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

Rand, John Goffe, 1801-1873

Portrait painter

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Biographical Information includes an unpublished biography about Rand, typescripts of an obituary, short biographical sketches, lists of portraits painted by Rand, and a copy of his will.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.

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.


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


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