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Ira and William Glackens papers, circa 1900-1990

Glackens, Ira, 1907-1990

Painter, Illustrator

This site provides access to the papers of Ira and William Glackens in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2014, and total 4,065 images.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Sansom Foundation.

Collection Information

Size: 2.3 linear feet

Summary: The Ira and William Glackens papers, circa 1900-1990, measure 2.3 linear feet. The collection consists primarily of the papers of Ira Glackens relating to the artwork of his father, William Glackens, but also contains scattered correspondence of William and his wife Edith, including letters from Albert Barnes. Ira Glackens' papers include books witten by Ira; exhibition catalogs and clippings about William and others; photographs of the Glackens family and friends, of Ira, and of the Glackens residence; and an audio recording of William Glackens' remarks upon accepting an award at the Carnegie International Exhibition in 1936. There are also records of the Sansom Foundation, which was set up by Ira Glackens and his wife Nancy.
Biographical information consists of genealogical research on the Glackens family and a copy of Ira Glackens's birth certificate.
Correspondence of the artist William Glackens includes letters to his wife, Edith, written while on a trip to Paris, in 1912, to purchase paintings for collector Albert C. Barnes. Barnes' letters to William and Edith Glackens are about paintings in the Barnes Collection, the educational plans of his Foundation, and Glackens' work and exhibitions. Letters to Edith Dimock Glackens are from relatives and friends including her father, Ira Dimock, her sister, Irene Dimock FitzGerald, author James L. Ford, and painter Maurice Prendergast. There is also a copy of a letter concerning the estate of Lenna G. Borton, the Glackens' daughter.
Ira Glackens' correspondence largely concerns exhibitions, sales, loans, donations and the authentication of artwork by William Glackens. Correspondents include museums, galleries and artists, in addition to personal correspondence with family and friends. Names of significant correspondents in Ira Glackens' corresponcence include Laura (Mrs. Albert C.) Barnes, Charles Buckley, Delaware Art Museum, Kraushaar Gallery, Walt Kuhn, Vivian Liff, George Luks, Stearns Morse, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Bennard Perlman, Eugenie Prendergast, Arnold T. Schwab, Helen (Mrs. John) Sloan, and Williams College Museum of Art.
Noteworthy writings include speeches, a memoir, and a short play by Ira Glackens, and family recollections of Edith Glackens. Writings by others include essays by John Bullard and Everett Shinn about Glackens.
Printed material includes Ira Glackens' books, catalogs of group and solo exhibitions featuring the work of William Glackens, clippings concerning William Glackens, and reviews of Ira Glackens' books.
Records of the Sansom Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization founded in 1950 by Ira and Nancy Glackens to oversee their art interests, consist of annual reports, a charitable trust registration form, and financial and tax records.
Photographs are of the Glackens family, travel scenes and artwork by William Glackens, The Eight, and other artists.
A card index of William Glackens' paintings, prepared by Ira Glackens, provides details of artwork in William Glackens' estate. A 1936 audio recording is of remarks made by William Glackens upon being presented with an award for his entry in the Carnegie Institute's International Exhibition.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ira Dimock Glackens (1907-1990), the first child of painter and illustrator William Glackens and Edith Dimock Glackens, was born in New York City. William Glackens (1870-1938) was born in Philadelphia and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with Robert Henri while working as an illustrator for local newspapers, including the Philadelphia Press.


The Ira and William Glackens papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Ira Glackens in 1987, and by his estate in 1991. In 2007, a small cache of papers found in the Glackens home was donated by Susan Corn Conway, who had purchased the Glackens' house.

Related Materials

The Archives also holds several collections related to Ira and William Glackens, including the Ira Glackens letters to Jane Wasey; the Illustrations by William Glackens and letter from Ira Glackens; the Lillian E. Travis papers relating to William Glackens and Charles Prendergast; and the Thomas Hart Benton and Ira Glackens letters. Substantial correspondence between William Glackens and the Kraushaar Gallery can also be found in the Kraushaar Galleries records.


Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Sansom Foundation.