Stearns-Ames collection, [ca. 1838-1894]

Ames Manufacturing Company. Bronze Foundry, est. 1835
Commercial artists
Chicopee, Mass.

Collection size: 0.2 linear ft. (on partial microfilm reel)

Collection Summary: Correspondence, castings record, financial materials, photographs and printed materials relating primarily to the work of the Bronze Division of the Ames Manufacturing Company.

Professional and personal correspondence, chiefly of James Tyler Ames, with sculptors, architects, government officials, and colleagues, including his brother, Nathan Peabody Ames, Henry Kirke Brown, Randolph Rogers, and Thomas Ustick Walter. A castings record (16 p.) contains expenses and final prices of bronze castings, a printed list of "Bronze Works Executed by the Ames Manufacturing Company," and photographs of completed work. There are also an expense account for the Lincoln National Monument artillery and cavalry groups, lists of expenses relating to "Bronze Castings for Washington and his Horse," the (Benjamin) "Franklin Statue," and other works. Photographs are of works cast by the Ames Company and of unidentified works, of Ames' artisans, of a room in James Ames' house with framed medallions of Washington and Franklin on the wall, and of a head of Washington and a head of his horse in Thomas Ball's studio; reports by the architect of the Capitol extension, and the U.S. Art Commission (1860); Ames Company promotional items; a printed narrative of the incidents connected with the statue of Washington in Union Square by Henry Kirke Brown; and clippings relating to various statues.

Biographical/Historical Note: The Ames Manufacturing Company, Chicopee, Massachusetts, was founded in 1835 by James Tyler Ames and his brother, Nathan Peabody Ames. The company manufactured small tools, cotton machinery, swords, cannons, and did casting of bells. It began manufacturing large bronze statuary circa 1850.

Donated 1986 by Malcolm Stearns, Jr., who purchased them from Parke Bernet, New York, in the 1960s. There are numerous notations on the backs of letters and photographs. It is not known who added this information.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reel 3828 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
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