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Thornton Oakley papers, 1906-1953

Oakley, Thornton, 1881-1953

Painter, Watercolorist, Illustrator


Collection Information

Size: 3 Linear feet, (on 4 microfilm reels)

Summary: Correspondence, artist files and subject files relate to Oakley's activities as an artist and illustrator, and his involvement with numerous art organizations, including the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Philadelphia Water Color Club, the Artists' War Relief Committee of Philadelphia, and the Exposition of Indian Tribal Arts. Artist files on Cecilia Beaux, Florence Este, John Taylor Arms, John McLure Hamilton, Christian Brinton, George Morrow, Leila Mechlin, John Harkrider, Alexander Robinson, and Joseph Pennell, among others, primarily contain letters. Some also include photographs and printed matter. Four inches of letters from Beaux discuss working habits, portrait commissions, life in Paris, and personal matters. Letters from Este discuss life in France during the war, French artists, exhibitions at the Philadelphia Water Color Club, and Cecilia Beaux. Other material relates to Oakley's mural for the Franklin Institute.

Biographical/Historical Note

Watercolorist and illustrator; Philadephia, Pa.


Microfilmed in 1990 as part of AAA's Philadelphia Arts Documentation Project. The papers were donated to the Brandywine River Museum by Oakley's daughter, Lansdale Oakley Humphreys. Unfilmed portions of the papers relate to publications, the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, the National Geographic Society, French and Scandinavian organizations, and war relief efforts, among other topics.

Location of Originals

  • Originals in Brandywine River Museum.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 4394-4397 available at Archives of American Art offices, through interlibrary loan, at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Brandywine River Museum.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

Thornton Oakley papers, 1906-1953. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.