Martin family papers and Campus Martius Museum records regarding Lilly Martin Spencer, 1825-1971

Spencer, Lilly Martin, b. 1822 d. 1902
Muralist, Printmaker, Portrait painter
Active in New York, N.Y.; Ohio

Collection size: 1 microfilm reel.

Collection Summary: Family papers include letters to Giles Martin from William Hebert and others concerning the Martin's plans to emigrate from England to America, and ca. 50 letters, 1828-1860, to Giles and Angelique Martin in Marietta and at Trumbull Phalanx by reformers active in Ohio and Massachusetts temperance, antislavery, labor and/or Association movements, among them Sarah G. Bagley, Maria M. Eastman, Mary Moody Emerson, Frances D.B. Gage, Anna Q.T. Parsons, Caroline M. S. Severance, Adeline T. Swift, and others less known but very active. Also included are 3 letters from Spencer, 1842 Mar. 31 and June 10, and 1847 July 10 to her parents.

The Campus Martius Museum records consist of correspondence with owners of Spencer's prints, paintings and and papers; clippings, articles, and reproductions of Spencer's work.

Biographical/Historical Note: Spencer was a portrait and genre painter; New York, N.Y. and Ohio. She was born Angelique Marie Martin November 26, 1822, in England to French parents, Giles and Angelique Martin, followers of the French social critic, Charles Fourier. Upon emigrating to the U.S. in 1830, and moving to Marietta, Ohio in 1833, the Martins, along with others active in the cooperative movement organized a communal association, Trumbull Phalanx, near Braceville, Ohio in 1845, and became active in women's rights and other reform movements. Spencer chose to concentrate on painting, first in Cincinatti and then in New York in 1848 with her husband Benjamin Rush Spencer, a cloth merchant. She maintained a successful painting career while raising seven children and moving several times, to Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, Newark, N.J., and Highlands and Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Spencer died May 22, 1902.

Lent for filming 1971 by Campus Martius Museum, Ohio Historical Society.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reel 132 (frames 402-908) available at Archives of American Art offices, the Ohio Historical Society Library, 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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