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Charles H. Woodbury papers, 1866-1939

Woodbury, Charles H. (Charles Herbert), 1864-1940

Painter, Teacher, Etcher, Illustrator


Collection Information

Size: 1.6 Linear feet, (partially microfilmed on 2 reels)

Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, writings, sketchbooks, art works, a scrapbook, printed material, photographs, negatives and videos relating to Charles Woodbury's travels, artwork and teachings.
REEL 1255: Biographical material includes a brief handwritten chronology and an expanded autobiographical account; correspondence is with J. Eastman Chase, George Wharton Edwards, Benjamin Kimball, William James, Hugh H. Breckenridge, Cyrus Dallin, Charles Curran, John Taylor Arms and others; writings include six typescripts of Ogunquit School Saturday morning lectures and criticisms of students' work, and an "exhibition book," containing handwritten lists of paintings exhibited and prices; art work includes drawings, seven sketchbooks, and seven oil paintings; and a scrapbook, containing clippings, photographs, programs, catalogs, announcements and memorabilia.
REEL 1271: Fifteen photographs, ca.1866-1930s, of Woodbury, the exterior and interior of his Ogunquit home, and his studio.
UNMICROFILMED: Correspondence includes numerous letters from Charles and Marcia Woodbury to Woodbury's mother while the couple travelled abroad and in Canada.
Handwritten and typed drafts for the books Paintings and Personal Equations (with notes from this series of lectures) and Putting on Paint and a chapter on The Public; a sketch of an artist at work; two photographs of Woodbury's Ogunquit home; three photographic negatives of Woodbury, seven negatives his outdoor art classes at Ogunquit, and seven of a small child. Artwork includes three oil studies; a sketchbook titled Landskape, 1892. Printed material includes clippings, a photocopy of an article on Woodbury from The American Magazine of Art, and an exhibition announcement.
A VHS video of scenes from Ogunquit, 1939, transferred from 16mm motion picture, and a VHS video published by MIT using the same footage as well as footage of Woodbury's paintings, used as a video exhibit entitled Charles H. Woodbury N.A.: Artist and Teacher, 1864-1940, narrated by Noel Harrison.

Biographical/Historical Note

Marine painter, instructor, writer, etcher, illustrator; Ogunquit, Me. Born in Lynn, Mass. Studied engineering at MIT (1882-1886) while continuing to paint and exhibit. Upon graduation he began teaching art. Woodbury married a pupil, Marcia Oakes, in 1890 and travelled often to Europe to paint, frequently to Holland. In 1897, he built a studio in Ogunquit, Maine, and began offering summer classes in 1898. His successful school turned Ogunquit into a major art colony. Woodbury wrote three books on the subject of teaching art; one with his teaching collaborator, art patron Elizabeth Ward Perkins.


Material on reels 1255 and 1271 was lent for microfilming by Woodbury's son David in August 1977, and was subsequently donated in 1986 by his widow, Ruth, along with unmicrofilmed material, with the exception of the drawings (frames 747-775) and the scrapbook (frames 1333-1471), which she retained. The videos were donated 1989 by Woodbury's grandson, Peter.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Drawings (reel 1255, frames 747-775) and scrapbook (frames 1333- 1471): Originals retained by Ruth Woodbury.
  • Videotape scenes from Ogunquit: Original 16mm film retained by Peter Woodbury and is currently at MIT.

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. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm.

How to Cite This Collection

Charles H. Woodbury papers, 1866-1939. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.