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Barry Faulkner papers, circa 1858-1973

Faulkner, Barry, 1881-1966

Muralist, Painter, Educator

The papers of Barry Faulkner in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2009. The bulk of the papers have been scanned and total 3,410 images.

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

Collection Information

Size: 2.82 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of muralist, painter, and teacher Barry Faulkner measure 2.82 linear feet and date from circa 1858-1973. Faulkner's career; his relationships with family, friends, and fellow-artists; and his thoughts on art and artists are documented in biographical materials, correspondence, writings, sketchbooks, five diaries, photograph albums and photographs, and one scrapbook. An unprocessed addition to the collection dating 1942 includes a one page letter mounted on board from Maxfield Parrish to Barry Faulkner.
Biographical materials include biographical sketches, awards, and records documenting Faulkner's military service. Also found are a list of medications, a list of Faulkner's writings, party guest lists, an address book, a calendar, and materials related to the posthumous publication of Sketches From an Artist's Life. Of special interest are oversized architectural drawings by Eric Gugler for Faulkner's Keene, New Hampshire house.
Correspondence includes letters from Faulkner's friends, family, fellow artists, and art organizations and institutions. Faulkner's correspondence with his parents document his 1900-1901 trip to Italy with the Thayer family. Of special interest is his correspondence with writer Witter Bynner about Faulkner's daily life in New Hampshire, his travels through Europe, his artistic practice and career, Bynner's writings, his opinions on artistic and literary works, and his service in World War One. Many of the letters to Bynner include sketches by Faulkner of Abbott Handerson Thayer, Rockwell Kent, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Homer Saint-Gaudens, George de Forest Brush, Kahlil Gibran, and Mark Twain. Additional correspondents include sculptor Frances Grimes, architect Eric Gugler, painter Leon Kroll, and museum director James Johnson Sweeney.
Faulkner's writings are about art, artists, and the New Hampshire art community. Found are essays on Gifford Beal, George de Forest Brush, James Earle Fraser, Harriet Hosmer, Paul Manship, Charles Adams Platt, Hiram Powers, Edward Willis Redfield, Joseph Lindon Smith, Mary Lawrence Tonetti, Mark Twain, Lawrence Grant White, and Mahonri Young. Other writings discuss Faulkner's mural commissions, various aspects of New Hampshire history, and the history of the Dublin and Cornish art colonies whose inhabitants included George de Forest Brush, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and Abbott Handerson Thayer. Of special interest is a manuscript for Faulkner's posthumously published memoir Sketches From an Artist's Life, and an unpublished manuscript titled A Neighborhood of Artists about the history and culture of the Connecticut River Valley.
Four sketchbooks by Faulkner contain drawings of landscapes, city scenes, architecture, people, nature, and studies of artwork by others. Also found are two loose sketches.
Five diaries document Faulkner's 1922-1924 trip through Europe, Africa, and Asia including stops in France, Italy, Egypt, and Turkey. Diaries record Faulkner's thoughts on architecture, tourist sites, and travel amenities. Found is one diary from 1956 that discusses social events, the Saint-Gaudens Memorial, the MacDowell Colony of artists, and various artists including Gifford Beal, Maxfield Parrish, Paul Manship, and Eric Gugler.
The bulk of printed material consists of clippings which document published writings by Faulkner, obituaries and published rememberances of Faulkner, local events in Keene, New Hampshire, and reproductions of Faulkner's artwork. Also found are exhibition catalogs of other artists, an announcement of Faulklner's death from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a publication illustrated with reproductions of Faulkner's murals for the National Archives.
Photographs include formal and informal images of Faulkner throughout his life, and photographs of his family and friends, his studio, and reproductions of his artwork. Also included are two photograph albums, one of which contains photographs of Faulkner during his youth and one that contains photographs primarily from the 1930s of Faulkner's Keene, New Hampshire house, himself, and his friends and family.
The collection also includes a scrapbook prepared for Faulkner's seventieth birthday containing photographs, cards, telegrams, and placecards with hand drawn illustrations which show the "taste and characteristics" of Faulkner.

Biographical/Historical Note

Francis Barrett Faulkner was born on July 12, 1881 in Keene, New Hampshire. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and went on to study at Harvard College. Around this same time, Faulkner began an apprenticeship with his cousin and painter Abbott Handerson Thayer and painter George de Forest Brush. He also met sculptors James Earle Fraser and Augustus Saint-Gaudens, both of whom became Faulkner's lifelong friends.


The collection was donated by Francis Faulkner, Barry Faulkner's nephew, in 1974. An addition to the collection was donated by Jocelyn Faulkner Bolle in 2014.

Related Materials


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