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Vose Galleries of Boston records, circa 1876, bulk bulk 1920-1940

Vose Galleries of Boston

Collection Information

Size: 25.6 Linear feet

Summary: The records of Vose Galleries of Boston measure 25.6 linear feet and date from circa 1876, 1890s-1996 with the bulk of materials dating from 1920s-1930s. Nearly 90 percent of the collection documents the gallery's handling of American paintings and portraits through incoming and outgoing business correspondence with artists, clients, galleries, and museums, including considerable correspondence with portrait artist Alfred Jonniaux and clients regarding commissioned portraits. Other materials include client files; artists' biographies; records of sales, consignments, framing, restoration, and banking, mostly from the 1940s-1960s; and scattered exhibition catalogs, newspaper clippings, and postcards. Also found is a handwritten manuscript regarding the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, PA and a 1991 videotape about the Vose Galleries and its founding family.
Correspondence of note is with artists Childe Hassam, Malvina Hoffman, Alfred Jonniaux, and John Singer Sargent; galleries Ehrich Galleries, Clapp & Graham Co., M. Knoedler & Co., Macbeth Galleries, Milch Galleries, Newhouse Galleries, Arthur U. Newton Galleries, Norton Galleries, and Howard Young Galleries; the estates of Anna Coleman Ladd and William E. Norton; and the family of Abbott H. Thayer.
Researchers should note that the records do not comprehensively span the gallery's history or operations. The bulk of the collection is correspondence from Robert C. Vose's era running the Robert C. Vose Galleries in the 1920s-1930s and, lesser so, under Robert C. Vose, Jr.'s direction in the 1970s. There is little material in the collection which dates before the 1910s or the 1950s-1960s, other than correspondence regarding Alfred Jonniaux and some financial records. There is a handful of correspondence which covers the period of R.C. & N.M. Vose Gallery. Records loaned for microfilming should be consulted for materials outside of the bulk dates of this collection, especially for materials from the late 1800s-early 1900s.

Biographical/Historical Note

Vose Galleries is a long time family run art gallery based in the Boston, Mass. area.


From 1965-1994, Vose Galleries of Boston loaned materials to the Archives of American Art for microfilming. Robert C. Vose, Jr. also donated records in several installments from 1974 to 1997.

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Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collection Care Preservation Fund