A Finding Aid to the Mary Butler Papers,
1853-1946
,
bulk 1884-1946
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.butlmary
Creators:
Butler, Mary
Dates:
1853-1946
bulk 1884-1946
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of landscape painter Mary Butler date from 1853-1946, bulk 1884-1946, and measure 1.6 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, correspondence, and records relating to Butler's long participation in the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Also found are notes and writings, a scrapbook, printed material, and photographs of Butler, her friends, her studio in Ogunquit, Maine, her landscape paintings, and exhibition installations.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of landscape painter Mary Butler date from 1853-1946, bulk 1884-1946, and measure 1.6 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, correspondence, and records relating to Butler's long participation in the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Also found are notes and writings, a scrapbook, printed material, and photographs of Butler, her friends, her studio in Ogunquit, Maine, her landscape paintings, and exhibition installations.
Biographical material includes genealogical notes on Butler's early family history, biographical accounts, teaching certificates, and letters of recommendation from Butler's instructors including William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and William Sartain.
Found within the papers are correspondence with family members, including letters to her cousin Edgar Butler letters from her friend Mrs. Thomas Eakins; and miscellaneous scattered letters from various colleagues including George Biddle, Dorothy Grafly, Thornton Oakley, and Alice Kent Stoddard concerning various topics. Correspondence regarding exhibitions is with arts organizations and colleagues including Henry Thouron and S. Walter Norris.
There are files documenting Butler's long participation in the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, including a letter from Joseph Pennell, notes, writings, and printed material. Additional printed material includes a scrapbook of clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs. Photographs are of Butler, her friends, her studio in Ogunquit, Maine, views of the Maine coast and of Cathedral Crag in Washington State, Butler's landscape paintings, and miscellaneous exhibition installations.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The papers are arranged into seven series. Each series is arranged chronologically.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1884-1945 (Box 1; 10 folders)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1853-1944 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 3: File for the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1917-1946 (Box 1; 14 folders)
  • Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1905-1938 (Box 1; 10 folders)
  • Series 5: Scrapbook, 1908-1942 (Box 1; 5 folders)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1894-1944 (Box 2; 0.4 linear feet)
  • Series 7: Photographs, circa 1870-1945 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Mary Butler was born on October 27, 1865 in Uwachlan, Pennsylvania, the daughter of James and Rachel M. (James) Butler.
Butler began her education at the Darlington Seminary. She studied painting at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now the Moore College of Art) under William Sartain and Robert Henri, graduating in 1894. Between 1896 and 1902, she studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under William Merritt Chase and Celia Beaux. From 1897 to 1898, she studied at the Académie Colarossi in Paris with Gustave Courtois, René François Xavier Prinet, and Jean-Antoine Injalbert.
She attended a summer school conducted by William Merritt Chase at Shinnacock Hills, and later studied under Robert Henri and Edward W. Redfield. With Redfield, she spent a season at Centre Bridge, Pennsylvania. Butler was primarily a landscape painter and traveled widely in the United States and Europe to find unusual and inspiring views. She also spent summers in Ogunquit and on Monhegan Island, Maine.
In 1909, Butler joined the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and served as President of that organization from 1921 to 1937. During her tenure, she inaugurated traveling exhibitions, a picture purchasing fund and, in 1915, the Thouron Fund for aid of needy artists.
Throughout her career Butler exhibited extensively and promoted the arts in Philadelphia.
Mary Butler died on March 16, 1946.

Administration
Processing Information
The Mary Butler papers were processed in October 2007 by Jean Fitzgerald.
Author
Jean Fitzgerald
Provenance
The Mary Butler papers were donated in 2005 by Rachel F. Armstrong, the artist's niece.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Mary Butler papers, 1853-1946, bulk 1884-1946. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Mary Butler 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.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Landscape painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Writings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Norris, S. Walter Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oakley, Thornton, 1881-1953 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Grafly, Dorothy, 1896- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eakins, Susan Macdowell Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sartain, William, 1843-1924 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stoddard, Alice Kent Pearson, 1885-1976 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pennell, Joseph, 1857-1926 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thouron, Henry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Biddle, George, 1885-1973 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/