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

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

Jaccaci, Augusto Floriano, 1857-1930

Collection Information

Size: 7.2 linear ft.

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 Jaccaci (1856-1930) was a mural painter and writer. born Fontainebleau, France, 1856; died Neuf-De-Grasse, France, 1930; He and painter John La Farge were editors for what they hoped would be a multi-volume series to be called Noteworthy Paintings in Private Collections. The first volume was published in 1907, but with the untimely death of La Farge, Jaccaci abandoned the project.

Provenance

Papers were purchased from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which had acquired them for director Francis Henry Taylor's research for Taste of Angels.

A Finding Aid to the August Jaccaci Papers,
1889-1935
(bulk 1904-1914)
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.jaccaugu
Finding aid prepared by Erin Corley
Scope and Content Note
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.
Correspondents include art historians, critic, artists, and art collectors, as well as publishers, photographers, printers, and agents. These letters discuss the research of famous American art collections, writing of essays for the book, and the book production and publication. There is extensive correspondence with his co-editor John La Farge, and with his employee Carl Snyder who was working in Europe. Other correspondence is with magazines, art associations, academic institutions, and French service organizations. Also included is a small amount of personal correspondence with friends and colleagues.
Legal files include contracts and legal agreements for the August F. Jaccaci Company, as well as legal agreements with John La Farge concerning the research and publication of their joint book. Writings and notes include Jaccaci's lists and notes pertaining to the
Noteworthy Paintings
project, as well as other miscellaneous notes. Also found are writings by John La Farge that include drafts of a book, lectures, and notes about his artwork. Writings by others in this series also include draft essays by many art historians for Jaccaci's book. For the
Noteworthy Paintings
project, Jaccaci created numerous research files for American art collections and collectors that would be included. These research files include lists of works of art, essays and other notes about the collection written by prominent art historians. Photographs are of works of art supporting the research files. Also found in this collection are photographs of and notes about New England stencil designs. It is unclear what the connection is between Jaccaci and the stencil designs.
Biographical 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.
In 1914 August Jaccaci went to Europe on art related business. With the start of World War I, he decided to stay in France and pursue philanthropic work. He founded the Society for Protection of Children of the Frontier, and established a children's hospital, receiving many honors for his service. He died in Neuf-De-Grasse, France in 1930.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into 5 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1895-1929, undated (Box 1-5; 4.2 linear feet)
Series 2: Legal Files, 1895-1911, undated (Box 5; 4 folders)
Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1903-1914, undated (Box 5; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 4: Art Collection Research Files, 1889, 1892, 1903-1914, undated (Box 5-7; 2.0 linear feet)
Series 5: Photographs, 1904-1912, 1928-1935, undated (Box 7-8; 0.4 linear feet)
Due to re-processing, the order of the collection varies slightly from the order of the collection on microfilm. References to the microfilm reel numbers have been added for researcher access.
Provenance
Papers were purchased from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which had acquired them for director Francis Henry Taylor's research for Taste of Angels.
Processing Information
This collection was processed shortly after purchase and microfilmed on reels D118-D126. Photographs of artwork were not microfilmed. Previously microfilmed and unmicrofilmed portions were arranged, and described in accordance with archival standards by Erin Corley in 2006 as part of the Terra Foundation for American Art Digitization Grant. The order of the papers is slightly different than the order of the microfilmed papers. References to the reel numbers have been added to the finding aid.

Additional Forms Available

The collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reels D118-D126 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the order of the papers as re-processed varies from the order of collection on microfilm.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

August Jaccaci papers, 1889-1935, bulk, 1904-1914. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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