Betty Carpenter, was an art historian, biographer and collector from Massachusetts. Her collection comprised the work of Massachusetts folk artists John Orne Johnson and George E. Lothrop. In 1943 Carpenter and her husband began collecting Frost's work from his son Frank Frost. From there Mrs. Carpenter developed friendships with Frost's family and in 1948 she helped arrange an exhibition of Frost's work (along with George Lothrop's) at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.
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.
John Orne Johnson Frost (1852-1928), also known and self referred to as J.O.J Frost, was a self taught artist from Marblehead, Massachusetts. Originally a fisherman and restaurant owner, Frost only began to paint and sculpt at after his first wife Annie Frost's death in 1919. His naive style paintings depict scenes from his youth at sea, and the history of Marblehead and how it developed from its early wilderness beginnings through the American Revolution and the Civil War. George Lothrop (1967-1939), was from Dighton, Massachusetts and also began painting later in life. Lothrop was highly interested in poetry and theater, but by trade worked as a wood carpenter at a piano factory where he would carve frames for many of his paintings. He held a second job as a night security guard at the Howard Watch Company, which is where he did most of his painting. Many of his works are of fanciful or mythical scenes in oil.