Nancy Douglas Bowditch and Brush Family papers, circa 1860-1985

Bowditch, Nancy Douglas, b. 1890 d. 1979
Painter, Author, Costume designer, Set designer
Active in Dublin, N.H.

This site provides access to the papers of Nancy Douglas Bowditch in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2011. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 9,056 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art


Collection size: 6.2 linear feet

Collection Summary: The papers of painter, author, and designer Nancy Douglas Bowditch and the George de Forest Brush family measure 6.2 linear feet and date from circa 1860 to 1985. The majority of the collection consists of Bowditch's correspondence with family and friends and her notes and writings, particularly concerning her biography of her father George de Forest Brush, "The Joyous Painter," and her unpublished biography of her husband painter William Robert Pearmain. Brush family material includes scattered correspondence of George de Forest Brush and other family members, notes, sketches, clippings, and the family home building files, five scrapbooks, including two on William Robert Pearmain, and numerous photographs of the Brush family, Bowditch, and William Robert Pearmain. There is also correspondence between William Robert Pearmain and his family and artwork by Pearmin.

Biographical/Historical Note: Nancy Douglas Bowditch (1890-1975) worked primarily in the New Hampshire area as a painter, author, and costume and set designer. Bowditch's father was painter George de Forest Brush and she was first married to painter William Robert Pearmain, who died at an early age.

The Nancy Douglas Bowditch papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in several installments by Nancy Douglas Bowditch between 1968 and 1979. Bowditch's daughter, Mary A. Marlowe donated additional materials in 1982. In 2008, Joan Morgan, biographer of George de Forest Brush, donated additional papers she had acquired during her research.

How to Use this Collection

  • Read the Finding Aid for this digitized collection
  • This site provides access to the papers of Nancy Douglas Bowditch in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2011, and total 9,056 images.
    Generally, materials not scanned include duplicates, blank pages and versos, and drafts and edits of Nancy Douglas Bowditch's biography, "The Joyous Painter."
  • Use of originals requires an appointment.
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Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Also among the collections at the Archives of American Art are the William Robert Pearmain and Pearmain family papers, 1888-1955, and an oral history with Nancy Douglas Bowditch conducted on January 30, 1974, by Robert F. Brown.