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Contents and Arrangement | A Finding Aid to the Abbott Handerson Thayer and Thayer family papers, 1851-1999, bulk 1881-1950 | Digitized Collection

Abbott Handerson Thayer and Thayer family papers, 1851-1999, bulk 1881-1950

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Series 1: Biographical Material , 1878-circa 1966
(Box 1; 9 folders)

Biographical material includes a brief autobiographical statement by Abbott Thayer and a chronology of his artwork and family activities from 1880 to 1921. Also found is the French birth certificate for Thayer's son William Henry Thayer, newspaper obituaries for Emma Beach Thayer, and lists of artworks by Abbott Thayer and Gladys Thayer Reasoner. A biographical sketch written by David Reasoner about the early life of his daughter, Jean Reasoner Plunket, and Jean's genealogy research on the Thayer and Plunket families are filed here.
Description Container
Abbott Handerson Thayer Autobiographical Summary and Chronology, 1907, 1921
1
1
Abbott Handerson Thayer, Exhibition Tickets, 1897, 1908
1
2
Emma Beach Thayer Obituaries, 1924
1
3
Birth Certificate for William Henry Thayer, 1878
1
4
Lists of Artwork by Abbott Handerson Thayer, circa 1922
1
5
Lists of Portraits Painted by Gladys Thayer Reasoner, circa 1930
1
6
Gladys Thayer Reasoner's Address Book, circa 1905
1
7
Jean Reasoner Plunket Biographical Sketches, circa 1943
1
8
Genealogy for Thayer and Plunket Families, circa 1966
1
9

Series 2: Correspondence , 1867-1987
(Box 1-3; 2.0 linear feet)

