Isabella Stewart Gardner papers, 1760-1956

Gardner, Isabella Stewart, b. 1840 d. 1924
Collector, Art patron
Active in Boston, Mass.

Collection size: 40 microfilm reels.

Collection Summary: Letters, business records, diary, and photographs.

REEL 380-413: Primarily correspondence, mostly Gardner's own, but including family correspondence and Gardner Museum correspondence. Also included are misc. items and printed material. Correspondents include: Edwin Austin Abbey, Lyman Abbott, Brooks Adams, Alexander Agassiz, Elizabeth C. Agassiz, Louis Agassiz, Luigi Agostini, Hamilton Aide, Thomas B. Aldrich, Abram P. Andrew, Boris Anisfeld, George Arliss, Anne L. Balch, George G. Barnard, Grace Edith Barnes, Cecilia Beaux, Martin Birnbaum, William Sturgis Bigelow, William Phipps Blake, Edwin Howland Blashfield, Wilhelm von Bode, Martin Brimmer, J. Appleton Brown, Dennis Miller Bunker, Bryson Burroughs, Theodore Byard, Morris Carter, Paul Chalfin, Conrad Chapman, John Jay Chapman, Alfred Q. Collins,

Frederick Shepard Converse, Walter William Spencer Cook, Archibald Cary Coolidge, Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, Charles Townsend Copeland, Kenyon Cox, Ralph Adams Cram, Francis Marion Crawford, Raymond Crosby, Sally Cross, Ralph W. Curtis, Howard G. Cushing, Charlotte Cushman, Walter Damrosch, Richard Harding Davis, Elsie De Wolfe, Mary Dexter, Nathan H. Dole, John Donoghue, Ruth Draper, Duveen Brothers, J. S. Dwight, Theodore F. Dwight, Louis Dyer, Charles W. Eliot, Barry Faulkner, Gabriel Faure, Minnie Maddern Fiske, Daniel Chester French, Helen C. Frick, Roger E. Fry, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, John Lowell Gardner, William Amory Gardner, I. M. Gaugengigl, Richard Watson Gilder, Rene Gimpel, Edwin L. Godkin, Leon Gordon, Lady Augusta Gregory, Louise I. Guiney, Edward E. Hale,

Mary (Mrs. Richard Walden) Hale, Philip Leslie Hale, Mrs. Philip Hale, Richard Hammond, Walter Hampden, George C. Hazelton, Paul Helleu, Henry Lee Higginson, Thomas W. Higginson, Robert Hinckley, Malvina Hoffman, Edward W. Hooper, Harriet Hosmer, Julia W. Howe, Archer M. Huntington, Vincent d'Indy, Henry Irving, August F. Jaccaci, Clarence King, William Kittredge, Louis Kronberg, Petr A. Kropotkin, Anna C. Ladd, John La Farge, Charles Rollinson Lamb, Charles Lanman, Charles G. Loring, James R. Lowell, Dodge Macknight, Mary L. Macomber, Richard Mansfield, Paul Manship, Frank J. Mather, Francis John McComas, Nellie Melba, Francis Davis Millet, S. Weir Mitchell, Helena Modjeska, Pierre Monteux, John S. Mosby, Gilbert Murray,

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Andrews Norton, Lily Norton, Richard Norton, William O'Connell, Kazuzo Okakura, Jean N. Oliver, William O. Partridge, Walter Pater, Anna Pavlova, Waldo Peirce, Joseph Pennell, Harper Pennington, Lilla Cabot Perry, Edward C. Pickering, Sophia L. Pitman, Matthew Stewart Prichard, John Quinn, Robert Reid, Amelie Rives, Elizabeth W. Roberts, Auguste Rodin, Denman Ross, Will Rothenstein, Lillian Russell, Paul J. Sachs, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Ruth St. Denis, Franklin B. Sanborn, Charles Sprague Sargent, John Singer Sargent, J.M. Sears, C. Arnold Slade, Irene Slade, Henry Davis Sleeper, F. Hopkinson Smith, George Warren Smith, Joseph L. Smith, Albert Spaulding, Maurice Sterne, William James Stillman, Julian Story, Thomas W. Story, Henry Swift,

John Addington Symonds, Ellen Terry, Celia Thaxter, Abbott H. Thayer, William R. Thayer, Mary A. Tiffany, Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer, Adelaide E. Wadsworth, Francis Amasa Walker, Mrs. Humphry Ward, Mrs. Fiske Warren, Edmund March Wheelwright, James McNeill Whistler, Margaret White, Sara de Prix Wyman Whitman, Wildenstein Galleries, Owen Wister, Charles H. Woodbury, Rufus F. Zogbaum, Anders Zorn, Mrs. Anders Zorn, and others.

REELS 631-632: Personal papers of Gardner and some records of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum including dealers' files containing invoices, notes, cancelled checks, and letters; a record book, "Prices Paid for Paintings," 1917; a record book, "Prices Paid for Works of Art"; 118 installation photographs of the museum as arranged by Gardner, 1924; a diary kept in Egypt, 1874, with sketches; a diary kept in Shanghai and India, 1883-1884; "Directions for my funeral," 1912; and "Suggestions for Running a Museum," 1913.

REELS 696-698: Letters from Bernard Berenson to Gardner, 1887-1924. Letters contain references to literary topics, Berenson's impressions of Europe, various paintings and artists, advice to Gardner on the purchase of paintings and information on their sale.

REEL 846: Checklist of Gardner's letters to Bernard and Mary Berenson, 1894-1924; typescripts of personal and official correspondence (originals found on AAA microfilm reels 696-698), 1887-1924.

Biographical/Historical Note: Art patron, collector, and museum founder; Boston, Mass. Immediately after graduation from Harvard, Bernard Berenson was hired by Gardner to travel throughout Italy collecting Italian Renaissance art for her recreated Venetian palazzo in Boston. She established her palazzo as a museum of fine European art with stipulations that after her death none of the exhibited works was to be moved or rearranged, but left as she had designed during her lifetime.

Microfilm lent by Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for duplicating, 1972-1975.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels 380-413, 631-632, 696-698, and 846 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
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