Skip to main content

John Gellatly letters received from artists, 1887-1931

Biographical 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.