Personal and professional correspondence of the Thayer family is found in this series. The bulk of the correspondence belongs to Abbott Handerson Thayer and his second wife Emma Beach Thayer, although several folders are for Thayer's first wife Kate Bloede Thayer. Correspondence is also found for Thayer's daughter Gladys Thayer Reasoner and her husband David Reasoner and other family members, including Mary Thayer Birch, Gerald Thayer, and Jean Reasoner Plunket.
The Correspondence series has been arranged primarily by individual family member or general correspondence into 6 subseries:
Subseries 2.1: Abbott Handerson Thayer Correspondence, 1881-1921
Subseries 2.2: Emma Beach Thayer Correspondence, 1865-1924
Subseries 2.3: Kate Bloede Thayer Correspondence, 1881-1889
Subseries 2.4: Gladys Thayer Reasoner Correspondence, 1907-1943
Subseries 2.5: David Reasoner Correspondence, 1918-1954
Subseries 2.6: General Correspondence, 1883-1987
2.1: Abbott Handerson Thayer Correspondence, 1881-1921
DescriptionContainer
Allen, Francis, 1909-1915
1
10
A, 1904-1918
1
11
Bartsch, Paul, 1914-1917
1
12
Beach, Ella, circa 1891-1914
1
13
Beach, Moses S. & Chloe, 1882-circa 1890
1
14
Beach, Violet, 1890-circa 1915
1
15
Birch, Fred & Mary Thayer, 1897-1914
1
16
Bowditch, Vincent Y., 1883, 1915-1916
1
17
Brewster, William, 1902-1911
1
18
Ba-Be, 1890s-1918
1
19
Bi-Bu, 1902-1921
1
20
Clemens, Samuel L., 1905-1909
1
21
Colman, Samuel, 1913, 1915
1
22
Cortissoz, Royal, 1916-1917
1
23
Ca-Cl, 1897-1918
1
24
Co-Cu, 1911-1918
1
25
Dow, Thomas Millie, 1883-1896
1
26-27
D, 1910-1918
1
28
Eckstorm, Fannie, 1906-1917
1
29
Emerson, Edward Waldo, 1910-1914
1
30
E, 1897-1915
1
31
Forbes, Alexander, 1914-1916
1
32
Foster, Ben, 1915
1
33
Freer, Charles L., 1893-1916
1
34
French, Daniel Chester, 1916-1918
1
35
Fa-Fi, 1904-1921
1
36
Fo-Fu, 1907-1916
1
37
Gellatly, John, 1910-1918
1
38
G, 1893-1917
1
39
Handerson, Esther, 1889-1895
1
40
H, 1911-1919
1
41
James, William & Alice, 1910-1920
1
42
J-K, 1903, 1914-1916
1
43
Longley, W. H., 1916-1918
1
44
L, 1899-1920
1
45
Meryman, Richard (Wig), 1916-1919
1
46
Ma, 1892, 1908-1919
1
47
Me-Mu, 1896-1924
1
48
N-O, 1913-1921
1
49
Poulton, Sir Edward Bagnall, 1898-1915
(2 folders)
1
50-51
Poulton, Sir Edward Bagnall, Undated Letters, circa 1898-1915
(3 folders)
1
52-54
P, 1902-1915
1
55
Reasoner, Gladys Thayer, 1897-1919
1
56
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 1917-1918
1
57
Roosevelt, Theodore, circa 1910
1
58
Q-R, 1903-1917
1
59
Sainsbury, Everton, 1876-1882
1
60
Sa-Sl, 1896-1922
1
61
Sm-St, 1899-1919
1
62
Taber, E. M. & Frances F. Holt (Taber's sister), 1890-1913
(3 folders)
1
63-65
Thayer, Emma Beach, 1881-1919
(2 folders)
1
66-67
Thayer, Emma Beach, Undated Letters, circa 1881-1919
1
68
T-V, 1890, 1907-1916
1
69
War Office, London, 1916-1917
1
70
Whelpley, Jay & Philip, 1904-1917
1
71
Wa-We, 1896-1918
1
72
Wh-Wy, 1882-1917
1
73
Y-Z, 1889, 1916
1
74
Unidentified Correspondents, 1891-1918
1
75
Unidentified Correspondents, Fragments, circa 1880-1920
1
76
2.2: Emma Beach Thayer Correspondence, 1865-1924
DescriptionContainer
A, 1905, 1921-1923
1
77
Beach, Moses S. & Chloe (parents), 1865-1866, 1870, 1902
1
78
Beach, William & Mabel, 1902
1
79
Beecher, Henry Ward, 1870-1883
(2 folders)
1
80-81
Benson, Frank W., 1921-1923
1
82
Birch, Mary Thayer, 1891-1923
(7 folders)
1
83-89
Ba-Bi, 1878, 1914-1922
1
90
Bl-Bu, 1917-1923
1
91
Clemens, Samuel, circa 1880s, 1905
1
92
Cortissoz, Royal, 1917, 1921-1923
1
93
C, 1917-1922
1
94
Dow, Thomas Millie, 1884-1888
1
95
D-E, circa 1900-1922
1
96
Freer, Charles L., 1915-1918
1
97
French, Daniel Chester, 1917-1922
1
98
Fuertes, Louis Agassiz, 1921-1923
1
99
F, 1907-1923
1
100
Gellatly, John, 1917-1922
(3 folders)
2
1-3
G, 1920-1923
2
4
H, 1916-1923
2
5
James, William & Alice, 1921-1924
2
6
J-L, 1906-1927
2
7
M, 1921-1923
2
8
N-P, 1918-1924
2
9
Reasoner, David, 1920-1924
2
10
Reasoner, Gladys Thayer, 1910-1923
(5 folders)
2
11-15
Reasoner, Gladys Thayer, Undated Letters, circa 1910-1923
2
16
Rice, James Henry, 1921-1924
2
17
R-S, 1913-1924
2
18
Thayer, Gerald H., 1917, 1921-1923
(2 folders)
2
19-20
Thayer, Kate Bloede, 1881-1887
(5 folders)
2
21-25
Thayer, Kate Bloede, Undated Letters, circa 1881-1887
2
26
T-V, 1891, 1908-1924
2
27
Whelpley, Jay & Philip, 1905-1924
(5 folders)
2
28-32
Whelpley, Jay & Philip, Undated Letters, circa 1905-1924
2
33
W-Y, 1916-1924
2
34
Unidentified Correspondents, 1867-1923
2
35
2.3: Kate Bloede Thayer Correspondence, 1881-1889
DescriptionContainer
Bloede, Grandpa, 1881-1884
2
36
Bloede, Victor, 1887
2
37
Birch, Mary Thayer, 1888-1889
2
38
Dow, Thomas Millie, 1881-1886
2
39
Ives, Lew. T., 1882-1888
2
40
Thayer, Dr. William & Ellen Handerson, 1881-1887
(3 folders)
2
41-43
B-H, 1882-1888
2
44
M-S, 1887-1889
2
45
Unidentified letter fragments, 1880s
2
46
2.4: Gladys Thayer Reasoner Correspondence, 1907-1943
DescriptionContainer
Birch, Elsie, 1916-1936
2
47
Birch, Mary Thayer, 1916-1927
2
48
Bourne, Randolph, 1915-1916
2
49
Buckley, Lily, 1917-1922
2
50
Burns, Frances L., circa 1920-1935
2
51
B, 1912-1937
2
52
C-D, 1907-1943
2
53
Fisher, Eleanor, 1908-1922
2
54
Fisher, Faith H. (Mrs. William F. Fenn), 1928-1936
2
55
Fisher, Richard & Nina, 1939-1935
2
56
F, 1911-1935
2
57
G-H, 1909-1942
2
58
J, 1911-1936
2
59
K-L, 1908-1935
2
60
M-O, 1922-1937
2
61
Palmer, H. P., 1935-1937
2
62
P, 1911-1937
2
63
Reasoner, David, 1921-1923
2
64
R, 1922-1924
2
65
Stillman, Michael & Evangeline, 1909-1935
2
66
S, 1911, 1920s
2
67
Thayer, Gerald H., 1908-1936
2
68
T, 1911-1941
2
69
Walton, Blanche W., 1923-1937
2
70
Whelpley, Jay & Philip, 1907-1937
(4 folders)
2
71-74
Whiting, Susan Thayer, 1928-1936
2
75
W, 1912-1943
2
76
First Names Only: A-H, 1912-1936
2
77
First Names Only: J-R, 1907-1936
2
78
2.5: David Reasoner Correspondence, 1918-1954
DescriptionContainer
Beach, Violet, 1924-1932
2
79
Birch, Mary Thayer, 1924
2
80
Gellatly, John, 1924-1928
2
81
Thayer, Gerald, 1922-1930
2
82
A-B, 1921-1949
2
83
C-D, 1925, 1946-1947
3
1
F-G, 1924-1936
3
2
H-J, 1925-1947
3
3
L-P, 1922-1936, 1950
3
4
R, 1924-1951
3
5
T-V, 1918, 1943-1950
3
6
W, 1928-1951
3
7
Unidentified Correspondents, 1942-1954
3
8
2.6: General Correspondence, 1883-1987
DescriptionContainer
Elsie Birch, 1933, 1946
3
9
Mary Thayer Birch, 1886-1915, circa 1924
3
10
Jean Reasoner Plunket, 1945-1987
3
11
Allen Reasoner, 1935-1942
3
12
Alma E. Thayer from John Gellatly, 1925
3
13
Gerald H. Thayer, 1908-1924
3
14
Dr. William H. Thayer and Ellen Handerson Thayer, 1883-1891
3
15
Jay and Philip Whelpley, 1910-1927
3
16
Unidentified correspondence, 1908-1927
3
17

