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Weir family papers, 1823-1930

Weir family papers, 1823-1930

Weir fam, Weir family

Collection Information

Size: 9 microfilm reels

Summary: Correspondence, photographs, genealogical material, writings, a diary, sketchbooks, and art works, primarily of John Ferguson Weir and his father, Robert W. Weir, but also including Mary French Weir, Edith Weir Perry, Julian Alden Weir, and Irene Weir. [Additional Julian Alden Weir papers are also in a separate collection]).

REEL D129: Ca. 275 letters, mostly to John Ferguson Weir while he was director of the Yale School of Fine Arts from many late 19th century painters, chiefly concerning arrangements for visiting lectures at the School. Also included are several to Robert Weir and Edith Weir Perry. Many contain sketches, photos and printed writings as enclosures. Lawyers, clergymen, actors, and educators are also represented.

Correspondents include Edwin A. Abbey, Maude Adams, Henry M. Alden, Thomas B. Aldrich, Alexander v. G. Allen, Robert Anderson, Thomas G. Appleton, Leonard Bacon, William J. Baer, Alexander Baring, Joel Barlow, Lawrence Barrett, Thomas Bayard, James C. Beckwith, Eugene Benson, Albert Bierstadt, John Bigelow, Edwin Booth, Louis Boutet de Monvel, Brocklehurst, Henry K. Brown, John A. Brown, John G. Brown, William C. Bryant, Andrew Carnegie, W. Boyd Carpenter, Franklin Carter, Thomas L. Casey, John W. Casilear, Luigi P. di Cesnola, Daniel H. Chamberlain, Albert E. Church, Frederick E. Church, Frederick S. Church, Thomas S. Clarke, Thomas Cole, Timothy Cole, Clarence Cook, Royal Cortissoz, Thomas S. Cummings, George W. Curtis, Elizabeth B. Custer, James D. Dana, Franklin Dexter, Mary M. Dodge, Alfred T. Duly, J. Durand, Timothy Dwight, Alfred East, Charles W. Eliot, I. Faber-Robertson, James T. Fields,Hamilton Fish, George Fisher, John W. French, W. M. Fruneaux, Lucia F. Fuller, Robert S. Gifford, Sanford R. Gifford, Cass Gilbert, Richard Gilder, Dainiel C. Gilman, Edwin L. Godkin, Henry H. Gorringe, John H. Gourlie, R. M. Grant, George Z. Gray, Henry P. Gray, A. Greenough, William Griffis,

Arthur T. Hadley, Norman Haflin, Walter Hampden, Arthur S. Hardy, William R. Harfer, Childe Hassam, M. Hawlis, Edward L. Henry, Joseph Henry, Hubert von Herkomer, Adele Herter, Thomas Hicks, George S. Hillard, Laura Hills, George F. Hoar, Josiah G. Holland, Winslow Homer, James M. Hoppin, Richard W. Hubbard, William M. Hunt, Daniel Huntington, Henry Irving, Joseph Jefferson, Eastman Johnson, Dora W. Keith, Gouverneur Kemble, John F. Kensett, John LaFarge, Charles Landseer, Louis Lang, George Law, James Lenox, William J. Linton, Alice M. Longfellow, Hattie S. Longfellow, Benson J. Lossing, Jervis McEntee, Luke Marastan, Inez Markby, Josephine P. P. Marks, Othniel C. Marsh, Donald G. Mitchell, Samuel F. B. Morse, J. R. Myers, Ethelbert Nevin, R. J. Nevin, Charles E. Norton, Charles O'Conor, S. Oyama, William Page, Horatio W. Parker, Robert S. Peabody, Henry Pelham, Charles Perkins, Carl Pfeiffer, Edward J. Phelps, Gifford Pinchot, Noah Porter, Edward J. Porter, W. M. Ramsay, Robert Reid, Whitelaw Reid, Thomas A. Richards, Theodore Roosevelt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Samuel Sanford, John S. Sargent, John Sartain, John M. Schofield, William H. Seward, Lydia H. Sigourney, Benjamin Silliman, William M. Sloane, James D. Smillie, Francis H. Smith, George A. Smith, Edmund C. Stedman, William W. Story, Bayard Taylor, Thomas A. Thacher, Theodora W. Thayer, Launt Thompson,

