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Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers, 1879-1984

Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers, 1879-1984

Brinley, Putnam, 1879-1963

Muralist, Painter, Designer, Stained glass artist

Representative image for Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers, 1879-1984

The papers of Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2009. The bulk of the papers have been scanned and total 23,586 images.

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

Collection Information

Size: 14.3 linear ft.

Summary: The papers of painter and muralist Daniel Putnam Brinley and his wife, linguist and writer, Kathrine Sanger Brinley, date from 1879 to 1984 and measure 14.3 linear feet.

Biographical/Historical Note

Daniel Putnam Brinley (1879-1963) was an Impressionist and mural painter and a stained glass designer from New Canaan, Conn.

Provenance

The Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers were lent for microfilming by their niece, Elizabeth Loder, in 1978-1979. Loder subsequently donated all but select family photographs in 1991 and additional material in 1992.

Related Materials

Also found in the Archives of American Art is the Elizabeth Loder research material on Daniel Putnam Brinley, 1919-1990.

Funding

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

A Finding Aid to the Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley Papers,
1879-1984
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.brindani
Author
Finding aid prepared by Erin Corley
Biographical Note
Daniel Putnam Brinley (1879-1963) was a muralist and painter in New York City and New Canaan, Connecticut. Brinley was born in Newport, Rhode Island, and studied from 1900 to 1902 at the Art Student's League under Kenyon Cox and John Henry Twachtman. Influenced by Twachtman, he became an impressionist landscape painter for a time. In 1904, he married his childhood friend, writer Kathrine Gordon Sanger (1877-1966). For the next four years they traveled throughout Europe and lived in Paris, where Brinley studied art independently and became a member of the modernist circle of painters.
In 1908 the Brinleys returned to the United States and Daniel established a studio in New York City. During this period his work was heavily influenced by the modernist movement, with flattened forms and a deeper hued palette. Brinley had his first one-man show at Madison Avenue Galleries in 1910, exhibited at Alfred Stieglitz's gallery at 291, and helped organized the 1913 Armory Show. He was also a founding member of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors and the Grand Central Art Galleries. In 1914 the Brinleys built a home, Datchet House, in New Canaan, Connecticut, and spent part of each year there for the remainder of their lives.
In 1917 Daniel Putnam Brinley trained with the American Expeditionary Forces and went to France as the Director of Decoration for the Foyers Du Soldat (YMCA), remaining there until 1919. After returning to the United States he became a mural painter and received numerous commissions for memorials, office buildings, churches, and public spaces over the next forty years. Perhaps most notable of these commissions was the Liberty War Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, for which Brinley painted 24 decorative maps showing the history of World War I. He remained active in the art community as a member of the Architectural League of New York, the National Academy of Design, and the Silvermine Guild of Artists, among others.
Kathrine Sanger Brinley was a writer and linguist who worked in Europe, New York City, and Connecticut. She lived in Europe from 1904 to 1908 where she studied the arts and crafts of the middle ages and became an expert on English writing and language of the 14th century. She published articles and books on these subjects and during the 1920s had a successful career touring as a dramatic recitalist of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. From 1934 to 1938 the Brinley's spent their summers traveling throughout Canada, and Kathrine published four travel books which were illustrated by Daniel Putnam Brinley. Kathrine Sanger Brinley published and wrote professionally under the name Gordon Brinley.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into 9 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1879-1970s (Box 1, OV 16; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1879-1984 (Box 1-6; 4.6 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1895-1964 (Box 6-9; 3.3 linear feet)
Series 4: Commission Files, 1920-1979 (Box 9-10; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 5: Organization Files, 1909-1964 (Box 10-11; 0.9 linear feet)
Series 6: Financial and Legal Records, 1896-1965 (Box 11; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1895-1979 (Box 11-13, OV 16-17; 1.8 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographs, 1881-1971 (Box 13-14, OV 22; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 9: Artwork, 1891-1950s (Box 14-15, OVs 18-21; 0.9 linear feet)
Scope and Content Note
