Skip to main content

Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay family papers, 1789-2000, bulk circa 1870s-1996

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.

Series 3: Fidelia Bridges Papers , 1857-2000
1.4 Linear feet
Boxes 9-10

The Fidelia Bridges papers consist of letters, exhibition files, writings and notes, artwork, printed material, photographs, and an artifact.
This series is organized into 7 subseries.
  • 3.1: Letters, 1857-2000 (37 folders; Boxes 9-10)
  • 3.2: Exhibition Files, 1976-1999 (7 folders; Box 10)
  • 3.3: Writings and Notes, circa 1916-1999 (5 folders; Box 10)
  • 3.4: Artwork, 1886 (3 folders; Box 10)
  • 3.5: Printed Material, 1867-2000 (21 folders; Box 10)
  • 3.6: Photographs, circa 1865-1965 (22 folders; Box 10)
  • 3.7: Artifact, undated (1 folder; Box 10)
3.1: Letters, 1857-2000
This subseries includes Fidelia Bridges' letters to Phebe Crowell Brown, Annie Brown, and other Brown family members, Oliver Ingraham Lay, and Charles and Laura Lay. Topics include painting activities, personal observations, visits with mutual friends and family, travels, and residences.
Letters contain references to Bridges' colleagues and friends, including William Trost Richards and his daughter, Anna Richards Brewster, John Sartain, the Shannon family, and Hannah Smith. Letters document the period Bridges studied painting with William Trost Richards in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1860s and her stay in England when she exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1879 to 1880. Also found are the artist's reflections during her travels to England, Germany, and Switzerland, as well as to Paris and Venice in the late 1860s-1890s; many letters are interspersed with Bridges' detailed descriptions of the landscape. Found is one illustrated letter from Fidelia Bridges to Annie Brown (undated). Files also contain typescripts of transcriptions of Bridges' letters and the letters exchanged between Brown family members.
This subseries also contains the scattered correspondence files of Henry Bridges (Fidelia's brother), Charles Downing Lay, George C. Lay, (Charles's son), and various Lay family members. Also found as attachments with other letters are business records, notes, miscellaneous printed material, and photographs. Letters from William T. Brewster to Charles Downing Lay discuss Bridges's relationship with the Richards family and the work of his wife, the painter Anna Richards Brewster. George C. Lay's correspondence with art historians, gallery dealers, and others provides biographical material on Bridges, as well as provenance-related information on several works by the artist.
Description Container
Letters to Annie Brown, 1860-1920, undated
9
59-63
Letters to Phebe C. Brown, 1857-1899, undated
9
64-65
Other Brown Family Members, undated
9
66
Letters to Charles and Laura Lay, 1899-1915, undated
9
67-71
Letters to Oliver Ingraham Lay, 1890, undated
9
72
Fragments, undated
9
73
Loose envelopes, 1882-1921, 1985, undated
9
74
Photocopies of Letters to Annie Brown, 1860-1921, undated
9
75-78
Photocopies of Letters to Phebe C. Brown, 1857-1899, undated
9
79-80
Photocopies of Letters to Charles and Laura Lay, 1899-1913, undated
9
81-83
Photocopies of Letters to Oliver Ingraham Lay, 1890, undated
9
84
Transcriptions of Letters by Philip Chadwick Foster Smith (descendent of Fidelia Bridges), 1857-1920, 1987, undated
9
85-86
Henry Bridges Correspondence, 1907-1916, undated
9
87-88
Charles Downing Lay Correspondence, 1927-1955, undated
9
89-90
George C. Lay Correspondence, 1954-2000
10
1-4
Other Lay Family Correspondence, 1966-1967, 1984
10
5
3.2: Exhibition Files, 1976-1999
This subseries contains George C. Lay's files relating to retrospective exhibitions that featured Fidelia Bridges's work; included are correspondence, loan agreements, a certificate of insurance, a facility report, various receipts, exhibition catalogues, printed material, photographs, and one slide. Exhibitions included the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Katonah Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, as well as at Anderson Fine Arts, Inc. (New York), the Connecticut Gallery and other venues.
