Skip to main content

Henry Bacon papers, 1849-1931

Bacon, Henry, 1839-1912


This site provides access to the papers of Henry Bacon in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2015, and total 1,828 images.

Processing and digitization of this collection was funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 1.9 linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter and writer Henry Bacon date from 1849-1931 and measure 1.9 linear feet. The collection documents Bacon's career and travels through France and Egypt. Included are biographical materials, correspondence, writings by Bacon and others, scattered business records, printed material, scrapbooks, photographs, eight sketchbooks, and additional sketches.
Scattered biographical materials include an address book, a photo identification card, genealogical material, and autobiographical notes and resumes. The bulk of correspondence is in French written by French artists included in Bacon's book, "Parisian Art and Artists," including Beaumont, E. Berne-Bellecourt, Vincent Chevillard, Luigi Chialiva, Georges Clairin, Edmond Dupain, Carolus Duran, Antonio Gonzalez, Ferdinand Heilbuth, Madeleine Lemaire, Luc Olivier Merson, and Leon Olivie. Also found is correspondence between Louisa Lee Bacon with museums and institutions concerning her husband's art.
Writings and notes contain short stories, personal accounts, and poems by Henry Bacon, as well as a biographical work on Bacon by Louisa Bacon, and unsigned poems in French. Manuscripts of Bacon's books are not found.
Scattered personal business records include a sales record notebook, an expense journal, and a lease. Printed materials consist primarily of clippings, a few exhibition catalogs, a copy of Bacon's book, "Étretat: Hamlet of the Setting Sun," and printed images of works of art. Two scrapbooks document Bacon's career as an artist through clippings, photos, exhibition catalogs, and announcements.
Photographs include portraits and snapshots of Bacon and his wife, travel photos used as reference, and photos of works of art. Artwork by Bacon includes eight sketchbooks, watercolor sketches, and pen and ink sketches.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter and writer, Henry Bacon (1839-1912) spent much of his career and life in France and Egypt.


The collection was donated in 1987 by Nancy N. Brecht, the grandniece of Henry Bacon and granddaughter of Bacon's brother, Earle.

Related Materials

Language Note

The collection is in English and French.


Processing and digitization of this collection was funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Location of Originals

  • Sketchbooks 1, 5, and 11: Originals returned to the lender, Mrs. Nancy N. Brecht after microfilming.