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Edmund Charles Tarbell papers, circa 1880-1978

Edmund Charles Tarbell papers, circa 1880-1978

Tarbell, Edmund Charles, 1862-1938

Painter, Teacher

Collection Information

Size: 4.6 linear feet

Summary: The papers of Edmund C. Tarbell measure 4.6 linear feet and date from circa 1880-1978. Included are biographical material consisting of certificates and awards; correspondence with artists, museums and art organizations and letters from William Merritt Chase, Frank W. Benson, J, Alden Weir, Charles Kurtz, Frank Duveneck, Phillip Leslie Hale, Lilian Westcott Hale, Lila Cabot Perry, Henry Clay Frick, Daniel Chester French, August F. Jaccaci among others, and letters from Tarbell to his fiancé Emeiline Souther, written while he was a student at the Académie Julian in Paris; writings including two diaries of Emeiline Souther (Tarbell) and a diary of their daughter, Josephine, and writings about Tarbell including a manuscript and typescript About the Artist Edmund C. Tarbell, Recollections of a Daughter by Mercie Tarbell Clay; photographs consisting of daguerreotypes, cyanotypes, prints and negatives of Tarbell, his family, studio, and home; scrapbooks; and printed material. Also included is material by Josephine Tarbell Ferrell regarding her father.

Also found in the Archives microfilmed on reels 4701-4702 are seven letters from Tarbell to his brother-in-law Augustus Nickerson, and sister, Nellie Sophia, 1885-1886, written from Venice, London and Paris mainly discussing his acceptance in the Paris Salon in 1886 and his studies at the Academie Julian and with William T. Dannat; 36 letters to his daughter Josephine Tarbell Ferrell, 1932-1938; correspondence regarding commissions, 1911-1940; Ferrell's correspondence regarding her efforts in the 1930s to preserve the Tarbell home in New Castle, N.H. as a memorial to her father, with letters from Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frank W. Benson, letters regarding exhibitions of her father's work, especially at the Pierce Galleries, 1939-1974, and her notebook with drafts of letters sent; on Tarbell, 1935;

8 p. of Ferrell's diary containing information on Tarbell, 1935; and writings on Tarbell by Ferrell, Ralph Dennett, and an unknown writer, 1938 and 1963-1964. Also included are printed material, 1898-1977, including exhibition announcements and catalogs from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Guild of Boston Artists, and elsewhere regarding Tarbell, Edward Redfield, Henry Ward Ranger and Frank Benson, magazines and newspaper clippings, and a scrapbook, 1902-1916, of clippings and other printed material; and photographs of Tarbell, his friends, family, Tarbell in his studio, exhibition installations of his work, works of art, and a photograph album.

Biographical/Historical Note

Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862-1938) was a painter and teacher in Boston, Mass. and New Hampshire. Born in West Groton, Mass., Tarbell studied at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston School, and the Académie Julian and taught at MFA, Boston School from 1889-1913. He was a member of the group, Ten American Painters and was considered a leader of the Boston Impressionists.


Material on reel N68-103 was lent for microfilming 1968 by Mrs. John Schaffer (Mary Tarbell), daughter of Edmund Tarbell. Material on reels 4701-4702 was donated 1989 by his granddaughter, Mary Josephine Ferrell Cannon. Additional material donated 2017 by William P. Tarbell, Tarbell's grandson.

Related Materials

Also in the Archives on microfilm reel N68-103 material lent for microfilming includes circa 75 unidentified and undated photographs, mostly of Tarbell's work and exhibitions; six exhibition catalogs in which his work appears; clippings; 1 sketch by Tarbell, 1883; and 1 letter from Edward Redfield to "Mary".

Location of Originals

  • Reel N68-103: Originals returned to the lender, Mary Tarbell Schaffer, after microfilming.

Alternative Forms Available

Circa 75 unidentified and undated photographs, mostly of Tarbell's work and exhibitions; six exhibition catalogs in which his work appears; clippings; 1 sketch by Tarbell, 1883; and 1 letter from Edward Redfield to "Mary" available on microfilm reel N68-103 at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access


How to Cite This Collection

Edmund Charles Tarbell papers, circa 1880-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.