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Worthington Whittredge papers, circa 1840s-1965, bulk 1849-1908

Worthington Whittredge papers, circa 1840s-1965, bulk 1849-1908

Whittredge, Worthington, 1820-1910

Painter, Engraver

Representative image for Worthington Whittredge papers, circa 1840s-1965, bulk 1849-1908

The papers of Worthington Whittredge in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2008. The papers have been scanned in their entirety and total 1,088 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 1.8 linear ft.

Summary: The papers of landscape painter Worthington Whittredge measure 1.8 linear feet and date from the 1840s to 1965, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1849 to 1908. This small collection documents Whittredge's career as a painter, particularly his years in Europe from 1849 to 1859, through biographical materials, a manuscript of his autobiography, news clippings, catalogs, six sketchbooks and numerous drawings and paintings. Also found are two photographs of Whittredge and a nineteenth-century photo album containing photographs of 32 famous artists.

Biographical materials include a manuscript of his autobiography, passport, award certificates, and a ledger he kept while living in Düsseldorf, Germany, that documents commissions, accounts, and business activities. Printed material includes news clippings, catalogs, and the book Recollections of the Art Exhibition, Metropolitan Fair, New York, published by Mathew Brady, which includes a catalog of the art exhibition at the fair (the Metropolitan Fair for the U.S. Sanitary Commission, also known as the Great Sanitary Fair ), and 20 printed images by Brady.

Artwork consists of six sketchbooks and numerous drawings and paintings. The sketchbooks contain drawings Whittredge executed on a trip down the Rhine River in 1849 as well as during his travels in Italy and Mexico. Other loose drawings and paintings include numerous landscapes, figure studies, trees, animals, and other miscellaneous sketches.

There are two photographs of Whittredge, taken by M. Louise Greene, and a nineteenth-century photo album containing cartes de visite photographs of 32 artists. Most of these photographs include the artists autograph as well. Included are Albert Bierstadt, George H. Baker, William Holbrook Beard, Albert F. Bellows, John G. Brown, Seth Wells Cheney, Frederic Church, Jasper Cropsey, Thomas Seir Cummings, Mauritz De Haas, Francois Regis Gignoux, Henry Peters Gray, Seymour Guy, George Henry Hall, William Hart, William Hennessy, Richard W. Hubbard, Daniel Huntington, Henry Augustus Loop, Jervis McEntee, Samuel F. B. Morse, William Page, Horace Wolcott Robbins, Aaron Shattuck, James Augustus Suydam, Launt Thompson, Robert W. Weir, Henry Wenzler, Edwin White, and George Yewell, and two unidentified artists.

Biographical/Historical Note

Worthington Whittredge (1820-1910) was a painter, engraver of New York, N.Y.

Provenance

The Worthington Whittredge papers were donated by William W. and L. Emery Katzenbach, grandsons of Whittredge, in 1959. Additional items were donated by William W. Katzenbach in 1968. One sketchbook was loaned for microfilming by William Katzenbach in 1959.

Related Materials

Also found in the Archives of American Art are several collections relating to Whittredge: the Anthony F. Janson research material on Worthington Whittredge, 1969-2003; the Worthington Whittredge sale records, 1900; the Edith Wilkinson Letter to E.P. Richardson and biographical notes on Worthington Whittredge, 1957; and a Worthington Whittredge letter to John Ferguson Weir, 1871. In addition, the Archives holds a microfilm copy (reel 153) of one sketchbook that was lent for microfilming and subsequently returned.

Funding

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

A Finding Aid to the Worthington Whittredge Papers,
circa 1840s-1965
, bulk 1849-1908
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.whitwort
Biographical Note
Thomas Worthington Whittredge (1820-1910) was born in 1820 in Springfield, Ohio. Receiving very little formal education, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio at the age of 17 to serve as an apprentice house and sign painter. A few years later, in his early twenties, he briefly ran a daguerreotype studio in Indianapolis, Indiana, and worked as a portrait painter in Charleston, West Virginia.
In 1843 Whittredge decided to pursue landscape painting, and was greatly influenced by Hudson River School artist Thomas Cole. In 1849 he traveled to Düsseldorf, Germany, to further his training at the Düsseldorf Academy. There, he met painter Emanuel Leutze and modeled for Leutze's painting
Washington Crossing the Delaware
(1850). He lived for a year in the home of landscape painter Andreas Achenbach and became friends with Carl Friedrich Lessing. Whittredge spent the summer of 1856 sketching in Switzerland with Albert Bierstadt. That fall Whittredge and Bierstadt moved to Rome where they were joined by fellow artists Sanford Robinson Gifford and William Stanley Haseltine.
Whittredge stayed in Italy until 1859 when he returned to America and settled in New York City, renting a space at Richard Morris Hunt's famous Tenth Street Studio Building, which was frequented by some of the best-known artists, writers, and actors of the time. He kept company with Jervis McEntee, Eastman Johnson, Sanford Robinson Gifford, John Ferguson Weir, and other artists of the "old guard". Whittredge quickly became a very successful artist, adapting what he had learned in Europe to the American landscape. He was elected to the National Academy of Design in 1860 and became a full member in 1862. He also served as President of the National Academy of Design from 1874 to 1877.
In 1866 Whittredge went along on a government inspection tour of the Missouri Territory and was greatly inspired by the landscape. He traveled to Colorado in 1870 with John Frederick Kensett and Sanford Gifford and, in the late 1870s, began painting these new landscapes. He moved with his family to Summit, New Jersey, in 1880. In 1893 he went on a sketching trip to Mexico with fellow artist Frederic Church and continued painting into the early 1900s. Around this time he also began writing his autobiography which he completed in 1905. Worthington Whittredge died in 1910 at the age of 89.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into 4 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1849-circa 1940s (Box 1, 5, OV 9; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 2: Printed Material, 1861-1965 (Box 1, 4, 5, OV9; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 3: Artwork, circa 1840s-1902 (Box 2, 5, OV 6-9; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 4: Photographs, circa 1850s-1860s, circa 1900 (Box 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)
Provenance
The Worthington Whittredge papers were donated by William W. and L. Emery Katzenbach, grandsons of Whittredge, in 1959. Additional items were donated by William W. Katzenbach in 1968. One sketchbook was loaned for microfilming by William Katzenbach in 1959.
Processing Information
The collection received preliminary processing shortly after donation. Most of the collection was microfilmed in the order of receipt on reels D28, 153, and 1817. The entire collection was fully merged, processed, arranged, and described by Erin Corley and digitized in 2008 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Worthington Whittredge papers, circa 1840s-1965, bulk 1849-1908. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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