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Joseph Lindon Smith papers, 1647-1965, bulk 1873-1965

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Jean Fitzgerald
Scope and Contents
The papers of Boston and New Hampshire painter Joseph Lindon Smith date from 1647-1965, with the bulk of papers dating from 1873-1965, and measure 8.8 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials; letters from family members, artists, museums, and art patrons; seven diaries by Smith and two by his wife Corinna, personal business records, notes and writings, files concerning charitable theatrical productions, one sketchbook and other art work, a scrapbook, printed material, photographs, and sound recordings of radio interviews and a radio program on Smith.
Scattered biographical material consists of family history documents for the Smith and Putnam families, a Jenkes family tree, and passports for Joseph Lindon Smith and his family.
Over three linear feet of letters are from family members, artists including Cecilia Beaux, Frank Benson, George DeForest Brush, and Denman Ross, museum staff concerned with work in Egypt, and art patrons including Isabella Stewart Gardner, and individuals involved with Smith's charitable pageants. There are scattered letters from Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Henry James, Charles G. Loring, Paul Manship, General John J. Pershing, John Singer Sargent, and Abbott Handerson Thayer. Among the subjects discussed are student life at the Académie Julian, the Smiths' travels, and individuals known by Smith.
Seven diaries written by Joseph Lindon Smith document his ravels in Egypt, Persia, Europe, and New Mexico. Two diaries were written by Corinna Smith during her travels to Beiram and Egypt.
Personal business records business records include contracts, price lists, lists of securities, and miscellaneous receipts of the Smith and Putnam families, Joseph Lindon Smith, Corinna Smith, and their daughter Lois Smith.
Notes include engagement calendars, notebooks, lists of art work, lecture notes, minutes of meetings, notes on family history and on travel, and an autograph by Kit Carson. Writings include miscellaneous typescripts by the Smiths and others concerning travel, work in Egypt and elsewhere, and anecdotes about various friends and acquaintances. There are also three drafts of "Egypt - My Winter Home."
Theatrical production files concern plays, pageants, and masques written and/or produced by the Smiths. Many of the performances were benefits, dedication or anniversary celebrations, such as a pageant given at Fenway Court in honor of Isabella Stewart Gardner, a pageant at the dedication of a memorial to Abbott Handerson Thayer, and the centenary celebration of the founding of Amherst, Massachusetts.
Art work includes a sketchbook with extensive notes, a painting, drawings by Joseph Lindon Smith, and prints by other artists.
A scrapbook contains clippings and an exhibition catalog from the St. Botolph Club. Additional printed material includes clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, press releases, programs, booklets, brochures, and books by others.
Photographs are of Smith, his family, friends including classmates from the Académie Julian, Isabella Stewart Gardner, Abbott Handerson Thayer, exhibition installations, military camp sites from World War I, travel scenes, and art work by Smith.
Audio recordings consist of four sound disc recordings of interviews for WKNE Radio, Keene, New Hampshire, with Corinna Smith and Barry Faulkner talking about Smith, and a program about Smith and his book Tombs, Temples, and Ancient Art.
The Joseph Lindon Smith papers were donated by Jessie T. Hale, Smith's granddaughter, in 1977 and 1978.
Related Material
The papers of Smith's wife, Corinna Putnam Smith, are available at The Schlesinger Library of Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Processing Information
The papers were arranged by Jean Fitzgerald in 1996, and a finding aid prepared in 2010. Eden Orelove encoded the Index of Correspondents in 2011.