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Francis Davis Millet and Millet family papers, 1858-1984, bulk 1858-1955

Millet, Francis Davis, 1846-1912

Muralist, Painter, Author

The papers of Francis Davis Millet in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2006 from 8 reels of microfilm. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 6,921 images.

Collection Information

Size: 3.3 linear feet

Summary: The Francis Davis Millet and Millet family papers measure 3.3 linear feet and are dated 1858-1984, with a few scattered early eighteenth-century items, such as legal documents and printed matter. The bulk of the material dates from 1858 to 1955. Found are biographical materials, diaries/journals, family letters, notes and writings, art work, printed matter, miscellaneous records, and photographs documenting Millet's wide-ranging artistic and writing career and personal life, including his death aboard the Titanic. Also of interest are approximately twenty ink caricatures attributed to John Singer Sargent. An addition received in 2013 includes two Harvard University diplomas, Bachelor of Arts, June 29, 1869 and Master of Arts, June 26, 1872 for Francis Davis Millet.

Biographical/Historical Note

Francis Davis Millet (1846-1912) was a painter and muralist from Washington, D.C., New York, N.Y., and England. Millet established an artists' colony with close friends John Singer Sargent, Henry James, and Edwin Abbey in the village of Broadway, Worcestershire. He played a major role in the founding of the American Federation of the Arts, was extensively involved in the World Columbian Exposition, worked on the Fine Arts Commission in Washington, D.C., during the terms of presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Millet went down with the Titanic, April 15, 1912.


Material lent for microfilming by Charles S. Millet, grandnephew of Francis D. Millet on reels 849 & 1080 in 1974-1976. Material filmed on reels 5903-5907 donated 1974 by Charles S. Millet, 1975 by John A. P. Millet, son of Francis D. Millet, 1977 by Francis (Frank) D. Millet II, grandson of Francis. D. Millet, 1987 by Joyce A Sharpey-Schafer, granddaughter of Francis Davis Millet, and 1996 by David M. Emerson, Millet's grand-nephew. Four letters and three envelopes donated 2003 by Frank D. Millet II and Millet's granddaughter, Mrs. Josephine Millet Flynn and her husband Harry L. Flynn, and two additional letters and two diplomas donated by Frank D. Millet II in 2006 and 2013 (one letter, Oct. 20, 1887 was lent for filming on reel 5460, frames 422-437, along with a transcript of the letter, by Peter Engstrom in 1998.)

Related Materials

Found within the holdings of the Archives of American Art are several collections related to Francis Davis Millet, including five letters from Millet to Miss Ward and "Ticknor" and a collection of Francis Millet Rogers research material regarding Francis Davis Millet. The Philip Martiny papers contains two group photographs that include F. D. Millet. A letter describing a visit to Millet's studio is among the William Cushing Loring Papers. The American Academy in Rome records include documents created by F. D. Millet in his capacity as Secretary from 1904-1907 and as Chief Administrator in Rome, 1911-1912.

Location of Originals

  • Reels 849 & 1080: Originals returned to Charles S. Millet after microfilming.