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William McGregor Paxton papers, 1886-1971

Paxton, William McGregor, 1869-1941

Art teacher, Painter


Collection Information

Size: 2.5 Linear feet, (partially microfilmed on 4 reels); 1.4 Linear feet, Addition

Summary: Correspondence; sketchbooks, 1 scrapbook; photographs; drawings; glass negatives; and printing plates.
REEL 640: Sketchbooks, 7 v., 1886, 1888-1920, 1896 & undated, France, Boston, and elsewhere. Most of the sketches are in pencil. [Previously filmed on reel 593.]
REEL 862: Scrapbook, 1 v., 1893-1953, including: clippings,announcements and reviews of Paxton's exhibitions covering most of his career and several years after his death, reproductions of his work, and letters and telegrams with galleries and others. Also included is a letter from Robert Hale Ives Gammell to Elizabeth Paxton, 1953.
REELS 3714-3715: Correspondence of William McGregor Paxton and of his wife, Elizabeth, including letters from Philip Leslie Hale, Kenyon Cox, Maria Oakey Dewing, Edwin Blashfield, Horace Burdick, Susan Eakins, George Wales, from sitters thanking Paxton for their portraits, and from others. Elizabeth Paxton correspondence relates to her own paintings and exhibitions, donations, and sales of her husband's paintings after his death; poems, 2 notebooks and other writings; card files listing portrait information; clippings; exhibition catalogs and announcements; and lists of paintings.
UNMICROFILMED: Undated drawings and a sketchbook; 9 etchings by Paxton, ca. 1918-1938?; photographs, undated and 1896-1941, of works of art, Paxton, and of miscellaneous subjects; and glass negatives, half-tone printing plates, copper and zinc printing plates.
ADDITION: Biographical documentation; family genealogy; sketchbooks, some containing loose sketches done at a later date [most previously filmed on reel 640 as a loan]; photographs of Paxton and his work; reproductions of work by him and of art used as reference by Paxton; clippings; and posthumous exhibition material. ca. 1870s-1979. Also, Elizabeth Okie Paxton (ca. 1878-ca. 1968): biographical information; correspondence; exhibition and sales records; illustrations of her studio/residence, Boston; printed material; photographs of her, her family, and her work; and correspondence regarding William Paxton exhibitions. ca. 1880s-ca. 1968.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, teacher; Boston, Massachusetts. Paxton was born in Baltimore in 1869. He was raised outside of Boston, Mass., trained in Paris and Boston, and taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He was an active participant in several artists' organizations in Boston, Provincetown, and New York City. Elizabeth Okie Paxton was born in Providence, R.I. to Howard Okie, a Baltimore physician who had been brought to Providence by a wealthy patron, Thomas Ives, an uncle of Robert Hales Ives Gammell, painter, writer, and friend of the Paxtons. She met Paxton while studying with with him. After marriage they resided Newton Centre, Mass. Following Paxton's death, she lived in a studio/residence in the Fenway Studios, Boston.


Papers on reels 3714-3715 were donated by Robert Douglas Hunter, executor of Elizabeth Oakie Paxton's estate. He also lent for microfilming the sketchbooks on reel 640 and the scrapbook on reel 862 in l973 & 1974, respectively. The scrapbook was subsequently donated by Hunter in 1997, and the sketchbooks were subsequently donated in 1998 by his wife, Elizabeth Ives Hunter along with additional papers of Paxton and those of Elizabeth Okie Paxton. Additions are expected.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Reel 640: Originals returned to Robert Hunter after microfilming; most subsequently returned with additional material, 1998.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 640, 862 & 3714-3715 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.

How to Cite This Collection

William McGregor Paxton papers, 1886-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.