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Howard Russell Butler papers, 1874-1936

Butler, Howard Russell, 1856-1934

Businessperson, Lawyer, Landscape painter


Collection Information

Size: 3 Linear feet

Summary: Writings, journals, organizational papers, correspondence, biographical information, printed matter, art works, and diaries.
Circa 1700 letters concerning Butler's art work, his interest in astronomy, support for the League of Nations and the World Court, his investigation of the Lincoln statue controversy, his management of the Andrew Carnegie house and property, and extensive correspondence about the various activities of the National Academy of Design and the American Fine Arts Society. Also includes biographical information, addresses, and articles by Butler; miscellaneous printed materials; clippings; exhibition catalogs; and sketches.
Letters from Howard Russell Butler to family and friends written from Princeton University, Cuba, Mexico, California, Colorado, and Europe; five diaries, 1876-1877; one drawing; and two oil sketches after a painting by Titian.
A book, "Howard Russell Butler," of Butler's works, including an appreciation by F. Newlin Price.
An unpublished autobiography written from a journal kept by Butler. In it, he records travel impressions in Canada and the U.S. Northwest, Mexico, and Cuba; experiences as agent and executive in the telegraph business; thoughts on acquaintances as an art student in Paris, and artist in New York, including memories of William A. Coffin, Kenyon Cox, George de Forrest Brush, and others; work as founder of the American Fine Arts Society, which introduced him to George Vanderbilt and Andrew Carnegie; and his 10-year association with Carnegie, including various business dealings.

Biographical/Historical Note

Howard Russell Butler (1856-1934) was a businessman, lawyer, and landscape painter from New York, N.Y. Founded the American Society of Fine Arts.


Donated and lent 1970-1975 by H. Russell Butler, Jr., Butler's son.

Location of Originals

  • Reels 89 and 93: Originals returned to lender, H. Russell Butler, Jr., after microfilming.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 89, 93, 347-349, and 1189-1190 available at 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

Howard Russell Butler papers, 1874-1936. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.