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Thomas Prichard Rossiter and Rossiter family papers, 1840-1961

Thomas Prichard Rossiter and Rossiter family papers, 1840-1961

Rossiter, Thomas Prichard, 1818-1871

Muralist, Painter

Representative image for Thomas Prichard Rossiter and Rossiter family papers, 1840-1961

The papers of Thomas Prichard Rossiter and the Rossiter family in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2009. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 467 images.

Digitized in 2009 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 0.5 linear feet

Summary: The Thomas Prichard Rossiter and Rossiter Family papers measure 0.5 linear feet and date from 1840 to 1961. Included are letters to painter Thomas Prichard Rossiter and letters to his son, architect Ehrick Kensett Rossiter, documenting their friendships with many artists, Thomas Rossiter's sketches and a sketchbook; and papers of Edith Rossiter Bevan. Notable letters are from James Fenimore Cooper, William Morris Hunt, John Jay, J. F. Kensett, William H. Morris, Samuel F. B. Morse, George Peabody, Cecelia Beaux, William A. Coffin, Daniel Chester French, Will H. Low, Gari Melchers, William Sartain, Augustus Vincent Tack, Dwight Tryon, and many others.

The collection contains Thomas Prichard Rossiter's sketchbook drawn while living in Italy in 1943, and three other sketches including a portrait of his family.

Also found are letters to Edith Rossiter Bevan and her writings on her grandfather, Thomas Prichard Rossiter, including a biography and checklist of his paintings. Bevan also compiled a scrapbook on his career and family history which includes drawings by Rossiter, photographs of the Rossiter family and his artwork, notes by Bevan, news clippings, and other printed material.

A collection of Edith Rossiter Bevan's artists' letters is found within the papers. Letters are from Alexander Archipenko, J. Carroll Beckwith, Reginald Birch, Emma M. Cadwalader-Guild, Andre Castaigne, Fanny Cory, Kenyon Cox, Frank Craig, Charles Dana Gibson, Jay Hambridge, Henry Hutt, A. J. Keller, Rockwell Kent, Fiske Kimball, David Scott Moncrieff, H. Siddons Mowbray, Peter Newell, Rhoda Holmes Nicholls, Ralph M. Pearson, Frederic Remington, Otto Soglow, and Elizabeth Whitmore.

Biographical/Historical Note

Thomas Prichard Rossiter (1818-1871) was a portrait painter in New York, N.Y. and Ehrick Kensett Rossiter (1854-1941) was an architect of New York, N.Y. In 1840, Thomas Rossiter traveled to Europe with Asher B. Durand, John Kensett, and John Casilaer, and while there visited Rome with Thomas Cole. He decided to stay in Italy until 1846 when he moved to New York City and shared a studio with Kensett and Louis Lang. In 1851 Rossiter married Anna Ehrick Parmly and they toured Europe in 1853. The two had three children, twins Ehrick Kensett and Charlotte, and a second daughther Anna. After the death of his wife shortly after giving birth to their third child,the family moved back to New York. For a brief period of time Rossiter had an art gallery, exhibiting his work and the work of his friends. In 1860 he married Mary (Mollie) Sterling and moved his family to Cold Spring, New York on the Hudson River. He continued to paint portraits, historical, and religious paintings, and exhibited at the National Academy of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, until his death in 1871. Ehrick Kensett Rossiter attended Cornell University and became an architect in New York as part of the firm Rossiter & Muller. He was a member of the Architectural League, United States Public Architects' League, and trustee of the American Fine Arts Society. In 1877 he married Mary Heath and they had three sons and a daughter. Their daughter Edith Rossiter Bevan was a historian and avid collector of historical autographs.

Provenance

A portion of the collection was donated in 1957 by Edith Rossiter Bevan, daughter of Ehrick Kensett Rossiter, and granddaughter of Thomas Prichard Rossiter. Additional material was donated in 2007 by Patti Rossiter Ravenscroft, Rossiter's Great Great Granddaughter.

Related Materials

Funding

Digitized in 2009 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

A Finding Aid to the Thomas Prichard Rossiter and Rossiter Family Papers,
1840-1961
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.rossthom
Biographical Note
Thomas Prichard Rossiter (1818-1871) was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He first learned painting as an apprentice for a Mr. John Boyd, and also studied with Nathaniel Jocelyn. In 1838 he exhibited two paintings at the National Academy of Design, and in 1939 moved to New York City and opened a studio.
In 1840, Rossiter traveled to Europe with Asher B. Durand, John Kensett, and John Casilaer, and while there visited Rome with Thomas Cole. He decided to stay in Italy until 1846 when he moved to New York City and shared a studio with Kensett and Louis Lang. During this period he relied on portrait painting for his income, but also painted historical and religious paintings.
In 1851 Rossiter married Anna Ehrick Parmly and they toured Europe in 1853. They settled in Paris where Anna gave birth to twins Ehrick Kensett and Charlotte. Rossiter exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1855. Anna died shortly after the birth of their daughter Anna, and the family moved back to New York.
For a brief period of time Rossiter had an art gallery, exhibiting his work and the work of his friends. In 1860 he married Mary (Mollie) Sterling and moved his family to Cold Spring, New York on the Hudson River. He continued to paint portraits, historical, and religious paintings, and exhibited at the National Academy of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, until his death in 1871.
Ehrick Kensett Rossiter (1854-1941), named after his father's friend John Frederick Kensett, attended Cornell University and became an architect in New York as part of the firm Rossiter & Muller. He was a member of the Architectural League, United States Public Architects' League, and trustee of the American Fine Arts Society. In 1877 he married Mary Heath and they had three sons and a daughter. Their daughter Edith Rossiter Bevan was a historian and avid collector of historical autographs.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into 2 series:
Series 1: Thomas Prichard Rossiter and Rossiter Family Papers, 1840-1961 (Box 1-2; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 2: Edith Rossiter Bevan Collection of Artists' Letters, circa 1891-1939, 1951 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Provenance
A portion of the collection was donated in 1957 by Edith Rossiter Bevan, daughter of Ehrick Kensett Rossiter, and granddaughter of Thomas Prichard Rossiter. Additional material was donated in 2007 by Patti Rossiter Ravenscroft, Rossiter's Great Great Granddaughter.
Processing Information
Portions of the collection received a preliminary level of processing at some point after donation and were microfilmed on reel D33. The entire collection was fully processed, arranged, and described by Erin Corley in 2008 and digitized in 2009 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Thomas Prichard Rossiter and Rossiter family papers, 1840-1961. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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