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Charles Henry Hart autograph collection, 1731-1918

Hart, Charles Henry, 1847-1918

Author, Art historian

Collection Information

Size: 1.7 linear feet

Summary: The Charles Henry Hart autograph collection dates from 1731-1917 and measures 1.7 linear feet comprised of 226 letters, portrait prints, and other documents signed by American artists.
Originally titled by Hart as "The History of Art in America as Told in a Remarkable Collection of Autograph Letters and Documents of Celebrated American Artists of the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Century," the collection includes letters and other items signed by Thomas Anshutz, John J. Audubon, William Merritt Chase, Frederic Edwin Church, John Singleton Copley, Kenyon Cox, Thomas Eakins, Jervis McEntee, Samuel F.B. Morse, Charles Willson Peale, Raphaelle Peale, Rembrandt Peale, Rubens Peale, Titian Peale, James David Smillie, Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, Abbott Handerson Thayer, John Vanderlyn, Elihu Vedder, John Quincy Adams Ward, Benjamin West, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and many others. Subjects of portraits include Samuel F.B. Morse, John Trumbull, Many of the letters are addressed to Thomas B. Clarke, Asher Brown Durand, Charles Lanman, William James Stillman and John Durand, and to Hart himself.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Henry Hart (1847-1918) was a historian, lawyer, writer, and director, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1882-1904. Widely, he published on the subject of 18th and 19th century portraiture in the United States.

Provenance

The Charles Henry Hart autograph collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 1954 as an anonymous gift. It is assumed that Hart assembled the letters. Original collation was two letterbooks entitled "The History of Art in America as Tolk in a Remarkable Collection of Autograph Letters and Documents of Celebrated American Artists of the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Century." Based on the significant number of letters to Thomas B. Clarke, Asher Brown Durand, Charles Lanman, William Stillman and John Durand, and John Trumbull, the letters may have initially been received in lots by recipient and later alphabetized when placed in the volumes by sender and subject of the prin

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Funding

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.