A Finding Aid to the Morris Henry Hobbs Papers, circa 1901-2014, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.hobbmorr
Creators:
Hobbs, Morris Henry, 1892-1967
Dates:
circa 1901-2014
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
4.7 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of etcher Morris Henry Hobbs measure 4.7 linear feet and date from circa 1901-2014. His career as an artist in Chicago and New Orleans is documented through biographical material, correspondence, writings, professional files, printed material, photographs, artwork, and four sketchbooks.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of etcher Morris Henry Hobbs measure 4.7 linear feet and date from circa 1901-2014. His career as an artist in Chicago and New Orleans is documented through biographical material, correspondence, writings, professional files, printed material, photographs, artwork, and four sketchbooks.
Biographical material includes chronologies, biographical statements, and documentation on his home and studio. Correspondence includes letters to friends and family regarding art, travel, and botany. Of note are letters from the etchers John Taylor Arms and Bertha Jaques and botanist Lyman Smith. Writings consist of Hobbs' diary kept during World War I while serving in the U.S. Army, journal pages documenting his move to New Orleans, and garden notebooks. Professional files include documents relating to Hobbs' memberships and activities in the Bromeliad Society, Chicago Society of Etchers, Louisiana Society of Etchers, New Orleans Art League, and other organizations. Also included are exhibition records, price lists, and sales records.
Printed material includes clippings and exhibition announcements documenting his career as well as published versions of his etchings. Photographs and slides are of Hobbs, family and friends, trips abroad, and his properties in New Orleans and Mandeville, Louisiana. Artwork includes architectural renderings, sketches of Chicago, France, and New Orleans, and an annotated scrapbook containing original etchings. Four sketchbooks include figure drawings and landscapes in pencil and ink.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 8 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1918-2014 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1921-1993 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 1 and 5)
  • Series 3: Writings, 1918-2014 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
  • Series 4: Professional Files, 1922-2014 (1.0 linear foot; Boxes 2-3)
  • Series 5: Printed Material, 1929-2014 (0.6 linear feet; Box 3)
  • Series 6: Photographs, circa 1901-1991 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)
  • Series 7: Artwork, circa 1919-1950s (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 4-5)
  • Series 8: Sketchbooks, 1930s-1950s (0.2 linear feet; Box 4)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Morris Henry Hobbs (1892-1967) was an etcher in Chicago and New Orleans. Hobbs was born in Rockford, Illinois, and raised in Chicago. As a teenager he took classes at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the age of 17 was hired as a draftsman at an architectural firm. From 1918-1919, he served in France with the Allied Expeditionary Force. While there he contracted influenza which resulted in the loss of his hearing. After the war he lived in Toledo, Ohio, with his wife and two daughters and worked at an architectural firm. He also learned printmaking techniques from etcher J. Ernest Dean and began exhibiting his work. In 1927, he returned to Chicago with his family and in 1930 became director of the Chicago Society of Etchers. During his career he was active in many arts and printmaking organizations.
In 1938, Hobbs traveled to New Orleans for an extended visit, opened a studio space, and began a ten-year project of etching French Quarter scenes. A year later he moved to New Orleans permanently and became the first president of the Louisiana Society of Etchers. In 1942, he married Alice "Judy" Seddon. In 1948, he was hired as a designer for the architectural firm Favrot, Reed, Mathes and Bergman, and was employed there until his death. Also at this time, he and his wife establish a country home in Mandeville, Louisiana, where he built a greenhouse and cultivated tropical bromeliads. They kept an apartment in the French Quarter as a weekday residence.
In 1960, Hobbs began a series of watercolors depicting bromeliads and in the subsequent years traveled to Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Trinidad to collect specimens for a potential book project. He died in 1967 at the age of 75 and that year the Reinike Gallery held a retrospective of his work. His wife Alice Seddon Hobbs died in 1993 at the age of 95.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Erin Kinhart in 2016.
Author
Erin Kinhart
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated in 2014 by Reed Isbell-Hobbs, widow of Morris Henry Hobbs' son William Hobbs.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use
The Morris Henry Hobbs 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
Morris Henry Hobbs papers, circa 1901-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Architectural drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gardening Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World War, 1914-1918 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Etchers -- Illinois -- Chicago Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Etchers -- Louisiana -- New Orleans Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Louisiana Society of Etchers Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chicago Society of Etchers Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bromeliad Society Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, Lyman B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New Orleans Art League Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jacques, Bertha Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953 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/