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Nelson and Henry C. White research material, circa 1851-1961

White, Nelson C. (Nelson Cooke), b. 1900 d. 1989
Painter, Art historian, Author
Active in Hartford, Conn.

White, Henry Cooke, b. 1861 d. 1952
Painter, Landscape painter
Active in Hartford,Conn.

Collection size: 4.5 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 7 reels)

Collection Summary: Letters, notes and writings, transcripts of diaries, printed material, photographs, and subject files are composed primarily of research materials for Nelson White's books, THE LIFE AND ART OF J. FRANK CURRIER (1936) and ABBOTT H. THAYER: PAINTER AND NATURALIST (1951), and article, "The Art of Thomas Wilmer Dewing" (1929), and for Henry C. White's book, THE LIFE AND ART OF DWIGHT WILLIAM TRYON (1930).

REELS D199-D202: Sixteen letters to Nelson White concerning family and research (1937-1951); typescripts about Currier and Dewing by White; a typescript on Tryon's pastels by George Alfred Williams; subject files on Thayer containing genealogical information, typescripts, and Thayer's letters to his first wife Kate, second wife Emma, various family members, Samuel Clemens, Royal Cortissoz, Dewing, Theodore Roosevelt (regarding wildlife preservation), and Franklin Roosevelt (concerning camouflage for war vehicles).

Other correspondents include George Grey Barnard (1916-1917), Frank Benson (1915-1917), George de Forest Brush (1909-1917), Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1903-1905), John Singer Sargent (1915-1923), Charles Freer, George Alfred Williams, and J. Alex Donald. Writings concerning Thayer include a 5-page autobiography dictated by Thayer (1907); transcripts from his father's diary; reminiscences by his father and daughter, Gladys Thayer (1849-1921); lists of Thayer's works; his writings on wildlife preservation, camouflage, and other topics; and a typescript of White's biography. Printed material consists of clippings and an exhibition catalog (1922). Photographs show Thayer, his family, his house, and works of art.

REEL 864: Henry White's research material on Tryon includes a copy of a 1916 letter to Beulah Strong from Tryon and 3 letters concerning Congressman Vestal's bill (1930-1931). The 20 clippings are primarily book reviews (1930-1931). Thirty-seven photographs show Tryon, his boyhood home, his works of art (1919-1923), and the Tryon Art Gallery at Smith College. Writings consist of an autobiographical account by Tryon (1924-1925) and a typescript of an article about Tryon by White. Notes concern publication of the book.

REEL 1330: A letter to White from Tryon briefly mentions his activities (1925). Autobiographical notes were written by Tryon and annotated by White (1925).

REEL 2807: Letters to Henry White, Nelson White, and Ida Rovetti White are from Edward Bell, Maria Oakey Dewing, Susan Eakins (concerning Franklin Schenck), Louisa and Wilson Eyre, Will Howe Foote, R. H. Ives Gammell, Harry L. Hoffman, Elizabeth Dewing Bender Kaup, Luigi Lucioni, Edwin and Henry Prellwitz, Franklin L. Schenck, Stow and Edith Wengenroth, Irving Wiles, and others (1911-1978). Eleven photographs show works of art by Currier. An article concerns "Daylight in Picture Galleries."

UNMICROFILMED: Research material compiled by Nelson White on Dewing (1929) and Currier (1936) includes letters concerning Currier (1921-1967) and 8 letters from Dewing's daughter, Elizabeth Dewing Kaup (1928-1951). Subject files on Currier include a transcript of his 1870 diary, notes, clippings (1898-1936), exhibition catalogs (1931-1958), copy photographs of Currier and his family from 1860-1890, his works of art, and an exhibition installation (1958). Designs by White are on cardboard. There are also notes and drafts of the Dewing article, "Cremona", and "Laura Standish Brown Beaton. "

Research material on Thayer includes typescripts of letters, written between 1884 and 1919, from Thayer to Francis H. Allen (1910-1915), Royal Cortissoz (1910-1917), Dewing (1903-1910), and Theodore Roosevelt (1910-1912). A subject file contains notes, drafts of the Thayer book, a 1913 essay on "Edward Martin Taber's Drawings", and a draft of an appreciation of Thayer by Sidney Allen. Printed material about Thayer includes clippings (1903-1951), an exhibition catalog (1961), and reproductions of Thayer's work. Photographs show Thayer, his family, house, and art works.

Henry White's research material on Tryon consists of transcripts of letters from Tryon to George Alfred Williams (1906-1925), from Charles Freer to Tryon (1907), and from James McNeill Whistler to Henri Fantin-Latour. Other correspondence (1927-1936) includes 2 letters from Alfred Vance Churchill (1927-1928). Various drafts of the book contain revisions by Mrs. Bender, Alfred Vance Churchill, and Mr. Rossiter. Printed material consists of galley proofs, a clipping by Cortissoz, a brochure about the book, and an exhibition catalog for Henry White's work (1954). Photographs show a work by Tryon and the Tryon Gallery at Smith College.

Biographical/Historical Note: Painter, art historian, and collector; Hartford, Connecticut. White was a pupil of his father, Henry C. White, and later studied at the National Academy of Design. He was a trustee of the Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, Connecticut, and the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut. Henry Cooke Nelson was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He had private art lessons with Dwight Tryon in 1875. From 1884-1886, he also studied at the Art Students League with Kenyon Cox and George DeForest Brush. He taught drawing at the Hartford Public School from 1889-1897 and co-founded the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts in 1910.

Material on reels D199-D202 purchased by the Archives of American Art from Nelson C. White 1956; material on reel 864 and unmicrofilmed donated 1978-1983; and material on reels 1330 and 2807 lent for microfilming 1978-1983 all by Nelson C. White.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels D199-D202, 864, 1330, and 2807 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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