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Dorothea A. Dreier papers, 1881-1941, bulk 1887-1923

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 5 series:

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  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
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Series 1: Biographical Material , 1884-1923
(Box 1; 0.75 linear feet)

Items in this series document aspects of the life of Dorothea A. Dreier and include official documents, childhood writings, notes, ephemera, membership cards, invitations, programs, notes, lists, and financial records.
Official records include Dorothea Dreier's 1912 Passport, insurance policies and a supplemental account to her last will and testament. The folder of invitations, programs and memberships document concerts, recitals, weddings, parties, and exhibitions that Dreier may have attended as well as her membership at the York Club. Scattered amongst the accounts and receipts for household items are receipts for art supplies, frames, and other art-related materials. Other financial records consist of banking records including account passbooks, registers,and cancelled checks.
Banking records have not been scanned.
Description Container Select
Passport, 1912
1
1
Last Will and Testament - Supplemental Account, 1926
1
2
Insurance Policies, 1912-1915
1
3
Childhood Writings, 1884-1886
1
4
Writing Fragments and Notes, circa 1900-1920
1
5
Lists, before 1923
1
6
Datebook, 1912 October
1
7
Invitations, Programs and Memberships, circa 1894-1914
1
8
Ephemera, circa 1887-1920
1
9
Accounts, Bills and Receipts, 1887-1918
(4 folders)
1
10-13
Brooklyn Trust Company Account Passbook 1917-1918
(Not scanned)
1
14
Brooklyn Trust Company Check Register, 1916
(Not scanned)
1
15
Cancelled Checks, 1912
(Not scanned)
1
16
Cancelled Checks, 1915
(3 folders; not scanned)
1
17-19
Cancelled Checks, 1916
(2 folders; not scanned)
1
20-21
Cancelled Checks, 1917
(Not scanned)
1
22
Cancelled Checks, 1919
(2 folders; not scanned)
1
23-24
Cancelled Checks, 1920
(Not scanned)
1
25
Cancelled Checks, 1923
(2 folders; not scanned)
1
26-27

Series 2: Correspondence , 1881-1925
(Box 1-2; 1.2 linear feet)

