A Finding Aid to the Vose Galleries of Boston Records, circa 1876, 1890s-1996, bulk 1920s-1930s, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.vosegall
Creators:
Vose Galleries of Boston
Dates:
circa 1876
1890s-1996
bulk 1920-1940
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
25.6 linear feet
Repository:
Archives of American Art
The records of Vose Galleries of Boston measure 25.6 linear feet and date from circa 1876, 1890s-1996 with the bulk of materials dating from 1920s-1930s. Nearly 90 percent of the collection documents the gallery's handling of American paintings and portraits through incoming and outgoing business correspondence with artists, clients, galleries, and museums, including considerable correspondence with portrait artist Alfred Jonniaux and clients regarding commissioned portraits. Other materials include client files; artists' biographies; records of sales, consignments, framing, restoration, and banking, mostly from the 1940s-1960s; and scattered exhibition catalogs, newspaper clippings, and postcards. Also found is a handwritten manuscript regarding the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, PA and a 1991 videotape about the Vose Galleries and its founding family.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The records of Vose Galleries of Boston measure 25.6 linear feet and date from circa 1876, 1890s-1996 with the bulk of materials dating from 1920s-1930s. Nearly 90 percent of the collection documents the gallery's handling of American paintings and portraits through incoming and outgoing business correspondence with artists, clients, galleries, and museums, including considerable correspondence with portrait artist Alfred Jonniaux and clients regarding commissioned portraits. Other materials include client files; artists' biographies; records of sales, consignments, framing, restoration, and banking, mostly from the 1940s-1960s; and scattered exhibition catalogs, newspaper clippings, and postcards. Also found is a handwritten manuscript regarding the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, PA and a 1991 videotape about the Vose Galleries and its founding family.
Correspondence of note is with artists Childe Hassam, Malvina Hoffman, Alfred Jonniaux, and John Singer Sargent; galleries Ehrich Galleries, Clapp & Graham Co., M. Knoedler & Co., Macbeth Galleries, Milch Galleries, Newhouse Galleries, Arthur U. Newton Galleries, Norton Galleries, and Howard Young Galleries; the estates of Anna Coleman Ladd and William E. Norton; and the family of Abbott H. Thayer.
Researchers should note that the records do not comprehensively span the gallery's history or operations. The bulk of the collection is correspondence from Robert C. Vose's era running the Robert C. Vose Galleries in the 1920s-1930s and, lesser so, under Robert C. Vose, Jr.'s direction in the 1970s. There is little material in the collection which dates before the 1910s or the 1950s-1960s, other than correspondence regarding Alfred Jonniaux and some financial records. There is a handful of correspondence which covers the period of R.C. & N.M. Vose Gallery. Records loaned for microfilming should be consulted for materials outside of the bulk dates of this collection, especially for materials from the late 1800s-early 1900s.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 5 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1895-1996 (Boxes 1-23; 22.6 linear feet)
Series 2: Customer Files, 1912-1946 (Boxes 23-24; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 3: Art-Related Files, circa 1876, 1890s-1947 (Box 24; 7 folders)
Series 4: Financial Records, 1911-1962, 1991 (Boxes 24-25; 1.8 linear feet)
Series 5: Printed Materials, circa 1904-1990 (Boxes 25-26; 0.4 linear feet)

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Vose Galleries is a long time family run art gallery based in the Boston, Mass. area.
In 1841, Joseph Vose purchased Westminster Art Gallery, a small Providence, Rhode Island art gallery founded by Ransom Hicks. At the age of 19 in 1850, Joseph's son Seth Morton Vose joined the gallery and five years later became director. The gallery's primary business until the late 1860s was frame making, gilding and art supplies. Seth Morton Vose had a passion for art, especially the French painters of the Barbizon School and he slowly began buying and exhibiting artwork. By 1882, the gallery regularly exhibited in Boston.
Seth's son Robert C. Vose joined the business in 1896, and managed the gallery's Boston office from 1897. Robert broadened the gallery's horizons by showing his fine stock of Barbizon, Dutch, English and American artists throughout America, while his younger brother, Nathaniel, and his cousin, Charles Thompson, handled the Boston gallery. During the next sixty-seven years, Robert C. Vose moved the gallery into a position of national prominence.
In 1924, Nathaniel left the gallery and established his own gallery in Providence. The Boston gallery's name changed to Robert C. Vose Galleries, and around the same time, took over the Carrig-Rohane framing company. In 1931-1932, Robert's three sons, Robert C. Vose, Jr., Seth Morton Vose II, and Herbert Vose, joined the firm. The gallery continued to show exhibitions in Boston, and the sons took turns joining their father on the road. The gallery's name was changed to Vose Galleries of Boston, Inc. in 1952. In 1963, Vose Galleries moved to their current location at 238 Newbury Street in Boston. Robert C. Vose passed away in 1964.
Robert C. Vose, Jr.'s sons, Abbot W. Vose and Robert C. Vose III, joined the gallery in 1968 and 1970, respectively. Robert C. Vose, Jr. passed away in 1998. The Vose Galleries of Boston continues to operate at Newbury Street under the direction of the sixth generation of the Vose family.

