William James drawings
Drawings, sketches, and sketchbooks by William James, the American philosopher and psychologist.
Language of Materials
Collection materials are in English, French, and German.
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
Conditions Governing Use
Images linked to the finding aid describing this collection are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.
Extent1 linear feet (2 boxes)
Over 60 pen and pencil matted drawings and 3 sketchbooks. All individual drawings were received matted, but some have since been removed from mats during conservation. Most mats are annotated by Henry James III (1879-1947), the son of William James.
Includes: juvenilia; photograph of James's portrait of Kitty Temple and drawings of Newton Dexter and Francis James Child; three pocket notebooks used by James in Bonn and Cambridge, containing notes and sketches; drawings from the Thayer/Agassiz Brazil expedition, 1865-1866; sketches from his Lawrence Scientific School and Harvard Medical School days; and various self-portraits, bookplate images, landscapes, images of animals, and caricatures and portraits of family and friends.
Biographical / Historical
William James (1842-1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist, a leader of the philosophical movement of Pragmatism, and of the psychological movement of functionalism. James studied painting in the studio of William Morris Hunt during 1859-1860, but he soon abandoned this career direction. By 1861 he had entered the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University and by 1864 he was studying at the Harvard Medical School.
Organized into the following series:
- I. Sketchbooks
- II. Brazil
- III. Drawings found with Edmund Tweedy's papers
- IV. Europe
- V. Medical School
- VI. The Sixties
- VII. Miscellaneous drawings
Immediate Source of Acquisition
42M-386. Gift of Henry James III; received: 1942 December 23.
Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt
These drawings were formerly housed in a green cloth portfolio; now stored in a box.
Former number 51 has been recataloged to MS Am 1092.1.
- James, William, 1842-1910. William James drawings, 1859-1880: Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- Description rules
- Language of description
- EAD ID
Part of the Houghton Library Repository
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