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Brainerd Bliss Thresher letters, 1935-1938

Thresher, Brainerd Bliss, 1869-

Collector, Arts administrator, Art patron


Collection Information

Size: 0.2 Linear feet

Summary: Typescripts of letters from Thresher written to his family during his travels to Europe, East Asia, and southern Africa. The letters, while primarily conventional reports of noteworthy sites, include extensive references to works of art. A few items of printed material relating to Thresher are also included, including a short article by Thresher on Chinese and Japanese art; a prospectus for circulating paintings from the Dayton Art Institute; a brochure for an exhibition of Thresher's screens in Rome; and an article on Thresher's collection of exotic finger and toe rings. 1938 letters were published by Harold Richardson as "A Collection of Private Letters Written By Brainerd Bliss Thresher Describing His Mediterranean 'Odyssey' Cruise on the S.S. Marco Polo in 1938" (1994).

Biographical/Historical Note

Collector, patron, art adminstrator, stockbroker, artist; Ohio. Thresher was born 1869 in Dayton as a member of a large manufacturing family.After graduation from Denison University in 1892, he and his mother established the first art classes there. In 1902 he helped to found the Dayton Society of Arts and Crafts. He was founder and vice-president of the Dayton Art Institute (1919).


Typed by Thresher's daughter, Malo (Mariel) Thresher Cammann. Cammann's mother, Joan C.McIntyre, subsequently turned over to the letters to her sister, Sonia Thresher Richardson, and her husband Harold Richardson, who donated them to the Archives in 1998.

Language Note

Undetermined .

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

Brainerd Bliss Thresher letters, 1935-1938. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.