A Finding Aid to the Dwight Blaney Papers, circa 1883-1944, 1993, bulk circa 1883-circa 1920s, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.blandwig
Creators:
Blaney, Dwight, 1865-1944
Dates:
circa 1883-1944
circa 1993
bulk circa 1883-1920s
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
3.3 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of Boston and Ironbound Island, Maine, painter Dwight Blaney measure 3.3 linear feet and date from circa 1883-1944, with twenty slides of a family album dated circa 1993. The bulk of the material dates from circa 1883 to the 1920s. The collection includes scattered personal papers including pencil and pen sketches by Blaney and his brother Henry Blaney; three of Blaney's notebooks on art history; printed material including exhibition catalogs for Blaney and others; a scrapbook of news clippings about John Singer Sargent and photographs of artwork by Sargent; photographs including images of Blaney and his home, John Breck and his studio, and a portrait of John Singer Sargent; and one hundred and ninety-nine glass plate negatives, primarily of Blaney's artwork and interiors of his homes. Also found are three glass plate negatives of paintings by John Singer Sargent, and one glass plate of Sargent seated on Blaney's boat painting Blaney, who is painting on the shore.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of Boston and Ironbound Island, Maine, painter Dwight Blaney measure 3.3 linear feet and date from circa 1883-1944, with twenty slides of a family album dated circa 1993. The bulk of the material dates from circa 1883 to the 1920s. The collection includes scattered personal papers including pencil and pen sketches by Blaney and his brother Henry Blaney; three of Blaney's notebooks on art history; printed material including exhibition catalogs for Blaney and others; a scrapbook of news clippings about John Singer Sargent and photographs of artwork by Sargent; photographs including images of Blaney and his home, John Breck and his studio, and a portrait of John Singer Sargent; and one hundred and ninety-nine glass plate negatives, primarily of Blaney's artwork and interiors of his homes. Also found are three glass plate negatives of paintings by John Singer Sargent, and one glass plate of Sargent seated on Blaney's boat painting Blaney, who is painting on the shore.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as five series.
  • Series 1: Personal Papers, circa 1883-circa 1920s (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, OV 4)
  • Series 2: Notebooks, circa 1920s (0.4 linear feet; Box 2)
  • Series 3: Printed Material, 1883-1927, 1944 (0.2 linear feet; Box 3)
  • Series 4: Scrapbook on John Singer Sargent, 1920s (0.2 linear feet; BV 5)
  • Series 5: Photographic Material, circa 1880s-1920s, circa 1993 (Boxes 3, 6-10)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Boston and Ironbound Island, Maine, painter Dwight Blaney (1865-1944), studied at the Boston Art School from 1886 to 1888, and in 1891 traveled to Europe where he met his future wife, Edith Hill, and spent two years sketching and working as a tour guide. Blaney married Hill on his return to the United States and the couple settled in Boston, but also had a home on Ironbound Island in Maine's Frenchman Bay. Over time the family acquired the entire island and John Singer Sargent and other painters came to visit and paint there in the summer months.
Blaney was known for his Impressionist paintings in oil and watercolor, including landscapes, snow scenes, genre, and city views. He often visited Bermuda and was artistically inspired by the houses and the landscape there. Blaney was also an art collector and owned one of Monet's Haystacks series, in addition to being an active member of the Walpole Society which collected Americana. Blaney filled his homes with antique furniture, silver, pewter, and other decorative objects.
John Singer Sargent was a guest of the Blaneys on Ironbound Island in the early 1920s, and painted Blaney in The Artist Sketching (1922). He also painted Woods in Maine on the island the same year.
In addition to painting and collecting, Blaney was a malacologist with a serious interest in documenting marine mollusk species.

Administration
Processing Information
The glass plate negatives were re-housed in 2015 with a grant from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund. The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Stephanie Ashley in 2018.
Separated Materials
Benjamin Blaney loaned materials for microfilming in 1990. Originals of loaned material, including letters from artists such as John Singer Sargent and Frank Benson, twenty one volumes of sketchbooks, a notebook, a journal, and a scrapbook, were returned to Blaney after microfilming and were not subsequently donated. Loaned material is available on reels 4405-4407 but is not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Author
Stephanie Ashley
Sponsor
Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Benjamin Blaney, Blaney's grandson, in 1990. In 1993, slides from a family photo album depicting the Blaney family on a trip to Bermuda were donated by Jeffrey Brown, who purchased the original album from the David Blaney estate.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Conditions Governing Use
The Dwight Blaney 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
Dwight Blaney papers, circa 1883-1944, circa 1993. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painters -- Massachusetts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Maine Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Benson, Frank Weston, 1862-1951 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sargent, John Singer, 1856-1925 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/