Series 3: Writings , 1888-1945
(Box 3-4; 0.8 linear feet)

This series contains writings by Abbott Handerson Thayer and others, including family members and scholars. Writings by Thayer primarily focus on his theories about concealing coloration and nature observations through notes and draft writings. Also found are his writings on other topics such as the restoration of artwork. Writings by others include the writings of Emma Beach Thayer and Abbott Thayer's daughters Mary and Gladys, and writings by scholars about the Thayer's artwork.
The Writings series is arranged into 2 subseries:
Subseries 3.1: Writings by Abbott Handerson Thayer, circa 1890-1918
Subseries 3.2: Writings by Others, 1888-1989
3.1: Writings by Abbott Handerson Thayer, circa 1890-1918
DescriptionContainer
Notebooks, circa 1890-1920
(2 folders)
3
18-19
Notes & Essays on Concealing Coloration in Nature, circa 1910-1917
(4 folders)
3
20-23
Notes & Essays on the Invisibility of Icebergs, 1912
3
24
Notes & Essays on Concealing Coloration in Uniforms & Warships, circa 1915-1918
(6 folders)
3
25-30
Essay, "Restoration: The Doom of Works of Art", 1917
3
31
Typescript, "Restoration of Pictures", circa 1910s
(3 folders)
3
32-34
Draft Letters to the Editor of The Auk, 1916-1917
3
35
Notes & Essays on Various Subjects, circa 1901-1919
(4 folders)
3
36-39
3.2: Writings by Others, 1888-1989
DescriptionContainer
Emma Beach Thayer, "Ernest", circa 1900
3
40
Emma Beach Thayer, Poetry, circa 1910
3
41
Mary Thayer, Diary and Calendar, 1888
3
42
Gladys Thayer Reasoner, Biographical Sketch of Abbott H. Thayer, circa 1930
3
43
Gladys Thayer Reasoner, Biography of Allen Reasoner, "One Out of Fifty", circa 1945
3
44
Gladys Thayer Reasoner, Biography of Allen Reasoner, Draft Versions, circa 1945
(3 folders; not scanned)
3
45-47
Gladys Thayer Reasoner, Miscellaneous Writings, circa 1897
3
48
Sidney Allen, "Abbott Handerson Thayer: An Appreciation of His Work", circa 1920s
3
49
Nancy Bell, "A Painter Naturalist and His Son", circa 1909
3
50
William Dutcher, "Report of the A. O. U. Committee on the Protection of North American Birds for the Year 1903", 1903
3
51
Elizabeth Walmsley, "A Preliminary Investigation into the Painting Techniquest of Abbott Handerson Thayer", 1988-1989
3
52
Unknown Author, Notes for a Book on Abbott H. Thayer, circa 1920s
3
53
Unknown Author, Lecture on Rembrandt and Reubens, undated
3
54
Unknown Author, Writings about George Grey Barnard, circa 1938
3
55
Miscellaneous Writings by Others, circa 1890-1920
4
1
Miscellaneous Poetry, circa 1900-1945
(Partially scanned)
4
2

