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Lilly Martin Spencer papers, 1828-1966

Spencer, Lilly Martin, 1822-1902

Muralist, Printmaker, Portrait painter

Collection Information

Size: 0.9 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of portrait and genre painter Lilly Martin Spencer, measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1828-1966. The collection includes biographical material, scattered lists, notes, receipts, and legal documents relating to Spencer's life and work, Spencer's business and family correspondence, printed material, a lithograph, photographs of Spencer and others, and photos of Spencer's artwork.
The collection documents Spencer's popularity and success as a painter, her involvement with art associations and civic organizations such as Sorosis, and her personal life as a wife, mother, and breadwinner through correspondence with family, artists including John Sartain and Benjamin John Lossing, dealers including Samuel Putnam Avery, writers and editors such as Robert Green Ingersoll and Fannie Raymond Bitter, and social activists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Biographical/Historical Note

New York and Ohio painter Lilly Martin Spencer (1822-1902) was known for her popular portrait paintings and humorous domestic genre scenes.


The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 1971 by Lillian Spencer Gates, Spencer's granddaughter.

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