Mary Butler papers, 1853-1946, (bulk 1884-1946)

A Finding Aid to the Mary Butler Papers, 1853-1946, bulk 1884-1946, in the Archives of American Art, by Jean Fitzgerald

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Table of Contents:



Biographical Information

Mary Butler was born on October 27, 1865 in Uwachlan, Pennsylvania, the daughter of James and Rachel M. (James) Butler.

Butler began her education at the Darlington Seminary. She studied painting at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now the Moore College of Art) under William Sartain and Robert Henri, graduating in 1894. Between 1896 and 1902, she studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under William Merritt Chase and Celia Beaux. From 1897 to 1898, she studied at the Académie Colarossi in Paris with Gustave Courtois, René François Xavier Prinet, and Jean-Antoine Injalbert.

She attended a summer school conducted by William Merritt Chase at Shinnacock Hills, and later studied under Robert Henri and Edward W. Redfield. With Redfield, she spent a season at Centre Bridge, Pennsylvania. Butler was primarily a landscape painter and traveled widely in the United States and Europe to find unusual and inspiring views. She also spent summers in Ogunquit and on Monhegan Island, Maine.

In 1909, Butler joined the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and served as President of that organization from 1921 to 1937. During her tenure, she inaugurated traveling exhibitions, a picture purchasing fund and, in 1915, the Thouron Fund for aid of needy artists.

Throughout her career Butler exhibited extensively and promoted the arts in Philadelphia.

Mary Butler died on March 16, 1946.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of landscape painter Mary Butler date from 1853-1946, bulk 1884-1946, and measure 1.6 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, correspondence, and records relating to Butler's long participation in the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Also found are notes and writings, a scrapbook, printed material, and photographs of Butler, her friends, her studio in Ogunquit, Maine, her landscape paintings, and exhibition installations.

Biographical material includes genealogical notes on Butler's early family history, biographical accounts, teaching certificates, and letters of recommendation from Butler's instructors including William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and William Sartain.

Found within the papers are correspondence with family members, including letters to her cousin Edgar Butler letters from her friend Mrs. Thomas Eakins; and miscellaneous scattered letters from various colleagues including George Biddle, Dorothy Grafly, Thornton Oakley, and Alice Kent Stoddard concerning various topics. Correspondence regarding exhibitions is with arts organizations and colleagues including Henry Thouron and S. Walter Norris.

There are files documenting Butler's long participation in the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, including a letter from Joseph Pennell, notes, writings, and printed material. Additional printed material includes a scrapbook of clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs. Photographs are of Butler, her friends, her studio in Ogunquit, Maine, views of the Maine coast and of Cathedral Crag in Washington State, Butler's landscape paintings, and miscellaneous exhibition installations.

Arrangement and Series Description

The papers are arranged into seven series. Each series is arranged chronologically.

Subjects and Names

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

Subjects:

  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Subjects-Topical:

  • Women painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
  • Landscape painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia

Types of Materials:

  • Photographs
  • Writings
  • Scrapbooks

Names:

  • Biddle, George, 1885-
  • Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916
  • Eakins, Susan Macdowell
  • Grafly, Dorothy, 1896-
  • Henri, Robert, 1865-1929
  • Norris, S. Walter
  • Oakley, Thornton, 1881-1953
  • Pennell, Joseph, 1857-1926
  • Sartain, William, 1843-1924
  • Stoddard, Alice Kent Pearson, 1885-1976
  • Thouron, Henry

Provenance

The Mary Butler papers were donated in 2005 by Rachel F. Armstrong, the artist's niece.

How the Collection was Processed

The Mary Butler papers were processed in October 2007 by Jean Fitzgerald.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Mary Butler 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.

How to Cite this Collection

Mary Butler papers, 1853-1946, bulk 1884-1946. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1884-1945
(Box 1; 10 folders)

Biographical material includes genealogical notes, biographical accounts, teaching certificates, letters of recommendation from Butler's instructors including William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and William Sartain, membership certificates, hand-drawn menu cards, an award plaque, a medical report concerning her right thumb, and miscellaneous receipts for art supplies, travel expenses, and for donations of artwork.

Box Folder
1 1 Genealogical Notes, 1894-1934, undated
1 2 Biographical Accounts for Mary Butler, undated
1 3 Teaching Certificates, 1884-1886
1 4-6 Letters of Recommendation, 1884-1906
(3 folders)
1 7 Membership Certificates, 1897, undated
1 8 Hand-Drawn Menu Cards, 1911
1 9 Award Plaque; Medical Report, 1914-1923
1 10 Miscellaneous Receipts, 1892-1945

Series 2: Correspondence, 1853-1944
(Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Family correspondence is between Butler and family members including her cousin, Edgar Butler. There are letters from her friend Mrs. Thomas Eakins, and scattered miscellaneous letters from various colleagues including George Biddle, Dorothy Grafly, Thornton Oakley, and Alice Kent Stoddard. Correspondence concerning exhibitions is with arts organizations and colleagues including Henry Thouron and S. Walter Norris, and includes prospectuses, lists of artwork, and a few price lists.

