Scope and Contents
The estate papers of New York tonalist painter Henry Ward Ranger, measure one linear foot and date from 1888-circa 1999, with the bulk of the material dating from 1904-1954.The collection primarily documents the settlement of Ranger's contested will and the administration of his estate, but also provides scattered biographical information on Ranger's life, provenance information about his work, and the significance of his estate gift to the National Academy of Design. Records include appraisal information including an estate ledger, correspondence and memoranda including two letters from Ranger, court documents, financial and real estate records, news clippings, and two photographs and six negatives of Ranger.
Series 1 documents the appraisal, administration, and distribution of Ranger's estate by the National Academy of Design. The bulk of the material comprises appraisal records, including an appraisal of Ranger's Noank studio by William Macbeth; correspondence and agreements with museums and other art institutions that received artwork purchased by the Ranger fund, including the Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, Des Moines Association of Fine Arts, Fine Arts Society of San Diego, Museum of Fine Arts , Houston, Oberlin College, and others; and financial records documenting assets and liabilities, including cancelled checks, receipts, investment and tax records, and records documenting real estate investments that contributed to the estate. Also found is a folder of personal papers, including two letters from Ranger, and a photograph and six negatives of Ranger, and a folder of nine letters from Ranger family members.
Series 2 primarily comprises court documents and legal counsel notes and correspondence related to the litigation of Ranger's will, and the process of proving the the legitimacy of Ranger's original will and the fraudulence of the will presented by Edith Ranger's lawyers.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by the National Academy of Design in 2018.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
The collection was processed by Stephanie Ashley and portions of the collection were digitized in 2018, with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Walton Family Foundation.