This series contains the correspondence of Dorothea Dreier. Most of the letters are from family and close friends, who addressed her using affectionate nicknames, including "Dodo," "DAD," and "Dadakins." While the letters in this series span from 1881-1925, the majority of them date from 1913-1916, the period during which Drier was at Saranac Lake receiving treatments for her tuberculosis. Business and third-party correspondence, visiting cards, Christmas cards, telegrams, and postcards are also found in this series.
Due to the number of letters and correspondents this series has been divided into 2 subseries:
  • 2.1: Family Correspondence, 1881-1923
  • 2.2: Personal and General Correspondence, 1884-1925
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
2.1: Family Correspondence, 1881-1923
Family correspondence consists of letters from relatives including members of her immediate family and more distant relatives from Germany. Whenever the relationship of the correspondent to Dorothea is known it has been noted in the folder title. Scattered throughout are letters from Dorothea; most of these were written to her mother (also named Dorothea A. Dreier) and her brother, H. Edward Dreier. Third party correspondence between family members is also found within this subseries.
There is a large group of letters, postcards, telegrams, and a scrapbook containing additional postcards and letters dated 1887, written by Theodor and his daughters Dorothea and Margaret (Gretchen), to Mrs. Dreier, who appears to have remained behind at the family's Brooklyn home while the other correspondents traveled cross-country to California. Some of the early letters between family members are written in German.
Dorothea Dreier enjoyed a close and affectionate relationship with her siblings, which is reflected in their correspondence. In addition to recounting quotidian family news and events, letters from her sisters and brother document the public lives of the correspondents. Her sisters Mary E. Dreier and Margret (Gretchen) Dreier Robins discuss their work for the Women's Trade Union League, the women's suffrage movement and the Bull Moose Party. Her brother Edward's letters provide information about family investments and recount the activities of his wife the suffragist, Ethyl Eyre Valentine Dreier. Dorothea was especially close to her youngest sister Katherine due to their shared interest in the arts. Katherine's letters include references to her painting and studies abroad, exhibitions, and the Cooperative Mural Workshop. However, only one letter, dated September 2, 1920, briefly mentions the Société Anonyme.
Description Container
Dreier, Anna (cousin), circa 1912-1914
1
28
Dreier, Antoinette (niece), 1913-1915
1
29
Dreier, Dorothea A., 1907-1914
1
30
Dreier, Dorothea A. (mother), 1887-1897
(2 folders)
1
31-32
Dreier, Dorothea A. (mother) - Postcards and Telegrams, 1887
1
33
Dreier, Ethyl Eyre Valentine (sister-in-law), 1912-1915
1
34
Dreier, H. Edward (brother), circa 1889-1897
(2 folders)
(letters received from Dorothea A. Dreier)
1
35-36
Dreier, H. Edward (brother), 1908-1915
(2 folders)
1
37-38
Dreier, Katherine S. (sister), 1887, 1908-1923
(2 folders)
1
39-40
Dreier, Ludwig, 1881, 1899
1
41
Dreier, Mary E. (sister), 1908-1923
(2 folders)
1
42-43
Dreier, Theodor (father), 1882-1897, 1916
1
44
Dreier, Theodor (nephew), 1912-1915
1
45
Knoch, Meta and Elizabeth, 1909-1915
1
46
Robins, Margaret "Gretchen" Dreier (sister), 1907-1915
(2 Folders)
1
47-48
Robins, Raymond (brother-in-law), 1910-1915
2
1
Miscellaneous Family Members, 1908-1915
2
2
Scrapbook of Family Correspondence, 1887
2
3
2.2: Personal and General Correspondence, 1884-1925
This subseries includes letters from close friends, visiting cards, notes, telegrams, postcards, third party correspondence and business correspondence. Additionally there is a folder of telegrams from Katherine Dreier informing friends and family of Dorothea's death and two folders of condolence letters received by the Dreier family.
Close friends and regular correspondents include the Bartlett sisters, Agnes, Mary and Maud, Charlotte Schetter, Ellen Kuhn Mahan, Rebecca Forbes, and fellow art student Lillian Miller. Through her travels in the Netherlands and her interest in Vincent van Gogh, Dreier became friends with the artists' sister Elisabeth du Quesne van Gogh and there are six postcards from her in this collection. A 1923 letter from Joseph Stella thanks "Miss Dreier" for purchasing his painting White Heron, but it is impossible to tell if he is referring to Dorothea or Katherine. Julius A. Gross, a local photographer, mentions visiting Dorothea's studio and describes the work found within his letters and includes rough sketches of paintings. He may have been contracted to photograph her work for her during her time at Saranac Lake for a proposed publication.