Administration
Separated Materials note
From 1965-1994, Vose Galleries of Boston loaned materials to the Archives of American Art for microfilming which are available on microfilm reels B1, 2380, 3936-3940, 4593-4594, and 4909 and by interlibrary loan. These materials were returned after microfilming and not included in later donations from the gallery. Briefly described below, the materials are not included in the container listing of this finding aid.
Reel B1 contains a scrapbook compiled by Seth Vose and annotated by Robert Vose that contains clippings, 1886-1900, and an 1889 letter from author and critic Alfred Trumble; and a scrapbook compiled and annotated by Robert C. Vose spanning the years 1920-1940, 1897, and 1905, and containing clippings and handwritten lists.
Reel 2380 contains numerous photographs, circa 1890-1964, of Seth Morton Vose, Robert C. Vose, Sr., artists, collectors, and dealers associated with Vose Galleries; a Macbeth Gallery "smoker" in honor of Emil Carlsen; a drawing of Charles Emil Heil by George F. Wing, and a charcoal drawing after Monticelli by Albion Harris Bicknell. Many of the photographs are annotated by Robert C. Vose.
Reels 3936-3940 contain account books, 1871-1887; a journal, 1889-1903, a ledger, 1889-1901; invoice books, 1896-circa 1954, inventories of paintings and drawings in stock, 1884, 1892 and 1906; exhibition records, 1911-1982?; traveling exhibition records, 1915-1949; and a record of paintings sold, 1876-1894. Written permission is required to access these reels.
Reels 4593-4594 contain clippings, undated and 1891-1989, chiefly about purchases, sales and exhibitions, but also pertaining to art dealers, museums, artists, and art events.
Reel 4909 contains a scrapbook of clippings, announcements, programs, and other printed materials, 1882-1993.
Processing Information note
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Haug in 2012, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care Preservation Fund.
Minimal processing included arrangement to the series and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles and dates, but not arranged further. Folder titles were transcribed from original folder headings; additional information provided by the processing archivist was written in brackets. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders. Staples and other fasteners were not removed, but materials were removed from binders or damaged binding when necessary.
Author
Sarah Haug
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collection Care Preservation Fund
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The Vose Galleries of Boston records were donated in several installments from 1974 to 1997 by Robert C. Vose, Jr.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
Vose Galleries of Boston records, circa 1876, 1890s-1996, bulk 1920s-1930s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access note
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use note
The Vose Galleries of Boston records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

Related Archival Materials note
The Archives of American Art holds several separately cataloged collections related to Vose Galleries of Boston, including the Carrig-Rohane Shop records (1903-1962); oral history interviews with Seth Morton Vose (July 24, 1986 - April 28, 1987) and Robert C. Vose, Jr. (June 27 - July 23, 1986); a sound recording and videotape of a Robert C. Vose, Jr. lecture at the Somerset Club (May 14, 1987); a sound recording of an interview with Robert C. Vose (March 1961); the Miscellaneous Art Exhibition Catalog collection containing Vose Galleries exhibition catalogs, circa 1900-1941; and, Robert C. Vose, Jr. typescripts and clippings, 1961, on microfilm reels 3480 and 4314.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Video recordings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists -- United States -- Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscript Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Picture frame industry -- Massachusetts -- Boston Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Picture frames and framing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art galleries, Commercial -- Rhode Island -- Providence Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art galleries, Commercial -- Massachusetts -- Boston Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Massachusetts -- Boston Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Modern -- 19th century -- Massachusetts -- Boston Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art dealers -- Massachusetts -- Boston Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vose, Robert Churchill, 1873- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arthur U. Newton Galleries Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hassam, Childe, 1859-1935 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ehrich Galleries (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hoffman, Malvina, 1887-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Howard Young Galleries (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jill Newhouse (Gallery) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jonniaux, Alfred, b. 1882 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ladd, Anna Coleman, 1878-1939 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
M. Knoedler & Co. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Macbeth Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Milch Galleries Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Norton Gallery and School of Art Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thayer, Abbott Handerson, 1849-1921 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Norton, William E., 1843-1916 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
R.C. & N.M. Vose (Firm) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Robert C. Vose Galleries Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sargent, John Singer, 1856-1925 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Centennial Exhibition (1876 : Philadelphia, Pa.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vose, Robert C. (Robert Churchill), 1911-1998 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
http://www.aaa.si.edu/askus