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Charles Henry Hart papers, 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918

Charles Henry Hart papers, 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918

Hart, Charles Henry, 1847-1918

Art historian, Author

Collection Information

Size: 6.1 linear ft.

Summary: The papers of Philadelphia art historian and writer Charles Henry Hart date from 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918, and measure 6.1 linear feet. Found within the papers are correspondence, subject files, scattered personal business records, a file of images of art work, notes and writings, and printed material. The subject files include letters from art historians, art collectors, dealers, and gallery owners.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Henry Hart Art (1847-1918) was a historian, lawyer, writer, and director, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1882-1904. He published widely on the subject of eighteenth and nineteenth-century portraiture in the United States.

Provenance

The Charles Henry Hart papers were donated anonymously in 1971.

Related Materials

The Archives also has a collection of correspondence between Charles and Clarence W. Bowen loaned by the New York Public Library for microfilming on reels N10-N11. The correspondence concerns Hart's activities on the planning committee of the Centennial of George Washington's Inauguration, New York City, 1889; and Hart's chairmanship of the Committee on Retrospective Art for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893.

Additional Charles Henry Hart papers are also available at the Winterthur Library in Delaware.

A Finding Aid to the Charles Henry Hart Papers,
1774-1930,
bulk 1888-1918
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.hartchah
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jean Fitzgerald
Biographical Note
Charles Henry Hart (1847-1918) was an art historian, lawyer, writer, and director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1885-1904. He worked primarily in the Philadelphia area and published widely on the subject of eighteenth and nineteenth-century portraiture in America.
Charles Henry Hart was born on February 4, 1847 in Philadelphia, the son of Julia Leavey and Samuel Hart. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1869 and practiced law until 1894, when he turned his interest to art and writing after suffering injuries in a railroad accident. He became a noted author of books and articles about art, especially portraiture. He had a special interest in the work of Gilbert Stuart. Hart's writings often focused on exposing fraudulent attributions of art work.
From 1882 to 1902, Hart was director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. In 1893, he also served as chairman of the Committee on Retrospective American Art at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Hart was a member of several organizations including the American Historical Association, the Essex Institute, and the Players Club.
Hart's first wife, Armine Nixon, was a great-granddaughter of Robert Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. She died in 1897. According to the
New York Times
, in 1905 he married Marianne Livingstone Phillips, with whom he fathered a son, Charles Henry Hart, Jr. In 1912, Hart married Anita Beatriz Arabe.
Charles Henry Hart died on July 29, 1918 in New York City.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 6 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1838-1930 (Box 1; 12 folders)
Series 2: Personal Business Records, 1893-1917 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 3: Subject Files, 1774-1922 (Boxes 1-4, 8; 4.0 linear feet)
Series 4: File of Images, circa 1890-1900 (Boxes 5, 8; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1890-1922 (Boxes 5-6; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1822-1925 (Boxes 6-7; 0.8 linear feet)
Scope and Content Note
The papers of Philadelphia art historian and writer Charles Henry Hart date from 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918, and measure 6.1 linear feet. Found within the papers are correspondence, subject files, scattered personal business records, a file of images of art work, notes and writings, and printed material. The subject files include letters from art historians, art collectors, dealers, and gallery owners.
Twelve folders of general correspondence consists primarily of letters received from colleagues, dealers, gallery owners, and publishers discussing art-related topics not specifically addressed in the Subject Files arranged in Series 3 below. There is one folder of miscellaneous personal business records.
Subject files comprise the largest and most important series in the collection. The files contain a wide variety of materials, including letters, notes and writings, clippings, reproductions of art work, and photographs. Letters are from art historians, art collectors, dealers, and gallery owners mostly concerning notable subjects of portraits, artists, organizations, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and miscellaneous subjects such as miniature paintings and H. W. Elson's book
History of the United States
. Several files contain letters from the descendants of John Quincy Adams, Asher B. Durand, Benjamin Latrobe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
The images files contain a mixture of printed reproductions of art work, photographs of art work, and original art work compiled and used by Hart as reference material.
Notes and writings consist primarily of notes on art-related topics including the work of various artists, activities of arts organizations, collectors, galleries and museums, sales of art work, and background material about the subjects of portraits. There is also a typescript by Hart containing descriptions of art work to be published in a catalog of the Herbert Lee Pratt collection.
Printed material consists of clippings about Hart and miscellaneous art-related topics, auction catalogs, and an incomplete set of pages from Hart's book
Memoirs of the Life and Work of Jean Antoine Houdon: Sculpture of Voltaire and of Washington
.
Provenance
The Charles Henry Hart papers were donated anonymously in 1971.
Related Material
Also found in the Archives of American Art are 2 volumes of an autograph collection compiled by Charles Henry Hart.
The Archives also has a collection of correspondence between Charles and Clarence W. Bowen loaned by the New York Public Library for microfilming on reels N10-N11. The correspondence concerns Hart's activities on the planning committee of the Centennial of George Washington's Inauguration, New York City, 1889; and Hart's chairmanship of the Committee on Retrospective Art for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893.
Additional Charles Henry Hart papers are also available at the Winterthur Library in Delaware.
Processing Information
The collection was initially microfilmed upon receipt in separate accretions on reels 928-935 and 2813; this microfilm is no longer in circulation. All accessions were merged, arranged, and described by Jean Fitzgerald in October 2009.

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 Henry Hart papers, 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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