Other notable art world correspondents include Charles Harold Davis, the American Tonalist landscape painter, and Walter Shirlaw, a painter who not only was Dreier's teacher, but also a close friend. The Davis letters suggest that Dreier had hoped to study with him, but his letter of 1902 indicates that he would not be teaching that summer and suggests other painting instructors. Other letters discuss paintings that she purchased from the artist. Shirlaw's letters, along with those of his wife Florence, discuss the artist's plans to paint Dorothea's portrait, as well as current exhibitions, works that he has sold, and planned visits to the Dreier sisters, whom he affectionately labeled "the sisterhood." Several of his letters included illustrations.
Third party correspondence written to Katherine Dreier includes a letter from Walt Kuhn, dated October 14, 1914 that may refer to activities of the Cooperative Mural Workshop. The business correspondence for Dorothea Dreier includes letters related to household purchases, insurance policies, investment accounts and travel reservations. The folder of Katherine Dreier's business correspondence solely is related to work on her home in Stonington, Connecticut.
Description Container
General A-B, 1884-1915
  • Abbott, Lyman
  • Ackermann, Franzchen
  • Alkinson, Winnifred W.
  • B., Margaret
  • Baldwin, Molly Ives
  • Behr, [Minna?]
  • Benedict, Z
  • Bernuth, Lulu von
  • Brackett, Ellen
  • Brackett, Mary A.
  • Braggiotti, Lilly
  • Bristol, Frances
  • Bristol, Julia
  • Brown, Bertha B.
2
4
Bartlett, Agnes Willard, 1908-1915
2
5
Bartlett, Mary Fairbanks, 1907-1914
2
6
Bartlett, Maud, 1908-1916
2
7
General C-D, circa 1907-1923
  • Chase, William S.
  • Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists
  • Colton, Margaret W.
  • Cullen, Charlotte S.
  • Dana, Grace N.
  • Davidson, Emily E.
  • Dick, Julia
  • Dodge, Margaret R.
  • Dodge, Susan R.
  • Douglas, Maleoliu
  • Drew, Emma E.
  • Driggs, Alice A.
  • Dulman, Cecilia
  • Duncan, Frances
  • Dutcher, Elizabeth
  • Dwyer, M.M.
2
8
Davis, Charles H. and Frances P., 1902-1910
2
9
General E-G, 1892-1915
  • Elizabeth Duncan School
  • Ellsworth, Evelyn P
  • Escreet, Jessie M.
  • Fairbanks, Henry A.
  • Fletcher, Helen B
  • Franklin, Stella
  • Freiot, Frances
  • Fulton, William
  • Gozzini, Elisa
2
10
Edsall, Mrs. David (P.K.) 1914-1915
2
11
Forbes, Rebecca and Reba, 1907-1915
2
12
Foster, Alice H., circa 1914
2
13
Gogh, Elisabeth du Quesne van, circa 1914-1923
2
14
Gross, Julius A., 1912-1915
2
15
General H-K, 1888-1915
  • Hamilton, B. Douglas
  • Ye Handicrafts
  • Harrington, Helen
  • Harris, Margaret
  • Healy, [Iannar?]
  • Heidlauff, Mary L.
  • Higgins, Lothrop D.
  • Hills, Laura
  • Hoppencled[?], [Anita?]
  • Hotzen, Marie
  • Hutton, Ada N.
  • Ingram, Mary
  • Kohlsaat, Käthe
2
16
Hoppins, Mae, 1914
2
17
General L-N, 1887-1915
  • Lascelles, E
  • Life and Labor
  • Loch, Jacob W.
  • Macbeth, William
  • Mariotti, Eva
  • Marshall, Abby S.
  • McKeen, Anna L.
  • Meyen, H.A.
  • Millspaugh, Mary B
  • Moore, Susan
  • Moshe, ?
  • Mosle, C.
  • Müller, Mary L.
  • Munnich, Adeline M.
  • Murla, Elizabeth W.
  • Murren, Marion
  • National Women's Trade Union League of America
  • Nixon, M
2
18
Mahan, Ellen Kuhn, 1893-1914
2
19
Miller, Lillian, 1910-1914
2
20
General O-P, circa 1890-1915
  • O'Brien, Madeleine
  • O'Reilly, Leonora
  • P., Mary, S.
  • Packard, Harriet M.
  • Paine, C.M.
  • Panerlander, Mariechen
  • Pauli, Elizabeth
  • Pauli, Hermann
  • Pauli, Lillie
  • Phelps, ?
  • Pitt, Anita
  • Plimmer, Gladys
  • Plimmer, Hilda
  • Portocarrero, Ricardina
  • Priestley, Nora D.
  • Prudin, Martha L.
  • Purón, M.G.
2
21
Prout, J.S. and Lillian C., circa 1910-1915
2
22
General Q-R, 1887-1915
  • Quinn, Mary
  • Rasch, Lilly O.
  • Rasmus, Adele M.
  • Reinhold, Ferdinand
  • Rice, Susie C.
  • Robinson, Mary E.
  • Rouyon, Adele
  • Royce, Elizabeth K.
2
23
General S, circa 1889-1923
  • Saponoff, Lubomir P.
  • Schenck, Pendleton
  • Schlesinger, Elise
  • Schmidt, Alex
  • Scott, Melinda
  • Seaman, Mary T.
  • Sears, E. H.
  • Sherman, Julia M.
  • Skeel, Emily E. F.
  • Smith, M.L.
  • Spies, Aelie
  • Spitta, Clara
  • Stella, Joseph
  • Stickney, Katherine H.
  • Stone, Winifred
2
24
Schetter, Charlotte, 1888-1915
2
25
Shirlaw, Florence M., 1903-1914
(3 folders)
2
26-28
Shirlaw, Walter, 1903-1909
(includes 3 illustrated letters)
2
29
General T-W, circa 1900-1915
  • Treu, Therese
  • Trudeau, E.L.
  • V., Nathalie L.
  • Ventura, Ludmilla
  • Vidaud, N. L.
  • W, Lillian D.
  • Walker, Edna
  • Washburn, ?
  • Wendt, Charles W.
  • Weyl, Bertha P.
  • White, Harriet H.
  • White, Lucy S.
  • Willigen, van der C.
  • Willink, H. M.
  • Willis, Florence
  • Wise, Zoe L.
  • Wiskow, Elizabeth
2
30
Williston, Mary L., 1910-1915
2
31
Unidentified Correspondents, circa 1887-1923
2
32
Letter Fragments, before 1923
2
33
Third Party Correspondence to Katherine Dreier, 1914-1925
2
34
Visting Cards and Notes, circa 1900-1915
2
35
Christmas Cards, circa 1912-1913
2
36
Telegrams Concerning the Death of Dorothea A. Dreier, 1923
2
37
Condolences on the Death of Dorothea A. Dreier, 1923-1924
(2 folders)
2
38-39
Business Correspondence, 1897-1916
(2 folders)
2
40-41
Business Correspondence to Katherine S. Dreier, 1908-1910
2
42

