Stitchfield (founder of the Nordica Memorial Association), and Williams College Museum of Art.

Files are arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent.

Box Folder
1 9 Authentication of Paintings by William Glackens, 1975-1987
1 10 Gifts of Paintings by William Glackens, 1955-1968
1 11 ACA Galleries - Authors Guild, Inc., 1967-1987
1 12 Barnes, Laura (Mrs. Albert C.), 1954-1960
1 13 Bagby - Brauer, 1973-1986
1 14 Britton, Ada - Buck, Robert F., 1973-1987
1 15 Buckley, Charles - Butterworth, W. Walton, 1967-1985
1 16 Carnegie Institute - Crawford, Billy (Mrs. Charles C.), 1976-1985
1 17 Davis, Roy - Dymoke, Colonel, 1975-1985
1 18 Ebsworth, Barney - Farrior, Terry (Mrs. John M.), 1975-1983
1 19 Fitzgerald, [Florence] Irene Dimock (aunt), 1925-1962
1 20 Fitzgerald, [Florence] Irene Dimock, Estate of, 1965
1 21 Flint Institute of Arts - Jenner, Judy, 1935-1986
1 Kraushaar Gallery
1 22 Correspondence, 1962-1986
1 23-24 Consignments, 1938-1988
1 25-26 Consignments, 1948-1971, undated
1 27 Statements, 1938-1986
1 28 Miscellaneous, 1961-1985
1 29 Kraushaar, Antoinette - Luks, George, 1922-1986
1 30 Maguire, Marian - Moreland, Saundra and Gary, 1922-1983
1 31-32 Morse, Stearns, 1952-1976
1 33 Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale - New Orleans Museum of Art, 1978-1989
1 34 O'Gorman, James F. - Prendergast, Eugenie, 1975-1987
1 35 Saint Louis Museum of Art - Sinclair, 1923-1987
1 36 Skilton, John Davis - Sturgis, Walter Knight, 1938-1986
1 37 Turner, Eva - Wilson, Edith I., 1938-1987
1 38 Williams College Museum of Art - Zirkman, Al, 1971-1987
1 39 Miscellaneous (unidentified correspondents), 1971-1987

Series 3: Writings, 1936-1982
0.2 Linear feet; Boxes 1, 3

Writings are by Ira Glackens and others. Noteworthy writings include speeches, a memoir, and a short play by Ira Glackens, and family recollections of Edith Glackens. Essays written by John Bullard and Everett Shinn are also found here.

There is also a sound disc (lacquer) recording of William Glackens' accepting an award from the Carnegie Institute at its 1936 International Exhibition.

This series has been scanned in its entirety. The sound recording has been digitized for research access.

Writings are arranged by author.

Box Folder
1 40 Bullard, John. "George Luks and William Glackens in Cuba," circa 1965-1980
1 41 Glackens, Edith (Mrs. William). "Life and Antics of the Young Dimocks" and Other Family Recollections, circa 1965-1980
1 Glackens, Ira
1 42 Autobiography, "The Porpoise Close Behind Me," circa 1965-1980
1 43 Play, "The Burden of Isis," circa 1965-1980
1 44 Speeches, 1964-1981
1 45 Glackens, William, Acceptance of Award from Carnegie International Exhibition, 1936
1 Sound disc (lacquer)
Includes a rough transcript of the WJZ radio recording of Glackens' remarks when accepting the award. Oversized material housed in Box 3, Folder 1.
1 46 Shinn, Everett. "More Sinned Against than Usual," circa 1936
1 47 Various Authors. Miscellaneous Notes and Writings about William Glackens, 1963-1982
Box Folder
3 1 Oversize Recording of William Glackens from Box 1, Folder 45, circa 1936

Series 4: Sansom Foundation, Inc., 1957-1973
0.2 Linear feet; Box 2

Records of the Sansom Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization founded in 1950 by Ira and Nancy Glackens to oversee their art interests, consist of annual reports, a charitable trust registration form, and financial and tax records.

