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Francis Patrick Garvan papers, 1912-1953

Garvan, Mabel Brady

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.

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.


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

Language Note

The collection is in English.