Ira and William Glackens papers, circa 1900-1990

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

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Table of Contents:



Biographical Information

Writer 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 a painter and illustrator in Philadelphia, Pa. and New York City. Glackens 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 witten 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's 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' corresponcence 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. 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. 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.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Subjects and Names

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

Subjects:

  • Glackens, William J.,d1870-1938

Subjects-Topical:

  • Eight (Group of American artists)-- Photographs
  • Painting, American
  • Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- United States
  • Art -- Collectors and collecting
  • Authors -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
  • Illustrators -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
  • Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia

Types of Materials:

  • Sound recordings
  • Photographs
  • Writings

Names:

  • Barnes, Albert C. (Albert Coombs),$d1872-1951
  • Barnes, Laura L., 1875-1966
  • Buckley, Charles E.
  • Bullard, E. John(Edgar John), 1942-
  • Dimock, Ira
  • Fitzgerald, Irene Dimock
  • Glackens, Edith
  • Glackens, William J., 1870-1938
  • Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949
  • Liff, Vivian
  • Luks, George Benjamin, 1867-1933
  • Morse, Stearns
  • Perlman, Bennard B.
  • Prendergast, EugĂ©nie
  • Prendergast, Maurice Brazil, 1858-1924
  • Schwab, Arnold T.
  • Shinn, Everett, 1876-1953
  • Sloan, Helen Farr, 1911-
  • Delaware Art Museum
  • Kraushaar Galleries
  • National Gallery of Art (U.S.)
  • National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian Institution)
  • Williams College. Museum of Art.

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.

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.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of orginal 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

Portions of the collection are available on 35 mm microfilm reels 4708-4710, at Archives of American Art offices and for interlibrary loan. Not all of the papers were microfilmed. When known, reel numbers have been added to the container listing of this finding aid. Unfilmed folders have also been noted.

The sound recording in this collection was digitized for research access and is available at the Archives of American Art offices.

How to Cite this Collection

Ira and William Glackens papers, circa 1900-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1900-circa 1990
(Box 1; Reel 4708; 2 folders)

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

Box Reel
1 4708 Genealogical Research, undated
(many photocopies)
1 4708 Birth Certificate of Ira Glackens (photocopy; born 1907, document issued 1933), undated

Series 2: Correspondence, 1902-1989
(Box 1; Reels 4708-4709; 0.8 linear ft.)

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 Reel
1 4708 Letters, 1902-1938
1 4708 Letters to Edith Glackens, 1912
1 4708 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 Reel
1 unfilmed Caskey, John F. (re. Estate of Lenna G. Borton) 1944
1 4708 Dimock, Ira, 1908-1917
1 4708 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 Reel
1 4708/4709 Authentication of Paintings by William Glackens, 1975-1987
1 unfilmed Gifts of Paintings by William Glackens, 1955-1968
1 4708/4709 ACA Galleries Authors Guild, Inc., 1967-1987
1 4708/4709 Barnes, Laura (Mrs. Albert C.), 1954-1960
1 4708/4709 Bagby - Brauer, 1973-1986
1 4708/4709 Britton, Ada - Buck, Robert F., 1973-1987
1 4708/4709 Buckley, Charles - Butterworth, W. Walton, 1967-1985
1 4708/4709 Carnegie Institute - Crawford, Billy (Mrs. Charles C.), 1976-1985
1 4708/4709 Davis, Roy - Dymoke, Colonel, 1975-1985
1 4708/4709 Ebsworth, Barney - Farrior, Terry (Mrs. John M.), 1975-1983, undated
1 4708/4709 Fitzgerald, [Florence] Irene Dimock (aunt), 1925-1962
1 unfilmed Fitzgerald, [Florence] Irene Dimock, Estate of, 1965
1 4708/4709 Flint Institute of Arts - Jenner, Judy, 1935-1986, undated
1 4708/4709 Kraushaar Gallery
1 4708/4709 Correspondence, 1962-1986
1 4708/4709 Consignments, 1938-1988
(2 folders)
1 unfilmed Consignments, 1948-1971, undated
(2 folders)
1 4708/4709 Statements, 1938-1986
1 4708/4709 Miscellaneous, 1961-1985
1 4708/4709 Kraushaar, Antoinette - Luks, George, 1922-1986
1 4708/4709 Maguire, Marian - Moreland, Saundra and Gary, 1922-1983
1 4708/4709 Morse, Stearns, 1952-1976
(2 folders)
1 4708/4709 Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale - New Orleans Museum of Art, 1978-1989
1 4708/4709 O??Gorman, James F. - Prendergast, Eugenie, 1975-1987
1 4708/4709 Saint Louis Museum of Art - Sinclair, 1923-1987
1 4708/4709 Skilton, John Davis - Sturgis, Walter Knight, 1938-1986, undated
1 4708/4709 Turner, Eva - Wilson, Edith I., 1938-1987
1 4708/4709 Williams College Museum of Art - Zirkman, Al, 1971-1987
1 4708/4709 Miscellaneous (unidentified correspondents), 1971-1987

Series 3: Writings, 1963-1982
(Box 1; Reel 4709; 0.2 linear ft.)

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.

Writings are arranged by author.

