Seth Wells and John Cheney papers, 1848-1897

Cheney, Seth Wells, b. 1810 d. 1856
Engraver
Active in Manchester, Conn.

Cheney, John, b. 1801 d. 1885
Illustrator, Engraver

Collection size: 125 items (on partial microfilm reel).

Collection Summary: Papers gathered by Ednah Cheney, wife of Seth Wells Cheney, for her memoirs of the two brothers, Seth and John Cheney, prominent 19th century engravers, composed of correspondence, clippings, notes, lists, a diary, and family photographs.

Included are 89 letters to Ednah Dow Cheney, 1873-1897, most from authorities on engraving, chiefly, Sylvester Rosa Koehler and Charles Henry Hart concerning the location and identification of engravings pursuant to compilation of a Cheney catalog; a letter describing an 1892 meeting of the National Suffrage Association; 2 lists of casts for a sculpture collection; a diary, August 1848, kept by Anna C. Lowell during Seth Cheney's stay while executing family portraits, describing his activities and character; a phrenological study of Cheney; 33 family photographs and daguerrotypes of John Cheney's drawings (unmicrofilmed); and miscellany.

Biographical/Historical Note: Engraver, as was brother John Cheney; Manchester, Connecticut. Ednah Cheney wrote MEMOIRS OF SETH WELLS CHENEY, 1881 and MEMOIRS OF JOHN CHENEY, 1889.

Donated 1960 by Alice Williams (wife of Corcoran Gallery of Art director Hermann Warner Williams, Jr.), who inherited the Cheney's studio remains.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reel 284 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Also in the Archives