Paul Wayland Bartlett papers, 1887-1925

Bartlett, Paul Wayland, b. 1865 d. 1925
Painter, Sculptor
Active in France

Collection size: 5.0 linear ft. (on 4 microfilm reels)

Collection Summary: Correspondence with family, artists, and others, 1887-1925; legal and financial documents, 1887-1925; printed materials, 1888-1925; sketches, drawings, and blueprints, undated 1916-1920; and certificates, 1915-1918. Correspondence consists of a chronological series, 1887-1925, containing letters and postcards from John White Alexander, Samuel P. Avery, William A. Clark, Frank Edwin Elwell, John Flanagan, Daniel Chester French, Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company, Gorham Company, J. Scott Hartley, John LaFarge (undated), Charles Loring, Frederick MacMonnies, Charles Sprague Pearce, Auguste Rodin, Frederic Wellington Ruckstull, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and scattered letters from other nineteenth century artists regarding the execution of works, commissions, exhibitions and expositions in Paris and the United States, among them the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904) and the Exposition Universale (1899-1900), and Bartlett's illness and death in 1925. The remainder of the correspondence, arranged by subject, includes letters from Bartlett's father, Truman Howe Bartlett, 1899-1913, many written from Boston where he taught in the architecture department of MIT, or from New Hampshire where he kept a studio, and letters to Paul regarding his father's entry in the National Cyclopedia of American Biography, 1925; correspondence with the American Club of Paris, 1903-1906, regarding Bartlett's membership; correspondence with the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, 1905-1907 (some from Joseph Pennell) regarding exhibitions; correspondence regarding commissions, including Lafayette, McClellan, General Warren, Library of Congress and other statues; postcards from artists, 1892-1895; and miscellaneous letters. Legal documents relate to the Lafayette statue, 1900, and also include Bartlett's death certificate. Financial records, 1899-1922, consist of bank statements, checkbooks, bills and receipts for casting, photography, dues and rent. Clippings and a scrapbook deal with Bartlett's Lafayette statue. Other printed material includes articles on various Bartlett sculptures and other sculptors, exhibition catalogs, passes and announcements, yearbooks from the American Club of Paris, 1905-1909, and material from the American Art Association of Paris, including a 20 p. booklet by Bartlett giving the history of the group, and an invitation, 1906, to an auction to benefit the victims of the San Francisco earthquake. Also included are sketches by Bartlett and his father, undated and ca. 1913; oversized drawings, plans and prints for monuments, statues, and the Capitol ceiling, undated and 1916-1920; postcards depicting Bartlett's sculpture; and certificates from the National Academy of Design and the Panama Pacific International Exposition.

Biographical/Historical Note: Sculptor and portraitist; Paris, France and Washington, D.C. Bartlett was born in Connecticut and raised in France where he entered the Ecole des Beaux Arts and also studied under Emmanual Fremiet and Auguste Rodin. His early sculpture focused on animals and his piece "Bear Tamer" was presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1891 and exhibited in the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. After 1895, he produced a number of public monuments, sculptures, and historical portraits including the figures of Columbus and Michelangelo for the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress, the Lafayette statue presented to France, and the pediment for the House wing of the U.S. Capitol. Bartlett died in Paris of blood poisoning on September 20, 1925.

Lent for microfilming by the Tudor Place Foundation, Inc., 1994. The Tudor Place Foundation inherited the papers in 1994 with the estate of Armistead Peter III of Tudor Place. Peter III was married to Caroline, the daughter of Bartlett's wife by her first marriage to Mahlon Odgen-Jones. After Bartlett's death in 1925, Suzanne cared for his papers, and donated the bulk of them to the Library of Congress in 1954. The papers she retained passed on to Caroline, and at her death to Armistead Peter III.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reel 4899-4902 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Literary rights retained by Tudor Place Foundation, Inc.
  • The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
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Related Materials

Additional Paul Wayland Bartlett papers also located at: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division.