Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: SC 28

Papers of the Winthrop Family, 1892-1963

Overview

This collection consists of family papers generated by Mary Tallmadge Trevor Winthrop and her daughters Emily Winthrop Miles and Kate Winthrop Morse. A large scrapbook dates from 1892-1895, while additional papers span 1928 - 1963. Includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, event programs, copyright forms, and a small collection of "fairy letter" booklets.

Dates

  • 1892 - 1963 (inclusive)

Creator

Conditions on Access

Access to this collection is unrestricted.

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 from any material in the collection.

Copying: Papers may be copied in accordance with the Harvard Art Museums Archives' usual procedures.

Extent

1.5 linear feet (1 file box, 2 oversize boxes)
The collection consists of a single scrapbook and several folders of papers. The scrapbook, compiled by Mary Winthrop between 1892 and 1894, is a collection of newspaper and magazine clippings and paper ephemera, the majority of which pertain to social happenings in New York’s upper class society, including announcements of births, deaths, marriages, debuts, engagements, and wills. Other articles note political items, both American and European. Handwritten notations indicate the source and date of the clippings, which are from several Boston and New York papers. Other notes are lists of people, times, and places. Emily’s birth is noted by hand in the margin of the page corresponding to her date of birth. The scrapbook also contains magazine clippings (mostly society portraits) and concert announcements, as well as menus, seating plans, correspondence, and invitations related to the Winthrop / Trevor wedding.

The folders contain correspondence and ephemera related to Emily Winthrop Miles’ career as a sculptor, photographer, poet, and philanthropist. Of particular interest are early (1928) critiques of Emily's work by art experts Martin Birnbaum, Harold Woodbury Parsons, Paul Manship, Paul Sachs, Calvin Hathaway, Royal Cortissoz and Edward Forbes; condolence notes to Kate Winthrop Morse following Emily’s death in 1962 (including a letter from artist Kenneth Callahan, whose works Emily collected); and correspondence regarding Kate’s donations in memory of Emily. There are also several invitations, programs, and photographs throughout the folders. Other items of interest are Emily Winthrop Miles’ applications for copyright on several of her poetry books, including Four Wishes and Other Poems and The Story of the Thrush, and several John Martin's Letter To You booklets by Morgan Shepard, which are illustrated form letters addressed to Kate and dated 1909-1910.; these are an early version of John Martin's Book, (1912-1933) one of the first American magazines designed exclusively for young (ages 5-8) children.

The foldered material was collected and assembled by Kate Winthrop Morse.

All material in this collection has been rehoused into acid-free folders and boxes. Folders have been kept in original order and contents were chronologised. Notes and additional information are indicated by square brackets [ ].

Fragile correspondence has been placed in Mylar. Preservation copies were made of loose clippings, and originals are stored flat between sheets of preservation paper.

Biography:

Mary Tallmadge Trevor Winthrop was born in 1871 to a wealthy New York banking family, and married Grenville Winthrop in 1892. A descendant of colonial governor John Winthrop, Grenville studied law at Harvard University, graduating in 1889, and practiced for several years in New York before retiring and becoming an art collector. Their eldest child, Emily, was born in 1893; the younger, Kate, was born in 1899. Mary suffered from depression and lived apart from Grenville after Kate’s birth, until she died at her family’s home in Yonkers in 1900.

Emily and Kate were raised by Grenville in Lenox, MA. Emily studied literature and art, with an emphasis on sculpture. Following her marriage, Emily continued to sculpt and write, publishing several volumes of poetry. Grenville took an interest in her career beginning in the late 1920s, and asked several friends in the art world, including critic Royal Cortissoz and Fogg Museum director Edward Forbes for professional opinions on her work, which they provided by letter. Her acceptence into the 1939 New York World's Fair is noted by a letter from Paul Manship and a postcard accepting her work for display in the Contemporary Art show. She also shared Grenville's passion for collecting art, amassing significent collections of 18th century porcelain, early American glass, and contemporary art. When Grenville died in 1943, he left his collection to Harvard University, where it became an important addition to the Fogg Museum. Following Emily's death, Kate managed donations of several of Emily's art collections to museums (including the Fogg) and historical societies.

Arrangement

This collection is foldered in original order. Folder contents were organized chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Winthrop Family Papers collection was given to the Harvard Art Museums Archives by Kate Winthrop Morse's great-granddaughter, Chloe Morse-Harding, on December 11, 2016.

Related Material:

This material complements accessioned works of art given by Grenville Winthrop to the Harvard Art Museums. Additional material on Grenville L. Winthrop, including his 1886 photo album (HUD 886.94) and his donations to Harvard (HUB 2879), can be found in the Harvard University Archives.

His personal papers are held at the Harvard Art Museums Archives (SC 21).

Box and Folder Locations

  1. Box 1: Folder 1
  2. Box 2: Folders 2-7
  3. Box 3: Folders 8-10
Names
  1. Birnbaum, Martin, 1878-1970.
  2. Callahan, Kenneth, 1905-1986
  3. Cortissoz, Royal, 1869-1948
  4. Fogg Art Museum.
  5. Forbes, Edward W. (Edward Waldo), 1873-1969
  6. Manship, Paul, 1885-1966
  7. Martin, John, 1865-1947
  8. Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965
  9. Winthrop, Grenville Lindall, 1864-1943
Subjects
  1. Art--Collectors and collecting.
  2. Artists as art collectors.
  3. New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.)
  4. Sculpture, American--20th century.
  5. Women art collectors.

Processing Information

The collection was processed from March 2018 to April 2018 by Ella Lesatele with assistance from Michelle Interrante and Megan Schwenke.
Link to catalog
Title
Papers of the Winthrop Family (SC 28), 1892-1963: A Guide
Author
Harvard Art Museum Archives, Harvard Art Museums, Harvard University
EAD ID
art00045

Repository Details

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.

Contact:
32 Quincy Street
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
617-495-2384