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Martin Johnson Heade papers, 1853-1904

Martin Johnson Heade papers, 1853-1904

Heade, Martin Johnson, 1819-1904

Painter, Landscape painter, Portrait painter

Representative image for Martin Johnson Heade papers, 1853-1904

The papers of Martin Johnson Heade in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2007. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 214 images.

The collection was fully digitized in 2007 as part of the Terra Foundation for American Art Digitization Grant.

Collection Information

Size: 0.3 linear feet

Summary: The bulk of the collection consists of letters from Johnson's friend and fellow artist, Frederic Edwin Church between 1866-1899. Within the papers is an annotated sketchbook, circa 1853-1877, and a detailed handwritten notebook about hummingbirds dating from circa 1864 and circa 1881. Also found are a few letters and notes from others, deeds, and an 1865 exhibition catalog.

Biographical/Historical Note

Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904) was a landscape, portrait, and still life painter. Worked on the East coast and in the Mid-West. Visited Central and South America. Also naturalist and poet. Best known for painting tropical birds and flowers.

Provenance

Donated 1955 by Robert McIntyre, who collected the material for his book on Heade.

Related Materials

The microfilm of a loan of Martin Johnson Heade papers housed at the Bucks County Historical Society containing biographical material about Heade is available on reel 4408. Originals are located at Bucks County Historical Society.

Funding

The collection was fully digitized in 2007 as part of the Terra Foundation for American Art Digitization Grant.

A Finding Aid to the Martin Johnson Heade Papers,
1853-1904
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.headmart
Biographical Note
Martin Johnson Heade was born in Lumberville, Pennsylvania, in 1819. He studied art under painter Edward Hicks, and began his career as a portrait painter. After traveling abroad and living in Rome for two years, he made his artistic debut in 1841 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Heade began exhibiting regularly in 1848, after another trip to Europe, and became an itinerant artist until he settled in New York in 1859. In the early 1860s he turned to painting landscapes and seascapes, in which he could explore spatial structure and the effects of light. During this period he became friends with fellow landscape painter, Frederic Edwin Church, one of his few friends in the art world, and with whom he exchanged letters for over thirty years. Besides landscapes, Heade painted many still-lifes of flowers. After trips to South and Central America in 1863-1864, 1866, and 1870, he began painting hummingbirds and orchids in tropical settings. Heade was never fully accepted by the New York art establishment and for a period of time resumed his itinerant lifestyle. In 1883 he settled in Saint Augustine, Florida and married. He also found a patron, Henry Morrison Flagler, to commission his work, and continued to paint still-lifes, swamp scenes, and hummingbirds, until his death in 1904.
Arrangement
Due to the small size of this collection, items are arranged by type of material into folders. Within each folder, items are arranged chronologically.
Provenance
Donated 1955 by Robert McIntyre, who collected the material for his book on Heade.
Processing Information
The Martin Johnson Heade papers received a preliminary level of processing at some point after donation. Material was microfilmed in the order that it was donated on reel D5. The notebook and sketchbook were professionally conserved in 2004. The collection was fully processed by Erin Corley in 2006 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art, and was scanned in 2007 with funding from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA'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

Martin Johnson Heade papers, 1853-1904. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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