A Finding Aid to the Percy Ives Papers, circa 1890-1994, bulk circa 1890-circa 1930, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.ivesperc
Creators:
Ives, Percy L. (Percival L.), 1864-1928
Dates:
circa 1890-1994
bulk circa 1890-circa 1930
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.4 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of Detroit portrait painter Percy Ives (1864-1928), measure 1.4 linear feet and date from circa 1890-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1890-circa 1930. Two hundred and fifty-eight glass plate negatives of sitters, models, and artwork by Ives form the bulk of the collection. Additional papers include two 1923 letters, a folder of notes, news clippings, sketches, and photographs.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of Detroit portrait painter Percy Ives (1864-1928), measure 1.4 linear feet and date from circa 1890-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1890-circa 1930. Two hundred and fifty-eight glass plate negatives of sitters, models, and artwork by Ives form the bulk of the collection. Additional papers include two 1923 letters, a folder of notes, news clippings, sketches, and photographs.
Letters include one to "The Oil and Colour Man" from "The Dweller in the Cave of Winds," and an IOU from A. W. "Gus" Ives to Percy Ives.
Notes include seven index cards with notes on "nibbles" and sales of paintings; and notes about Ives made in 1936 by James Parker's father. News clippings include four 1940 issues of a newspaper column, "We Old Timers," about Ives and his family.
Artwork consists of fifty-eight pencil sketches which have been mounted on the pages of a photograph album.
Thirty-seven photographs, most of them mounted on paper, include two which appear to be of Ives in his studio. The other photographs are of the interior and exterior of a house, an unidentified woman, farm scenes, and other outdoor scenes. There are also two photographs of paintings by Ives, including a self portrait.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Due to the small size of the collection, the papers are arranged as one series.
  • Series 1: Percy Ives Papers, (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-4)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Portrait painter and dean of the Detroit Museum of Art School, Percy Ives (1864-1928), was the son of artist Lewis Thomas Ives; father and son were considered to be among the most notable Detroit artists of the latter part of the nineteenth century.
Ives studied initially with his father, and subsequently attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in the early-1880s, and the Academié Julian and École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1884 to 1890. He exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1887 and 1893, and at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
After returning to the United States, Ives settled in Detroit where his father had a studio, and painted portraits, often of prominent men of Michigan, as well as a number of people outside the state including Grover Cleveland and Walt Whitman. Notable examples of his portraiture hang in many of the county and state buildings of Michigan.
Ives was a member of several Detroit artist associations, such as the Scarab Club, served as incorporator, trustee, and treasurer of the Detroit Museum of Art before it became the Detroit Institute of Arts, was appointed dean of the museum school in 1896, and designed the seal of the institute.
Ives died suddenly in 1928 at the age of 63.

Administration
Processing Information
The glass plate negative were re-housed in 2015 with a grant provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund. Sketches were microfilmed on reel 565 at some point after donation, and this material was merged with the 1994 donation, processed, and described in a finding aid by Stephanie Ashley in 2018.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel 593) including two diaries, 1885-1887 and 1903-1907, three albums containing photographs of family and friends, a book of illustrations of commercial signs painted by Ives, and fifteen loose sketches. Lent materials were returned to the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library in Detroit, Michigan and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Existence and Location of Copies
Portions of the collection and material lent for microfilming are available on 35mm microfilm reels 565 and 593. Researchers should note that the arrangement of material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
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 Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library gave the Archives of American Art Percy Ives' sketches and glass plate negatives in 1956-1957 and lent material for microfilming in 1973. James B. Parker, whose father, Dr. Albert Russell Parker, purchased Ives's desk with the items intact, donated additional material in 1994.

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 Percy Ives 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
Percy Ives papers, circa 1890-1994, bulk circa 1890-circa 1930. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art--Study and teaching--Michigan--Detroit Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art teachers--Michigan--Detroit Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios--Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arts administrators--Michigan--Detroit Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Portrait painters--Michigan--Detroit Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Portrait painting--United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glass negatives Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Detroit Museum of Art. School 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/