The papers of painter and muralist Daniel Putnam Brinley and his wife, linguist and writer Kathrine Sanger Brinley, date from 1879 to 1984 and measure 14.3 linear feet. The Brinleys' careers and lives are documented in biographical materials, as well as extensive correspondence with one another, family, friends, art galleries, organizations, publishers, and others. Also found within the papers are writings by both, including 16 diaries (1 by Daniel Putnam Brinley and the rest by Kathrine), essays, manuscripts, typescripts, notes and notebooks, poetry, and various other writings. There are mural commission files, files for organizations of which the Brinleys were members, financial and legal records, exhibition catalogs, news clippings, and other printed material. Also found are photographs of the Brinleys, family, friends, travels, and artwork, and six sketchbooks and original artwork by Daniel Putnam Brinley.
Biographical material consists of biographical sketches and professional summaries for both Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley, passports, personal mementos, award certificates, two radio interview transcripts, and military records documenting Daniel Putnam Brinley's service in the American Expeditionary Forces and the Camouflage Corps.
The papers contain extensive correspondence (4.6 linear feet) divided into family correspondence and general correspondence. Family correspondence includes letters between Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley and with their parents and siblings. General correspondence primarily includes the Brinley's personal correspondence with friends and extended family. These letters discuss travel, mutual acquaintances, social events, and general news. Also found is professional correspondence regarding the exhibition and commission of artwork by Daniel Putnam Brinley and the publication of writings by Kathrine Sanger Brinley. Also discussed in the letters are the Brinleys' participation in art, social, and religious organizations. Correspondence of note is with Edwin Blashfield, Edward Bruce, William A. Coffin, Charles H. Davis, John Erskine, Anthony Euwer, Esperanza Gabay, Robert Henri, Hildreth Meiere, Ernest Peixotto, and Hugh Troy.
Writings and notes are by Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley. Included among their writings are one diary by Daniel Putnam Brinley, 15 diaries by Kathrine Sanger Brinley, essays, notebooks and notes, manuscripts, and typescripts. Subjects of their writings include essays about religion, poetry, and autobiographical and travel essays. Also found among Daniel Putnam Brinley's writing are lecture notes, fictional stories and plays, essays about art, and historical research for his mural projects.
Mural commission files include correspondence, lists, contracts, financial agreements, notes, plans, sketches, and photographs for specific murals. There is extensive documentation on murals Brinley completed for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York and the Liberty War Memorial in Kansas City Missouri. Organization files document the Brinleys' participation in art and social organizations.
Scattered financial and legal records include receipts, account books, leases, estate and power of attorney documents, and records regarding their house and property in New Canaan, Connecticut. Printed material consists of published items documenting the careers, social activities and personal interest of the Brinleys, and includes books, exhibition catalogs and announcements, news clippings, newsletters, and items from their travels abroad.
Photographs depict Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley, individually and with family and friends, and include photographs of Daniel Putnam Brinley working on mural commissions. Also found are photographs of their travels, their homes, Daniel Putnam Brinley's artwork, and reference photographs for his murals. Artwork in this collection includes six of Daniel Putnam Brinley's sketchbooks, primarily from his travels in Europe and Canada, loose drawings and mural studies, drawings by Albert Sterner and Reinhold Palenske, and a lithograph by John Steuart Curry.
Provenance
The Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers were lent for microfilming by their niece, Elizabeth Loder, in 1978-1979. Loder subsequently donated all but select family photographs in 1991 and additional material in 1992.
Separated Material
Originals of loaned material, including family photographs, were returned to Elizabeth Loder after microfilming. Loaned material is available on reel 1427 but is not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Related Material
Also found in the Archives of American Art is the Elizabeth Loder research material on Daniel Putnam Brinley, 1919-1990.
Processing Information
The entire collection was fully processed, arranged, and described by Erin Corley in 2008 and digitized in 2009 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The bulk of this collection was digitized in 2009 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website. Material not scanned includes routine financial records, a portion of the printed material, and photographs of works of art.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers, 1879-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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