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Hermann Dudley Murphy papers, circa 1878-1982

Hermann Dudley Murphy papers, circa 1878-1982

Murphy, Hermann Dudley, 1867-1945

Painter

Collection Information

Size: 2.8 linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter and frame maker Hermann Dudley Murphy measure 2.8 linear feet and date from circa 1878-1982. Found are biographical materials, correspondence, writings, personal business records, printed materials, a scrapbook, photographs, and original artworks, including sketchbooks.

Biographical/Historical Note

Hermann Dudley Murphy (1867-1945) was a painter and frame maker active in Boston, Massachusetts.

Provenance

The collection was donated in 1985 by Alexander B. and Dudley D. B. Samoiloff, grandsons of Hermann Dudley Murphy.

Funding

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Location of Originals

  • Photocopied letters: Originals in the possession of the donor, Alexander Samoiloff.

A Finding Aid to the Hermann Dudley Murphy Papers, circa 1878-1982, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.murpherm
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jayna M. Josefson
Biographical/Historical note
Hermann Dudley Murphy (1867-1945) was a painter and frame maker active in Boston, Massachusetts.
Hermann Dudley Murphy was born in Massachusetts in 1867. He studied art under Edmund Tarbell at the Boston Museum School and later in Paris at the Académie Julian. His early career focused on portraiture and landscape painting. While in Paris, Murphy learned to make frames for artworks. After exhibiting at the 1913 Armory Show, Murphy rejected Modernism and painted still-life. He was known for his Tonalist style and his floral still-life paintings which included objects d'art such as Chinese ceramics, bronze statues, and textiles. Additionally, Murphy taught art classes at the Harvard School of Architecture and the Worcester Art Museum School.
Murphy married Caroline Bowles Murphy with whom he had two children, Carlene and Dudley Murphy. After Caroline died, he married artist Nellie Littlehale. With Nellie, he shared an interest in deck-seat canoeing. Murphy died in 1945.
Arrangement note
This collection is arranged as 8 series.
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1887-circa 1940 (Box 1; 7 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1890-1962 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1900-1942 (Box 1; 7 folders)
Series 4: Personal Business and Financial Records, 1897-1944 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1889-1982 (Box 1-2; 0.9 linear feet)
Series 6: Scrapbook, circa 1910 (Box 2; 1 folder)
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1878-circa 1950 (Box 2; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 8: Artwork, 1892-circa 1940 (Box 2-4; 0.8 linear feet)
Scope and Contents note
The papers of painter and frame maker Hermann Dudley Murphy measure 2.8 linear feet and date from circa 1878-1982. Found are biographical materials, correspondence, writings, personal business records, printed materials, a scrapbook, photographs, and original artworks, including sketchbooks.
The bulk of the papers focus on the later part of Herman Dudley Murphy's career. Specifically, correspondence focuses on the sale of still-life paintings and sketches and sketchbooks are mostly from Murphy's travels through Europe and Mexico from the 1920s to the 1930s. Correspondents include Mary Ogden Abbott, Edwin S. Barrie, Maurice Prendergast, Chauncey Ryder, Theodore Sizer, Edmund Tarbell, Alexander Trowbridge, and Vose Gallery among others. Personal business records comment on the sale of works of art from 1897 until 1944. Printed materials include clippings and exhibition catalogs spanning Murphy's career. One scrapbook contains photos and printed materials. Photographs and snapshots are of Hermann Dudley Murphey and family, family travels, and works of art and frames. Artwork consists of loose sketches, prints, and sketchbooks.
Provenance
The collection was donated in 1985 by Alexander B. and Dudley D. B. Samoiloff, grandsons of Hermann Dudley Murphy.
Location of Originals
  • Photocopied letters: Originals in the possession of the donor, Alexander Samoiloff.
Processing Information note
The Hermann Dudley Murphy papers were arranged upon receipt and microfilmed onto reels 4038-4039. In 2013, the papers were minimally processed and described by Jayna Josefson with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

Microfilm reels 4038-4039 available at all Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Hermann Dudley Murphy papers, circa 1878-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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