Series 4: Estate Papers , 1921-1954
(Box 4; 0.5 linear feet)

This series contains the estate papers for Abbott Handerson Thayer, who died in 1921 and Emma Beach Thayer, who died in 1924. Much of material consists of correspondence between David Reasoner, Executor of both estates, and others regarding financial and legal matters. Correspondence of note is with Mary and Gerald Thayer regarding their inheritance, and with E. & A. Milch, Inc. and William Macbeth, Inc. regarding the sale of artwork. Also found are financial and legal documents, forms, lists and notes, and Emma Thayer's will and drafts. Some of the financial account statements and a ledger book have not been scanned.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
Description Container
Estate Papers of Abbott H. Thayer and Emma B. Thayer, 1921-1924
(3 folders)
4
3-5
Estate Papers of Abbott H. Thayer and Emma B. Thayer, 1925-1954
(13 folders)
4
6-18
Emma Beach Thayer Last Will and Testament, 1923, 1926
4
19
Estate Account Statements, Kingston Trust Company, 1927-1932
(2 folders; not scanned)
4
20-21
Estate Bills, 1922-1938
(2 folders; not scanned)
4
22-23
Ledger Book for Emma Thayer Estate, 1924-1925
(Not scanned)
4
24

Series 5: Other Financial Records , 1889-1957
(Box 4; 7 folders)

This series contains a small amount of Thayer and Reasoner family financial records not directly related to the estates of Abbott or Emma Thayer. Most of this series has not been scanned.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
Description Container
Account Statements, 1924-1941
(Not scanned)
4
25
Bills & Receipts, 1889-1919
(Not scanned)
4
26
Liberty Bonds, Cheshire National Bank, 1919-1921
(Not scanned)
4
27
Ledger, 1923-1935
4
28
Ledger kept by Emma Beach Thayer, 1915-1923
4
29
Ledger kept by David Reasoner, 1921-1930
(Not scanned)
4
30
David Reasoner Bethesda Country Club Membership, 1948-1957
(Not scanned)
4
31

Series 6: Legal Records , 1891-1927
(Box 4; 4 folders)

Legal records include a copy of the patent office record given to Gerome Brush and Abbott Handerson Thayer for the "process of treating the outsides of ships & for making them less visible." Also included in that folder is a contract handwritten by Thayer giving Brush claim to use of the original invention. Other documents in this series are legal agreements, including a draft agreement among landowners in Dublin, New Hampshire to create a nature reservation, and deeds of property belonging to Abbott Thayer and Emma Beach Thayer. Also found is a map of the property owned by Thayer and surrounding properties in Dublin.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
Description Container
Patent Documents, 1902, 1911
4
32
Legal Agreements, 1908-1927
4
33
Deeds of Property, 1891-1921
4
34
Map of Thayer Property, Dublin, New Hampshire, 1919
4
35

Series 7: Printed Material , 1851, 1896-1999
(Box 4-5; 0.4 linear feet)

Printed material includes two books, an alphabet book belonging to Abbott Thayer which he inscribed and gave to his daughter Mary, and a bound article written by Theodore Roosevelt in response to Thayer's book on concealing coloration. The article was originally published in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, volume XXX. Also found are newspaper and magazine clippings about Abbott Thayer, about his artwork and exhibitions, and about the Reasoner family. Exhibition announcements and catalogs are for exhibitions by Thayer, his daughter Gladys Thayer Reasoner, and group exhibitions. Other material in this series is about the Woodstock Playhouse, for which David Reasoner was the director, and includes news clippings, programs and newsletters, and the publication Hue and Cry.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
Description Container
Book, Illustrated Alphabet of Animals, 1851
(Not scanned)
4
36
Book, Revealing and Concealing Coloration in Birds and Mammals, by Theodore Roosevelt, 1911
(Not scanned)
4
37
Clippings, 1900-1996
(5 folders)
4
38-42
Clippings about Woodstock Playhouse, circa 1929-1949
(Not scanned)
4
43
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1896-1983
(6 folders)
4
44-49
Newsletters & Event Calendars, 1980-1983, 1999
(Not scanned)
5
1
Newsletters & Programs from Woodstock, New York, 1928-1941
(Not scanned)
5
2
Hue and Cry Newspaper, 1925, 1928, 1929
(Not scanned)
5
3
Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1895, 1914-circa 1966
(Not scanned)
5
4

