Holmes, William Henry,
Collection size: 36 items (partially microfilmed on 2 reels)
Collection Summary: REEL 2227: Artists' files, 1879-1932, accumulated by Holmes while director of the National Collection of Fine Art (later the National Museum of American Art), Washington D.C. The files contain correspondence between Holmes and the following artists: James Earle Fraser, Vinnie Ream Hoxie, John LaFarge, Gari Melchers, Thomas Moran, Violet Oakley, Joseph Pennell, Max Weyl, Mary Vaux Walcott, Irving R. Wiles and George Julian Zolnay; a photo of Weyl, a photo of a painting of Weyl by Holmes, a sketch of Pennell, and a note are also included.
REEL 5438: Files on R.N. Brooke, Thomas Moran, Henry Moser, Hobart Nichols, and Carl F. Weller. The Brooke file contains 3 photographs of Brooke: one a portrait annotated by Holmes, another of Brooke with his Corcoran School of Art class, ca. 1906 (accompanied by a key identifying a few students), and one, ca. 1900, of Brooke, E.H. Miller, Max Weyl, and E.C. Messer, autographed by each. Glued to the back of the latter is a typescript of an exchange of letters between Holmes and the donor of the photo, Emma North Messer. The Nichols file consists of 5 letters from Nichols to Holmes, undated and 1932, regarding information on his work and other artists and paintings. The two Moran items include a note from Moran to Holmes, 1883, congratulating Holmes on his wedding, and a telegram from Ruth Moran regarding her father's death, 1926. Carl Weller's file contains a watercolor painting of the French countryside, and a brief bio on Weller. The Moser file contains a letter from Moser to Holmes, undated, encouraging him in painting and exhibiting, a photograph of Moser, ca. 1845, and correspondence with Moser's widow concerning the purchase of Moser's painting, "Evening in the Berkshires" by the Cosmos Club.
Biographical/Historical Note: Painter and museum director; Washington, D.C. Holmes served as Curator of the National Gallery of Art from 1907 to 1920 (now known as the National Museum of American Art) and its director from 1920-1932.
Transferred from the vertical files of the National Museum of American Art Library, Smithsonian Institution, 1981 and 1992.
How to Use this Collection
- Microfilm reels 2227 and 5438 (fr. 1195-1232) 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.