Description Container
Whitney Museum of American Art, 1976
10
6
International Exhibitions Foundation and National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1985-1988, undated
10
7-9
National Museum of American History, 1994-1995, undated
10
10
Katonah Museum of Art, 1994-1999, undated
10
11
Other Exhibitions, 1980-1987, undated
10
12
3.3: Writings and Notes, circa 1916-1999
This subseries contains index cards and a list of the curio collection bequeathed to Charles Downing Lay by Henry Bridges, a copy of a biographical account of Fidelia Bridges by Frederic A. Sharf, George C. Lay's handwritten notes relating to Fidelia Bridges, and a copy of a play written by Fidelia Bridges.
Description Container
Charles Downing Lay, Index Cards and Handwritten List, circa 1916
10
13
Biographical Account of Fidelia Bridges, circa 1968
10
14
George C. Lay, Draft of Letter and Notes, 1986-1999, undated
10
15-16
The Play by Fidelia Bridges, undated
10
17
3.4: Artwork, 1886, undated
This subseries houses one pen and ink drawing by Anna Richards inscribed to Oliver Ingraham Lay, one watercolor portrait of Fidelia Bridges, and a watercolor sketch of a seascape.
Description Container
Drawing by Anna Richards, 1886
10
18
Portrait of Fidelia Bridges, undated
10
19
Miscellaneous Sketch, undated
10
20
3.5: Printed Material, 1867-2000
This subseries includes Bridges' chromolithographs of her illustrated greeting cards, reproductions of artwork, exhibition invitations, announcements, exhibition catalogs, brochures, clippings, an offprint, and copies of photographs of artwork by Bridges. Several of the greeting cards are inscribed. Most clippings are reviews of the exhibitions. Also found are two published books illustrated by Fidelia Bridges, A Garland of Love, 1882 and Songs of Birds, 1886.
Description Container
Chromolithographic Illustrations by Fidelia Bridges, 1882-1884, 1933, undated
10
21
Reproductions, 1867, undated
10
22-23
Biographical Accounts of Fidelia Bridges, 1971, undated
10
24
Exhibition Invitations, 1976, 1987-1995
10
25
Invitations, Other, 1987, 1990
10
26
Announcements, 1987-1995, undated
10
27
Exhibition Catalogs, 1976, 1981-1995
10
28-30
Catalogs, Shannon's Auction House, 1998-2000
10
31
Brochures, 1986-1990
10
32
Clippings, 1985-1995, undated
10
33-35
Offprint, Fidelia Bridges, Painter of Birds and Flowers, 1834-1923 by Frederic A. Sharf, 1968
10
36
Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1968-circa 1995, undated
10
37-38
Photocopies of Photographs of Fidelia Bridges, Friends, Family Members, and artwork, undated
10
39
A Garland of Love by Emily Shaw Forman; illustrated by Fidelia Bridges, 1882
10
40
Songs of Birds, edited by Susie Barstow Skelding; illustrated by Fidelia Bridges, 1886
10
41
3.6: Photographs, circa 1865-1965
The subseries contains images of Fidelia Bridges, family and friends and residences, in addition to images of artwork, including installation shots, negatives, slides, and transparencies.
There are images of Bridges as a young woman with a group of women colleagues, Bridges with William F. Brown, and William Trost Richards, respectively, as well as a portrait image of Anne Whitney. Also found is one cyanotype of Bridges and one cyanotype of Oliver Ingraham Lay. Included are exterior and interior views of Fidelia Bridges' home in Canaan, Connecticut and of the Shannon residence in Newton, Massachusetts. Several photographs are inscribed from Mary Shannon to Oliver Ingraham Lay. Files also contain nature studies by Bridges.
Description Container
Photographs and Cyanotype of Fidelia Bridges, circa 1865- circa 1900s, undated
10
42-45
Photographs and Cyanotype of Family Members and Friends, 1864-1874, undated
10
46-48
Photographs of Fidelia Bridges' Residence in Canaan, Connecticut, circa 1900s
10
49-50
Photographs of Residences of Family Members and Friends, 1873-1876, undated
10
51-53
Photographs of Artwork, undated
10
54-60
Negatives of Artwork, 1965
10
61
Slides and Transparencies of Artwork, undated
10
62-63
3.7: Artifact, undated
Description Container
Sachet Purse, undated
10
64

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.