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American Academy in Rome records, 1855-2012

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Catherine S. Gaines
Scope and Contents
The records of the American Academy in Rome measure 65.9 linear feet and date from 1855 to 2012. The collection documents the history of the institution from its inception in 1894 as the American School of Architecture in Rome, through the end of World War II, and chronicles the contributions the academy has made to America's cultural and intellectual development. Nearly one-half of the collection consists of an unprocessed addition received in 2014 containing records that mostly post-date World War II and include correspondence and subject files of officers and executives based in the New York office of American Academy in Rome.
Items predating the 1894 founding of the American School of Architecture in Rome are personal papers and memorabilia of individuals associated with the institution.
Series 1: Predecessor Institutions, is composed of the records of the American School of Architecture in Rome, 1894-1898, and the American School of Classical Studies in Rome, 1895-1913. Records of the American School of Architecture in Rome include records of its Managing Committee, correspondence, financial records, and printed matter. Among the Managing Committee's records are notes and correspondence relative to the founding of the institution, minute books and reports; also, legal documents including records concerning its dissolution prior to being reorganized as the American Academy in Rome. Correspondence is mostly that of Vice President Charles F. McKim who handled administrative matters. Financial records include capital stock certificates, invoices and receipts. Printed matter consists of scholarship competition announcements.
Records of the American School of Classical Studies in Rome include records of its Managing Committee, Committee on Fellowships, publications, printed matter, and treasurers' records. The Managing Committee's records consist of the proposed resolution concerning its merger with the American Academy in Rome. Committee on Fellowship records are comprised of correspondence, reports, and fellowship applications. Publications records include correspondence and invoices. Printed matter includes general information, annual reports of the Managing Committee and Director, annual reports of the Committee on Medieval and Renaissance Studies, fellowship applications and examination questions, and the proposed consolidation agreement. Treasurers' records include the files of Alex. Bell and Willard V. King. Bell's sparse records consist of a budget, receipts for salary payments, an invoice, canceled checks, and correspondence. King's files, while more substantial than those that survive from Bell's tenure, are quite incomplete. They include correspondence, banking records, budgets and financial statements, investment records, invoices, and receipts for salaries and expenses.
Series 2: Board of Trustees Records, is comprised of legal documents, minutes, and reports; records of Trustee committees; records of officers; and records of individual Trustees. Legal documents, 1897-1926 and undated, consist of by-laws and amendments, certificate of incorporation, and constitution and amendments. Minutes and reports of the Board of Trustees, 1897-1947 and 1957, including those of its annual meetings, are carbon copies rather than the official minute books, and are incomplete. Reports of officers are incomplete, as well. Also included are reports of Officers'/Trustees' visits to Rome, and reports of the Director and Secretary in Rome submitted to the Board of Trustees.
Records of Trustee committees, 1905-1946 and undated, consist of reports and/or minutes arranged alphabetically by committee; these, too are incomplete, with many committees represented by a single report. Committees represented are: Building Committee, Carter Memorial Committee, Endowment Committee, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Library Committee, McKim Memorial Committee, Nominating Committee, Committee on Publications. Committee on the School of Classical Studies records consist of its own minutes and reports, reports of its Advisory Council and the Jury on Classical Fellowships. Committee on the School of Classical Studies also include reports of officers and staff of the School of Classical Studies to the Committee on the School of Classical Studies as follows: Director, Professor in Charge, Annual Professor, Director of the Summer Session, Professor of Archaeology, Curator of the Museum, Editor, Librarian, and Committee on the Welfare of Women Students. Committee on the School of Fine Arts records consist of its own minutes and reports, reports of its Special Committee on the Plan and Expense of a Department of Music in the School of Fine Arts, and report of Fine Arts Program, Triptych Project with the Citizens Committee for the Army and Navy, Inc.; also, reports of officers and staff of the School of Fine Arts to the Committee on the School of Fine Arts as follows: Director, Professor in Charge, Associate in Charge, Annual Professor, Professor in Charge of the Department of Musical Composition. In addition, there are minutes and/or reports of the Committee of Twelve and Subcommittee of Five and the Special Committee on Villa Aurelia.
