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Contents and Arrangement | A Finding Aid to the Cecilia Beaux papers, 1863-1968 | Digitized Collection

Cecilia Beaux papers, 1863-1968

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 6 series, with multiple subseries in Series 2:

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Series 1: Biographical Materials, circa 1893-1943
0.3 linear feet
Box 1, OV 4-5

This series contains biographical notes and narratives about Cecilia Beaux, with notes in Beaux's own handwriting; documentation of prizes and honors she received; certificates of organizational memberships in the Societé Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Hispanic Society of America; and artifacts, including her oil palette.
Additional biographical narratives can be found in Correspondence, Writings, and Printed Materials. See series descriptions for further details.

Series 2: Correspondence, 1863-1968, undated
1.2 linear feet
Boxes 1-2

Correspondence is arranged into 2 subseries:
2.1: Cecilia Beaux Letters to A. Piatt Andrew, 1904- circa 1936
2.2: General Correspondence, circa 1863-1968

Series 3: Writings, circa 1868-1954
0.8 linear feet
Boxes 2-3, OV 6

This series includes twelve diaries, notebooks, lectures, essays, poetry, and notes written primarily by Cecilia Beaux, as well as a collection of poems and essays about Cecilia Beaux by various authors including Royal Cortissoz, Richard Watson Gilder, and others. A single sketch on notepaper, which appears to be a study for a portrait, is filed at the end of this series.
Twelve diaries contain entries recording daily activities, including regular notes on her work in the studio and with various sitters for portraits. Some entries are quite brief, and others go on at length about her social life in Europe and America; occasional meetings with prominent figures such as Ida Tarbell, Clarence Day, J. Alden Weir, George Bellows, the Roosevelts, and others; jurying; sitters; women's suffrage; and women in art.
Lectures and essays on a variety of art subjects are found, usually in the form of annotated typescripts and often in multiple drafts, filed chronologically with their titles or subjects listed in folder headings. The latest draft of each work is filed first in each folder. Beaux writes of her own experiences as an artist, art techniques, education, critical or theoretical ideas, and autobiographical subjects which are unrelated to art. Included are several essays in the form of letters to unidentified recipients, including a detailed account of her time time spent in Malines, Belgium, to paint Cardinal Mercier in 1919. Lengthy prose fragments, many of them autobiographical, are possibly drafts from her 1930 memoir,
Background with Figures
Poems by Beaux are arranged chronologically, with published poems filed first, along with clippings of their published versions, followed by unpublished poems, titled and untitled. Additional poems are found in her 1868-1884 school notebook. Writings about Cecilia Beaux include poems by Richard Watson Gilder, Adrian Smith, and Adeline Adams; and prose by Royal Cortissoz, Paul Bion, and Eugene Neuhaus. Also found here are corrected galley proofs for an unattributed, published article on American Art that quotes Beaux extensively.
Notebooks include school notes and poetry, expenses, contacts, and what appear to be teaching records. A notebook labeled "Important Data" contains summaries by year of autobiographical data. Other notes include corrections and annotated proofs for Background with Figures, and collection notes by Beaux and others that relate to items in this collection.
Printed editions of some poems and essays are also found in Printed Materials. Additional autobiographical notes and essays are found in Biographical materials and Correspondence. See series descriptions for further details.

Series 4: Personal Business Records, circa 1883-1936
0.2 linear feet
Box 3, OV 6

This series contains exhibition records, a list of artwork, and receipts and contracts, mostly related to Beaux's artwork. Exhibition records include a floor plan for an exhibition at the St. Botolph Club in Boston, receipts and lists of paintings related to an exhibition at Knoedler Gallery, a list of paintings for an exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery, and extensive documentation of the solicitation of paintings for the 1935-1936 retrospective exhibition at the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
A list of artwork which appears to have been written by Beaux is organized by the studio in which the painting was made. Among the receipts and contracts are handwritten bids on her painting "Foggy Morning," receipts for the sale of "The Dreamer" and a magazine illustration, and her contract with Houghton Mifflin for her 1930 memoir.
Correspondence related to exhibits, sales, and production of artwork is found in the Correspondence series. Catalogs and reviews of exhibitions are found in Printed Materials.

Series 5: Printed Materials, circa 1874-1953
0.5 linear feet
Box 3, OV 6

This series contains printed materials related to Beaux's exhibitions and career as an artist, including catalogs, announcements, invitations, clippings, articles, pamphlets, broadsides, a poster, and prints of Beaux's paintings.
The Scrapbook contains clippings from her early career, as well as letters, telegrams, and notes from patrons, sitters, and other art world figures such as Clement A. Griscom, Russell Smith, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the National Academy of Design, the Art Club of Philadelphia, Horace Brodsky, Thomas Hovenden, J.C. Nicoll, and H.S. Morris. Loose clippings continue the chronological sequence of clippings and generally do not duplicate clippings in the scrapbook. Clippings include reviews and other articles related to her artwork and career. Pamphlets, broadsides, and other miscellany include a broadside of a poem, "Sargent," written by Beaux in 1925. Prints include an engraving of the painting "Mother and Daughter," a lithograph portrait of S. Weir Mitchell, and a Century magazine advertising poster featuring Beaux's sketch of Rear-Admiral Sampson.
Additional printed materials are found in the Biographical Materials series, and additional halftone prints of Beaux's paintings are found in the Writings series.

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1888-1919
0.3 linear feet
Box 3

Photographs in this series include formal portraits of Cecilia Beaux and informal photographs of Beaux alone and with colleagues, friends, and family members in various settings including Concarneau, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Gloucester, and Malines, Belgium. Also found is a photograph of John Singer Sargent painting, shot from behind, and photographs of paintings by Beaux.
Photographs are arranged by subject and described in the folder list. Nitrate negatives of photographs taken at Green Alley and snapshots of family members were printed and discarded. Images in this group are separated into folders for vintage prints made during Beaux's lifetime, recent prints from the discarded nitrate negatives, duplicates, and copy negatives.
Additional photographs are found in the Correspondence series. See series description for further details.

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.