Bertha Honoré Palmer correspondence collection

Inclusive Dates: 
1883–1899

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

.5 linear foot (1 box) and 1 oversize portfolio of letters written primarily to and by Bertha Honoré Palmer, concerning her involvement with the Board of Lady Managers and the Woman's Building at the World's Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893. Correspondents include numerous artists. Some letters concern the development of Bertha and Potter Palmer's art collection, which was exhibited at the Exposition.

Biographical Historical Note

Bertha Honoré Palmer (1849-1918) was one of the most important art patrons in Chicago. A prominent socialite and ardent collector of works by the French Impressionists, she served as the President of the Board of Lady Managers of the World's Columbian Exposition and she was instrumental in organizing the exhibits in the Woman's Building. Mrs. Palmer's bequest of paintings to the Art Institute of Chicago forms the core of the museum's holdings of Impressionist works.

Additional Notes

Related collections: Historic Architecture and Landscape Image Collection, D.H. Burnham Collection, World's Columbian Exposition Photographs by C.D. Arnold, Bertha Honoré Palmer Correspondence Collection, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago; Bertha Palmer and Palmer Family Research Collection, H. and F Photo C Potter Palmer and Palmer Estate Papers, World's Columbian Exposition Records, Chicago Woman's Club records, and George P. A. Healy Collection, Album of Photographs of the Woman's Building at the World's Columbian Exposition, Photograph Album of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago History Museum.