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Timothy Cole papers, 1883-1936

Timothy Cole papers, 1883-1936

Cole, Timothy, 1852-1931

Woodworker, Printmaker

Collection Information

Size: 0.5 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

Timothy Cole (1852-1931) was a wood engraver and printer from New York, N.Y.


The collection was acquired by the Archives of American Art in a series of accessions from several different donors between 1959 and 1973. Charles E. Feinberg donated letters in 1959. The artist's sons Percy J. Cole and Lucius Cole donated additional materials in 1962. Alphaeus Cole, another son, donated papers in 1973.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Timothy Cole measure 0.5 linear feet and date from 1883 to 1936. Found within the papers are letters primarily written by Timothy Cole to the editors of Century Magazine including A. W. Drake, W. Lewis Fraser, Richard Watson Gilder, Robert Underwood Johnson, and George Howes Whittle, discussing Cole's production of wood engraved copies of European master paintings for the magazine, and details of the wood engraving process. There are scattered letters to Cole from Century Magazine editors and colleagues Gifford Beal, Alice Brown (discussing Cole's wood engraved portrait of Louise Imogen Guiney for Brown's biography of her), George de Forest Brush, Kenyon Cox, David Finney, Helen C. Frick (concerning a bookplate), Joseph Pennell, Caroline Powell, John Singer Sargent, and Helen M. Turner.

Also found are miscellaneous writings including a notebook of poems by Cole, essays about Louise Imogen Guiney and Joseph Pennell, and an autobiographical essay, artwork consisting of wood engravings executed by Cole of works by the master painters of Europe and America, and two printing plates used by Century Magazine to reproduce Cole's wood engravings. Several clippings concern Cole, his work, and the publication of the book, "Timothy Cole: Wood Engraver" by Alphaeus P. Cole and Margaret Ward Cole in 1936. There is also a photograph of Cole cutting a wood engraving block as his wife reads nearby.

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

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