Series 8: Photographs , circa 1861-1933
(Box 5, MGP 2; 0.2 linear feet)

This series contains photographs of Abbott H. Thayer, including two portraits of him, a photo of him with a group of people (possibly at Gerald Thayer's wedding), and a photograph of his plaster death mask. Also found are photographs of Thayer's studio, some of which include the painting he was working on at the time, his son Gerald, and other models. There are photographs of Thayer's home in Dublin, New Hampshire. Additional photographs are of his wife, Emma Beach Thayer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and one of his former student Rockwell Kent painting outdoors. Also found are numerous photographs of unidentified people, most likely members of the Thayer family, and a few photographs of artwork by Thayer. Glass plate negative is housed separately and closed to researchers.
Description Container
Photographs of Abbott H. Thayer, circa 1861, 1900, 1915
5 (hol)
5
Photographs of Thayer's Studio, circa 1895
5 (hol)
6
Photographs of Thayer's Home, Dublin, New Hampshire, circa 1905
5 (hol)
7
Photographs of Emma Beach Thayer, circa 1870, 1889
5 (hol)
8
Photographs of Gladys Thayer Reasoner & Family (Photocopies), circa 1915, 1933
5 (hol)
9
Photographs of Lyman and Grace Reasoner, circa 1919
5 (hol)
10
Photographs of Ralph Waldo Emerson, circa 1860
5 (hol)
11
Photograph of Rockwell Kent, circa 1905
5 (hol)
12
Unidentified Portraits, circa 1860-1890
5 (hol)
13
Unidentified Tintype Portraits, circa 1870-1890
(2 folders; not scanned)
5 (hol)
14-15
Glass Plate Negative of Unidentified Man, circa 1890
(Not scanned)
5 (hol)
16
Glass Plate Negative
1 glass negative
MGP 2
Photographs of Artwork, circa 1895
(Not scanned)
5 (hol)
17
Tintype Photograph of The Sisters, circa 1884
(Not scanned)
5 (hol)
18
Original Frame for Photograph of The Sisters, circa 1884
(Not scanned)
5 (hol)
19

Series 9: Artwork , 1887 - circa 1940s
(Box 5-6, 8; 0.2 linear feet)

This series includes two drawings by Abbott Thayer, one depicting an angel and modeled by his daughter Mary. Also found is a large amount of artwork by children, including drawings by Gerald Thayer and other unidentified drawings and paintings, probably by Mary, Gerald, and Gladys Thayer, animal cutouts by Jean Reasoner Plunket, and other small painted cutout figures by an unknown artist. Also found are two sketchbooks, one belonging to David Reasoner, and the other probably belonging to his daughter, Jean Reasoner Plunket.
Description Container
Drawings by Abbott Handerson Thayer, 1887, 1912
5 (hol)
20
Artwork by Gerald Thayer, 1889
5 (hol)
21
Artwork by Unidentified Children (probably Mary, Gerald, and Gladys Thayer), circa 1890-1900
(2 folders)
6 (pam)
1-2
Painted Cutout Figures, circa 1904
6 (pam)
3
David Reasoner Sketchbook, circa 1910
(See Box 8)
6 (pam)
4
Animal Cutouts by Jean Reasoner Plunket, circa 1940s
(Not scanned)
6 (pam)
5
Sketchbook (possibly belonging to Jean Reasoner Plunket), circa 1940s
6 (pam)
6
David Reasoner Sketchbook, circa 1910
(See also Box 6, folder 4)
8 (pam)
1

Series 10: Scrapbook , circa 1910-1920
(Box 7; 0.3 linear feet)

This large scrapbook, compiled by David Reasoner, includes photographs and printed reproductions of paintings by Abbott Thayer, as well as a few newspaper clippings about his artwork. The scrapbook also includes a few notations listing the current owners of the paintings.
Description Container
Scrapbook about Thayer Artwork, circa 1910-1920
7 (sol)
1

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.