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Betty Carpenter papers, 1919-1965

Carpenter, Betty



Collection Information

Size: 3 Linear feet

Summary: Papers documenting Betty Carpenter's extensive research of John Orne Johnson Frost and George E. Lothrop, the naive painters whose work she collected. Included are: drafts, notes and typescripts of Carpenter's unpublished book on Frost; primary source material including letters from Frost to his grandchildren, copies of articles by Frost; photographs of Frost, his family and paintings; 3 scrapbooks compiled by Frost; exhibition catalogs; notes on George E. Lothrop; and miscellaneous printed material.

Biographical/Historical Note

Frost began to paint at, approximately, age 70. His naive paintings recreated from memory scenes from his youth at sea, or scenes of village life in Marblehead, Massachusetts. His death date is Nov. 3, 1928 (although listed in some sources as 1929 or 1952). Lothrop, also of Massachusetts, painted fanciful or mythical scenes in oil. Betty Carpenter, was an art historian, biographer and collector; Massachusetts. Her collection comprised the work of Massachusetts folk artists John Orne Johnson and George E. Lothrop.


Donated 1972 by Peter Carpenter. In addition to collecting the work of these two artists, Carpenter gathered primary source material, such as Frost's scrapbooks and diaries, as well as utilizing secondary sources; this, exclusively, in the case of George E. Lothrop on whom information was rather more limited; for the purpose of compiling biographies of the two. After both Carpenter and her husband had died, the art collection was sold at auction and the reposit of the source materials facilitated by an agent of the auction house. The source material, through Parke-Bernet, was eventually given to the Archives.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

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

Betty Carpenter papers, 1919-1965. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.