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Samuel F. B. Morse papers, 1826-2009, bulk 1826-1871

Contents and Arrangement

Due to its small size the collection is arranged as one series.

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Series 1: Samuel F. B. Morse Papers , 1826-2009
0.6 Linear feet

Morse's biographical material records the $1000 gift to the National Academy of Design bequeathed in his will. Morse's correspondence as president of the academy details the conflicts with the American Academy of Fine Arts, and failed attempts to bring about a union of the two organizations. It also documents other academy business such as exhibitions and interactions with other arts institutions, as well as Morse's independent work as an artist receiving commissions. This correspondence is described in two itemized lists compiled by National Academy of Design staff members which are included in this series. Additional correspondence documents negotiations with Morse's son, Edward L. Morse, to secure the gift of the Morse papers that constitute this collection.
Morse's writings and notes on art, primarily in the form of lectures and lecture notes, can also be found here. They include his "Discourse" on the National Academy of Design delivered on the academy's one year anniversary, a criticism of that address, and Morse's response to the criticism. Some of the loose notes were assigned an alphanumeric identification system that does not appear to be explained in the collection, but has been left as is.
Printed material includes eleven articles about Morse, one 1871 edition of the publication Dots and Dashes, by the Morse Telegraph club, Inc., an obituary for Morse's granddaughter, Clara, and a catalog for the exhibition Samuel F. B. Morse: Paintings, Inventions, Documents (1956) at the Syracuse Museum of Art. Also found is a copy of Morse's 1835 book Foreign Conspiracy Against the Liberties of the United States.
Photographs include a copy print of a photo of Morse taken at fifty-nine years of age, shortly after he sent his first successful telegram between Washington and Baltimore on May 24, 1844; three photographs taken at the April 1968 dedication of a plaque by members of the Morse Telegraph Club; a photo of a tablet on Morse's house; and a photograph of a man, probably Morse's son, William Goodrich Morse. Also found is a photo of a charcoal sketch by Morse of his niece, entitled "Lottie," and a photo of a sketch of an unidentified woman, by Kalman Oswald.
Records are arranged by type.
The bulk of this series has been digitized. Materials which have not been digitized include blank pages, blank versos of photographs, duplicates, and the microfilm reel. Morse's published book has had only the cover, title pages, and table of contents pages digitized.
Description Container Select
Biographical Material, Morse Family Trees, 1959
1
1
Biographical Material, Morse's Gift to National Academy of Design, 1902
1
2
Correspondence 1826-1868, Itemized List, 2008
1
3
Correspondence, 1826-1829
1
4
Correspondence, 1830-1836
1
5
Correspondence, 1842-1868, undated
1
6
Correspondence circa 1826-1833, Itemized List, 2009
1
7
Correspondence, circa 1826-1833, undated
1
8
Correpondence, National Academy of Design, 1932-1992
1
9
Correspondence, National Academy of Design and Edward L. Morse, circa 1909-1916
1
10
Writings and Notes
Article, Criticism of Morse's "Discourse", 1827
1
11
Article, Morse's Reply to Criticism of His "Discourse", 1828
1
12
Lectures, "A Discourse Delivered on Thursday, May 3, 1827…Before the National Academy of Design", 1827
1
13
Lectures, "On the Affinity of Painting with the Other Fine Arts"
Lecture 1, circa 1826-1833, undated
1
14
Lecture 2, 1826
1
15
Lecture 2, Alternate Opening, 1826
1
16
Lecture 3, 1826
1
17
Lecture 4, 1826
1
18
Notes, circa 1826-1833, undated
1
19
Lectures, Principles of Fine Art, circa 1835
1
20
Lecture Notes, Bound Volume 1, circa 1820s
1
21
Lecture Notes, Bound Volume 2, circa 1820s
1
22
Lecture Notes, A: 1-17, circa 1820s
1
23
Lecture Notes, B: 18-33, circa 1820s
1
24
Lecture Notes, C: 34-54, circa 1820s
2
1
Lecture Notes, A-H, circa 1820s
2
2
Notes on National Academy of Design, circa 1820s
2
3
Printed Material, circa 1851-1871
2
4
Printed Material, 1872-1976
2
5
Printed Material, Foreign Conspiracy Against the Liberties of the United States by Morse, 1835
2
6
Artwork, Unidentified, undated
2
7
Photographs, 1922-1968
2
8
Microfilm Reel of Morse Sketchbook, undated
2
9

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.