Skip to main content

American Academy of Arts and Letters records, 1864-1942

American Academy of Arts and Letters


Collection Information

Size: 800 Items, (on 5 microfilm reels)

Summary: A collection of artists' papers containing correspondence, notes, biographical material, exhibition catalogs, and other published material. Includes:
volume of notes, drawings, and calculations made by George Bellows for a study of Jay Hambidge's theory of Dynamic Symmetry; correspondence and published and unpublished biographical and critical material on George de Forest Brush, Childe Hassam, Francis D. Millet, Joseph Pennell, Elihu Vedder, and J. Q. A. Ward. The Hassam papers are particularly voluminous, with letters from John Taylor Arms, E. H. Blashfield, William Merritt Chase, Royal Cortissoz, J. Alden Weir, and Charles Erskine Scott Wood. All groups contain official Academy correspondence from its secretary Robert Underwood Johnson.

Biographical/Historical Note

Organized 1904, incorporated 1914; New York, N.Y. The American Academy of Arts and Letters was established "to afford recognition to distinguished achievement in literature and the fine arts...." [The American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Institute of Arts and Letters merged on Dec. 30, 1976].


This is a collection of miscellaneous papers representing a gathering over the years of unsolicited documentary resources on American art given or addressed to the Academy.

Location of Originals

  • Originals in American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, N.Y.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels NAA 1 through NAA 5 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

American Academy of Arts and Letters records, 1864-1942. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.