A Finding Aid to the George Grey Barnard Papers, circa 1860-1969, bulk 1880-1938, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.barngeor
Creators:
Barnard, George Grey, 1863-1938
Dates:
circa 1860-1969
bulk 1880-1938
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
11.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of New York sculptor, collector, and dealer George Grey Barnard measure 11.6 linear feet and date from 1860 to 1969, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1880-1938. These papers document his life and work as an artist, as well as his activities as a collector and dealer of medieval art, through correspondence, collecting notebooks, diaries and daily journals, ephemera, inventories, business and financial records, exhibition catalogs, newspaper clippings, reference materials, publications, photographs, and a small number of sketches.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The papers of New York sculptor, collector, and dealer George Grey Barnard measure 11.6 linear feet and date from 1860 to 1969, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1880-1938. These papers document his life and work as an artist, as well as his activities as a collector and dealer of medieval art, through correspondence, collecting notebooks, diaries and daily journals, ephemera, inventories, business and financial records, exhibition catalogs, newspaper clippings, reference materials, publications, photographs, and a small number of sketches.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 10 series:
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1888-1955 (Boxes 1 and 15; 0.25 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1896-1965 (Box 1; 0.7 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Diaries and Daily Journals, 1900-1938 (Boxes 1-2; 1.0 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1881-1963 (Boxes 2-4; 1.6 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Medieval Art and Collections, circa 1905-1958 (Boxes 4, 15 and OV 17; 0.9 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Business Records, circa 1900-1938 (Boxes 4-5; 0.9 linear feet)
  • Series 7: Financial Records, circa 1920-1941 (Boxes 5-7; 1.3 linear feet)
  • Series 8: Printed Materials, circa 1890-1969 (Boxes 7-8, 15-16 and BV 25; 1.5 linear feet)
  • Series 9: Photographs, circa 1860-1963 (Boxes 8-13, 15, and OV 17-24; 4.5 linear feet)
  • Series 10: Artwork, circa 1880-1938 (Boxes 11, 14, 16 and OV 17; 0.5 linear feet)

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
George Grey Barnard (1863-1938) was an American sculptor, collector, and dealer, whose collection of medieval art formed the nucleus of the Cloisters, the branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to the art of the middle ages. Barnard was born to a Presbyterian minister and his wife in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania in 1863. While he was still a young boy, the family left Pennsylvania for the Midwest, eventually settling in Muscatine, Iowa. He married Edna Monroe in 1895 and had three children: Monroe, Vivia, and Barbara.
Barnard began studying sculpture in his late teens, first with Leonard Volk, then at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied from 1882 until he left for Paris the following year. In Paris he received training from Pierre-Jules Cavelier at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1900 he earned a gold medal at the Salon of the Champs de Mars in Paris.
While in France, Bernard began scavenging the countryside for discarded medieval antiques. He was in debt most of his life, and sold these pieces to support his family and fund his work. He retained the best finds which eventually formed his two medieval collections. The first was the Cloisters, which he sold to John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1925. The second was the Abbaye, which he completed in 1937. This collection was sold by his estate to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1945.
Returning to America, he completed both public and private commissions. In 1902, he was commissioned to create sculptures for the new state capitol building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 1915, he was commissioned by Charles P. Taft to create an Abraham Lincoln statue for Cincinnati. The statue was erected in 1917 and portrayed Lincoln as gangly, frail, and emotional. A second casting was to be given to Westminster Abbey, but controversy over this representation eventually led to its transfer to Manchester.
George Grey Barnard was deeply affected by the devastation of World War I. He devoted the rest of his life to building a memorial to peace, called the Rainbow Arch. It would have been dedicated to the Mothers of America and paid for solely from his own funds and coins contributed by children. Although he spent all his resources on the arch, he only completed a plaster model before his death. George Grey Barnard died of a heart attack in 1938.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies note
The bulk of the collection was digitized in
2012
and is available via the Archives of American Art's website. Selected financial records, photographs of works of art, some business records, and printed materials have not been scanned.
Material lent for microfilming is available on 35mm microfilm reel 3658-3664 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Processing Information note
Select records, primarily correspondence and photographs of Barnard's sculptures were microfilmed on reels 118 and 1116; these reels are no longer in circulation. The entire collection was fully processed, arranged, and described by Kathleen Brown in 2009 and scanned in 2012 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Processing of glass plate negatives and lantern slides was completed in 2014 by Anna Rimel with funding provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels 3658-3664) including correspondence, exhibition files, and sketches. Originals of microfilmed items can be found at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This material has not been described in the collection container inventory.
Author
Kathleen Brown
Sponsor
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The bulk of the George Grey Barnard papers were transferred from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (formerly the National Collection of Fine Arts) in 1975 and 2003, where the artist's son, Monroe Barnard, had given it in 1970. In 1971, Monroe donated the Archives of American Art additional papers, the Pennsylvania State University Archives gave more material in 1976, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art loaned 4.0 linear feet of material for microfilming in 1985.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
George Grey Barnard papers, circa 1860-1969, bulk 1880-1938. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access note
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use note
The George Grey Barnard papers 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
Additional George Grey Barnard papers are available at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Medieval Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- New York (State) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notebooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculpture, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art dealers -- New York (State) Topic 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/