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William James papers, 1883-1957

James, William, 1882-1961

Portrait painter, Educator


Collection Information

Size: 0.3 Linear feet, (on 2 partial microfilm reels)

Summary: Letters, 1887-1935, a scrapbook, 1925-1951, clippings, art works, and photographs, 1883-1957.
REEL 3828: A photograph by Dr. Charles Putnam of James sitting on his father's (psychologist William James) lap, ca. 1886.
REEL 4392: Twelve letters, from James to his brother Henry and his parents, 1887-1935, and a letter from Abbott Handerson Thayer regarding a pair of boots James ordered, 1904; a scrapbook containing clippings, 1925-1951, an exhibition catalog, 1929, and photographs of James, his brother Alec (Alexander Robertson), and his works of art; 4 clippings, undated and 1950; 2 self-portrait sketches, a portrait sketch of a woman, and a drawing of James by Jane deGlehn; photographs of James, his family, including one of an obscured pose by his uncle Henry James, his friends, including Langdon Warner, 1883-1957, and Elizabeth Boott Duveneck; photographs of portrait paintings of James' ancestors, including Catherine Barber James, Marcia Ames James, William James of Albany, and Reverend William James; and 23 photographs of James' works of art.

Biographical/Historical Note

Portrait painter, instructor; Cambridge, Mass. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Son of psychologist William James (1842-1910), brother of portrait painter Alexander Robertson James, and nephew of novelist Henry James. Pupil of Benson and Tarbell and teacher at Boston Museum of Fine Arts School, 1913-1926.


Donated 1986 and 1987 by William James III, the son of William James, except for the photograph on reel 3828, which was lent for microfilming.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Reel 3828: Original returned to the lender, William James III, after microfilming.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 3828 and 4392 available for use 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.

How to Cite This Collection

William James papers, 1883-1957. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.