Skip to main content

A Finding Aid to the Sylvester Rosa Koehler papers, 1833-1904, bulk 1870-1890

Sylvester Rosa Koehler papers, 1833-1904, bulk 1870-1890

Koehler, S. R. (Sylvester Rosa), 1837-1900

Curator, Art historian, Editor

Collection Information

Size: 5.3 linear feet

Summary: The Sylvester Rosa Koehler papers measure 5.3 linear feet and date from 1833 to 1904, with the bulk of the material dating from 1870 to 1890. The collection consists primarily of Koehler's extensive correspondence during the late 1800s to and from many notable artists and printmakers such as Jean F. Harfin, John M. Falconer, Frederick Juengling, and James D. Smillie, as well as friends, and family members and professional correspondence concerning Koehler's activities as a writer, curator, and editor of the American Art Review, and his work promoting American graphic arts. The collection also contains financial records and other miscellaneous items.

Biographical/Historical Note

Sylvester Rosa Koehler (1837-1900) was a curator, editor, and art historian. Koehler was Curator of Prints at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, honorary curator of prints of the Smithsonian, and editor of the American Art Review.


The collection was purchased from Argosy Book Stores, Inc, in 1959. A letter from John Sartain and eleven letters from William Merritt Chase were donated by Charles E. Feinberg, 1955-1962. Two postcards were donated in 2009 by William A. Turnbaugh, an autograph collector. In 2017, John F. McGuigan Jr. and Mary K. McGuigan donated sixty-nine letters from A. Barry, Truman Howe Bartlett, William Merritt Chase, Timothy Cole, Edward Henry Clement, Cyrus Edwin Dallin, Robert Swain Gifford, George Inness, Anna Lea Merritt, Stephen Parrish, John Sartain, Francis Hopkinson Smith, and Frederic Porter Vinton.

Related Materials


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.