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Mary Bartlett Cowdrey papers, 1830-1960

Cowdrey, Mary Bartlett, 1910-1974

Art historian


Collection Information

Size: 6.9 Linear feet, (partially microfilmed on 13 reels)

Summary: The Mary Bartlett Cowdrey papers measure 6.9 linear feet and date from 1830-1960. Included is material relating to her involvement with the National Academy of Design
Letters, invoices, and clippings relate to the National Academy Design's exhibitions and exhibition records, 1952-1954. Among the correspondents are Eliot Clark, Charles Downing Lay, Vernon Porter, R.W.G. Vail, and Lawrence Grant White; and Cowdrey's collection of ca. 200 photographs and other reproductions of Gilbert Stuart portraits and the publication Essays on American Art and Artists, Eastern Art League, 1896, signed by Cowdrey. Also included are notes, correspondence, photographs, publications, and clippings collected by Cowdrey for a biography of William Sidney Mount, ca. 1830-1957 microfilmed on reels D362-D363, and a letter from Jerome Mellquist, an art historian and specialist on French modern art, regarding his interests and his work , December 14, 1956. The letter has been microfilmed on reel D9.

Biographical/Historical Note

Mary Bartlett Cowdrey (1830-1960) was an art historian in Passaic, New Jersey. Bartlett was author of "National Academy of Design Exhibition Record, 1826-1860," 2 v., 1944 a co-author: "William Sidney Mount, 1807-1868, An American Painter," 1944. Cowdrey was also a collector for Archives of American Art in the late 1950s.


Material on reels D362-D363, D9 and unfilmed material donated 1956 and 1966 by Mary Bartlett Cowdrey. In 2001, Paul D. Schweitzer, Cowdrey's friend and Director and Chief Curator of the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, N.Y, donated 0.2 ft. of Cowdrey's files relating to her work on the National Academy of Design. All other papers were lent for microfilming 1956-1966 by Cowdrey.

Related Materials

Also in the Archives are papers lent for microfilming on reels N60-11, NY59-5, NY59-11, NY59-18-NY59-19, NY59-29 including files on 19th century American artists compiled by Cowdrey, containing notes, reproductions, clippings, biographical material, and publications; and material microfilmed on reels D75- D78 including alphabetical indexes of artists who exhibited at the National Academy of Design, 1861-1890, including their dates, exhibition dates, their works and prices, and their address at the time of the exhibit, plus notes and correspondence relating to this compilation. This work was intended to be a continuation of Cowdrey's book NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN EXHIBITION RECORD, 1826-1860 (The New York Historical Society, New York, 1943.)
Papers of Mary Bartlett Cowdrey, 1834-1963, are also located at the University of Delaware Library's Special Collections.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Reels NY59-5, NY59-11, NY59-18-NY59-19, NY59-29, NY60-11, & D75-D78: Originals located at the University of Delaware, Newark, Del.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels NY59-5, NY59-11, NY59-18-NY59-19, NY59-29, N60-11, D362-D363, D75-D78, D9 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm.

How to Cite This Collection

Mary Bartlett Cowdrey papers, 1830-1960. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.