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More Information | A Finding Aid to the Cecilia Beaux papers, 1863-1968 | Digitized Collection

Cecilia Beaux papers, 1863-1968

More Information

A Finding Aid to the Cecilia Beaux Papers,
, in the Archives of American Art
Megan McShea
Scope and Content Note
The papers of the painter Cecilia Beaux measure 3.3 linear feet and date from 1863 to 1968.
Biographical Materials include autobiographical notes written by Beaux, published biographical essays, and articles about Beaux. A lengthy correspondence from Beaux to her friend A. Piatt Andrew of Massachusetts is found, as well as correspondence with family and professional associates. Lengthy letters from Beaux to her family during trips to Europe contain scattered illustrations. Professional correspondents include other artists, teachers, patrons, critics, curators, dealers, and writers.
Writings include one early diary from the 1870s, and a series of eleven additional diaries dating from 1905 to 1913, which record daily activities related to her artwork and personal life. Numerous lectures and essays from her later career are found, often in multiple drafts, as are manuscripts of published and unpublished poems by Beaux. A single sketch, a study for a portrait, is also found.
A floor plan, lists of paintings, receipts, written bids, and other notes document the exhibition and sale of Beaux's artwork. Printed materials related to her career include exhibition catalogs and other ephemera, a scrapbook of primarily clippings related to her early career, and loose clippings related to her later career. Photographs 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.
The bulk of the collection was donated by Beaux's neice, Catherine Drinker Bowen in 1970. A portion of the papers were donated by Harrison Cultra in 1971. Helen Wheelwright, wife of the artist Paul Feeley and a friend of Beaux's, donated Beaux's palette to the Archives in 1972. Cecilia D. Saltonstall, great-neice of Cecilia Beaux, donated several of Beaux's certificates and diplomas to the Archives via the National Portrait Gallery in 1995.
Separated Material
A sketchbook of Beaux's was loaned by Jeffrey R. Brown Fine Arts of Boston in 1985 and is available on microfilm reel 3425.
Related Material
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts holds additional papers related to Cecilia Beaux, particularly personal photographs. Portions of these papers were loaned to the Archives of American Art for microfilming in 1985 and were microfilmed on reel 3658.
The Archives of American Art also holds the Dorothea Gilder papers regarding Cecilia Beaux.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Processing Information
Papers were donated in four separate accessions between 1970 and 1995 and partially microfilmed on reels 426-429 and 1369. At this time, nitrate negatives in the collection were printed and copy negatives made. Loaned materials that were later donated were microfilmed on reels N/68-48 - N/68-49. All accretions were integrated, re-processed, and described in a finding aid by Megan McShea in 2006 and scanned in 2007 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.