Conditions on Access:
Conditions on Use:
Copyright: The donor has transferred any copyright held in these papers to the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright in some papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the Harvard Art Museums Archives before publishing images or quotations from any material in the collection.
Extent6 linear feet (11 file boxes, oversize materials)
The collection is divided into three series: Personal and Biographical, Correspondence, and Writings. Series I, Personal and Biographical, contains five subseries: Photographs; Education, financial and Health; Travel; Teaching; and Materials Collected by Agnes Mongan. Subseries A contains photographs of Agnes Mongan and friends and family from her childhood through ca. 1979. Subseries B contains notebooks and class notes from Mongan's undergraduate years at Bryn Mawr, financial and health-related material. Subseries C consists of travel itineraries, diaries, and notes from trips by Agnes and Elizabeth between 1967-1978; there are also undated materials from earlier trips. Subseries D contains a catalog of an exhibition hung in support of classes she taught at the University of Texas in 1977, and an article and a thesis written by former students of Mongan, 1979. Subseries E contains clippings, programs, and other items collected by Mongan.
Series II, Correspondence, is divided into two subseries; these reflect the order the letters were in when they arrived at the archives. Subseries A, 1927-1948, 1976-1978, is arranged with alphabetical order within chronological groupings. It includes correspondence with family members, especially her siblings, colleagues at the Fogg Museum, including Paul J. Sachs, and colleagues at other institutions and within the art world. The subseries also contains correspondence with organizations and institutions with which Mongan was associated. Topics include her work at the Fogg Museum and interactions with other art institutions, social life in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Europe, her brother John's service in World War II, and her frequent travels. For the most part the correspondence consists of letters sent to Agnes. Subseries B, 1914-1992, is arranged in chronological order, and consists of correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues, especially Elizabeth Mongan. It includes a letter from Eddie Warburg regarding his purchase of a Picasso; letters from and to Agnes Mongan's family when she was a student in Florence in 1927-1928 and during a 1967 trip to Asia; and letters from colleagues regarding the 1967 publication of her catalogue on Ingres..
Series III, Writings, includes nine articles, 1946-1974, written by Agnes Mongan on Ingres and French drawings
The three accessions were integrated into the same collection. The initial accession, ARCH.2003.12, (two record cartons) consisted largely of correspondence, but also contained photographs, clippings, financial records, articles written by Agnes Mongan and others, and audio material. The addendum, ARCH.2003.18, (one record carton) consisted solely of correspondence. A third accession, ARCH.2003.15, consisted solely of notes taken from a 1993 interview with Elizabeth Mongan. Throughout the collection clippings were photocopied and the originals discarded. Photographs were photocopied; a reference copy remains in place of the original; originals are housed at the end of the collection.
Her career also included stints as Acting Director of the Timken Gallery in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, and visiting professor for various institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin. Some of her major publications include the 1940 Drawings in the Fogg Museum of Art, The Ingres Centennial Exhibition, 1867-1967, published in 1967, One Hundred Master Drawings, presented in honor of Paul J. Sachs in 1949, and David to Corot: French Drawings in the Fogg Museum of Art, 1996. Agnes Mongan was the recipient of seven honorary degrees: L.H.D.s from Smith College (1941), Wheaton College (1954), and the University of Massachusetts (1970); and D.F.A.s from LaSalle (1973), Collby College (1973), the University of Notre Dame (1980), and Boston College (1985). She was honored by Harvard University in 1994 when the Agnes Mongan Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs opened at the Fogg. According to James Cuno, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the University Art Museums from 1991 to 2002, "She was, in a way, not unlike the work of the artist she most admired and for whom her scholarly work is best known, the French painter and draughtsman, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Like Ingres' work, she offered us a twist on the traditional that was, in the end, more modern than old-fashioned. She was, in her tastes, habits, and courage, in no way conventional" (Harvard University Gazette, September 19, 1991). Agnes Mongan died on September 15, 1996.
Born in 1909, Elizabeth Mongan graduated from Miss Haskell's School for Girls in 1927. She received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr in 1931, where she majored in art history. In July 1931, she started working at the Lyman-Allyn Museum, New London, CT, under director Winslow Ames. She took art courses with Paul J. Sachs in 1933-1934, and 1936-1937. From 1935-1936 she taught at Sheldon Nixon School, Florence, and in 1937 became curator for Lessing J. Rosenwald, Jenkintown, PA. When the collection moved to the National Gallery of Art, she became its curator there, and was later named Curator of Graphic Arts. She left the National Gallery of Art in 1963, when she went to Paris to work on a catalogue of Paul Gaugin prints. She taught a graphics arts course at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, in 1964-1965. She became the Acting Director and Curator of Prints and Drawings of the Smith College Museum of Art, where she was the Associate Director until 1975. In 1973, she became the Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor at Williams College, and in 1975, Acting Director of the Timken Gallery, San Diego. In 1979, she worked as visiting curator in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Elizabeth Mongan died in June 2002.
Series and Subseries in the Collection
- Series I. Personal and Biographical
- ___Subseries A: Photographs
- ___Subseries B: Education, financial and health
- ___Subseries C:Travel
- ___Subseries D: Teaching
- ___Subseries E: Material collectedby Agnes Mongan
- Series II. Correspondence
- ___Subseries A, 1927-1948, 1976-1978
- ___Subseries B, 1914-1992
- Series III. Writings
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Box 1: folders 1-20
- Box 2:folders 21-43
- Box 3: folders 44-70
- Box 4: folders 71-101
- Box 5: folders 102-133
- Box 6: folders 134-163
- Box 7: folders 164-189
- Box 8: folders 190-212
- Box 9:folders 213-238
- Box 10: folders 239-263
- Box 11: folders 264-293
- Art historians-Massachusetts-Cambridge
- Art-Study and teaching-History-20th century
- Arts administrators-United States
- Asia-Social life and customs-20th century
- Cambridge(Mass.) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century
- College art museums-Massachusetts-Cambridge
- Drawing, French
- Drawing-Study and teaching-History-20th century
- Europe-Social life and customs-20th century
- Financial records
- HarvardUniversity--Art Museums
- Sound recordings
- United States-Social life and customs-20th century
- Voyages and travel-20th century
- Women educators-United States
- Women in the professions-United States
- Women museum curators-United States
- Papers of Agnes Mongan (SC 1), 1914-1993: A Guide
- Harvard Art Museums Archives
- EAD ID
Part of the Harvard Art Museums Archives Repository
The Harvard Art Museums Archives is the official repository for institutional records and historical documents in all formats relating to the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, 1895 to the present. Its collections include signiﬁcant papers of individuals and groups associated with the museums' history, as well as correspondence with collectors, gallery owners, museum professionals, and notables throughout the twentieth century. Its holdings also document the formation of the museums' collections and its mission as a teaching institution.
32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA 02138 USA