Mary Bartlett Cowdrey papers, 1830-1960

Cowdrey, Mary Bartlett, b. 1910 d. 1974
Art historian
Active in N.J.

Collection size: 6.9 linear feet (partially microfilmed on 13 reels)

Collection Summary: Correspondence; photographs; artists' files; and printed material.

Letters, invoices, and clippings relating to the National Academy Design's exhibitions and exhibition records, 1952-1954. Among the correspondents are Eliot Clark, Charles Downing Lay, Vernon Porter, R.W.G. Vail, and Lawrence Grant White. Also found are Cowdrey's collection of ca. 200 photographs and other reproductions of Gilbert Stuart portraits and the publication Essays on American Art and Artists, Eastern Art League, 1896, signed by Cowdrey. Also included are notes, correspondence, photographs, publications, and clippings collected by Cowdrey for a biography of William Sidney Mount, ca. 1830-1957 microfilmed on reels D362-D363 and a letter from Jerome Mellquist, an art historian and specialist on French modern art, regarding his interests and his work , December 14, 1956. The letter has been microfilmed on reel D9.

Biographical/Historical Note: Mary Bartlett Cowdry (1830-1960) was an art historian in Passaic, New Jersey. Bartlett was author of "National Academy of Design Exhibition Record, 1826-1860," 2 v., 1944 a co-author: "William Sidney Mount, 1807-1868, An American Painter," 1944. Cowdrey was also a collector for Archives of American Art in the late 1950s.

Material on reels D362-D363, D9 and unfilmed material donated 1956 and 1966 by Mary Bartlett Cowdrey. In 2001, Paul D. Schweitzer, Cowdrey's friend and Director and Chief Curator of the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, N.Y, donated 0.2 ft. of Cowdrey's files relating to her work on the National Academy of Design. All other papers were lent for microfilming 1956-1966 by Cowdrey.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels NY59-5, NY59-11, NY59-18-NY59-19, NY59-29, N60-11, D362-D363, D75-D78, D9 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm.
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Related Materials

Also in the Archives are papers lent for microfilming on reels N60-11, NY59-5, NY59-11, NY59-18-NY59-19, NY59-29 including files on 19th century American artists compiled by Cowdrey, containing notes, reproductions, clippings, biographical material, and publications; and material microfilmed on reels D75- D78 including alphabetical indexes of artists who exhibited at the National Academy of Design, 1861-1890, including their dates, exhibition dates, their works and prices, and their address at the time of the exhibit, plus notes and correspondence relating to this compilation. This work was intended to be a continuation of Cowdrey's book NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN EXHIBITION RECORD, 1826-1860 (The New York Historical Society, New York, 1943.)

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