A Finding Aid to the Joseph Lindon Smith Papers, 1647-1965, bulk 1873-1965, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.smitjose
Creators:
Smith, Joseph Lindon, 1863-1950
Dates:
1647-1965
bulk 1873-1965
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
8.8 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of Boston and New Hampshire painter Joseph Lindon Smith date from 1647-1965, with the bulk of papers dating from 1873-1965, and measure 8.8 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials; letters from family members, artists, museums, and art patrons; seven diaries by Smith and two by his wife Corinna, personal business records, notes and writings, files concerning charitable theatrical productions, one sketchbook and other art work, a scrapbook, printed material, photographs, and sound recordings of radio interviews and a radio program on Smith.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of Boston and New Hampshire painter Joseph Lindon Smith date from 1647-1965, with the bulk of papers dating from 1873-1965, and measure 8.8 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials; letters from family members, artists, museums, and art patrons; seven diaries by Smith and two by his wife Corinna, personal business records, notes and writings, files concerning charitable theatrical productions, one sketchbook and other art work, a scrapbook, printed material, photographs, and sound recordings of radio interviews and a radio program on Smith.
Scattered biographical material consists of family history documents for the Smith and Putnam families, a Jenkes family tree, and passports for Joseph Lindon Smith and his family.
Over three linear feet of letters are from family members, artists including Cecilia Beaux, Frank Benson, George DeForest Brush, and Denman Ross, museum staff concerned with work in Egypt, and art patrons including Isabella Stewart Gardner, and individuals involved with Smith's charitable pageants. There are scattered letters from Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Henry James, Charles G. Loring, Paul Manship, General John J. Pershing, John Singer Sargent, and Abbott Handerson Thayer. Among the subjects discussed are student life at the Académie Julian, the Smiths' travels, and individuals known by Smith.
Seven diaries written by Joseph Lindon Smith document his ravels in Egypt, Persia, Europe, and New Mexico. Two diaries were written by Corinna Smith during her travels to Beiram and Egypt.
Personal business records business records include contracts, price lists, lists of securities, and miscellaneous receipts of the Smith and Putnam families, Joseph Lindon Smith, Corinna Smith, and their daughter Lois Smith.
Notes include engagement calendars, notebooks, lists of art work, lecture notes, minutes of meetings, notes on family history and on travel, and an autograph by Kit Carson. Writings include miscellaneous typescripts by the Smiths and others concerning travel, work in Egypt and elsewhere, and anecdotes about various friends and acquaintances. There are also three drafts of "Egypt - My Winter Home."
Theatrical production files concern plays, pageants, and masques written and/or produced by the Smiths. Many of the performances were benefits, dedication or anniversary celebrations, such as a pageant given at Fenway Court in honor of Isabella Stewart Gardner, a pageant at the dedication of a memorial to Abbott Handerson Thayer, and the centenary celebration of the founding of Amherst, Massachusetts.
Art work includes a sketchbook with extensive notes, a painting, drawings by Joseph Lindon Smith, and prints by other artists.
A scrapbook contains clippings and an exhibition catalog from the St. Botolph Club. Additional printed material includes clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, press releases, programs, booklets, brochures, and books by others.
Photographs are of Smith, his family, friends including classmates from the Académie Julian, Isabella Stewart Gardner, Abbott Handerson Thayer, exhibition installations, military camp sites from World War I, travel scenes, and art work by Smith.
Audio recordings consist of four sound disc recordings of interviews for WKNE Radio, Keene, New Hampshire, with Corinna Smith and Barry Faulkner talking about Smith, and a program about Smith and his book Tombs, Temples, and Ancient Art.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 11 series:
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1711-1948 (Box 1, 10; 5 folders)
  • Series 2: Letters, 1768-1965 (Box 1-4, OV 11; 3.5 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Diaries, 1904-1949 (Box 4; 11 folders)
  • Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1647-1959 (Box 4, 10; 11 folders)
  • Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1783-1963 (Box 4-6; 2.0 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Theatrical Production Files, 1897-1950 (Box 6-7, 10; 1.2 linear feet)
  • Series 7: Art Works, 1932-1943 (Box 8, 10; 8 folders)
  • Series 8: Scrapbook, 1888-1901 (Box 8; 1 folder)
  • Series 9: Printed Material, 1723-1963 (Box 8, OV 11; 0.8 linear feet)
  • Series 10: Photographs, 1884-1956 (Box 8-10; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 11: Audio Recordings, 1956 (Box 9-10; 2 folders)
All material is arranged chronologically except for the writings by others and travel photographs that are arranged alphabetically.

