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John Gellatly letters received from artists, 1887-1931

Gellatly, John, 1853-1931

Collector

This site provides access to the artist letters of John Gellatly in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2016, and total 335 images.

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

Collection Information

Size: 0.2 Linear feet

Summary: The John Gellatly letters received from artists measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1887 to 1931. Found within the collection are 120 letters to Gellatly from Emma and Abbott H. Thayer, Frederick S. Church, Irving Wiles, Albert Pinkham Ryder, C. E. S. Wood, and George Grey Barnard. Some of the letters contain sketches, particularly those from Church. Topics include the price and progress of artworks, requests for commissions, mutual friendships, and daily events. There are also two copies of the poem "The Flying Dutchman" by Albert P. Ryder.

Biographical/Historical Note

Art collector John Gellatly (1853-1931) lived in New York City, N.Y. and established a real estate and insurance business in 1885. An art enthusiast, Gellatly furthered his interests by enrolling in classes. There, he would meet his future wife, the heiress Edith Rogers, whom he married in 1886. Together, they began collecting decorative art objects and contemporary paintings, including works by Albert P. Ryder, Abbott Thayer, and Childe Hassam. After Edith's death in 1917, Gellatly continued to collect art and eventually gifted the 1,640 objects and paintings in his collection to the Smithsonian in 1929. He died of complications from pneumonia in 1931.

Provenance

The collection was initially bought by art historian Thomas Brumbaugh of Vanderbilt University from Walter R. Benjamin Autographs of Madison Avenue, and subsequently acquired in 1978 by the National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Shortly thereafter, the letters were transferred to the Archives of American Art.

Language Note

The collection is in English.

Funding

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