A Finding Aid to the Lockwood de Forest Papers, 1858-1980, bulk dates 1870-1930, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.defolock
Creators:
De Forest, Lockwood, 1850-1932
Dates:
1858-1980
bulk 1870-1930
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
3.8 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of New York and California based interior designer, architect, collector and painter Lockwood de Forest measure 3.8 linear feet and date from 1858 to 1980, bulk dates 1870 to 1930. The collection includes correspondence, writings, diaries, journals, exhibition files, personal business records, printed material, sketchbooks, drawings, and photographs.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of New York and California based interior designer, architect, collector and painter Lockwood de Forest measure 3.8 linear feet and date from 1858 to 1980, bulk dates 1870 to 1930. The collection includes correspondence, writings, diaries, journals, exhibition files, personal business records, printed material, sketchbooks, drawings, and photographs.
Lockwood de Forest's professional correspondence includes letters regarding de Forest's wood carving business in India. Notable correspondents from friends and colleagues include Stewart Culin, Alfred Korzybski, and Purushottam M. Hutheesing & Sons. Also included are two letter books which contain copies of letters written by de Forest. There is a fair amount of correspondence with family members, especially de Forest's parents, his brother Robert, and his wife Meta Kemble. There are also a few folders of Meta Kemble de Forest's correspondence with family.
Writings include drafts of Lockwood de Forest's book Indian Domestic Architecture, along with essays and notes. Essays by de Forest are on assorted topics such as art, education, museums, furniture construction, and psychic research. There is also a draft of a Lockwood de Forest biography by Anne Lewis.
Diaries and journals kept by Lockwood de Forest and his wife Meta focus on travels abroad to Europe, the Middle East, and India.
Exhibition files consist of materials related to a Lockwood de Forest exhibition (1976) at the Heckscher Museum in New York and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in California. Documentation includes correspondence, exhibition lists, inventories, and loan forms.
Personal business records include a wide range of financial and legal records. Financial records consist of ledgers, account records, receipts, invoices, and shipping records. Legal records include contracts, certificates, and deeds related to assets, properties, and businesses.
Printed material consists of exhibition catalogs, auction catalogs, magazines, books, announcements, event invitations, and clippings. Most of the material is about Lockwood de Forest, but there are some clippings and publications about his brother Robert and other subjects.
There are numerous sketchbooks usually depicting places de Forest visited in Europe and the Middle East. There are also a few loose drawings.
Photographs are of Lockwood de Forest, his wife, family, friends, colleagues, paintings, houses, wood carvings, and art objects.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 8 series.
  • Series 1: Correspondence, 1858-1931 (0.9 linear feet; Boxes 1, 4)
  • Series 2: Writings, 1881-1976 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, OV 5)
  • Series 3: Diaries and Journals, 1868-1890 (0.2 linear feet; Box 2)
  • Series 4: Lockwood de Forest Exhibition Files, 1974-1978 (0.1 linear feet; Box 2)
  • Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1869-1931 (0.3 linear feet; Box 2, OV 6)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1867-1980 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)
  • Series 7: Sketchbooks and Drawings, 1869-1881 (0.4 linear feet; Box 3)
  • Series 8: Photographs, circa 1870-circa 1932 (0.2 linear feet; Box 3)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932) was an architect, interior designer, collector, landscape painter, and writer based in New York City and Santa Barbara, California.
Lockwood de Forest was born in New York City in 1850. His parents were Julia Weeks and Henry Grant de Forest. He was one of four children. In 1869, he went to Rome, Italy and began studying art under the tutelage of the American painter Frederic Edwin Church whom he met during his trip. Church continued to be de Forest's mentor after they returned to America. De Forest set up a studio in New York City and first exhibited his work in 1872. From 1875-1878, he went on two more trips abroad to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
In 1878, de Forest cofounded Associated Artists in New York along with Louis C. Tiffany, Candace Wheeler, and Samuel Coleman. The design firm closed around 1882 but was tremendously influential. He married Meta Kemble the same year that he began Associated Artists and the couple traveled to India where they stayed for the next two years. During that trip, de Forest met philanthropist Muggunbhai Hutheesing and together they established a woodcarving company and supplied Associated Artists with furniture and architectural objects.
Around 1882, De Forest opened his own business in New York City that managed the design and production of furniture and architectural accents, along with importing similar objects from India. In 1887, he purchased a house on 7 East 10th Street that he elaborately decorated with furnishings from India.
De Forest began spending winters in Santa Barbara, California starting in 1889. He eventually purchased a house and relocated there around 1922. While in California, he resumed painting with fervor and created many landscapes of the West Coast shorelines. De Forest died in Santa Barbara in 1932.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2017 and is available on the Archives of American Art website. Materials which have not been digitized include blank pages, blank versos of photographs, and duplicates. In some cases, exhibition catalogs and other publications have had their covers, title pages, and relevant pages digitized.
Processing Information
Materials received a preliminary level of arrangement after receipt and were partially microfilmed on reels 2730-2734. The collection was fully processed and described by Rihoko Ueno in 2017 with funding provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Author
Rihoko Ueno
Sponsor
Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Lockwood de Forest papers were donated in 1982 by Mrs. Lockwood de Forest III, daughter-in-law of Lockwood de Forest.

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 Lockwood de Forest 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
Lockwood de Forest papers, 1858-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Architects -- California -- Santa Barbara Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interior decorators -- California -- Santa Barbara Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interior decorators -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
India -- description and travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- California -- Santa Barbara Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wood-carving Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- California -- Santa Barbara Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Korzybski, Alfred, 1879-1950 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Forest, Robert W., 1848-1931 ((Robert Weeks)) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kemble, Meta Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Heckscher Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Culin, Stewart, 1858-1929 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Santa Barbara Museum of Art Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lewis, Anne 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/