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RISD Museum of Art records, [ca. 1877-1960]

Rhode Island School of Design. Museum of Art


Collection Information

Size: 17 Microfilm reels

Summary: Correspondence, writings and notes, business records, scrapbooks and printed material.
"The Rhode Island School of Design: A Half Century Record (1879-1928)," by Elsie S. Bronson, A.M., 1928, providing historical information on the founding, organization, and activities of the school and museum; excerpts from RISD yearbooks pertaining to the museum, 1877-1944, including exhibitions (complete listing after 1901), loans, gifts, lectures, and prizes awarded from year to year; "Lists of articles belonging to RISD, 1898," a notebook containing handwritten lists of donations and donors and receipts of purchases of works of art and supplies needed for teaching;
Six volumes of minutes of the Museum committee, 1894-1950, also included within the volumes are museum "rules adopted before 1901," correspondence regarding the acquisition of a Chinese fresco, 1949, and a six-page undated list of "European Acquisitions" of drawings and prints including prices paid, names of dealers, and countries represented. Presidents' and Directors' correspondence with dealers, artists, curators, donors, educators, and others. Included in the Isaac Comstock Bates correspondence file are his will, a three-page memorial tribute to him, and a list of articles willed to the school by him. Also included are correspondence and writings of Heinrich Schwartz, Curator of Prints and Drawings;
exhibition files, 1885-1950, containing catalogues, price lists, checklists, insurance valuations, clippings, a few letters, an incomplete list of exhibitions (1885-1951), and a list of artists and titles of paintings in annual fall exhibitions; a scrapbook of Isaac Comstock Bates, 1877-1889, containing letters from artists and dealers; and 27 scrapbooks, 1877-1889, containing clippings, notices, and catalogues relating to the school and museum.


Lent for microfilming 1985 by the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art.

Language Note

Within the Directors' and Presidents' correspondence, there are three letters in German from Josef Albers, 1939-1940, seventeen letters in French from Desparmet Fitzgerald, a French art dealer, offering paintings for sale, 1932, and two letters in French from André Girodie, another French art dealer offering works for sale, 1922. In the Heinrich Schwarz correspondence, there are ca. 37 letters in German and ca. 17 letters in French chiefly from dealers and colleagues of Schwarz.

Location of Originals

  • Originals in the RISD Museum of Art, Providence, R.I.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 3629-3645 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

RISD Museum of Art records, [ca. 1877-1960]. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.