A Finding Aid to the William Preston Phelps and Ina Phelps Hayward papers, 1849-2001, bulk 1890s-1920s

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.phelw
Creators:
Phelps, W. P. (William Preston), 1848-1923
Dates:
1849-2001
bulk 1890s-1920s
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.1 Linear Feet
Repository:
The papers of New Hampshire landscape painter William Preston Phelps and his daughter, artist Ina Phelps Hayward, measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1849-2001, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1890s to the 1920s. Papers include letters from Phelps, and correspondence regarding Ina Phelps Hayward's involvement in her father's 1917 estate sale; sales and legal records related to the Phelps estate; a scrapbook and printed material about William Preston Phelps; a sketchbook of sketches attributed to Phelps; sketches by Ina Phelps Hayward and her husband Roger Hayward; photographs of Phelps, his home and studio in Chesham, New Hampshire, and his artwork; and glass plate negatives, including two of Phelps and thirty-six of his artwork.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of New Hampshire landscape painter William Preston Phelps and his daughter, artist Ina Phelps Hayward, measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1849-2001, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1890s to the 1920s. Papers include letters from Phelps, and correspondence regarding Ina Phelps Hayward's involvement in her father's 1917 estate sale; sales and legal records related to the Phelps estate; a scrapbook and printed material about William Preston Phelps; a sketchbook of sketches attributed to Phelps; sketches by Ina Phelps Hayward and her husband Roger Hayward; photographs of Phelps, his home and studio in Chesham, New Hampshire, and his artwork; and glass plate negatives, including two of Phelps and thirty-six of his artwork.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as one series.
  • Series 1: William Preston and Ina Phelps Hayward Papers, 1849-2001 (1.3 linear feet; Box 1, OV 2, Boxes 3-4)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
William Preston Phelps (1843-1923) was known as "the painter of Monadnock," for his paintings of his native New Hampshire and the state's most prominent peak.
Phelps grew up working on his family's farm in Chesham, New Hampshire, and by his early twenties owned his own sign business in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, his first exhibition of paintings in Lowell, Massachusetts, attracted the attention of some local businessmen who funded an education for Phelps in Europe. During the late-1870s to the mid-1880s, Phelps studied in Munich and Paris with William Merritt Chase and others. Upon returning to the United States via England and Scotland, Phelps set up a studio in Lowell and then traveled west in 1886 where he painted a notable series of western landscapes, with subjects including the Grand Canyon. Following his father's death, Phelps took over and settled on the family farm, and painted the New Hampshire landscapes for which he is best known.
Following his son's death in an accident in 1901, and his wife's death six months later, Phelps's financial situation began to unravel and his health entered a steady decline. In 1914 he turned over his estate to an auctioneering firm, J. E. Conant & Co., from which he had borrowed money for a number of years. Phelps's daughter, Ina Phelps Hayward, herself an artist, attempted to ensure that her father's property was handled fairly in the estate sale, but much of his property and paintings, including some of his best known pictures, were sold for very little or disappeared with no record of provenance. Phelps, who was in the Concord State Hospital at the time, died five years later and his daughter's attempts to pursue J. E. Conant & Co. through the courts, were unsuccessful.
Phelps's paintings can be found in the collections of the William Benton Museum of Art, the New Hampshire Historical Society, the Shelburne Museum, and others.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Portions of the collection are available on 35 mm microfilm reels 79, 370, and 657. The microfilm is available through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of material described in the container inventory may not reflect the order of the material on microfilm.
Processing Information
Portions of the collection were microfilmed on reels 79 and 370 at some point after receipt. The glass plate negatives were re-housed in 2015 with a grant provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund. The entire collection was merged and processed and a finding aid written by Stephanie Ashley in 2018.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art holds microfilm of a notebook kept by Ina Hayward containing notes on her father, William Preston Phelps, in preparation for a book on Phelps (never written). Included is biographical information, data on a few of his paintings, and notes about his study in Munich, Germany. Her daughter, Hilda Hayward Parker, later added biographical data, and a description of the Phelp's homestead and family life in Chesham, New Hampshire. This notebook is available on microfilm reel 657, but was returned to the donor after microfilming.
Author
Stephanie Ashley
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated in 1969 by Peter Hayward, grandson of Phelps. One notebook was loaned for microfilming in 1973 by Hilda Hayward Parker, daughter of Ina Phelps Hayward. Additional material was donated in 2009 by Karl Gabosh, an art dealer who purchased the papers from the estate.

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 William Preston Phelps and Ina Phelps Hayward 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
William Preston and Ina Phelps Hayward papers, 1849-2001, bulk 1890s-1920s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painters -- New Hampshire Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hayward, Roger Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hayward, Ina Phelps, 1871-1944 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/