Thomas Prichard Rossiter and Rossiter family papers, 1840-1961

Rossiter, Thomas Prichard, b. 1818 d. 1871
Painter, Muralist

The papers of Thomas Prichard Rossiter and the Rossiter family in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2009. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 467 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.


Collection size: 0.5 linear feet

Collection Summary: The Thomas Prichard Rossiter and Rossiter Family papers measure 0.5 linear feet and date from 1840 to 1961. Included are letters to painter Thomas Prichard Rossiter and letters to his son, architect Ehrick Kensett Rossiter, documenting their friendships with many artists, Thomas Rossiter's sketches and a sketchbook; and papers of Edith Rossiter Bevan. Notable letters are from James Fenimore Cooper, William Morris Hunt, John Jay, J. F. Kensett, William H. Morris, Samuel F. B. Morse, George Peabody, Cecelia Beaux, William A. Coffin, Daniel Chester French, Will H. Low, Gari Melchers, William Sartain, Augustus Vincent Tack, Dwight Tryon, and many others.

Biographical/Historical Note: Thomas Prichard Rossiter (1818-1871) was a portrait painter in New York, N.Y. and Ehrick Kensett Rossiter (1854-1941) was an architect of New York, N.Y. In 1840, Thomas Rossiter traveled to Europe with Asher B. Durand, John Kensett, and John Casilaer, and while there visited Rome with Thomas Cole. He decided to stay in Italy until 1846 when he moved to New York City and shared a studio with Kensett and Louis Lang. In 1851 Rossiter married Anna Ehrick Parmly and they toured Europe in 1853. The two had three children, twins Ehrick Kensett and Charlotte, and a second daughther Anna. After the death of his wife shortly after giving birth to their third child,the family moved back to New York. For a brief period of time Rossiter had an art gallery, exhibiting his work and the work of his friends. In 1860 he married Mary (Mollie) Sterling and moved his family to Cold Spring, New York on the Hudson River. He continued to paint portraits, historical, and religious paintings, and exhibited at the National Academy of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, until his death in 1871.
Ehrick Kensett Rossiter attended Cornell University and became an architect in New York as part of the firm Rossiter & Muller. He was a member of the Architectural League, United States Public Architects' League, and trustee of the American Fine Arts Society. In 1877 he married Mary Heath and they had three sons and a daughter. Their daughter Edith Rossiter Bevan was a historian and avid collector of historical autographs.

A portion of the collection was donated in 1957 by Edith Rossiter Bevan, daughter of Ehrick Kensett Rossiter, and granddaughter of Thomas Prichard Rossiter. Additional material was donated in 2007 by Patti Rossiter Ravenscroft, Rossiter's Great Great Granddaughter.

Digitized in 2009 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

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Related Materials

Also found in the Archives of American Art is a Thomas Prichard Rossiter letter to Elias Beirs dated January 12, 1840.