Box Folder
1 11 Correspondence with Family Members, undated
1 12 Correspondence with Family Members, 1853-1881
1 13 Correspondence with Family Members, 1882-1884
1 14-15 Correspondence with Family Members, 1897
(2 folders)
1 16-17 Correspondence with Family Members, 1898
(2 folders)
1 18 Correspondence with Family Members, 1899-1903
1 19 Correspondence with Family Members, 1912-1915
1 20 Correspondence with Family Members, 1923-1929
1 21 Correspondence with Family Members, 1930-1943
1 22 Letters to Edgar Butler, 1898-1899
1 23 Letters from Mrs. Thomas Eakins, 1936-1937, undated
1 24 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, undated
1 25 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1907-1910
1 26 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1911-1912
1 27 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1913-1914
1 28 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1915
1 29 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1916-1918
1 30 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1919
1 31 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1920
1 32 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1921
1 33 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1922
1 34 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1923
1 35 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1924
1 36-37 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1925
(2 folders)
1 38-39 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1926
(2 folders)
1 40 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1927
1 41 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1928-1929
1 42 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1930
1 43 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1931
1 44 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1932-1933
1 45 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1934
1 46-47 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1935
(2 folders)
1 48 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1936
1 49-50 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1937
(2 folders)
1 51-52 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1938
(2 folders)
1 53 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1940
1 54-55 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1942
(2 folders)
1 56 Correspondence Concerning Exhibitions, 1944
1 57 Miscellaneous Correspondence, undated
1 58 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1896-1909
1 59 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1911
1 60 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1912-1922
1 61 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1923-1924
1 62 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1925
1 63 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1927-1934
1 64 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1935-1942

Series 3: Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Files, 1917-1946
(Box 1; 14 folders)

These files include letters including one from Joseph Pennell, notes and writings, and miscellaneous printed material pertaining to Butler's long participation in the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Also included is material concerning a Fellowship banquet honoring Butler and a membership purchase of Butler's painting in conjunction with an exhibition at McClees Galleries.

Box Folder
1 65 Letters, 1919-1946, undated
1 66 Notes and Writings, 1935-1937, undated
1 67 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1924-1942, undated
1 68 Clippings, 1917-1926
1 69 Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1926-1937
1 70-72 File Concerning Banquet for Mary Butler, 1936
(3 folders)
1 73-78 File Concerning McClees Galleries Exhibition and Purchase of Painting by Mary Butler, 1944
(6 folders)

Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1905-1938
(Box 1; 10 folders)

This series includes address lists, lists of artwork, lists of exhibitions, notes on travel to Ireland, and miscellaneous notes and writings.

Box Folder
1 79 Address List, undated
1 80 Address Book, 1908-1925
1 81-82 Lists of Artwork, 1905-1938, undated
(2 folders)
1 83 Lists of Exhibitions, 1924-1933
1 84-85 Notes on Travel to Ireland, 1912
(2 folders)
1 86 Miscellaneous Notes, 1919-1930, undated
1 87 Writings by Others, undated
1 88 Miscellaneous Writings, 1937, undated

Series 5: Scrapbook, 1908-1942
(Box 1; 5 folders)

One scrapbook contains clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and a list of artwork.

Box Folder
1 89-93 Dismantled Scrapbook, 1908-1942
(5 folders)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1894-1944
(Box 2; 0.4 linear feet)

Printed material includes clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and tickets and passes for exhibitions, the Touring-Club de France, and for entrance into public parks. Also found are programs, brochures, and miscellaneous printed material.

Box Folder
2 (hol) 1 Clippings, undated
2 (hol) 2 Clippings, 1908-1911
2 (hol) 3 Clippings, 1912-1913
2 (hol) 4 Clippings, 1914-1924
2 (hol) 5 Clippings, 1925
2 (hol) 6 Clippings, 1926-1929
2 (hol) 7 Clippings, 1930-1932
2 (hol) 8 Clippings, 1933-1938
2 (hol) 9 Clippings, 1941-1942
2 (hol) 10 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, undated
2 (hol) 11 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1894-1913
2 (hol) 12 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1914-1915
2 (hol) 13 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1921-1922
2 (hol) 14 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1923-1925
2 (hol) 15 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1926-1928
2 (hol) 16 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1930
2 (hol) 17 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1931
2 (hol) 18 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1932-1934
2 (hol) 19 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1935-1938
2 (hol) 20 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1940-1944
2 (hol) 21 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs for Others, 1918-1936
2 (hol) 22 Miscellaneous Tickets and Passes, 1897-1916, undated
2 (hol) 23 Programs, 1897-1916
2 (hol) 24 Brochures, 1897-1935
2 (hol) 25 Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1896-1935, undated

Series 7: Photographs, circa 1870-1945
(Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Photographs are of Mary Butler, her friends, her studio in Ogunquit, Maine, and views of the Maine coast and of Cathedral Crag in Washington State. There is one folder of photographs of Butler's exhibition installations. Most of the photographs are of her landscape paintings of scenes in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Norway.

Box Folder
3 (pam) 1-2 Photographs of Mary Butler, circa 1890-1945
(2 folders)
3 (pam) 3 Photographs of Mary Butler in her Ogunquit Studio, circa 1900
3 (pam) 4 Photographs of Interior of Ogunquit Studio, circa 1900
3 (pam) 5 Photographs of Friends, circa 1870-1900
3 (pam) 6-7 Photographs of the Maine Coast and of Cathedral Crag, 1936, undated
(2 folders)
3 (pam) 8 Photographs of Paintings of Cornwall, undated
3 (pam) 9 Photographs of Paintings of Scotland, undated
3 (pam) 10 Photographs of Paintings of Ireland, undated
3 (pam) 11 Photographs of Paintings of the Pyrenees, undated
3 (pam) 12 Photographs of Paintings of Norway, undated
3 (pam) 13 Photographs of Paintings of the Canadian Rockies, undated
3 (pam) 14 Photographs of Paintings of Nova Scotia, undated
3 (pam) 15 Photographs of Paintings of Maine, undated
3 (pam) 16 Photographs of Paintings of New Hampshire, undated
3 (pam) 17 Photographs of Paintings of the Catskills, undated
3 (pam) 18-19 Photographs of Miscellaneous Landscape Paintings, undated
(2 folders)
3 (pam) 20 Photographs of Exhibition Installations, undated