Richard Watson and Helena de Kay Gilder papers, 1874-1878

Gilder, Richard Watson, b. 1844 d. 1909
Poet, Editor
Active in New York, N.Y.

Gilder, Helena de Kay, b. 1846 or 8 d. 1916
Painter, Author
Active in New York,N.Y.

Collection size: 41 items (on partial microfilm reel)

Collection Summary: Journal kept by Richard Watson Gilder and Helena de Kay Gilder, beginning at the start of their marriage in June 1874 and spanning four years, including poems and verses, drawings by Helena de Kay Gilder, many of her husband, entries concerning the founding of American Art Association (later the Society of American Artists), and entries reflecting daily occurrences, clippings, and telegrams; and ca. 40 letters from Charles de Kay, primarily to his brother-in-law, Richard Watson Gilder.

Biographical/Historical Note: Richard Watson Gilder was a poet and editor of the periodicals Scribner's and Century. Helena de Kay ("H. de K.G." and: deKay, De Kay, DeKay) Gilder was a portrait, still-life, ideal figure, and flower painter, and writer; born 1846 or 8; died 1916. Helena Gilder studied art with John La Farge and Winslow Homer. Professionally, she is often referred to by her maiden name. The Gilders played a central role in the founding of the Society of American Artists. Charles de Kay, an art writer, and founder of the National Sculpture Society and National Arts Club, is Helena de Kay Gilder's brother.

Lent for microfilming 1971 by Rosamond Gilder, the daughter of Richard Watson Gilder and Helena de Kay Gilder. She was contacted about lending the journal by Lloyd Goodrich, who had seen the journal while visiting Gilder to see a portrait of Winslow Homer painted by her mother.

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  • Microfilm reel 285 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
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Related Materials

Richard Watson Gilder papers also located at: New York Public Library.