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John Goffe Rand papers, 1832-1960, bulk 1832-1873

John Goffe Rand papers, 1832-1960, bulk 1832-1873

Rand, John Goffe, 1801-1873

Portrait painter

Representative image for John Goffe Rand papers, 1832-1960, bulk 1832-1873

The papers of John Goffe Rand in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2010. The papers have been scanned in their entirety and total 112 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 scattered papers of inventor and portrait painter John Goffe Rand measure 0.2 linear feet and date from circa 1832-1960, bulk 1832-1873. Included are biographical sketches, a will, lists of portraits by Rand, a small amount of correspondence, United States patents for the collapsible paint tube invented by Rand and later improvements, printed materials, a photo, and an example of one of the first paint tubes made in a factory.

Biographical/Historical Note

John Goffe Rand (1801-1873) was a portrait painter from Bedford, N.H. Rand was apprenticed to a cabinet maker as a young man and later became a portrait painter working under Samuel F.B. Morse. In 1834, he traveled to Europe with his wife, Lavinia Brainerd, where he invented the collapsible paint tube. This and other inventions proved to be without financial rewards for Rand and upon his return to America he again took up portraiture again.

Provenance

The material was donated by Rand's great-grandneices, Mary and Katherine Anglemyer, in 1981 and 1985.

Funding

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

A Finding Aid to the John Goffe Rand Papers,
circa 1832-1960, bulk 1832-1873
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.randjohn
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jayna Hanson
Biographical Note
John Goffe Rand (1801-1873) lived and worked in Boston, London, and New York as a portrait painter and inventor. Rand invented and patented the first collapsible artist's paint tube.
Rand was born in 1801 in Bedford, New Hampshire. As a young man, he worked as an apprentice to a cabinet maker. Although he showed talent, Rand chose to paint houses and signs and found that he excelled at portraiture. Discovered and encouraged by Samuel F. B. Morse, he moved to Boston and by 1828 established his own studio. While temporarly in Charleston, South Carolina, Rand met Miss Lavinia Brainerd whom he later married.
Shortly after their wedding, Lavinia and John Rand travelled to London where John continued to paint portraits. Among those whom he painted were members of the royal family and other figures in the English nobility including Lord Bexley, the Duke and Duchess of Inverness, and the Duke of Sussex.
While in London, Rand invented a collapsible paint tube made of tin for storing artists' mixed oil paints. Prior to this advancement, painters generally mixed pigments with oil in small amounts and stored the extra paint in animal bladders. The tin tube allowed unused paint to be stored and used later without drying out. In 1841, Rand patented the invention with the United States Patent Office. He went on to patent several later improvements. Other later inventions, however, were not as widely received, and most of his ideas were not financially successful.
Upon returning to the United States, John Rand and his wife settled on Long Island where he continued his career in painting portraits. The artist died in 1873.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into 6 series:
Series 1: Biographical Information, 1873-1941, circa 1960 (Box 1; 5 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1864, 1906-1960 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 3: Subject Files, 1841-1844, 1941-1956(Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1900 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 5: Photographs, circa 1930 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 6: Artifact, circa 1832 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Scope and Content Note
The scattered papers of inventor and portrait painter John Goffe Rand measure 0.2 linear feet and date from circa 1832-1960, bulk 1832-1873. Included are biographical sketches, a will, lists of portraits by Rand, a small amount of correspondence, United States patents for the collapsible paint tube invented by Rand and later improvements, printed materials, a photo, and an example of one of the first paint tubes made in a factory.
Biographical Information includes an unpublished biography about Rand, typescripts of an obituary, short biographical sketches, lists of portraits painted by Rand, and a copy of his will. A small amount of correspondence consists of one letter written by Rand in 1864 addressed to his neice and typescripts of letters written by members of Rand's extended family concerning the artist and his works.
Subject files document Rand's invention of the collapsible tin artists' paint tube and include two patents from the United States Patent Office dated 1841 and 1844. The 1844 patent was for improvements to the tube. The patent applications contain diagrams and written descriptions of the tube. There are also clippings about the anniversaries of the invention.
Additional clippings are about members of the Rand family and a painting by Rand. One photograph depicts Rand's gravesite circa 1930. Artifacts include an example of one of the first collapsible paint tubes made in a factory.
Provenance
The material was donated by Rand's great-grandneices, Mary and Katherine Anglemyer, in 1981 and 1985.
Processing Information
The John Goffe Rand papers were processed by Jayna Hanson in 2008, and digitized in 2010 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The papers were digitized in their entirety in 2010 and are available via the Archives of American Art's website.

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

John Goffe Rand papers, 1832-1960, bulk 1832-1873. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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