Sartain family papers, 1795-1944

Sartain, family

Collection size: 6 microfilm reels.

Collection Summary: Selected Sartain family papers from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Moore College of Art, including correspondence, printed material, photographs, sketchbooks, writings, minutes of meetings and other organizational records, and memorabilia.

REEL 2727: Correspondence, mostly among the Sartain family: Emily writes to her father of her European travels with Mary Cassatt; letters from Elliott Dangerfield; correspondence of John Sartain, including letters from the poet Thomas Chivers; correspondence of William, Henry, Samuel, Harriet Judd, and Paul Sartain; receipts of John and Samuel, and undated genealogical notes.

REEL 4235: Photographs; scrapbooks; unpublished manuscripts; and correspondence of John, Emily, William, Samuel, and 12 letters from family friend and fellow artist, Thomas Eakins.

REEL P28 (fr. 337-581): Rembrandt Peale's manuscript "Notes of the Painting Room," subtitled "Art is Long and Life is Short." 215 p. + 24 p. index.

REELS 4562-4565 [filmed previously on reels P19-P20, P24, and P27-P28]: Included are: Emily Sartain correspondence and miscellaneous items, 1895-1923; Harriet Judd Sartain correspondence and biographical sketch, 1854-1887; Henry Sartain letters, 1862-1863; Samuel Sartain correspondence, 1850-1872, including letters to John Sartain while in London on business for his father, printed matter, copyrights and certificates and records of the Art-Union of Philadelphia (AUP), 1852-1885, including catalogs of prizes, an inventory of the AUP property, 1855, and printed reports; obituary for Susanna Swaine (John Sartain's mother); John Swaine's letterbook, 1834-1837; William Sartain letters, 1862-1919, n.d., many written while living in Paris, printed matter, photographs, and sketchbook; John Sartain genealogical information, letterpress books, 1869-1871 and 1887, concerning his Philadelphia and London exhibitions, work and business, correspondence, 1845-189?, financial information, lists of works of art, memberships and certificates, lectures and writings, a sketchbook, and printed material.

Also included are manuscript material and printed matter; scrapbooks containing clippings and a few letters; untitled commonplace books which were probably compiled by Harriet or Emily Sartain; John Sartain's records pertaining to the Artists' Fund Society, 1838-1846; Great Sanitary Fair, 1864; Centennial Exposition, 1876, including the Report of the Art Department, and memorabilia; the American Exhibition, London England, 1887; Sartain's Magazine expense book, 1849-1855; minutes of the Graphic Association of Philadelphia, 1849-1855; minutes of the Philadelphia Union of Associationists, 1847-1855; proceedings of the National Art Association second annual convention, held at the Smithsonian Institution, Jan. 11-14, 1859; and minutes of the meeting of the subscribers of the [Christian] Schussele picture fund.

Biographical/Historical Note: Family of engravers and painters; Philadelphia, Pa. John Sartain came to U.S. from England in 1830 and established himself firmly in the Philadelphia artistic community. He was director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for 23 years and served as chief of the art dept. for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and the 1887 American Exhibition in London. Four of his eight children became artists, William, Emily, Samuel and Harriet.

Material on reel 2727 lent for microfilming 1982 by the Moore College of Art. Material on reel 4235 lent for filming in 1989 by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which had received the papers from the Harriet Sartain estate and through descendants of the Sartain family, 1959 and 1988. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania lent the material on reels 4562-4565 in 1991. These papers had been previously microfilmed in 1955 on reels P19-P20, P24 and P27-P28 but were reprocessed for microfilming. A few items filmed in 1955 were missing in 1991. Items not microfilmed in 1991 include manuscript notes for John Sartains's "Reminiscences," and some lecture notes which were unfilmable; 0.3 linear ft. of mss. for articles by various authors appearing in Sartain's magazine; and Samuel Sartain's minute book of the Republican Convention. Rembrandt Peale's "Notes of the Painting Room" was not refilmed in 1991, and is only available on reel P28.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reel 2727 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
    microfilm reel 4235 available at Archives of American Art offices, at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and through interlibrary loan.
    microfilm reels 4562-4565 available for use at Archives of American Art offices, through interlibrary loan and at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
  • Reel 2727: Authorization to publish, quote or reproduce must be obtained from: Librarian Moore College of Art, 20th and Race Streets, Philadelphia, Pa. 19130
    Reels 4562-4565: Authorization to publish, quote or reproduce must be obtained from: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107.
  • The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
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