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Charles H. Woodbury and Elizabeth Ward Perkins papers, 1878-1959

Charles H. Woodbury and Elizabeth Ward Perkins papers, 1878-1959

Perkins, Elizabeth Ward, 1873-1954

Art patron, Teacher, Author

Overview

Collection Information

Size: 2.4 linear feet

Summary: The papers of Charles H. Woodbury and Elizabeth Ward Perkins measure 2.4 linear feet and date from 1878-1959. Included are correspondence, writings, exhibition files, inventories, art work, photographs and printed material.

Correspondence includes circa 340 letters from Woodbury to Perkins written from Maine, Massachusetts, and various locales; circa 40 letters from Woodbury to his mother, mostly written from Holland with notes about the letters. Other letters are to Woodbury from Edward Filene, John B. Paine, and Thomas Allen, regarding the painting Mid-Ocean; a letter from Sam Houghton regarding his purchase of a watercolor; letters to Woodbury from William Merrit Post, Charles C. Curran (of the National Academy of Design), Benjamin Kimball, Malvina Hoffman, George W. Eggers (of the Art Institute of Chicago), and Leila Mechlin (of Southern Art Projects); letters to Woodbury from Arthur Wesley Dow, John C. Pierson, Hughes Mearns, Philip R.V. Carol, Ruth E. Hutchins, Charles W. Eliot, and Vernon M. Cady regarding Woodbury's manuscripts, "The Art of Seeing and Observation: Visual Training Through Drawing"; letters to Woodbury and Elizabeth Perkins from Charles J. Connick, various institutions, and the Assistant Secretary of State regarding Woodbury's art; legal correspondence to Perkins regarding Woodbury's estate taxes and disposition of paintings; and letters to Anna Perkins, daughter of Elizabeth Perkins, from Castano Galleries.

Writings consist of notes and essays by Woodbury on the technique and philosophy of drawing, painting and etching, and a paper by Woodbury and Perkins "The Modern School and Its Sources". Exhibition files include exhibition price lists, venue lists and typescripts of reviews for Woodbury's traveling exhibition with the Federation of Arts. Inventories consist of price lists and a card file (circa 900 cards) of watercolors and oil paintings by Woodbury, 1886-1942, containing title of the work, the date painted, the size, and the disposition of the work. Artwork includes 63 drawings (one dedicated to Perkins), two etchings, and two paintings by Woodbury. Photographs are of works of art by Woodbury.

Printed material includes a scrapbook of clippings relating to Woodbury and Perkins and the Woodbury Training School in Applied Observation and their other art education endeavors; a book, "Descendants of Alexander Robinson and Angelica Peale," owned by Perkins; exhibition price lists; venue lists and typescripts of reviews for Woodbury's traveling exhibition with the Federation of Arts.Photographs are of Woodbury's artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

Elizabeth Ward Perkins (1873-1959) was an artist and art patron who studied, worked and collaborated with Charles H. Woodbury.

Provenance

Most of the papers were in Perkins' possession at the time of Woodbury's death. The card file on reel 2788 was donated in 1957 from the American Art Research Council, Whitney Museum of American Art, which had received it from Perkins' heirs. Material on reel 268 was owned jointly by Perkins' heirs, and donated in 1957 with the assistance of Giovanni Castano (Castano Galleries, Boston, Mass.), along with Charles C. Perkins' (Elizabeth Perkins' father-in-law) diary and art works, and Samuel Gray Ward's (her grandfather) art works and photographs, each described and housed separately. The scrapbook (unmicrofilmed) probably came at the same time. The remainder of the unmicrofilmed material was donated in 1989 by Perkins' daughters, Anna W. Perkins and Mary Perkins Ryan, in 2009 by John H. Mansfield, Perkins' grandson, and in 2018 by Maria Luisa F. Mansfield, Mansfield's wife. Also found in the Archives are the Charles H. Woodbury papers.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

23 letters received by Perkins concerning the disposition of Woodbury's paintings; writings; sixty-two drawings, one etching, and two paintings by Woodbury; lists of art work and card file available on microfilm reels 268 and 2788 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibray loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Charles H. Woodbury and Elizabeth Ward Perkins papers, 1878-1959. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.