A Finding Aid to the Jervis McEntee Papers, 1796, 1848-1905, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.mcenjerv
Creators:
McEntee, Jervis, 1828-1891
Dates:
1796, 1848-1905
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of Hudson River School painter Jervis McEntee measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1796 and 1848 to 1905. Letters from close friends and family members to McEntee include many from his mentor Frederic Edwin Church, and fellow artists Samuel Putnam Avery, George Henry Boughton, Sanford Gifford, Richard Henry, Eastman Johnson, Elizabeth B. Stoddard, John Ferguson Weir, Worthington Whittredge, and others. Papers relating to the McEntee family include obituaries, a family genealogy, and letters from and regarding family members. There are also papers relating to the Vaux family (McEntee's brother-in-law's family) and American architect and landscape artist Calvert Vaux, who designed a studio for McEntee. Of special significance are five volumes of diaries dating from 1872 through 1890 which provide a detailed depiction of the American art world in the 1870s and 1880s.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of Hudson River School painter Jervis McEntee measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1796 and 1850 to 1905. Letters from close friends and family members to McEntee include many from his mentor Frederic Edwin Church, and fellow artists Samuel Putnam Avery, George Henry Boughton, Sanford Gifford, Richard Henry, Eastman Johnson, Elizabeth B. Stoddard, John Ferguson Weir, Worthington Whittredge, and others. Papers relating to the McEntee family include obituaries, a family genealogy, and letters from and regarding family members. There are also papers relating to the Vaux family (McEntee's brother-in-law's family) and American architect and landscape artist Calvert Vaux, who designed a studio for McEntee. Of special significance are five volumes of diaries dating from 1872 through 1890 which provide a detailed depiction of the American art world in the 1870s and 1880s.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The Jervis McEntee papers have been arranged into five series, based on material type.
  • Series 1: Letters, 1850-1905, undated (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Vaux Family Letters and Correspondence, 1850-1890, undated (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Third Party Letters, 1861-1873, undated (Box 2; 0.1 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Miscellany, 1796, 1848-1895, undated (Box 2; 0.1 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Diaries, 1872-1890 (Box 3-4; 0.6 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Jervis McEntee was born in Rondout, New York, July 14, 1828. He had early literary and artistic aspirations and studied under Frederic E. Church, who had himself studied under the Hudson River School master, Thomas Cole. McEntee was to maintain a close relationship with Church for the rest of his life. After an unsuccessful stint as a businessman, McEntee settled in New York in 1857 as one of the charter residents of Richard Morris Hunt's Tenth Street Studio Building. Since many of the other occupants were either bachelors or commuters, and since Mrs. McEntee was a lively, sympathetic hostess, the couple became the center of a spontaneous salon frequented by some of the best-known artists, writers, and actors of the time. After his wife died in 1878, McEntee stayed on, an increasingly neglected widower until his death in 1891.
McEntee was identified with the Hudson River School and an accomplished and sensitive painter of autumnal landscapes. He wrote in 1874, "Perhaps what would mark my work among that of my brother artists is a preference for the soberer phases Nature, the gray days of November and its leafless trees." McEntee stood at the center of the interlocking directorate formed by the National Academy of Design, the Century Club, and the Tenth Street Studio Building. In the latter part of the 19th century, these formed a supreme art establishment whose membership was composed of the old guard American artists, such as McEntee's close friends Eastman Johnson, Sanford Gifford, John Ferguson Weir, Worthington Whittredge, and Church, who were fighting an ultimately futile battle against the encroachment of European influences among both artists and collectors.

Administration
Separated Material
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel D9) including a diary dated June 12, 1851-August 17, 1851. This material was returned to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, New York and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Alternative Forms Available
Letters, family papers, and five volumes of diaries of Jervis McEntee in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2007, 2017, and 2018, and are available on the Archives' website. Transcripts of the entries are available at https://www.aaa.si.edu/collection-features/jervis-mcentee-diaries.
Material lent for microfilming is available on 35mm microfilm reel D9 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Processing Information
The Jervis McEntee papers were reprocessed in 2004 and a finding aid prepared. At that time all earlier accessions were merged. All of the papers, except for the five diares, were digitized in 2007 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. In 2017, the five volumes of diaries were professionally conserved. In 2017 and 2018, the diaries were digitized. Funding for the conservation and digitization of the diaries was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collection Care Preservation Fund and Collections Care Initiative.
Author
Ellen Loll
Provenance
The Adirondack Museum lent one diary for microfilming in 1964. The rest of the collection was acquired from several donors between 1959 and 1997. The noted collector Charles E. Feinberg donated letters in 1959 and, Mrs. Helen S. McEntee, who married the nephew of Jervis McEntee, donated the five volumes of diaries in 1964. William Gaffken, director of the insurance company that acquired the McEntee family insurance business, donated the remaining papers in 1997.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires and appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Jervis McEntee 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
Jervis McEntee papers, 1796, 1848-1905. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Lake George (N.Y.) -- Pictorial works Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lake Champlain (N.Y.) -- Pictorial works Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Adirondack Mountains (N.Y.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Landscape painters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hudson River school of landscape painting Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Modern -- 19th century -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bull Run (Va.), 1st Battle, 1861 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Donoho, J. R., Mrs Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Derrenbacher, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
DeForest, H. G. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Johnson, Eastman, 1824-1906 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cropsey, Jasper Francis, 1823-1900 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hicks, Thomas, 1823-1890 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hart, William McDougal, 1823-1894 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gray, Henry Peters, 1819-1877 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gifford, Sanford Robinson, 1823-1880 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Casilear, John William, 1811-1893 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Butler, Benjamin F., 1830-1884 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Boughton, George Henry, 1834-1905 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vaux, Calvert, 1824-1895 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Booth, Edwin, 1833-1893 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Church, Isabel Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Church, Frederic Edwin, 1826-1900 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chapin, E. H. (Edwin Hubbell), 1814-1880 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Palmer, Erastus Dow, 1817-1904 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Meeks, Louisa B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McEntee, James S. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shumway, Henry Colton, 1807-1884 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stoddard, Richard Henry, 1825-1903 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sawyer, C. M. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Husted, James W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Inness, George, 1825-1894 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hubbard, Richard William, 1816-1888 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Huntington, Daniel, 1816-1906 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Academy of Design (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kensett, John Frederick, 1816-1872 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lang, Louis, 1814-1893 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jourmans, E. L., Mrs Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wickes, E. T. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Whittredge, Worthington, 1820-1910 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zarnnhus, E. L. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Youmans, Kate Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stribling, C. K. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stone, William O. (William Oliver), 1830-1875 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thompson, Launt, 1833-1894 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sykes, Charles W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Von Glumer, Francisca Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Weir, John F. (John Ferguson), 1841-1926 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Century Association (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ward, John Quincy Adams, 1830-1910 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baker, George Augustus, 1821-1880 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anthony, A. V. S. (Andrew Varick Stout), 1835-1906 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Boardman, Andrew Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bellows, Henry W. (Henry Whitney), 1814-1882 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
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Victor Building, Suite 2200
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https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
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