Museum of Fine Arts, Boston records, 1870-1973

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Collection size: 79 microfilm reels.

Collection Summary: Correspondence, minutes, accession records, building records, and records of the Department of Prints and Drawings.

REELS 536-565: Archives of the Museum, 1875-1954, including: correspondence of the President, Gardiner M. Lane, 1910-1914 (8 letterpress books and 1,256 items); correspondence of the Director, Charles Greely Loring, 1876-1901 (6 vols. and 11,355 items); correspondence of the Assistant Director, Benjamin Ives Gilman, 1894-1902 (6 vols. and 272 items); minutes of the Board of Trustees, 1870-1954 (17 vols.); minutes of the Committee on the Museum, 1875-1954 (25 vols.); minutes of the Executive Committee, 1876-1946 (5 vols.); and Visiting Committee records, 1906-1949 (1 loose leaf binder).

REELS 584-587: Records of the Department of Prints and Drawings, including 2 vols. of correspondence, 1904-1915, 14 accession books, 1872-1946, and 14 record books. Record books include the following: The Sylvester Rosa Koehler Collection, 1893 (3 vols.); the Harvey D. Parker-Henry F. Sewell Collection, 1897-1900 (4 vols.); Objects Entering the Department of Prints and Drawings, 1935-1947; Prices of Prints, 1877-1885; Engravings and Photographs Purchased in Europe, 1886-1887; Visitors to the Gray Collection, 1872-1889; Vistors Register, 1890-1915; and a register of books.

REEL 588 (SEALED): Accession records, 1967-1973.

REELS 589-590: Accession records, 1870-1951.

REELS 2436-2496: Directors' correspondence, 1901-1954.

REELS 2493-2497: Building records, including: records of the Copley Square Building with correspondence, 1870-1901, reports, minutes of the Executive Committee, financial records, and a prospectus and subscription list for the William Morris Hunt Memorial Exhibition, 1879; records of the Huntington Avenue Building, with reports, correspondence and financial records related to its personnel, departments, collections, and competitions; and clippings.

REEL 2715: Papers of the print department, ca. 1841-1901, including: letters from Sylvester R. Koehler, curator of the print department, to Charles G. Loring, director of the museum; letters to Koehler concerning printmaking techniques from W. H. Dougal, John M. Falconer, Henry Farrar, Thomas Moran, Walter Rowlands, Walter Shirlaw, James David Smillie, Frederick T. Stuart and Charles A. Walker; a report by Koehler on the print department, January 10, 1888; correspondence regarding the acquisition of the Henry F. Sewall print collection; a handwritten catalog of the Sewall collection, ca. 1880, including printmaker, title, catalog number, collector's mark and value, 463 p.; notes by Koehler; and printed material.

Lent for microfilming 1973-1983 by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels 536-565, 584-587, 589-590, and 2715 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
    microfilm reels 2436-2497 available for use only at the Boston Public Library and through Archives of American Art's interlibrary loan service.
  • The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy. REEL 588: SEALED; no access.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

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