A Finding Aid to the Samuel T. Shaw Papers, 1889-1946, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.shawsamue
Creators:
Shaw, Samuel T., 1861-1945
Dates:
1889-1946
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1 Linear Feet
Repository:
The papers of New York City art patron and collector Samuel T. Shaw measure 1 linear feet and date from 1889 to 1946. The collection includes correspondence, personal business records, and printed material, mostly related to the various prizes Shaw funded for paintings in exhibitions at the Salmagundi Club.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of New York City art patron and collector Samuel T. Shaw measure 1 linear feet and date from 1889 to 1946. The collection includes correspondence, personal business records, and printed material, mostly related to the various prizes Shaw funded for paintings in exhibitions at the Salmagundi Club.
Correspondence includes letters to and from artists, most of whom were recipients of awards for paintings funded by Shaw. Notable correspondents include Frank Benson, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, and many others. There is also correspondence regarding art expositions, art loan requests, and drafts for event invitations.
Personal business records includes material on prizes funded by Shaw, dinners Shaw held in honor of various artists, lists, receipts and invoices, the sale of Shaw's art collection, club records, and other miscellany.
Printed material includes catalogs and clippings on artists who won prizes for their paintings. There is also an obituary for Samuel Shaw and a few catalogs of exhibitions of his art collection.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 3 series.
  • Series 1: Correspondence, 1895-1944 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Personal Business Records, 1889-1946 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Printed Material, 1899-1945 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Samuel T. Shaw (1861-1945) was a New York-based collector and patron of American art. Shaw was co-proprietor of the Grand Union Hotel in New York City, along with Simeon Ford, for over thirty years and was also a nationally known art collector and patron of the arts. He was a member of the National Academy of Design, Salmagundi Club, Society of American Artists, and other art organizations.
Through his membership at various art clubs like Salmagundi, Shaw sponsored artists by establishing cash prizes for paintings which won best picture at exhibitions. Shaw also held dinners in honor of artists who were the recipients of the awards, and sometimes the paintings were purchased by Shaw for his collection. By World War I, Shaw supposedly had one of the largest private collections of American art in the country and many of the artworks he purchased were displayed at the Grand Union Hotel.
Shaw married Joan Baird, who passed away in 1914, the same year that the Grand Union Hotel closed. In 1916, he married Amalia Luzzatto. In 1926, the American Art Galleries sold the bulk of Shaw's collection in an auction. Shaw continued his patronage of the arts and gave out awards from roughly 1904 to 1944. The dinners he hosted for artists were regularly written about in newspapers and magazines such as The New Yorker.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2018 and is available on the Archives of American Art website. Materials which have not been digitized include blank pages, blank versos of photographs, and duplicates. In some cases, exhibition catalogs and other publications have had their covers, title pages, and relevant pages digitized.
Processing Information
The collection received a preliminary level of arrangement after donation. The collection was processed, prepared for digitization, and described in a finding aid by Rihoko Ueno in 2018 with funding provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Author
Rihoko Ueno
Sponsor
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Samuel T. Shaw papers were donated to Archives of American Art in 2018 by the National Academy of Design via Maura Reilly, Executive Director.
The "list of paintings owned by Samuel Shaw" was donated by by Harry Zehner Jr. in 1976. Zehner found this item among the papers of his aunt who ran an insurance brokerage in New York.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Preferred Citation
Samuel T. Shaw papers, 1889-1946. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds a color reproduction of a landscape painting by Samuel T. Shaw, which is inscribed by him and signed by 44 artists.

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/