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Mary Butler papers, 1853-1946, (bulk 1884-1946)

Mary Butler papers, 1853-1946, (bulk 1884-1946)

Butler, Mary, 1865-1946

Painter

Collection Information

Size: 1.6 linear ft.

Summary: Found within the papers are biographical material, correspondence, and records relating to Butler's long participation in the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Also found are notes and writings, a scrapbook, printed material, and photographs of Butler, her friends, her studio in Ogunquit, Maine, her landscape paintings, and exhibition installations.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter; Philadelphia, Pa.

Provenance

Donated 2005 by Rachel Armstrong, Mary Butler's niece.

A Finding Aid to the Mary Butler Papers,
1853-1946
,
bulk 1884-1946
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.butlmary
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jean Fitzgerald
Biographical Note
Mary Butler was born on October 27, 1865 in Uwachlan, Pennsylvania, the daughter of James and Rachel M. (James) Butler.
Butler began her education at the Darlington Seminary. She studied painting at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now the Moore College of Art) under William Sartain and Robert Henri, graduating in 1894. Between 1896 and 1902, she studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under William Merritt Chase and Celia Beaux. From 1897 to 1898, she studied at the Académie Colarossi in Paris with Gustave Courtois, René François Xavier Prinet, and Jean-Antoine Injalbert.
She attended a summer school conducted by William Merritt Chase at Shinnacock Hills, and later studied under Robert Henri and Edward W. Redfield. With Redfield, she spent a season at Centre Bridge, Pennsylvania. Butler was primarily a landscape painter and traveled widely in the United States and Europe to find unusual and inspiring views. She also spent summers in Ogunquit and on Monhegan Island, Maine.
In 1909, Butler joined the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and served as President of that organization from 1921 to 1937. During her tenure, she inaugurated traveling exhibitions, a picture purchasing fund and, in 1915, the Thouron Fund for aid of needy artists.
Throughout her career Butler exhibited extensively and promoted the arts in Philadelphia.
Mary Butler died on March 16, 1946.
Arrangement
The papers are arranged into seven series. Each series is arranged chronologically.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1884-1945 (Box 1; 10 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1853-1944 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 3: File for the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1917-1946 (Box 1; 14 folders)
Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1905-1938 (Box 1; 10 folders)
Series 5: Scrapbook, 1908-1942 (Box 1; 5 folders)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1894-1944 (Box 2; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1870-1945 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)
Scope and Content Note
The papers of landscape painter Mary Butler date from 1853-1946, bulk 1884-1946, and measure 1.6 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, correspondence, and records relating to Butler's long participation in the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Also found are notes and writings, a scrapbook, printed material, and photographs of Butler, her friends, her studio in Ogunquit, Maine, her landscape paintings, and exhibition installations.
Biographical material includes genealogical notes on Butler's early family history, biographical accounts, teaching certificates, and letters of recommendation from Butler's instructors including William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and William Sartain.
Found within the papers are correspondence with family members, including letters to her cousin Edgar Butler letters from her friend Mrs. Thomas Eakins; and miscellaneous scattered letters from various colleagues including George Biddle, Dorothy Grafly, Thornton Oakley, and Alice Kent Stoddard concerning various topics. Correspondence regarding exhibitions is with arts organizations and colleagues including Henry Thouron and S. Walter Norris.
There are files documenting Butler's long participation in the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, including a letter from Joseph Pennell, notes, writings, and printed material. Additional printed material includes a scrapbook of clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs. Photographs are of Butler, her friends, her studio in Ogunquit, Maine, views of the Maine coast and of Cathedral Crag in Washington State, Butler's landscape paintings, and miscellaneous exhibition installations.
Provenance
Donated 2005 by Rachel Armstrong, Mary Butler's niece.
Processing Information
The Mary Butler papers were processed in October 2007 by Jean Fitzgerald.

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

Mary Butler papers, 1853-1946, (bulk 1884-1946). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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