Skip to main content

William Couper papers, 1872-1971, bulk 1872-1908

Couper, William, 1853-1942


Collection Information

Size: 0.9 linear ft.

Summary: The William Couper papers span the years 1872 to 1971 with the bulk of the material dated 1872 to 1942, and measure 0.9 linear feet. They consist of letters, photographs, and printed material that document William Couper's career as a sculptor. Letters are from Couper and his wife to his parents, and to his brother John, discussing family matters, his art training, his travels, and his work in New York. There are also several letters from his father-in-law, sculptor Thomas Ball. An index of the letters and transcripts of approximately 70 of the letters were prepared by Couper's nephew Monroe Couper and are filed within the collection.

Biographical/Historical Note

William Couper (1853-1942) was a sculptor in Florence, Italy and New York, N.Y. Couper attended classes at the Cooper Institute in New York. In 1875, he won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy at Munich, but soon took a place in the studio of Thomas Ball in Florence, Italy. Couper married Mr. Ball's daugher Eliza in 1878 and remained in Florence for 22 years before returning to New York to open a studio in 1897. Couper retired in 1913 and died later in 1942 in Easton, Md.


The William Couper papers were donated by the artist's nephew Monroe Couper to the Archives of American Art in 1992.