John Trumbull, Henry T. Tuckerman, John H. Twachtman, Henry Van Dyke, John A. Vaughan, Calvert Vaux, Elihu Vedder, Gulian Verplanck,Francis A. Walker, Frank Waller, R. A. Ward, William R. Ware, John Watson, Francis Wayland, James M. Wayne, Daniel Webster, Julian A. Weir, Candace Wheeler, Andrew D. White, Arthur Whiting, J. W. Whitman, Sarah W. Whitman,William D. Whitney, Worthington Whittredge, George D. Wildes, F. W. Williams, Francis Wilson, William Winter, Sarah C. Woolsey, and Theodore D. Woolsey.

REELS 529-531: Ca. 700 letters, 1859-1925 of John Ferguson Weir, many to his brother Julian Alden Weir (102 letters), his future wife which he wrote while serving in the Civil War, and with artists, Jervis McEntee, Launt Thompson, Eugene Benson and others; 77 letters, 1823-1881, of Robert W. Weir with members of the Congress and War Dept. regarding commissions, and with artists and others, including Horatio Greenough, William Page, Thomas Cole, William Cullen Bryant, and George P. Morris; a pocket diary of John F. Weir, 1860, with occasional poems and sketches; 2 sketchbooks, and 71 drawings, watercolors, and oils by John F. Weir; 3 sketchbooks and 165 original drawings, lithographs, watercolors and oils by Robert Weir; 4 portraits of John F. by others (photographs were loans); sheet music with words and lithograph on the cover by Robert; 81 photographs of John and Robert, family, and work ; exhibition material of Robert; a list of John F. Weir's paintings with prices; drafts of Robert W. Weir, Artist by Irene Weir (1947); a typescript of a biography of John F. Weir by his daughter, Edith Weir (Perry); genealogical material; and clippings.

REEL 533: Typescript of The Story of My Life: The Inner Life of a Human Soul, by Mary French Weir, ca. 1920 (94 p.), and a typescript of a biography of her mother, Clara Miller-French, ca. 1920 (28 p.)

REEL 565: Family correspondence, 1866-1927, of Mary French Weir; an excerpt from the French family genealogy; and an obituary of Mary French Weir written by her daughter Edith Weir Perry.

REEL 936: A sketchbook, 1826, by Robert Weir, of figures, statues, and buildings in Rome done while a student. The drawings are in pencil, ink wash, and pen and ink. (111 p.)

REEL 949: Three sketchbooks, 1869-1902, by John F. Weir, of landscapes, figures and heads of individuals in Italy, Switzerland, Dordricht, Holland and France. The sketches are done in watercolor, pencil and ink wash. (69 p.)

REEL 3781: Photograph of Robert Fulton's drawing, "Love's First Interview", inscribed "To John F. Weir, Esq., In pleasant Memory of Friendship's First Interview, July 2, 1896. From a drawing by Robert Fulton. Given to him to Robert Swift Sumpton. The original being now in my possession. Lawrence Shelton. " Also included is a photograph of a war monument by an unknown sculptor.

Biographical/Historical Note

Family of artists, New York, N.Y. Robert Walter Weir (1803-1889) was a Hudson River School painter and Professor at West Point. His two sons John Ferguson (1841-1926) and Julian Alden (1852-1919) were painters. Mary French Weir (1846-1927) was married to John. They had a daughter Edith (1875-1955). John was Director of the Yale School of Fine Arts from 1869-1913.


Material on reel D129 purchased 1961 from Harold O. Love; it is unclear how it was separated from other family papers. Material on reels 529-531, 533, 565, 936, & 949 lent for microfilming 1973-1975 by Rev. DeWolf Perry, grandson of John F. Weir. He donated material on reel 3781 in 1975.

Location of Originals

  • Reels 529-531, 533, 565, 936 & 949: Originals returned to Rev. DeWolf Perry after microfilming.

Alternative Forms Available

Microfilm reels D129, 529-531, 533, 565, 936, 949 & 3781 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Restrictions on Use

Reel 533: Authorization to publish, reproduce, or quote must be obtained from: Mrs. Richard E. Baker, 125 Ash St., Hopkinton, Mass. 01748.

How to Cite This Collection

Weir family papers, 1823-1930. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.