A Finding Aid to the Nelson and Henry C. White Research Material, circa 1851-1961, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.whitnels
Creators:
White, Henry Cooke, 1861-1952
White, Nelson C.
Dates:
circa 1851-1961
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
4.5 linear feet
Repository:
The research material of Connecticut artists and authors Nelson and Henry C. White, measures 4.5 linear feet and dates from circa 1851-1961. The bulk of the collection consists of Nelson C. White's correspondence, writings, and research, primarily related to J. Frank Currier and Abbott Handerson Thayer, and referencing Thomas Wilmer Dewing. Also found are the correspondence, writings, and research files of Nelson's father, Henry C. White, primarily relating to Dwight W. Tryon. Research files include artist correspondence, writings and notes, printed material, photographs of the artists, and photographs of artwork and exhibition installations.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The research material of Connecticut artists and authors Nelson and Henry C. White, measures 4.5 linear feet and dates from circa 1851-1961. The bulk of the collection consists of Nelson C. White's correspondence, writings, and research, primarily related to J. Frank Currier and Abbott Handerson Thayer, and referencing Thomas Wilmer Dewing. Also found are the correspondence, writings, and research files of Nelson's father, Henry C. White, primarily relating to Dwight W. Tryon. Research files include artist correspondence, writings and notes, printed material, photographs of the artists, and photographs of artwork and exhibition installations.
Nelson C. White's correspondence is with Elizabeth Currier, gallery owners, and other individuals in possession of artwork by Currier, conducted during his research on J. Frank Currier, as well as with Elizabeth Dewing Kaup and others concerning his research on Thomas Wilmer Dewing. Miscellaneous material includes reviews of White's autobiography on Abbott Handerson Thayer, and White's ink sketches for a holiday card.
Nelson C. White's writings and notes consist of annotated drafts of Abbott H. Thayer: Painter and Naturalist, The Life and Art of J. Frank Currier, and articles including "Cremona," and "The Art of Thomas W. Dewing."
White's research files form the bulk of the collection. 9 folders of research material on J. Frank Currier consist primarily of photos of artwork and of an installation at Lyman Allyn Museum, but also include a transcript of Currier's 1870 diary, and 3 photographs (copy prints) of Currier. White's research material on Abbott Handerson Thayer is substantial and includes: biographical material on Thayer, such as family reminiscences by Thayer's daughter, Gladys Thayer, and his father, William Henry Thayer; copies and originals of Thayer's letters to his first wife, Kate Thayer, and his second wife, Emma Beach Thayer, and correspondence with William Henry Thayer; typescript copies and originals of Thayer's correspondence with artists, politicians, naturalists and others including George Grey Barnard, Frank Weston Benson, George de Forest Brush, Royal Cortissoz, Maria Oakey Dewing, Thomas Wilmer Dewing , Charles Lang Freer, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Singer Sargent, Edward Martin Taber, and George Alfred Williams; annotated drafts of Thayer's writings and notes on art, philosophy, and nature including his theories on concealing coloration and wildlife preservation; printed material including 2 Thayer exhibition catalogs and news clippings of Thayer's letters to editors; and photographs of Thayer, his family and friends, his home and studio, and his artwork.
Henry C. White's papers include a folder of White's correspondence relating to the publication of his book, The Life and Art of Dwight William Tryon and including a letter from Elizabeth Currier; drafts of his biography of Tryon, including revisions by Mrs. Bender, Alfred Vance Churchill, and Mr. Rossiter; research material on Tryon including transcripts of letters from Tryon to George Alfred Williams, from Charles Lang Freer to Tryon, and from James McNeill Whistler to Henri Fantin-Latour; a typescript of autobiographical "notes and recollections" by Tryon; and photographs of Tryon, his home and studio, his artwork, and the Tryon Art Gallery at Smith College.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 4 series.
