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Benjamin West collection from the Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, 1775-1819

West, Benjamin, 1738-1820

Painter, Portrait painter


Collection Information

Size: 1 Item, partial microfilm reel

Summary: Papers and drawings selected from collections at Swarthmore College's Friends Historical Library, mainly regarding West's life and painting activities in England. Included are: 15 letters between West and various individuals refering to his paintings, requesting to see his collection and business matters; hand drawn diagrams for King's Chapel at Windsor Castle designating the placement, subjects and measurements for a cycle of paintings; account lists kept by Mrs. West documenting daily expenditures and various social engagements; and 212 drawings of religious and classical subjects, as well as landsape, figural and animal studies.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter Born in Pennsylvania, moved to London, where his studio became a center for expatriate Americans.


Microfilmed in 1989 as part of AAA's Philadelphia Arts Documentation Project. The papers are from several collections at Friends Historical Library.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Originals in: Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reel 4233 available at Archives of American Art offices, through interlibrary loan, at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and at the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College.

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

Benjamin West collection from the Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, 1775-1819. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.