Skip to main content

Hess family papers, 1850-1973

Hess family


Collection Information

Size: 132 Items, (on 1 microfilm reel)

Summary: 86 sketches by Benedict Hess, 17 by Elisa Hess, 4 by William Hess, 1 by Abraham Hess, and a photograph of the Albert Hess Gilding Shop, Fairview, New Jersey. Also included are correspondence and a diary, 1860-1863, of William Hess written while serving in the Civil War; and genealogical material about the family.

Biographical/Historical Note

Hess family was originally from Germany and Paris. Benedict Hess was the first to come to the U.S., and was a landscape and portrait painter. His wife, Elisa, was a voice teacher and painted still lifes. Their children also painted a little. The family ran a small art school.


The lender, Winifred Hess Manzer, is the daughter of Albert Hess.

Language Note

William Hess' correspondence and diaries are in French.

Location of Originals

  • Originals returned to the lender, Winifred Hess Manzer, after microfilming.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm roll 669 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

Hess family papers, 1850-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.