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

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.