Series 3: Printed Materials , circa 1883-1941
(Boxes 2-3; 0.5 linear feet

Found in this series are newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements, catalogs, pamphlets, broadsides, maps and blank postcards. Exhibition announcements and catalogs primarily document exhibitions of paintings and drawings by both Dorothea and Katherine Dreier, and include a numbered edition of The Dorothea A. Dreier Exhibition that Katherine Dreier printed privately to commemorate the memorial exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1925.
Newspaper clippings record the artistic, social and political activities of the Dreier family as well as other subjects of interest to Dorothea. A folder of pamphlets and broadsides provide information concerning the political, social and charitable causes that Dorothea supported, including the Home for Recreation of Woman and Children that her mother founded in 1898 as the German Home for Women and Children. Finally there is a collection of postcards assembled from her travels.
In most cases, only the cover and title page of exhibition catalogs, brochures and pamphlets have been scanned. Blank postcards, general travel materials, and clippings, brochures and advertisements unrelated to the Dreiers or their interests, have not been scanned.
Description Container Select
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1911-1941
2
43
Exhibition Catalog: The Dorothea A. Dreier Exhibition, 1925
2
44
Clippings concerning Dorothea A. Dreier, 1921-1925
2
45
Clippings concerning Other Dreier Family Members, circa 1912-1916
2
46
Clippings, Illustrations of New York, New York, circa 1910-1915
2
47
Clippings, Art, circa 1910-1916.0
2
48
Clippings, Political Topics, circa 1912-1914
2
49
Clippings, General, circa 1910-1916
(Not scanned)
2
50
Pamphlets and Broadsides, 1887-1914
3 (hol)
1
General Brochures and Advertisements, circa 1883-1916
(Not scanned)
3 (hol)
2
General Travel Materials, circa 1906-1916
(Not scanned)
3 (hol)
3
Blank Postcards, before 1923
(3 folders; not scanned)
3 (hol)
4-6

Series 4: Photographs , circa 1900-1923
(Box 3; 7 folders)

Photographs in this series include studio portraits and informal photographs of Dorothea and Katherine Dreier, group photographs, and a reproduction of a painting by Katherine S. Dreier. There is also a folder of vintage photographs, many of which appear to have been taken in the Netherlands. This group of general photographs also includes several snapshots that seem to document a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt at a railway station.
A photographic postcard of a painting by Katherine S. Dreier was not scanned.
Description Container Select
Dorothea A. Dreier, circa 1885-1923
(3 folders; 18 vintage prints)
3 (hol)
7-9
Dorothea A. Dreier with Others, circa 1900-1923
(10 vintage prints)
3 (hol)
10
Katherine S. Dreier, circa 1910-1920
(6 vintage prints)
3 (hol)
11
General Photographs, circa 1900-1923
(47 vintage prints)
3 (hol)
12
Works of Art, undated
(Not scanned)
3 (hol)
13

Series 5: Artwork , circa 1885 - 1941
(Box 3; 9 Folders)

Items in this series include sketchbooks, a matted graphite drawing and two prints. Only one item, an undated sketchbook of botanical drawings, is the work of Dorothea Dreier. There is a sketchbook titled L.S.S. by an unidentified artist that includes pencil sketches done aboard the transatlantic liner the S.S. Lahn and locations across Western Europe in the summer of 1901. Finally there are five sketchbooks belonging to friend and teacher Walter Shirlaw containing pencil, watercolor and crayon sketches that suggest designs for mural paintings. There is also a matted pencil drawing of a toad that Shirlaw has inscribed "Dorothea Dreir's Coat of Arms, The Biggest Toad in the Puddle." Finally prints include an undated Huquier engraving from several studies of dogs by Sneyders and Ernest D. Roth's 1941 etching for the Friends of the Brooklyn Public Library.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
Description Container Select
Dorothera A. Dreier Sketchbook, undated
3 (hol)
14
Sketchbook "L.S.S.", 1901
4 (pam)
1
Walter Shirlaw Sketchbooks, before 1909
(5 folders; 5 sketchbooks)
4 (pam)
2-6
Walter Shirlaw Artwork, circa 1903-1904
(includes a drawing, The Biggest Toad in the Puddle, and a watercolor of a turkey)
4 (pam)
7
Prints by Other Artists, 1941 and undated
4 (pam)
8

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.