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

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Erin Corley and Rihoko Ueno
Scope and Contents
The Sylvester Rosa Koehler papers measure 5.4 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 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. The collection also contains financial records and other miscellaneous items.
Correspondence includes hundreds of letters to and from Koehler. Correspondents include many prominent artists, engravers, architects, art critics, curators, historians, journalists, authors, educators, publishers, and others during the late 1800s. Also found is correspondence with family, most of which is in German. Much of the correspondence concerns Koehler's role as editor of the publication American Art Review, and his work promoting American graphic arts.
Financial Records include Koehler's receipts, primarily from 1885, and a handwritten estimate of costs for publishing the American Art Review.
Miscellany includes biographical information on the wood engraver, Alexander Anderson, various notes by unidentified authors, news clippings, programs and handwritten song texts for music performances.
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 Material
Additional correspondence can be found at the Library of Congress, which houses the Papers of S. R. Koehler, 1868-1904, and includes approximately 3,500 letters. Syracuse University Library houses S. R. Koehler Correspondence, 1879-1896, and includes 107 items.
Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Processing Information
Upon receipt at the archives, the collection was microfilmed on reels D182-191, 3533-3534, and D30. The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Erin Corley in 2005 as part of the Terra Foundation for American Art Digitization Project. An addition was merged into the existing arrangement in 2017. The collection was updated and prepared for digitization by Rihoko Ueno in 2017 with funding provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.