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Lorenzo James Hatch and Hatch family papers, circa 1890-1950, bulk 1908-1914

Lorenzo James Hatch and Hatch family papers, circa 1890-1950, bulk 1908-1914

Hatch, Lorenzo James, 1856-1914

Painter

This site provides access to the papers of Lorenzo James Hatch in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2010. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 3,656 images.

Collection Information

Size: 1.7 linear feet

Summary: The Lorenzo James Hatch and Hatch family papers consist of family correspondence, printed material, scrapbooks of printed materials and photographs, and a travel account. Most of the collection concerns the family's time in Beijing (formerly Peking), China, from 1908-1914, while Hatch was assisting the Chinese government with creating a Bureau of Printing and Engraving. The papers reveal impressions of the social and economic conditions of the Chinese, the revolutionary events of 1911 and 1912, the Pneumonic Plague epidemic in China from 1910-1911, and sight-seeing trips. Included letters are from Lorenzo Hatch, his wife Grace Harrison Hatch, his son Harrison, and Grace's sister Miss Effie Harrison to mostly family members in the United States between 1908-1914.

Biographical/Historical Note

Lorenzo James Hatch (1856-1914) was born in Vermont and is best known for his work as a portrait engraver in Washington, D.C. and New York. Hatch worked for the United States Bureau of Printing and Engraving, private bank note printers, and in China, assisting the government with establishing a government bureau of printing and engraving.

Provenance

The papers of Lorenzo James Hatch and the Hatch family were donated in 1989 by Hatch's great-grandniece, Janet Young Brockmoller and in 2015 by John and Janet Fesler, who acquired the material from a neighbor who received the papers from Gail Hatch, Hatch's sister-in-law and executor for Grace Harrison Hatch, Hatch's wife.

A Finding Aid to the Lorenzo James Hatch and Hatch Family Papers,
circa 1890-1950
bulk 1902-1914
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.hatclore
Finding aid prepared by Jayna M. Hanson
Scope and Content Note
The Lorenzo James Hatch and Hatch family papers measure 1.7 linear feet and date from circa 1890-1950, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1902-1914. The papers consist of family correspondence, printed material, three scrapbooks of printed materials and photographs, and a travel account. Letters are from Lorenzo Hatch, his wife Grace Harrison Hatch, and other family members. Most of the collection concerns the family's time in Peking (Beijing), China from 1908-1914 while Hatch was assisting the Chinese government create a Bureau of Printing and Engraving. The papers reveal impressions of the social and economic conditions of the Chinese, the revolutionary events of 1911 and 1912, the Pneumonic Plague epidemic in China from 1910-1911, and sight-seeing trips. An unprocessed addition of 0.4 linear feet includes biographical material; photographs of Hatch, his family and works of art; personal correspondence; artwork; printed material, and legal and financial records relating to the estate of Lorenzo Hatch. Also included is a horseshoe from Harrison Hatch's pony “Moses” (in China).
Letters trace the family's journey from California to Peking, China, and their life in China. Lorenzo's correspondence includes information concerning Chinese politics and the revolution, the roles of Sun Yat-Sen and Yuan Shih K'ai between 1911-1912 and the fall of the Qing Dynasty. Effie Harrison's and Grace Hatch's letters discuss day-to-day life in China, sight-seeing trips and their reactions to the social and political unrest in the country. Additional correspondence includes condolence letters sent to the family after Lorenzo's death. There is a also a written account by Effie Harrison describing her travel to China on a steamer ship.
Printed materials consist of clippings and a Macbeth Gallery exhibition catalog from a 1937 show of Hatch's paintings.
There are three photographs of Peking. Three disbound scrapbooks include photographs of the Chinese landscape and monuments, interior shots, and of the family traveling through China. Photographs are of the Ming Tombs, the Great Wall of China, as well as temples and city buildings. Some later photographs are of family members that were taken around 1920, after their return to the United States. The scrapbooks also contain examples of Chinese currency designed by Lorenzo James Hatch.
An unprocessed addition of 0.4 linear feet includes biographical material; photographs of Hatch, his family and works of art; personal correspondence; artwork; printed material, and legal and financial records relating to the estate of Lorenzo Hatch. Also included is a horseshoe from Harrison Hatch's pony “Moses” (in China).
Biographical Note
Lorenzo James Hatch (1856-1914) was born in Vermont and is best known for his work as a portrait engraver in Washington, D.C. and New York. He worked for the United States Bureau of Printing and Engraving, private bank note printers, and in China, assisting the government with establishing a government bureau of printing and engraving.
Early in his career, Lorenzo found his talent for engraving intricate portraits in metals. In 1874, the head of the United States Bureau of Printing and Engraving admired Hatch's portrait of George Washington on copper and hired him. During his time in Washington, D.C., Hatch spent his nights studying drawing and watercolor painting. However, his talent to engrave vignettes of presidents and other famous figures proved more impressive.
In 1888, Hatch moved to Chicago to work for a private bank note company. There, he met Grace Harrison of California. They were married and had one son, Harrison in 1902. After taking a job in New York City with another bank note company, Hatch solidified his reputation in the field. Around 1908, the Chinese government invited Hatch to establish a Bureau of Printing and Engraving modeled after that of the United States. He accepted a six-year contract to oversee the building of the bureau and train the Chinese to run the office. With his wife, their son, and sister-in-law Effie Harrision, Lorenzo moved to Peking.
During his time in China, Lorenzo Hatch succeeded in building the foundations for a modern printing bureau. However, the revolution in China between 1911-1912 hindered completion. He described his experiences, perceptions, and insecurities of being in China to his family and friends through letters. Before his contract ended, Hatch passed away on February 3, 1914.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into 6 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1902-1914 (Box 1-3; 0.9 linear feet)
Series 2: Writings, circa 1912 (Box 3; 1 folder)
Series 3: Printed Material, 1902-1937 (Box 3; 2 folders)
Series 4: Photographs, circa 1911 (Box 3; 1 folder)
Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1908-1911, circa 1920s (Box 3-4; 0.3)
Series 6: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1902-1937 (Box 5; 0.4)
Provenance
The papers of Lorenzo James Hatch and the Hatch family were donated in 1989 by Hatch's great-grandniece, Janet Young Brockmoller and in 2015 by John and Janet Fesler, who acquired the material from a neighbor who received the papers from Gail Hatch, Hatch's sister-in-law and executor for Grace Harrison Hatch, Hatch's wife.
Processing Information
The papers were processed by Jayna Hanson in September of 2008. In 2010, the collection was arranged for digitization by Jayna Hanson with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Additional materials acquired in 2015 remain mostly unprocessed.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

How to Cite This Collection

Lorenzo James Hatch and Hatch family papers, circa 1890-1950, bulk 1908-1914. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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