A Finding Aid to the Ernest Lawson Papers, 1907-1967, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.lawserne
Creators:
Lawson, Ernest, 1873-1939
Dates:
1907-1967
Languages:
English
The collection is in English
Physical Description:
0.5 Linear feet
Repository:
The scattered papers of painter Ernest Lawson measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1907 to 1967. The papers consist of family correspondence with daughter Margaret, and between Margaret and her mother Ella Lawson; a dismantled scrapbook containing exhibition announcements, catalogs, and clippings; and a 1937 photograph of a group of artists at a dinner at the Salmagundi Club honoring Lawson along with a photograph of a work of art by Lawson signed by the numerous artists attending the dinner, including Victor C. Anderson, George Elmer Browne, Gordon Grant, Eugene Higgens, Ivan G. Olinsky, Eugene Speicher, Guy Wiggens, and Keith Shaw Williams, among others.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The scattered papers of painter Ernest Lawson measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1907 to 1967. The papers consist of family correspondence with daughter Margaret, and between Margaret and her mother Ella Lawson; a dismantled scrapbook containing exhibition announcements, catalogs, and clippings; and a 1937 photograph of a group of artists at a dinner at the Salmagundi Club honoring Lawson along with a photograph of a work of art by Lawson signed by the numerous artists attending the dinner, including Victor C. Anderson, George Elmer Browne, Gordon Grant, Eugene Higgens, Ivan G. Olinsky, Eugene Speicher, Guy Wiggens, and Keith Shaw Williams, among others.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 1 series.
  • Series 1: Ernest Lawson papers, 1907-1967 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1, OVs 2-4)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Ernest Lawson (1873-1939) was painter active in New York City and member of the group of American early modernist painters known as "The Eight."
Born in Nova Scotia, Canada and raised in Kansas, Ernest Lawson moved to New York City in the 1880s. There, he studied at the Art Students League and studied under John Twachtman. He also studied at the Cos Cob Connecticut summer art school before moving to Paris in 1893 to study at the Académie Julian. While in Paris he also shared a studio with W. Somerset Maugham, who is believed to have used Lawson as the inspiration for the character "Frederick Lawson" in his 1915 novel Of Human Bondage .
Lawson returned to the United States in 1896 and transitioned from his Impressionist style to a Realist style, painting primarily cityscapes. Lawson had his first solo exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1907 and won a prize for a winter landscape. Lawson joined the group painters that would become known as "The Eight," whose members included Robert Henri, William Glackens, John Sloan, George Luks, Everett Shinn, Arthur B. Davies, and William Prendergast. These painters protested that the exhibition system in New York was a closed system that did not welcome change and modern style. In 1908, Macbeth Galleries staged the seminal show of the "The Eight."
Lawson married Ella Holman and they had two daughters Margaret and Dorothy. Lawson tragically drowned in Florida in 1939.

Administration
Processing Information
The Ernest Lawson papers were microfilmed upon receipt onto reel 1788. In 2014, Jayna Josefson created a finding aid to the papers with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Existence and Location of Copies
Portions of the papers were microfilmed on reel 1788, which is available for interlibrary loan. Researchers are advised that the microfilm is incomplete.
Existence and Location of Copies
The collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reel 1788 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
Jayna M. Josefson
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Margaret Lawson Bensco donated her father's papers in 1976. In 1985, Lawson's granddaughter Alice Simon donated the 1937 photograph of artists at the Salmagundi Club and the photograph of a work of art by Lawson signed by numerous artists.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Research Center in Washington, D.C. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Ernest Lawson 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
Ernest Lawson papers, 1907-1967. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brown, George E. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anderson, Victor C. (Victor Coleman), 1882-1937 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Higgens, Eugene Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Grant, Gordon, 1875-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Olinsky, Ivan G. (Ivan Gregorewitch), 1878-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lawson, Ella Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wiggens, Guy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Speicher, Eugene Edward, 1883-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Williams, Keith Shaw, 1905-1951 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Salmagundi Club Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bensco, Margaret Lawson, 1895 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/