Scope and Contents
The papers of sculptor and portrait painter Henry Kirke Brown measure 1 linear feet and date from 1836 to 1893. The collection includes Brown's correspondence with his wife, Lydia Louise Udall, his nephew, Henry Kirke Bush-Brown, and other family members. Also included are letters from artists George Catlin, George Fuller, Sanford R. Gifford, James Reid Lambdin, Louis Lang, Erastus Dow Palmer, Hiram Powers, Horatio Stone, and others; five news clippings; and miscellaneous notes.
Brown's lengthy letters to his wife reveal his devotion to her and the conflict he felt between his art and his personal life. He discusses his work, including progress on his statue of George Washington, located in Union Square, New York City. Letters to his family from Rome and Florence allude to his awe of Italy's monuments. Also included are letters from Washington, D.C. during Brown's tenure as a member of the U.S. Art Commission in the 1860s.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Henry Kirke Brown papers were donated to the Archives of American in 1981 by Dorothy Young, who acquired the papers from her husband, an art dealer.
The collection was processed to a minimal level after donation. A finding aid was created by Caroline Donadio in 2018.