Records of Officers. 1898-1957 and undated, consist mainly of correspondence files and reports, with large numbers of transcriptions and carbon copies. Included are records of: Presidents Charles F. McKim, William R. Mead, Charles A. Platt, John Russell Pope, and James Kellum Smith; Vice Presidents Theodore N. Ely, George B. McClellan, and Henry James; Secretaries H. Siddons Mowbray (Secretary/Treasurer), Frank D. Millet, C. Grant La Farge, William B. Dinsmoor, and H. Richardson Pratt; and Treasurers William R. Mead, William A. Boring, Leon Fraser, and Lindsay Bradford Office files of President Mead, Secretaries Millet and La Farge, and Treasurer Boring are the most complete; files of other individuals, the Vice Presidents in particular, are often quite sparse.
Records of individual Trustees, 1902-1946 and undated, consist of material relating to official Academy business that was created or maintained by each in his capacity as trustee. (Note: many of these individuals also served as officers or staff of the Academy, and their records documenting those functions will be found in the appropriate series.) Included in this subseries are the records of: Chester H. Aldrich, Gilmore D. Clarke, James C. Egbert, Barry Faulkner, Allan C. Johnson, William M. Kendall, C. Grant La Farge, Edward P. Mellon, Charles Dyer Norton, Charles A. Platt, John Russell Pope, Edward K. Rand, John C. Rolfe, James Kellum Smith, S. Breck Trowbridge, Ferruccio Vitale, John Quincy Adams Ward, Andrew F. West, and William L. Westerman. These records tend to be sparse; files maintained by James C. Egbert, Barry Faulkner, Allan C. Johnson, and Ferruccio Vitale are notable exceptions.
Series 3: New York Office Records, consists of records of staff, rosters, printed matter, photographs, personal papers, Association of Alumni of the American Academy in Rome, and miscellaneous records.
Records of staff, 1919-1950 and undated, include the office files of Executive Secretaries Roscoe Guersney, Meriwether Stuart, and Mary T. Williams; Librarian George K. Boyce; and Endowment Fund Campaign Secretaries Phillilps B. Robinson and Edgar I. Williams.
The rosters, 1895-1939 and undated, are printed forms completed by fellows and students, with occasional attachments (usually correspondence or photographs). Included are the rosters of the School of Fine Arts, School of Classical Studies, and School of Classical Studies Summer Sessions.
Printed matter, 1905-[1981?] and undated, has been classified as Academy produced and produced by others. Items produced by the Academy, 1905-[1981?], include general information including act of incorporation and by-laws, fundraising brochure, constitution, Directory of Fellows and Residents, histories of the institution, newsletter of the Director, and printed items relating to special events. Printed matter specifically relating to the School of Classical Studies includes annual announcements, the consolidation agreement, a directory, fellowship announcements and applications, lecture announcements, newsletters, and brochures about summer sessions. School of Fine Arts printed matter includes annual announcements, concert programs, exhibition checklists and catalogs, fellowship announcements and application forms, history, and newsletters.
Printed matter produced by others, 1905-1940 and undated, consists of three scrapbooks of news clippings and photographs compiled by the American Academy in Rome, extensive clipping files, and articles from miscellaneous publications. All of these items are about the American Academy in Rome, or by or about individuals associated with the institution. Also included is a poster for Leave Courses offered at the Academy for U. S. servicemen.
Photographs, 1891-1941 and undated, are organized into the categories of works of art, people, buildings, places, events, and miscellaneous. Works of art are by visiting students and fellows, Frank D. Millet, collaborative problems, Rome Prize Competitions in Architecture, Rome Prize Competitions in Landscape Architecture, and Prix de Rome Competition exhibitions. Photographs of people are both of individuals and groups; among the groups are summer school students and fellowship winners.
Buildings depicted are American Academy properties. Among them are the "New Building," including interior and exterior construction views; studios; and Villas Aurelia, Mirafiore, and Richardson. Also included is a group of photographs of Academy architecture students measuring buildings in Rome and Florence. Places pictured are views of the Academy property and surrounding areas.
