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Richard Murray research material regarding Abbott Handerson Thayer, 1948-2004, bulk 1994-2001

Richard Murray research material regarding Abbott Handerson Thayer, 1948-2004, bulk 1994-2001

Murray, Richard, 1942-2006

Curator, Art historian, Arts administrator

Collection Information

Size: 9.0 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

Richard Murray (1942-2006) was a curator and art historian at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. who specialized in Abbott Thayer. Murray was researching to write a book about Thayer.

Provenance

The collection was donated in 2011 by the Smithsonian American Art Museum via George Gurney, curator.

Related Materials

Scope and Contents

The Richard Murray research material regarding Abbot Handerson Thayer measures 9.0 linear feet and dates from 1948 to 2004, with the bulk of the material dating from 1994 to 2001. Project files primarily document Murray's work on the 1999 exhibition "Abbott Thayer: The Nature of Art" and subsequent Thayer book project. Also found are extensive research files on Abbott Handerson Thayer and his specific works of art as well as photographic materials depicting Thayer, his family, studio, house, and works of art.

Project files document Richard Murray's research projects regarding Abbott Handerson Thayer. Found here is Murray's correspondence with fellow Thayer scholars, collectors, art museums, and Thayer family members. Also included are planning documents, loan forms, press clippings, conservation requests, checklists and other materials for the exhibition "Abbott Thayer: The Nature of Art" which Murray curated at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (formerly National Museum of American Art) in 1999. Additional project files are primarily for his proposed book on Abbott Thayer and include research grant applications, fundraising, photograph orders, and reviews of the initial manuscript.

Research files contain documentation on archival collections regarding Thayer, subject files on family members, models, and friends of Thayer, private and museum collections of his artwork, and other subject's relevant to Thayer's career as an artist. Files may include Murray's correspondence and notes. However, the bulk of the material consists of photocopies or microfilm print-outs of archival documents, newspaper clippings, and other printed material. Also found are files on specific works of art by Thayer. These files may contain catalog descriptions, provenance information, correspondence, and images of the work of art.

Photographs depict Thayer, his family, friends, studio, house, and his artwork. Also found are negatives, color transparencies, and slides of these photographs. Of note are photographs of x-rays of Thayer paintings. Researchers should note that all photographs of Thayer, his family, house, studio, and artwork are copy prints of original photographs which Richard Murray requested from the owners for his research.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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