Skip to main content

August Jaccaci papers, 1889-1935, bulk 1904-1914

Jaccaci, Augusto Floriano, 1857-1930

Muralist, Writer, Editor, Art historian

Collection Information

Size: 7.2 Cubic feet

Summary: The papers of art historican August Jaccaci measure 7.2 linear feet and date from 1889 to 1935, with the bulk of the material dating from 1904 to 1914. The collection documents Jaccaci's work as an art historian, writer, and editor, primarily during the period he researched, compiled, and published his book Noteworthy Paintings in Private American Collections. More than one-half of the collection consists of extensive correspondence to and from many notable artists, collectors, and art historians, including John La Farge, Kenyon Cox, Isabella Stewart Gardner, and Bernard Sickert concerning the research and publication of the book. The papers also house legal files, writings and notes, art collection research files, and photographs of artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

August Florian Jaccaci was born in Fontainebleau, France in 1856. After traveling extensively in various countries including Mexico and Cuba, he settled in the United States in the early 1880s. He worked briefly as an artist in the Midwest, creating murals on commission, including a mural in the Capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jaccaci then moved to New York City and worked as art editor for Century magazine. Besides serving as art editor, he also wrote several articles and executed illustrations for the magazine. On the recommendation of artist Will H. Low he became art editor of McClure's magazine at its founding in 1896. A year later he wrote the book on his travels entitled, On the trail of Don Quixote: being a record of rambles in the ancient province of La Mancha [sic] . He left McClure's in 1902 and in 1903 began working on a major multi-volume book entitled Noteworthy Paintings in Private American Collections . Jaccaci envisioned a 15 volume set with essays about American art collections written by distinguished art historians. Though Jaccaci knew many writers, art critics, and artists through his magazine work, he was not a well-known art historian and asked artist John La Farge to be the co-editor of the book. La Farge's reputation provided access to major American collections of artwork. The publishing company Merrill and Baker was to publish the work, but it went bankrupt in 1904. Jaccaci then bought their property for his project and called it the August F. Jaccaci Co. The first volume was published in 1909, and John La Farge died in 1910. Though Jaccaci continued working on the next volume, the project failed in 1912. Besides working on this project, Jaccaci also served as editor of the "Art in America" section of Burlington Magazine from 1907 to 1910.

Provenance

The August Jaccaci papers were purchased by the Archives of American Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1957 and microfilmed shortly after receipt.

Funding

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.