A Finding Aid to the Harriet Blackstone Papers, 1870-1984, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.blacharr
Creators:
Blackstone, Harriet, 1864-1939
Dates:
1870-1984
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
5.4 Linear feet
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter Harriet Blackstone date from 1870-1984 and measure 5.4 linear feet. The collection provides documentation of Harriet Blackstone's career through scattered biographical material; personal and professional correspondence, including letters from Maria Oakey Dewing, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Alice Tisdale Hobart, Joseph Cummings Chase, Stell Anderson, Mary Landis, Esther Morgan McCullough, and Booker T. Washington; writings by Blackstone, Esther Morgan McCullough, Richard P. Wunder, and Florence Holbrook; personal business records; clippings, exhbition material, and other printed material; one scrapbook; photographs of Blackstone, family, friends, and notable artists William Merrit Chase, Jean Paul Laurens, and John Singer Sargent; artwork; and four sketchbooks. Also found are a few artifacts found on Blackstone's easel.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 9 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1930-1973 (Box 1, 6; 7 folders)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1883-1984 (Box 1; 0.4 Linear Feet)
  • Series 3: Writings, 1861-1979 (Boxes 1-2; 1.0 Linear Feet)
  • Series 4: Personal Business Records, circa 1906-late 1930s (Box 2; 0.2 Linear Feet)
  • Series 5: Printed Material, 1901-1984 (Boxes 2-3, 6; 0.8 Linear Feet)
  • Series 6: Scrapbook, circa early 1900s (Boxes 3, 6; 0.2 Linear Feet)
  • Series 7: Photographs, 1870-early 1900s (Boxes 3-4, 6, BV 7, 8-9; 1.7 Linear Feet)
  • Series 8: Artwork, 1870-1929 (Boxes 4-5; 0.2 Linear Feet)
  • Series 9: Artifacts, circa early 1900s-1939 (Box 5, Artifact; 0.4 Linear Feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Harriet Blackstone (1864-1939) was a painter in New York, New York. Blackstone was born on November 13th, 1864 in New Hartford, New York. In 1883, she moved to Illinois where she became a high school elocution teacher. She did not start her studies to be an artist until 1903 when she enrolled at the Pratt Institute of Art in Brooklyn, New York. While there her art teacher was William Merritt Chase. Later, Blackstone went to the Academie Julian in Paris, France to gain more experience with Jean Paul Laurens as her instructor. Blackstone started to gain attention as a renowned artist in 1907 when her painting, Soldat de Crimée, was exhibited in The Salon, Paris. She moved back to Glencoe, Illinois and focused more on her artwork by painting commissions and joining different art organizations, such as the Chicago Society of Artists and the Arts Club. Blackstone travelled to different locations, including Taos, New Mexico and Bruges, Belgium, to help inspire her creativity. In 1920, Blackstone moved back to New York City where she would spend the remainder of her life; she never married or had children. She died on March 16, 1939 and was survived by her brother and friends. During her art career, Blackstone often painted portraits of well-known people and over time she developed her own style of work. Her artwork was displayed in several prominent cities in the United States: Washington, D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New York City. Some of Blackstone's artwork became part of permanent collections, such as Soldat de Crimée, which was acquired by the National Gallery of Art in 1921, now known as the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Portions of this collection are available on 35 mm microfilm reels 1617, 1621-1622 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Processing Information
Collection processed in 2015 by intern, Christen P. Brown.
Author
Christen Brown
Sponsor
Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Microfilmed material transferred in 1978 from the National Collection of Fine Arts, who had acquired it in 1967 along with Harriet Blackstone's paintings from Stell Anderson, Blackstone's friend and a collector of her work. Anderson had received the papers from Blackstone's brother, Edward, in 1939. Upon Anderson's death, additional material was turned over to her niece Pat Rauchenstein, who donated them in 1989. Prior to the donation, the papers were in possession of Esther McCullough, who annotated some items and added research material in preparation for her unpublished manuscript "Harriet Blackstone, 1864-1939."

Using the Collection
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.
Conditions Governing Use
The Harriet Blackstone 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.
Preferred Citation
Harriet Blackstone papers, 1870-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also at the Archives of American Art is the Richard Wunder research material on Harriet Blackstone.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dewing, Thomas Wilmer, 1851-1938 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McCullough, Esther Morgan Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dewing, M. O. (Maria Oakey), 1855-1927 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anderson, Stell Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wunder, Richard P. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chase, Joseph Cummings, 1878-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hobart, Alice Tisdale, 1882-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Holbrook, Florence Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Landis, Mary Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Laurens, Jean-Paul, 1838-1921 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sargent, John Singer, 1856-1925 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915 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/