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Series 2 | A Finding Aid to the George Grey Barnard papers, circa 1860-1969, bulk 1880-1938 | Digitized Collection

George Grey Barnard papers, circa 1860-1969, bulk 1880-1938

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Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1896-1965
0.7 linear feet
Box 1

This series contains the personal and business correspondence of George Grey Barnard until his death in 1938. Later correspondence consists of the incoming and outgoing correspondence of Barnard's son, Monroe Grey Barnard, mostly in connection with his father's estate and in letters to art historian and Barnard scholar, Harold E. Dickson.
Correspondents include art and antiques dealers, museum directors, curators, and galleries, as well as individuals whom Barnard identified as 'prospects' for either his own sculptural projects or medieval antiquities in his collection. Frequent correspondents include art and antiques dealers M. Dagras et Fils, C. Joret, Ste. Galleries Schutz, D.W. French and Co.; museum directors Edward Forbes (Fogg Art Museum, Harvard Univesity), Robert DeForest (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Fiske Kimball (Philadelphia Museum of Art); and art patrons Arthur M. Huntington and John Gellatly. Handwritten drafts and typed copies of Barnard's outgoing letters are scattered throughout.
Of particular interest are the letters from the early to mid-1920s, the period during which he was trying to sell the medieval art and architectural elements that made up the George Grey Barnard Cloisters. Individuals wrote with proposals, such as artist Calthea Vivian, who hoped to find a home for the collection in California. Museums that expressed interest include the Toledo Museum of Art. Ultimately the collection was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with funds provided by John D. Rockefeller. The 1925 folder contains letters providing details concerning the sales agreement.
Correspondence that post-dates Barnard's death in 1938 includes his son's correspondence with various individuals and institutions concerning his father's estate and the remaining collection of medieval art and architectural elements, which was known as 'The Monastery' or 'The Abbaye.' There is significant correspondence with representatives of the National Cathedral regarding moving the collection to Washington, D.C. However, no correspondence was found relating to the Philadelphia Museum of Art's subsequent acquisition of the bulk of the collection. There is also significant personal correspondence between Monroe and his mother (Edna Monroe Barnard), primarily typed copies of his outgoing letters.
Correspondence is arranged chronologically. A file of undated letters and another that contains a typed list of telegrams and telephone calls has been placed at the end.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.