Box Reel
1 4709 Bullard, John. "George Luks and William Glackens in Cuba," undated
1 unfilmed Glackens, Edith (Mrs. William). "Life and Antics of the Young Dimocks" and Other Family Recollections, undated
1 4709 Glackens, Ira
1 4709 Speeches, 1964-1981, undated
1 4709 Autobiography, "The Porpoise Close Behind Me," undated
1 4709 Play, "The Burden of Isis," undated
1 4709 Shinn, Everett. "More Sinned Against than Usual," undated
1 4709 Various Authors. Miscellaneous Notes and Writings about William Glackens, 1963-1982, undated

Series 4: Sansom Foundation, Inc., 1957-1973
(Box 2; 0.25 linear ft.)

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.

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

Series 5: Printed Material, 1903-1989
(Boxes 2-3; Reel 4709; 0.6 linear ft.)

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.

Printed material is arranged by record type.

Box Reel
2 4709 Books by Ira Glackens
2 4709 Pope Joan: An Unorthodox Interlude, 1965
2 4709 Yankee Diva: Lillian Nordica and the Golden Days of Opera, 1963
2 4709 A Measure of Sliding Sand, 1976
2 4709 Did Molly Pitcher Say That?: The Men and Women Who Made American History, 1988
2 4709 Clippings and Miscellaneous Printed Items
(Oversized items housed in Box 3)
2 4709 William Glackens, 1933-1985, undated
2 4709 Albert C. Barnes, 1958, undated
2 4709 Other Artists, 1917-1989
2 4709 Ira Glackens, 1927-1976
2 4709 Exhibition Catalogs, 1915-1987
(2 folders)
2 unfilmed Exhibition Catalogs, 1940-1946
2 4709 Illustrations by William Glackens
2 4709 Photocopies (items dated 1899-1913), undated
2 4709 Saturday Evening Post, 1903, undated
2 4709 Reproductions of Works by William Glackens, 1976, undated
Box Reel
3 4709 Oversize Clippings
(Oversized items from Box 2)

Series 6: Scrapbook, 1956-1980
(Box 3; Reel 4709; 1 volume)

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

Box Reel
3 4709 Scrapbook, 1956-1980
(1 volume)

Series 7: Photographs, circa 1900-1986
(Box 2; Reel 4710; 0.4 linear ft.)

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.

Box Reel
2 4710 William Glackens, Family, and Friends, 1906-1940, undated
(2 folders)
2 4710 Family Album (disbound), 1925-1930
2 4710 Ira Glackens, Family, and Friends, circa 1900-1986, undated
2 4710 Miscellaneous Subjects, 1929-1974, undated
2 4710 Artwork
2 4710 By William Glackens, undated
2 4710 By William Glackens and Others, undated
(2 folders)
2 4710 Negatives, undated

Series 8: Card Index of William Glackens' Paintings, circa 1940s
(Box 3; Reel 4710; 1 card file)

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

Box Reel
3 4710 Card Index of William Glackens' Paintings, circa 1940s

Series 9: Sound Recording, 1936
(Box 3; 1 folder)

This series consists of a 78 r.p.m. sound recording of William Glackens' remarks on acccepting an award from the Carnegie Institute at its 1936 International Exhibition. A rough transcript of the WJZ radio recording of Glackens remarks when accepting the award is provided below:

1st announcer: 11 p.m. courtesy of Benrus watches, Benrus, WJZ, New York. The Carnegie International winner's broadcast will be heard at approximately 11:05. We present now the 1936 Carnegie International winner's broadcast and take you now to Pittsburgh.

2nd announcer: The National Broadcasting Company takes pleasure in greeting you from Pittsburgh. The occasion is the opening of the 1936 Carnegie International, the only annual international exhibition of contemporary painting in the world. This evening we are not only going to tell you who won the prizes - amounting in all to $43, 400 - but two of the prize winners will speak to you on this program from New York.

And, next, it is my pleasure to present Mr. William J. Glackens, winner of the Allegheny County Garden Club Prize. Mr. Glackens ??

Glackens: During my career I have received several honors, but this is the first time I have gained a prize for a flower picture, and I wish to thank the Allegheny County Garden Club, donor of the prize, who have given the award to me. It is an honor that I appreciate most highly. I suppose there is no one subject in nature that is painted more often than flowers. The __?___ and the extraordinary variety of colors make them irresistible. I doubt if there are many painters who have not at one point or another used them as material for pictures. No other subject calls for the use of pigment, the __?__ strength, the [very?] quality of tone and, if one considers that all the artist had at his command is a small group of colored clays, minerals and vegetable matter ground to the consistency of fine mud, one must concede that it is highly commendable that the results are as good as they often are.

I once saw an exhibition of flower pictures in which someone had [conceived?] the idea of placing vases of real flowers in various parts of the gallery. The effect was disastrous. However, did a flower painter __?__ when he pretty much expected to compete side by side with nature. Real flowers have no place in a picture gallery.

People talk a great deal about arranging flowers. These must be people who have never painted them, for even cut flowers adjust to themselves, arrange themselves. Arrange the flowers in the center the second day because you will find that overnight the flowers will have settled into a more confortable and natural position. They are, in fact, living models.

2nd announcer: Thank you, Mr. Glackens.

Box Reel
3 unfilmed William Glackens' Acceptance of Award from Carnegie International Exhibition, 1936
(one sound disc)