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James Carroll Beckwith papers, 1871-circa 1991, bulk bulk 1875-1917

Beckwith, J. Carroll (James Carroll), 1852-1917

Portrait painter, Landscape painter

The J. Carroll (James Carroll) Beckwith papers were digitized in 2018, and total 7,853 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 3.2 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of New York painter James Carroll Beckwith measure 3.2 linear feet and date from 1871 to circa 1991, bulk 1875-1917. The collection includes biographical material, correspondence, numerous diaries, writings, printed material, photograph albums, and photographs.
Biographical material mostly consists of estate papers related to disputes between the Beckwith Estate and the National Academy of Design. There is also one art inventory notebook titled "Record of Pictures."
Correspondence includes letters by Beckwith, his wife, and researchers concerning Beckwith's paintings and career. Notable correspondents include artists such as Carolus-Duran and William Anderson Coffin, the art dealer Roland Knoedler, as well as other colleagues.
The collection includes 38 of James Carroll Beckwith's diaries and one diary that belonged to his wife Bertha Beckwith. The artist's diaries contain sporadic entries describing teaching, traveling, and daily events.
Writings include Beckwith's autobiography Souvenirs and Reminiscences, a notebook that chronicles his time in Paris, notes, essays on art and architecture, lists of artwork, and one essay about Beckwith by an unidentified writer.
Printed materials consist of a sales catalog of Beckwith's work, clippings about Beckwith and John Singer Sargent, and a few exhibition catalogs and announcements.
Photographs include 2 albums and many board-backed prints. One album mostly contains travel photographs, the other is mostly dedicated to paintings by other artists in Europe. There are many photographs of Beckwith's paintings, mostly portraits. A few photographs of exhibition installations are also included.

Biographical/Historical Note

James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917) was a portrait and landscape painter in New York, New York and a member of the National Academy of Design.


The collection, except for the estate related material, was initially lent for microfilming by the National Academy of Design in 1993. The National Academy of Design received Beckwith's papers as a gift in 1926 from the Bertha H. Beckwith estate. Beckwith related National Academy of Design correspondence and photographs were combined with the papers by the Academy. In 2018, the James Carroll Beckwith papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by the National Academy of Design via Maura Reilly, Executive Director. Papers on reels 1418, 1454 were lent for microfilming in 1978 by J. Carter Courtney, Beckwith's great-neice.

Related Materials

Language Note

The collection is in English.


Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.