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William Henry Fox records, 1908-35 (inclusive).

Author: Brooklyn Museum. Office of the Director.
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Publication:Records, 1896-[ongoing]
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The records of William Henry Fox's administration document all activities of the Museum and include correspondence with artists, donors, lenders, and vendors; Board of Trustees and Governing Committee members; New York City agencies, particularly the Parks Department; Museum staff; and staff of other museums and cultural institutions.
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Named Person: Tassilo Adam; Frank Lusk Babbott; Edwin Howland Blashfield; Edward C Blum; Christian Brinton; Charles Caryl Coleman; M D C Crawford; Frank Crowninshield; Stewart Culin; Dorothea A Dreier; Katherine Sophie Dreier; George P Engelhardt; Daniel M Fox; William Henry Fox; Michael Friedsam; Emil Fuchs; A E Gallatin; W H Goodyear; Samuel E Haslett; Elizabeth Haynes; A Augustus Healy; Paul Helleu; William H Herriman; Franklin W Hooper; Susan A Hutchinson; Alfred W Jenkins; Adolph Lewisohn; Luke Vincent Lockwood; John Hill Morgan; Robert Cushman Murphy; Joseph Pennell; Caroline A L Pratt; Dick S Ramsay; Andre E Rueff; Augusta Saint-Gaudens; Louis Sparre; Herbert Joseph Spinden; Joseph Stella; Herbert B Tschudy; Theodora Wilbour; Claggett Wilson; Philip Newell Youtz
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Brooklyn Museum. Office of the Director.
OCLC Number: 122566549
In: Brooklyn Museum. Office of the Director
Description: 15.25 linear ft. plus. 1.25 linear ft. oversize materials plus. .5 linear ft photographs.

Abstract:

The records of William Henry Fox's administration document all activities of the Museum and include correspondence with artists, donors, lenders, and vendors; Board of Trustees and Governing Committee members; New York City agencies, particularly the Parks Department; Museum staff; and staff of other museums and cultural institutions.

The activities of the curatorial departments can be tracked through files on the individual curators and departments. These files often contain letters reporting on collecting expeditions, information that may not be available elsewhere. In addition, the files document everyday activities, from routine memos to requisitions for works of art. Among the most important curatorial correspondents are Stewart Culin and Herbert Spinden (Ethnology); William Henry Goodyear, Herbert Tschudy, and Andre Rueff (Fine Arts, Paintings); George P. Engelhardt and Robert C. Murphy (Natural History); Elizabeth Haynes (Decorative Arts); Susan Hutchinson (Library ? and Tassilo Adam (Oriental Art).

Donor correspondence documents the offer and acquisition (or rejection) of objects as diverse as a small curiosity or a major art collection. Bequest files also contain valuable acquisitions information. The provenance of objects in the collection can often be traced through these files. Among the donors and artists found in the files are Edwin H. Blashfield, Charles Caryl Coleman, M.D.C. Crawford, Frank Crowninshield, Katherine and Dorothea Dreier, Michael Friedsam, Emil Fuchs, Albert E. Gallatin, Samuel E. Haslett, A. Augustus Healy, Paul Helleu, William H. Herriman, Alfred W. Jenkins, Joseph Pennell, Dick S. Ramsay, Augusta Saint-Gaudens, Louis Sparre, Joseph Stella, Theodora Wilbour, and Claggett Wilson.

Correspondence with Trustees also provides valuable insights into administrative matters, collecting policy, and Museum activities. Several Trustees, including Frank L. Babbott, Edward C. Blum, A. Augustus Healy, Adolph Lewisohn, Luke V. Lockwood, John Hill Morgan, and Caroline A. L. Pratt took a very active interest in the day-to-day activities of the Museum and generated a significant amount of correspondence.

During Fox's administration, a number of exhibition series were established, among them the biennials "Water Color Paintings by American Artists," beginning in 1921, and "Paintings, Sculpture & Drawings by American & Foreign Artists," beginning in 1928. The Museum also hosted the annual exhibitions of the Brooklyn Society of Etchers from 1915, The Brooklyn Society of Miniature Painters from 1916, and the Brooklyn Society of Artists from 1922. The Director's files provide important adjunct material to the primary exhibition documentation, which appears in curatorial files.

Of particular significance are exhibition files that document Fox's organization of circulating loan shows of contemporary art and decorative arts. Fox acted as curator for many shows, often assisted by art critic Christian Brinton. The files include correspondence and lists compiled during trips to Europe to visit museums and artists, select works, and arrange loans; efforts to arrange venues; administration; and critical reaction.

In addition, several important exhibitions organized by outside groups were held at the Museum. Among these, the Société Anonyme's "International Exhibition of Modern Art" (1925-27), the "International Exhibition Organized by the Carnegie Institute" (1928), and the American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (AUDAC) exhibition (1931), are of particular significance. Circulating exhibitions from the American Federation of Arts also appeared at the Museum. While the depth of information seen above does not exist in these files, they do provide critical material not found elsewhere.

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