Series 1: Nelson C. White Correspondence and Miscellaneous Material, 1921-1953 (Box 1; 0.25 linear feet)
Series 2: Nelson C. White's Writings and Notes, circa 1929-circa 1951 (Box 1, OV 6; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 3: Nelson C. White's Research Files, circa 1851-1961 (Boxes 1-4, OV 6; 2.65 linear feet)
Series 4: Henry C. White Papers, circa 1860-1954 (Boxes 4-5; 1.1 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Connecticut painter, art historian, and collector, Nelson C. White (1900-1989) was born in Waterford, Connecticut, to artist Henry C. White. He studied at the National Academy of Design and Yale University and established himself as a landscape painter whilst also pursuing a literary career. He was the author of two biographies: The Life and Art of J. Frank Currier (1936), and Abbott H. Thayer: Painter and Naturalist (1951). White also penned an article on his friend, Thomas Wilmer Dewing ("The Art of Thomas Wilmer Dewing"), which was published in 1929.
White's father, Henry C. White (1861-1952), was an artist known primarily for his landscapes and seascapes of his native Connecticut. Born in Hartford, White began his career in 1875, studying with Dwight W. Tryon. In the 1880s he enrolled in the Art Students League in New York, while continuing to study with Tryon and other artists, including Kenyon Cox and George de Forest Brush. In the 1890s he traveled in Europe and then returned to Hartford where he taught drawing at the Hartford Public School, and co-founded the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts in 1910. Like his son, White had literary aspirations, and in 1930 published a biography of his life-long friend and teacher entitled The Life and Art of Dwight W. Tryon. Two years after his death in 1952, the Lyman Allyn Museum held a memorial exhibition for White, curated primarily by Nelson C. White.

Administration
Separated Materials
Originals of loaned material, including autobiographical notes by Tryon, letters to Nelson C. White and Henry C. White, photographs of artwork, and an article, were returned to Nelson C. White after microfilming. Loaned material is available on reels 1330 and 2807, but is not described in the Container Listing of this finding aid.
Existence and Location of Copies
The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2015 and is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Materials which have not been scanned include copies of manuscripts with no significant annotations, the full text of some publications for which only covers, title pages, and relevant pages have been scanned, blank versos of photographs, negatives for which copy prints exist, and duplicates.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Stephanie Ashley, and the bulk of the collection was digitized in 2015, with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Author
Stephanie Ashley
Sponsor
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was acquired by the Archives of American Art in three installments and microfilmed after receipt. 2 linear feet of material were purchased from Nelson C. White in 1956, followed by two gifts from White in 1978 and 1983.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
The Nelson and Henry C. White research material is 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.
Conditions Governing 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.
Preferred Citation
Nelson and Henry C. White research material, circa 1851-1961. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
The Archives of American Art holds several collections related to the Nelson and Henry C. White research material on Abbott Handerson Thayer and Dwight William Tryon. These include research material on Abbott Handerson Thayer and other artists, 1895-1990, donated by Thomas B. Brumbaugh; the Abbott Handerson Thayer letter and drawings to Caroline Peddle Ball, circa 1890-1893; and the Dwight William Tryon papers, 1872-1930.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Connecticut Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Connecticut Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art historians -- Connecticut Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Philosophy Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Protective coloration (Biology) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios -- Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wildlife conservation Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fantin-Latour, Henri, 1836-1904 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brush, George de Forest, 1855-1941 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Benson, Frank Weston, 1862-1951 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dewing, M. O. (Maria Oakey), 1855-1927 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cortissoz, Royal, 1869-1948 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Churchill, Alfred Vance, 1864-1949 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
James McNeill Whistler, 1834-1903 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barnard, George Grey, 1863-1938 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Saint-Gaudens, Augustus, 1848-1907 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sargent, John Singer, 1856-1925 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Taber, E. M. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Williams, George Alfred, 1875- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Freer, Charles Lang, 1856-1919 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fuertes, Louis Agassiz, 1874-1927 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kaup, Elizabeth Dewing, b. 1885 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Currier, Elizabeth Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thayer, Wm. Henry (William Henry), 1822-1897 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thayer, Gladys, 1886 or 7-1945 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Currier, J. Frank (Joseph Frank), 1843-1909 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thayer, Kate Bloede Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dewing, Thomas Wilmer, 1851-1938 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thayer, Abbott Handerson, 1849-1921 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tryon, Dwight William, 1849-1925 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tryon Art Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thayer, Emma B., 1850-1924 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
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/