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Sanford Robinson Gifford papers, 1840s-1900, circa 1960s-1970s, bulk 1855-1881

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Series 1: Letters , 1855-1874
(Box 1; 3 volumes, 1 folder)

Letters include three bound volumes, entitled "European Letters," of 63 typed letters written by Gifford to his father during his travels in Europe and the Middle East in 1855-1857 and 1868-1869. The letters, which provide rich, vivid, and detailed descriptions of Gifford's travels, were numbered sequentially, probably by Gifford's father at his son's request. Some are interspersed with small sketches and handwritten corrections.
Letters in Volume I describe Gifford's Atlantic crossing in the summer of 1855 and his travels to England, Scotland and Paris. The letters record his impressions of many of the principal collections of art in the United Kingdom, both public and private, and document his visits to Parisian museums, as well as excursions he took in the vicinity of the French capital.
Volume II documents spring, 1856, in Paris, Gifford's subsequent travels to the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, and the fall and winter spent in Rome. He writes of time spent with Worthington Whittredge, William H. Beard and Albert Bierstadt, and his spring, 1857, tour of southern Italy with Bierstadt. Also documented are his visits to Innsbruck, Munich, Vienna, Prague, Dresden, Berlin, and Paris.
Volume III records another Atlantic voyage and Gifford's return to London and Paris in June 1868, his meeting with Jervis McEntee and his wife, trips to Italy, Mont Blanc and the Alps, and his winter in Rome. It also describes his travels in Egypt in 1869, his trip down the Nile and to the Middle East, and a visit to Venice.
Volume III concludes with a typed extract of a letter written by Gifford to Richard Butler describing his travels, that was apparently published in the New York Evening Post.
Loose letters include two from Gifford to his sister, Molly, written from Europe in July 1856 and February 1869. A letter to friends in Rome, dated July 1869, describes his visit to Cairo and his cruise down the Nile. In a November 1874 letter to to O. B. Frothingham, "in answer to your inquiries," Gifford discusses his family history, his education, his art training, and his extensive travels in Europe including touring Italy with Albert Bierstadt, visiting the American west with Worthington Whittredge, and traveling in Egypt. The letter also mentions his service during the Civil War and the paintings it inspired.
Description Container Select
European Letters, Volume I, May 1855-February 1856
1
1
European Letters, Volume II, March 1856-August 1857
1
2
European Letters, Volume III, June 1868-August 1869
1
3
Loose Letters, 1856, 1869, 1879
1
4

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.