Photographs of events include cricket games, Thanksgiving and Fourth of July dinners, Architectural League exhibition, and inauguration of the Manship Fountain. Miscellaneous photographs are of an architectural drawing for a proposed building.
Personal Papers, Memorabilia, and Ephemera, 1855-1923 an undated, were donated to the American Academy in Rome or otherwise left on its premises. None are official records generated by the institution. Included are: Ernest Lewis' photograph album/scrapbook; Allan Marquand's papers; Charles F. McKim's memorabilia, photographs, printed matter, and artifacts; Charles R. Morey's correspondence; and Elihu Vedder's Bible.
Records of the Association of the Alumni of the American Academy in Rome, 1913-1945 and undated), consist of a small number of scattered records including correspondence, fellows' war/government service information (compiled by Sidney Waugh), membership lists, and a newsletter.
Miscellaneous records, 1899-1926 and undated, are writings and architectural records. Writings consist of published and unpublished manuscript material about the American Academy in Rome and its history, and article by H. Siddons Mowbray advising on ornamentation, and text and illustrations for the Art and Archaeology issue on the Academy. Also included are fragments of unidentified letters. Architectural records [oversize] include property and floor plans of Villas Aurora, Chiaraviglio, Ferrari, and Ludovisi.
Series 4: Rome Office Records, consist of records of staff and personal papers. Records of staff, 1903-1947 and undated, include the office files of Directors H. Siddons Mowbray, George Breck, Jesse Benedict Carter, Gorham Phillips Stevens, James Monroe Hewlett, Chester H. Aldrich, Amey Aldrich [Acting Director, very briefly, perhaps unofficially], Charles R. Morey, and Laurance P. Roberts; and records of two members of the School of Fine Arts faculty, Frank P. Fairbanks, Professor of Fine Arts, and Felix Lamond, Professor of Music. Records of Carter, Stevens, Hewlett, and Aldrich appear to be fairly complete; records of early directors are sparse; those of Morey and Roberts appear to be missing significant portions; and those of Professors Fairbanks and Lamond consist of a few scattered items.
Also surviving are the personal papers of Director Gorham Phillips Stevens, 1912-1931 and undated), consisting of correspondence, financial records, and documentation of professional and charitable activities.
Series 5: Unprocessed Addition to the American Academy in Rome Records was received in 2014 and consists of 31.6 linear feet of the New York office's records for officers, directors, and executives.
The material on reels ITRO 2-3 and ITRO 11-13 were lent to the Archives of American Art for microfilming by the American Academy in Rome in 1965. Records of predecessor institutions, the Board of Trustees, and the New York office, including photographs and personal papers, were donated in 1982 by the Academy president, Calvin G. Rand. In 1990, Rand also gifted the Rome office records and the personal documents of Gorham Phillips Stevens. An addition of New York office records was donated in 2014 by the Academy director, Adele Chatfield-Taylor.
Separated Material
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels ITRO 2-3, and ITRO 11-13) including annual reports, exhibition catalogues, a history of the American Academy in Rome, the American Academy in Rome at the World's Fair, and the Golden Gate Exposition and newsletter. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and can be found at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. This material is not described in the collection container inventory.
Related Material
Papers of a number of former fellows, trustees, and other individuals associated with the American Academy in Rome are among the holdings of the Archives of American Art.
Chaloner Prize Foundation records, 1915-1974 (microfilm reels 5664-5669) were received with the American Academy in Rome records. They have been arranged and described as a separate collection.
Valentine, Lucia and Alan Valentine. The American Academy in Rome, 1894-1969. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1973.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Catherine S. Gaines in 2001. The finding aid was revised by Stephanie Ashley in September 2001 prior to EAD conversion. The size of this collection was reduced dramatically after large numbers of carbon copies and other duplicates were weeded and containers packed more tightly to provide adequate physical support for the papers. In 2014, a 31.6 linear foot addition was received and remains unprocessed, although there is a box inventory available in the Washington, D.C. research center.