Collection size: ca. 500 items (on 3 partial microfilm reels)
Collection Summary: Selected letters, sketches, writings, clippings and printed material collected by Simon Gratz, primarily from the "Painters, sculptors, and engravers" section (ca. 400 items) of the Cultural life, arts and sciences autograph series. Other sections filmed include Benjamin West correspondence; Charles Thomson correspondence; Joshua Humphreys letters; and one or more letters from the following categories: American miscellaneous, European painters and sculptors, Chaplains colonial wars and revolution, Roman Catholic prelates, British Authors, British literary misc., European explorers and antiquaries, American poets, Univ. presidents, American scientists, American authors, American prose, American literary misc., U.S. Senators, and others.
The Painters, sculptors, and engravers section contains ca. 400 items, primarily letters, of prominent eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth century American artists, such as Albert Bierstadt, William Merritt Chase, Thomas Cole, John Singleton Copley, Asher B. Durand, Charles Willson Peale, John Singer Sargent, Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, John Trumbull, and others. Many of the letters are addressed to Albert Rosenthal. Also included are sketches, writings, clippings, and printed material pertaining to the artists. The Benjamin West papers, 1877-1819, (reel P23, fr. 1-85) include letters to West, letters from and about West, and cards, a certificate, and engraving of him.
The Charles Thomson papers (reels P21, fr. 800-813 and P22, fr. 1-7) include material relating to craftsmen in New York and Philadelphia, 1784-1787; correspondence with Joseph Delaplaine, 1816-1817, concerning Delaplaine's having a portrait of Thomson painted by Bass Otis; a letter to Thomson from G.P. Norris, Jr., Jan. 26, 1819, referring to Trumbull's painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; and bills from cabinetmaker Alexander Anderson. The Humphreys' letters are from Charles Willson Peale, Mar. 4, 1795, and William Rush, Apr. 30, 1795.
Lent for microfilming 1955 by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
How to Use this Collection
- Microfilm reels P21 (fr. 773-813), P22 (entire), and P23 (1-84) available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
- The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
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