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George Leslie Stout papers, 1855, 1897-1978

Stout, George L. (George Leslie), 1897-1978

Museum director, Arts administrator

Collection Information

Size: 6.0 linear feet

Summary: The papers of conservator and museum director George Leslie Stout measure 6 linear feet and date from 1855, 1897-1978. Stout was head of the conservation department at Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum, director of the Worcester Art Museum and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Massachusetts, and a member of the Monuments, Fine Art and Archives (MFAA) Section of the U.S. Army during World War II. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and professional associations. There are letters from fellow Monuments Men who served in the MFAA section such as Thomas Carr Howe, Ardelia Hall, Lamont Moore, Theodore Sizer, Langdon Warner, and several other prominent arts administrators. The papers also contain biographical materials, writings, sketches and one sketchbook, military records, printed materials, and photographs.
Biographical materials include college and graduate school transcripts, various certificates, four small appointment books, and passports.
Correspondence is between George Leslie Stout and family, friends, colleagues, professional associations and fellow Monuments Men. Family correspondence is with Stout's immediate and extended family, the bulk of which is from Stout to his wife Margaret and his son Thomas. Correspondents in the Monuments Men correspondence include Thomas Carr Howe, Ardelia Hall, Lamont Moore, Theodore Sizer, Langdon Warner, and many others. There is also substantial correspondence with friends and professional colleagues in the museum and art world, such as Walter Beck, Richard D. Buck, William George Constable, Earl of Crawford, George Peabody Gardner, Jr., William Ivins, Jr., Henri Marceau, and Paul Sachs, among many others.
Writings by Stout consist of typescript drafts and published articles, speeches, and miscellaneous notes. Most of the writings concern art conservation and the speeches are memorials for two of Stout's colleagues. Notes consists of drafts for the texts of holiday cards Stout designed, biographical notes, and images and captions for "The Care of Pictures." There are also three conference papers on art conservation written by other people.
Subject files document Stout's conservation projects as a consultant for museums, universities, galleries and other organizations. Also found in this series are documents relating to Stout's work after retiring from the Isabella Gardner Museum and his membership or participation in various arts programs and organizations.
A separate series contains files relating to Stout's World War II service in the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives (MFAA) Section. Found here are official military records, publications by Monuments Men, and a few scattered photographs. Military records include directives, reports, certificates and a bronze star medal. There are articles and books written by various Monuments Men such as Langdon Warner, Lincoln Kirstein, and Theodore Sizer. There are also scattered photographs, only two of which depict tout (including one group photograph with Lamont Moore, Walker Hancock and other Monuments Men.) There are also 12 negatives with 4 prints depicting La Gleize Church and the town of Ambleve, Belgium, in 1945.
Personal business records include assorted legal and estate papers as well as financial papers such as receipts, travel expenses and donations.
Printed materials consists of news clippings, bulletins, brochures, press releases, conference papers, and magazine and journal articles, most of it related to art conservation.
Artwork includes pencil and ink drawings and sketches, mostly of travel scenes, people, and animals. There is one sketchbook of the human figure. Many sketches were loosely grouped together by Stout with titles such as "Pool Doodles" or "Park and Zoo." The is also one caricature of Eric Brown by Murray Pease.
The papers include photographs and negatives, mostly personal photographs of friends, family, relatives and colleagues. There are also photographs of art conservation conferences and travel photographs. Additional scattered photographs are located in the series containing the Monuments Men files.

Biographical/Historical Note

George Leslie Stout (1897-1978) was a conservator and museum director in Massachusettes and California.


George Leslie Stout donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in 1978.

Related Materials

Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with George Stout conducted by Paul Karlstrom in 1978.


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Location of Originals

  • Reel 1378: Originals returned to Robert Stout after microfilming.