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Alphaeus P. Cole papers, 1885-1988

Cole, Alphaeus Philemon, 1876-1988

Painter, Portrait painter


Collection Information

Size: 4.5 Linear feet, (on 12 microfilm reels)

Summary: Biographical material; diaries; correspondence, financial material; notes; writings; art work; printed material; and photographs
REEL D30 (fr. 420, 521, 542): Three letters from Bruce Crane, 1930, mentioning his election to the Allied Artists of America, from Will Hicok Low, 1930, concerning Cole's election into an art organization, and from Chauncey Foster Ryder, 1921, saying "You may count on me."
REEL 420 (fr. 453-652): Letters written by Timothy Cole, 1885-1928, primarily to Alphaeus and to painter Edward Ertz of Sussex, England, discussing engraving, work for the CENTURY, World War I, and personal matters; a letter to Alphaeus from sculptor John Angel, 1946, discussing Alphaeus' portrait of him; a poem and notes for a speech by Timothy Cole; writings by Alphaeus describing his engraving techniques and his recollections of his father; printed material, including a program for a dinner honoring collector Alexander Wilson Drake, 1913, an address by Timothy to the National Arts Club, 1916, 11 exhibition catalogs for Timothy, 1927-1931, and for Alphaeus, 1922-1952, a catalog from the Grand Central School of Art, and a few clippings; and 2 photos of Alphaeus, ca. 1912 and 1970.
REEL 3481 (fr.467-700): 64 letters, 1910-1927, and 2 sonnets from his father Timothy Cole and a letter to his future daughter-in-law regarding her upcoming marriage to Alphaeus; a letter to Timothy Cole from Calvin Coolidge thanking him for an engraved bookplate; 12 letters to Cole, 1931-1964, from Maurice Bloch, Paul Bransom, A. B. Butts, Will H. Low, Hermann Dudley Murphy, Hudson Strode, R. P. Tolman, and Mahonri Young; a typescript of an article by Cole on Charles C. Curran; 2 photographs of Cole at work, and a photograph of 26 members of the National Academy of Design, ca. 1925, including 19 autographs on the mat; and miscellaneous printed material and writings.
REELS 4783-4791: Biographical accounts and documents; 70 diaries, 1889-1982, containing accounts of Cole's daily activities and 7 photographs; correspondence, 1891-1988, including letters from his father, Timothy Cole, and other family members, 2 notes from Jean Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant, comments by Cole about his colleagues in 1901-1902, Solon Borglum, Joseph Pennell, Edward Steichen, and a Mr. Yeats, and a description of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, 1902; receipts for art expenses and doctor bills; 4 income tax returns, 1936-1980; an address book, ca. 1933; 6 notebooks on the German language, travels in Orvieto, religious symbols in art, and art history, 1889-1898;
writings by Cole and others, including poems to Eugene and Anita Higgins; prints and drawings by Cole, 1899-1958, including a self-portrait and a portrait drawing of Jean Paul Laurens; 2 prints by John W. Evans, 1935, and Keith Shaw Williams; 26 prints of religious paintings by Italian masters; printed material, including clippings, exhibition catalogs for others, reproductions of art work, material concerning Anita Rio, a postcard album, 1901-1934, and picture postcards, and miscellany; and photographs of Cole, Anita Rio, family, friends, models, residence, travels, art work by Cole and others, and gallery installations.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, portrait painter; New York, N.Y. Born in New Jersey, Cole was the son of wood engraver Timothy Cole. After studying under Isaac Craig in Italy, he began studies at the Academie Julian in 1892, under Jean Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. His painting of Dante was exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1900. He moved to England and married sculptress Margaret Ward Walmsley in 1903. They moved to the United States in 1911, where Cole joined the Salmagundi Club, 1918, and served as president of the New York Water Color Club from 1931 to 1941. He taught at Cooper Union, 1924-1931, and was elected a National Academician in 1941. A widower in 1962, Cole married Anita Rio, the widow of painter Eugene Higgins.


Material on reel D30 donated 1955-1962 by Charles E. Feinberg, an active donor and friend of the Archives of American Art. Material on reels 420, 3481, and 4783-4791 donated 1965-1989 by Alphaeus Cole, in part through his nephew Orlando, and by his estate.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels D30, 420, 3481, and 4783-4791 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

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.

How to Cite This Collection

Alphaeus P. Cole papers, 1885-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.