A Finding Aid to the Charles Henry Hart Papers,
1774-1930,
bulk 1888-1918
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.hartchah
Creators:
Hart, Charles Henry, 1847-1918
Dates:
1774-1930
bulk 1888-1918
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
6.1 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of Philadelphia art historian and writer Charles Henry Hart date from 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918, and measure 6.1 linear feet. Found within the papers are correspondence, subject files, scattered personal business records, a file of images of art work, notes and writings, and printed material. The subject files include letters from art historians, art collectors, dealers, and gallery owners.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of Philadelphia art historian and writer Charles Henry Hart date from 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918, and measure 6.1 linear feet. Found within the papers are correspondence, subject files, scattered personal business records, a file of images of art work, notes and writings, and printed material. The subject files include letters from art historians, art collectors, dealers, and gallery owners.
Twelve folders of general correspondence consists primarily of letters received from colleagues, dealers, gallery owners, and publishers discussing art-related topics not specifically addressed in the Subject Files arranged in Series 3 below. There is one folder of miscellaneous personal business records.
Subject files comprise the largest and most important series in the collection. The files contain a wide variety of materials, including letters, notes and writings, clippings, reproductions of art work, and photographs. Letters are from art historians, art collectors, dealers, and gallery owners mostly concerning notable subjects of portraits, artists, organizations, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and miscellaneous subjects such as miniature paintings and H. W. Elson's book History of the United States. Several files contain letters from the descendants of John Quincy Adams, Asher B. Durand, Benjamin Latrobe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
The images files contain a mixture of printed reproductions of art work, photographs of art work, and original art work compiled and used by Hart as reference material.
Notes and writings consist primarily of notes on art-related topics including the work of various artists, activities of arts organizations, collectors, galleries and museums, sales of art work, and background material about the subjects of portraits. There is also a typescript by Hart containing descriptions of art work to be published in a catalog of the Herbert Lee Pratt collection.
Printed material consists of clippings about Hart and miscellaneous art-related topics, auction catalogs, and an incomplete set of pages from Hart's book Memoirs of the Life and Work of Jean Antoine Houdon: Sculpture of Voltaire and of Washington.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 6 series:
  • Series 1: Correspondence, 1838-1930 (Box 1; 12 folders)
  • Series 2: Personal Business Records, 1893-1917 (Box 1; 1 folder)
  • Series 3: Subject Files, 1774-1922 (Boxes 1-4, 8; 4.0 linear feet)
  • Series 4: File of Images, circa 1890-1900 (Boxes 5, 8; 0.6 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1890-1922 (Boxes 5-6; 0.8 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1822-1925 (Boxes 6-7; 0.8 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Charles Henry Hart (1847-1918) was an art historian, lawyer, writer, and director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1885-1904. He worked primarily in the Philadelphia area and published widely on the subject of eighteenth and nineteenth-century portraiture in America.
Charles Henry Hart was born on February 4, 1847 in Philadelphia, the son of Julia Leavey and Samuel Hart. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1869 and practiced law until 1894, when he turned his interest to art and writing after suffering injuries in a railroad accident. He became a noted author of books and articles about art, especially portraiture. He had a special interest in the work of Gilbert Stuart. Hart's writings often focused on exposing fraudulent attributions of art work.
From 1882 to 1902, Hart was director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. In 1893, he also served as chairman of the Committee on Retrospective American Art at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Hart was a member of several organizations including the American Historical Association, the Essex Institute, and the Players Club.
Hart's first wife, Armine Nixon, was a great-granddaughter of Robert Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. She died in 1897. According to the New York Times, in 1905 he married Marianne Livingstone Phillips, with whom he fathered a son, Charles Henry Hart, Jr. In 1912, Hart married Anita Beatriz Arabe.
Charles Henry Hart died on July 29, 1918 in New York City.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was initially microfilmed upon receipt in separate accretions on reels 928-935 and 2813; this microfilm is no longer in circulation. All accessions were merged, arranged, and described by Jean Fitzgerald in October 2009.
Existence and Location of Copies
Portions of this collection are available on 35 mm microfilm reels 928-935 and 2813 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.
Author
Jean Fitzgerald
Provenance
The Charles Henry Hart papers were donated anonymously in 1971.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Charles Henry Hart papers, 1774-1930, bulk 1888-1918. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Charles Henry Hart 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 Material
Also found in the Archives of American Art are 2 volumes of an autograph collection compiled by Charles Henry Hart.
The Archives also has a collection of correspondence between Charles and Clarence W. Bowen loaned by the New York Public Library for microfilming on reels N10-N11. The correspondence concerns Hart's activities on the planning committee of the Centennial of George Washington's Inauguration, New York City, 1889; and Hart's chairmanship of the Committee on Retrospective Art for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893.
Additional Charles Henry Hart papers are also available at the Winterthur Library in Delaware.

Other Finding Aids
Other Finding Aids
List of correspondents available at Archives of American Art offices, filed New York Public Library, Manuscript Division.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Miniature painting Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Authors -- Pennsylvania Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art historians -- Pennsylvania Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notes Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Portrait painters Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Latrobe, Benjamin Henry, 1764-1820 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pratt, Herbert Lee, 1871-1945 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Corporate 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/