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Francis Patrick Garvan papers, 1867, 1912-1953

Francis Patrick Garvan papers, 1867, 1912-1953

Garvan, Francis P. (Francis Patrick), 1875-1937

Philanthropist, Businessperson

Collection Information

Size: 44.9 linear feet

Summary: The papers of art collector Francis Patrick Garvan measure 44.9 linear feet and date from 1912 to 1953, with one document from 1867. The papers provide extensive documentation on the Garvan collection which included rare books, ceramics, glass, paintings, prints, and furniture. The majority of the collection consists of inventory records that give descriptive information regarding each piece in the collection; in many cases the files also include a photograph of the object. Also found are correspondence and subject files; auction records for sales at the American Art Association, Parke-Bernet Galleries, and Plaza Art Galleries; loan records; estate records; and a small amount of printed material, writings, and photographs. Approximately half of the Garvan papers were created posthumously by Mabel Brady Garvan and the managers of Garvan's estate.

Notable correspondence is with antique, art and rare book dealers, museums, curators, conservators, Garvan's employees, George Parmly Day, Andrew Keough, and John Marshall Phillips of Yale University regarding the 1930 gift of the [Mabel Brady] Garvan Collection to Yale, as well as the American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, Inc., Francis Bigelow, Robert Ensko, Richard T. Haines Halsey, E. Alfred Jones, Fiske Kimball, William Macbeth, Inc., Wallace Nutting, Richard W. Symonds, and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Francis Patrick Garvan (1875-1937) and his wife Mabel Brady Garvan were art collectors in the 1920s and 1930s, specializing in decorative arts and furniture.

Provenance

Donated 1981 by Anthony N. B. Garvan and Phil Hoyt for the estate of Mabel Brady Garvan.

A Finding Aid to the Francis Patrick Garvan Papers, 1867, 1912-1953, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.garvfran
Finding aid prepared by Dominique Luster
Scope and Contents note
The papers of art collector Francis Patrick Garvan measure 44.9 linear feet and date from 1912 to 1953, with one document from 1867. The papers provide extensive documentation on the Garvan collection which included rare books, ceramics, glass, paintings, prints, and furniture. The majority of the collection consists of inventory records that give descriptive information regarding each piece in the collection; in many cases the files also include a photograph of the object. Also found are correspondence and subject files; auction records for sales at the American Art Association, Parke-Bernet Galleries, and Plaza Art Galleries; loan records; estate records; and a small amount of printed material, writings, and photographs. Approximately half of the Garvan papers were created posthumously by Mabel Brady Garvan and the managers of Garvan's estate.
Notable correspondence is with antique, art and rare book dealers, museums, curators, conservators, Garvan's employees, George Parmly Day, Andrew Keough, and John Marshall Phillips of Yale University regarding the 1930 gift of the [Mabel Brady] Garvan Collection to Yale, as well as the American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, Inc., Francis Bigelow, Robert Ensko, Richard T. Haines Halsey, E. Alfred Jones, Fiske Kimball, William Macbeth, Inc., Wallace Nutting, Richard W. Symonds, and others.
Biographical/Historical note
Francis Patrick Garvan (1875-1937) and his wife Mabel Brady Garvan were art collectors in the 1920s and 1930s, specializing in decorative arts and furniture. Professionally, Garvan was a lawyer who spent the majority of his career serving as President of the Chemical Foundation, to which he was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson. He maintained relationships with many prominent museums and galleries including the American Art Association, the Anderson Galleries, the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Over the course of his life, Garvan had amassed a collection of thousands of decorative and fine art objects. During his final years, Garvan arranged for the majority of his art collection to be donated to Yale University, his alma mater.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 8 series.
Series 1: Correspondence and Subject Files, 1912-1942, 1953 (11.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-12, 46)
Series 2: Auction Records, circa 1930s-1949 (1.75 linear feet; Boxes 12-13)
Series 3: Loan Records, 1919-1948 (3.0 linear feet; Boxes 14-16, 46)
Series 4: Estate Records, 1929-1951 (0.75 linear feet; Box 17, 45)
Series 5: Inventory, 1928-1949 (26.0 linear feet; Boxes 17-43)
Series 6: Printed Materials, 1867, 1926-1949 (1.0 linear foot; Boxes 43-44, 46)
Series 7: Writings, 1930s (0.3 linear feet; Box 44)
Series 8: Photographic Materials, 1930s-1940s (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 44-45, 47)
Provenance
Donated 1981 by Anthony N. B. Garvan and Phil Hoyt for the estate of Mabel Brady Garvan.
Processing Information note
This collection processed to a minimal level and a finding aid created by Dominique Luster in 2014.

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

Francis Patrick Garvan papers, 1867, 1912-1953. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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