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Joseph Lindon Smith (1863-1950) of Boston, Massachusetts and Dublin, New Hampshire, was a painter primarily known for his ability to meticulously depict the murals and tomb sculpture of Egypt and other ancient cultures.
Joseph Lindon Smith was born on October 11, 1863 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the son of wholesale lumberman Henry Francis Smith and Emma Greenleaf Smith, a cousin of John Greenleaf Whittier.
From 1880 to 1882, Smith studied drawing and painting at the Art School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts under Frederic Crowninshield and Otto Grundman. Accompanied by his friend, Frank Benson, he attended the Académie Julian and studied under William Bouguereau, Gustave Boulanger, and Jules Lefebvre from 1883 to 1885.
Upon his return to Boston, Smith established a studio as a portrait and landscape painter, attracting the attention of Denman Ross, a professor of History of Fine Arts at Harvard University. In the early 1890s Smith and Ross began to travel extensively and Smith became interested in ancient civilizations of Mexico, China, and Southeast Asia. In 1892, during a trip to Italy, Smith befriended Isabella Stewart Gardner, for whom he copied famous paintings, and occasionally acted as agent in purchasing art work.
Making his first trip to Egypt in 1898, Smith became enthralled with the art work of the ancient civilization and devoted himself to painting copies of the tomb sculptures and murals for educational uses in museums and other public institutions. In 1899, he married Corinna Haven Putnam and the couple spent much of their married life traveling between the United States and the Middle East, especially Egypt. From 1910 to 1939, Smith was a member of the Joint Expedition of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Harvard University directed by Dr. George A. Reisner.
For fifty years, Smith was also sought out as a writer and producer of plays and theatrical pageants, fetes, and masques primarily staged for various charitable fund-raising events.
Joseph Lindon Smith died on October 18, 1950 in Dublin, New Hampshire.

Administration
Alternative Forms Available
The collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reels 5114-5124 at 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.
All of the sound recordings in this collection were digitized for research access in 2009 and are available at the Archives of American Art offices. Researchers may view the original phonograph records for the archival notations on them, but original media are not available for playback.
Processing Information
The papers were arranged by Jean Fitzgerald in 1996, and a finding aid prepared in 2010. Eden Orelove encoded the Index of Correspondents in 2011.
Author
Jean Fitzgerald
Provenance
The Joseph Lindon Smith papers were donated by Jessie T. Hale, Smith's granddaughter, in 1977 and 1978.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Joseph Lindon Smith papers, 1647-1965, bulk 1873-1965. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Joseph Lindon Smith 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.

Related Material
The papers of Smith's wife, Corinna Putnam Smith, are available at The Schlesinger Library of Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Egypt, Antiquities Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notebooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Egypt -- description and travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drafts (documents) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Historical drama Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Community theater Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Egyptian Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Ancient Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Egypt Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New Hampshire -- Dublin Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pershing, John J. (John Joseph), 1860-1948 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manship, Paul, 1885-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Loring, Charles Greely, 1828-1902 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
James, Henry, 1843-1916 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, Corinna Lindon, 1876- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sargent, John Singer, 1856-1925 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ross, Denman Waldo, 1853-1935 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Académie Julian Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Alma-Tadema, Lawrence, Sir, 1836-1912 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thayer, Abbott Handerson, 1849-1921 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Beaux, Cecilia, 1855-1942 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Benson, Frank Weston, 1862-1951 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brush, George de Forest, 1855-1941 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Carson, Kit, 1809-1868 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gardner, Isabella Stewart, 1840-1924 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/