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Ferargil Galleries records, circa 1900-1963

Ferargil Galleries records, circa 1900-1963

Ferargil Galleries

Collection Information

Size: 18.7 linear feet

Summary: The Ferargil Galleries records date from circa 1900-1963 and document the activities of this New York gallery that dealt primarily in American contemporary art from shortly after its 1915 founding by Frederic Newlin Price (1884-1963) to it's closure in 1955. 18.7 linear feet of records include incoming and outgoing correspondence with artists, dealers, schools and colleges, and museums and other art institutions; artist files; estate and legal records, including papers relating to the Arthur B. Davies estate; gallery business and financial records; printed material; scrapbooks; scattered personal papers of Price; artwork; and photographs of artists, exhibitions and artwork.

Correspondence is both incoming and outgoing and documents the day-to-day activities of the galleries, primarily from the 1920s to the 1950s. Significant correspondence with, or relating to, many of the artists represented by Ferargil Galleries can be found here including correspondence with Bartlett Arkell, Thomas Hart Benton, Randall Davey, Hunt Diedrich, Ernest Lawson, Agnes Potter Lowrie, Luigi Lucioni, Barse Miller, Maxfield Parrish, John Pike, Paul Sample, Wells M. Sawyer, Theodore van Soelen and many others.

Artist files consist primarily of material compiled about artists represented by Ferargil Galleries, including biographical information, press releases for exhibitions, and scattered price lists and information about individual works of art.

Estate and legal records include estate inventories for the estates of Lizzie P. Bliss, Arthur B. Davies, and Dan Fellows Platt, and document several legal actions involving Ferargil Galleries. Of particular significance are the records documenting Price's involvement with the estate of Arthur B. Davies, including correspondence with Davies's wife, Virginia, and sales and inventory records for Davies's artwork at Ferargil Galleries and elsewhere.

Business and financial records date primarily from the 1920s and document inventories, sales, insurance, shipping, and taxes for the bulk of the gallery's operating years.

Printed material contains Ferargail Galleries exhibition catalogs and announcements from 1918 to the 1950s in addition to scattered printed material from other galleries and one folder relating to Arthur B. Davies.

Scrapbooks provide a more comprehensive and detailed history of the gallery's exhibitions, through multiple news clippings of press coverage, in addition to catalogs, announcements, and photographs. Of particular note is a circa 1908 photograph of Arthur B. Davies taken by Gertrude Kasëbier.

Scattered personal records of Frederic Newlin Price document Price's work with the Benjamin West Society at Swarthmore College and further reveal Price's interests through an inventory of his art collection and drafts and copies of his writings on artists such as Arthur B. Davies, and on changing trends and tastes in the art world.

A small series of artwork includes 6 pencil sketches, a print, 3 plans, and an Arthur B. Davies exhibition catalog mock-up with pencil sketches, all by unidentified artists.

Gallery photograph files include some photos of artists such as Emil Carlsen, Leon Dabo, Lloyd Parsons, Natalie Van Vleck and Lois Williams, in addition to 13 folders of photos relating to collections and exhibitions, and photographs of artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ferargil Galleries (established 1915; closed 1955) was a commercial art gallery in New York, N.Y. Founded by Frederic Newlin Price in 1915. Closed its doors in 1955. Dealt primarily in American art.


Circa 70 letters were given to the Archives of American Art by Frederic Newlin Price in 1958. The remaining records were donated anonymously in 1968.

Related Materials


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

A Finding Aid to the Ferargil Galleries Records,
circa 1900-1963
, in the Archives of American Art
Historical Note
Frederic Newlin Price (1884-1963) opened Ferargil Galleries in 1915 at 24 East 49th Street and 607 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Art critic W. Frank Purdy (1865-1943)was the President of the Art Alliance of America in 1918 and director of the School of American Sculpture worked at the galleries as director of sculpture.
Named from a combination of "fer" (ferrous-iron) and "argil" (clay), Ferargil Galleries dealt in wrought iron, sculpture, paintings and prints, and focused on exhibitions of work by American artists such as George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Emil Carlsen, John Steuart Curry, Arthur B. Davies, W. Hunt Diederich, Thomas Eakins, Edward Hicks, Ernest Lawson, Albert P. Ryder and Grant Wood. Ferargil was also known for its representation of a group of contemporary watercolorists including Charles Dickinson, Phil Dike, Hardie Gramatky, Barse Miller, and Paul Sample.
In 1927 the business moved to 37 East 57th Street (later 63 East 57th Street) and housed a print room, a sculpture gallery with a fountain, and the main painting galleries.
In 1931 Price became the Director of the newly-formed Benjamin West Society at his alma mater, Swarthmore College. There, he promoted the arts at Swarthmore through annual lectures and exhibitions by contemporary artists and also acquired artwork for the college, primarily by Benjamin West. Price served as President of the American Art Dealers Association in the early 1930s and published a number of books and articles on artists including Arthur B. Davies, Walter Griffin, Eric Hudson, Ernest Lawson, Arthur P. Ryder and Horatio Walker.
Price closed Ferargil Galleries in 1955.
The collection is arranged as 9 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1920s-1963 (Boxes 1-15; 6.0 linear ft.)
Series 2: Artist Files, circa 1920s-1950s (Boxes 16-17; 0.7 linear ft.)
Series 3: Estate and Legal Records, circa 1925-circa 1939 (Boxes 17-18; 0.3 linear ft.)
Series 4: Business and Financial Records, 1919-1956 (Boxes 18-21; 1.2 linear ft.)
Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1900-1956 (Boxes 21-22; 0.7 linear ft.)
Series 6: Scrapbooks, circa 1920s-1950s (Boxes 23-34, 40, OV 41; 5.4 linear ft.)
Series 7: Frederic Newlin Price Records, 1920s-1950s (Box 34; 6 folders)
Series 8: Artwork, circa 1920s-circa 1950s (Box 34, OV 41; 2 folders)
Series 9: Photographs, circa 1920-1950s (Boxes 35-39, OV 40; 4.4. linear ft.)
Circa 70 letters were given to the Archives of American Art by Frederic Newlin Price in 1958. The remaining records were donated anonymously in 1968.
Processing Information
Portions of the collection were microfilmed as separate accessions on reels D42, 777-791, 3470 and 2840; these reels are no longer in circulation. All accessions were merged and minimally processed by Stephanie Ashley in 2011 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

Portions of this collection that were lent for microfilming are available on 35 mm microfilm reels N68/14-N68/15 and D321-D322 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the collection as described in this finding aid does not reflect the order of the collection on microfilm.

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

Ferargil Galleries records, circa 1900-1963. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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