Scope and Contents
The papers of printmaker and landscape painter Benson Bond Moore date from 1902 to 1995 and measure 5.7 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, letters, scattered personal business records, notes and writings, twelve scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs. The papers also contain extensive artwork in the form of drawings and sketches, etchings, lithographs, and a few oil paintings.
Biographical material includes genealogical notes, biographical accounts, a baptismal record, marriage license, driver's license, membership cards, an award medal and ribbons, a death certificate, and address books.
Letters are incoming only from friends and colleagues, including Christmas cards from Clifford K. Berryman, Paul Bransom, James Russell Lowe, Rowland Lyon, and Francis Bowes Sayre. There is also a photocopy of a letter from Lou Henry Hoover.
Personal business records include a copy of a patent for Moore's design for an artist's kit, a deed for Moore's father's gallery, priced labels for art work in various media, lists of art work, price lists, records of art work sold, bank account records, miscellaneous receipts, and a ledger concerning Moore's works left in trust after his death.
Notes and writings consist of nine poems by Moore, lists of titles of art work sold, lists of art work by others, and a funeral registry book listing mourners' names. The most notable item in this series is a log book of The Ramblers containing a typescript describing the history of this early 20th century art club.
Art work comprises the most significant series in the collection. It includes 1040 drawings, 43 watercolor sketches, 526 etchings, 187 lithographs, 8 paintings and 5 relief sculptures. Subjects depicted are primarily wildlife and nature, landscapes, seascapes, and scenes of towns and notable buildings primarily in and around Washington, D.C. There are scattered portrait drawings and etchings by Moore of fellow artists Herbert F. Clark, Robert G. Cornett, August H. O. Rolle, and Charles Seaton. There are also 5 bas-relief sculptures.
Twelve scrapbooks contain prints by Moore, letters, printed materials, and photographs of Moore and his artwork. Scrapbook 10 contains a photograph of a Landscape Club banquet at the Cosmos Club.
Printed material consists of clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, a prospectus from the Society of Animal Artists, book Animals of American History illustrated by Paul Bransom, miscellaneous booklets and brochures concerning art-related topics, travel brochures for New York State, and reproductions of art works.
Photographs are of Benson Bond Moore, his family, residence, colleagues including members of The Ramblers painting outdoors, and of art work. There are also travel photographs of locations in the United States.
The Benson Bond Moore papers were donated by Barbara Nikla and John J. Lyons in 1996, as representatives of the estate of the artist's sister-in-law, Mary Jane Moore. Additional material was donated 1997 from the estate by other relatives, Martha Sigmon and her sister Georgia King.
Printmaking tools, lithographic plates, and a 24 x 30 inch display board exhibiting specimen prints and plates and a pocket barometer were transferred to the National Museum of American History, Department of Information Technology and Society.
The collection was arranged and preserved in July 1997 by Jean Fitzgerald, and a finding aid created in 2010.