The bulk of this series have been scanned. Routine financial materials have not been scanned.

Materials are arranged by document type.

Box Folder
2 1 Annual Reports, 1968-1970
2 2 Cancelled Checks (First National City Bank), 1967-1973
2 3 Statements (First National City Bank), 1969-1973
2 4 Expenses for Sales of Paintings by William Glackens, 1957-1968
2 5 Financial Summaries, 1956-1968
2 Investments
2 6 Shearson, Hammill and Co., 1967-1971
2 7 Wood, Struthers, and Winthrop, Inc., 1970-1971
2 8 Legal Document (registration of charitable trust), 1967
2 9 Tax Returns, 1967-1972

Series 5: Printed Material, 1903-1989
0.6 Linear feet; Boxes 2-3

Printed material includes catalogs of group and solo exhibitions featuring the work of William Glackens; clippings and miscellaneous printed items about William Glackens, other artists, Albert C. Barnes, and Ira Glackens; and books by Ira Glackens.

Portions of this series have been scanned. In some cases exhibition catalogs and other publications have had their covers, title pages, and relevant pages scanned.

Printed material is arranged by record type.

Box Folder
2 10 Booklet, Story of the Armory Show by Walt Kuhn, 1938
Includes inscription by Walt Kuhn.
2 Books by Ira Glackens
2 11 Did Molly Pitcher Say That?: The Men and Women Who Made American History, 1988
2 12 Measure of Sliding Sand, 1976
2 13 Pope Joan: An Unorthodox Interlude, 1965
2 14 Yankee Diva: Lillian Nordica and the Golden Days of Opera, 1963
2 Clippings and Miscellaneous Printed Items
2 15 Albert C. Barnes, 1958
2 16 Ira Glackens, 1927-1976
2 17 William Glackens, 1933-1985
Oversized material housed in Box 3, Folder 2.
2 18 Other Artists, 1917-1989
2 19-20 Exhibition Catalogs, 1915-1987
2 Illustrations by William Glackens
2 21 Photocopies (items dated 1899-1913), circa 1960-1970
2 22 Saturday Evening Post, circa 1903
2 23 Reproductions of Works by William Glackens, circa 1950-1976
Box Folder
3 2 Oversize Clippings of William Glackens from Box 2, Folder 17, circa 1933-1985

Series 6: Scrapbook, 1956-1980
0.1 Linear feet; Box 3

The scrapbook contains clippings about or mentioning William Glackens and reviews of Ira Glackens' books.

This series has been scanned in its entirety.

Box Folder
3 3 Scrapbook, 1956-1980

Series 7: Photographs, circa 1900-1986
0.3 Linear feet; Box 2

Photographs of people include William Glackens, the Glackens family, and friends of Ira Glackens. A dismantled family album contains photos of family, friends, and travel scenes. Miscellaneous subjects are animals, landscapes, and buildings. Artwork represented is mainly by William Glackens, but also includes artwork by members of The Eight and other artists. Negatives are of photographs of William Glackens, family and friends, miscellaneous subjects and artwork.

The bulk of this series has been scanned. Duplicates, blank versos of photographs, and reproductions of artwork have not been scanned.

Materials are arranged by subject.

Box Folder
2 24-25 William Glackens, Family, and Friends, 1906-1940
2 26 Family Album (disbound), 1925-1930
2 27 Ira Glackens, Family, and Friends, circa 1900-1986
2 28 Miscellaneous Subjects, 1929-1974
2 Artwork
2 29 By William Glackens, circa 1960-1980
2 30-31 By William Glackens and Others, circa 1960-1980

Series 8: Card Index of William Glackens' Paintings, circa 1940-1949
0.2 Linear feet; Box 3

This index (on 3" x 5" cards), prepared by Ira Glackens, records details of artwork in William Glackens' estate.

This series has been scanned in its entirety.

Cards retain Ira Glackens' original arrangement.

Box Folder
3 4-6 Card Index of William Glackens' Paintings, circa 1940-1949