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Percy Ives papers, circa 1890-1994, bulk circa 1890-circa 1930

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Stephanie Ashley
Scope and Contents
The papers of Detroit portrait painter Percy Ives (1864-1928), measure 1.4 linear feet and date from circa 1890-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1890-circa 1930. Two hundred and fifty-eight glass plate negatives of sitters, models, and artwork by Ives form the bulk of the collection. Additional papers include two 1923 letters, a folder of notes, news clippings, sketches, and photographs.
Letters include one to "The Oil and Colour Man" from "The Dweller in the Cave of Winds," and an IOU from A. W. "Gus" Ives to Percy Ives.
Notes include seven index cards with notes on "nibbles" and sales of paintings; and notes about Ives made in 1936 by James Parker's father. News clippings include four 1940 issues of a newspaper column, "We Old Timers," about Ives and his family.
Artwork consists of fifty-eight pencil sketches which have been mounted on the pages of a photograph album.
Thirty-seven photographs, most of them mounted on paper, include two which appear to be of Ives in his studio. The other photographs are of the interior and exterior of a house, an unidentified woman, farm scenes, and other outdoor scenes. There are also two photographs of paintings by Ives, including a self portrait.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library gave the Archives of American Art Percy Ives' sketches and glass plate negatives in 1956-1957 and lent material for microfilming in 1973. James B. Parker, whose father, Dr. Albert Russell Parker, purchased Ives's desk with the items intact, donated additional material in 1994.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel 593) including two diaries, 1885-1887 and 1903-1907, three albums containing photographs of family and friends, a book of illustrations of commercial signs painted by Ives, and fifteen loose sketches. Lent materials were returned to the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library in Detroit, Michigan and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Processing Information
The glass plate negative were re-housed in 2015 with a grant provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund. Sketches were microfilmed on reel 565 at some point after donation, and this material was merged with the 1994 donation, processed, and described in a finding aid by Stephanie Ashley in 2018.