The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera
Henry Francis du Pont
5105 Kennett Pike,
302-888-4600 or 800-448-3883
OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION
Creator: Hosmer, Harriet Goodhue, 1830-1908
Acc. No.: [various – see detailed description]
Quantity: 16 items
Location: 34 J 2
Sculptor Harriet Goodhue Hosmer (1830-1908) was
born the second child of Hiram and Sarah Grant Hosmer of
SCOPE AND CONTENT
This collection contains primarily letters to various friends by sculptor Harriet G. Hosmer. Most letters concern personal news and plans for social events. Several recount her travels and her work, and one refers to her perpetual motion machine. Two photographs, one of Hosmer and the other of Mme La Grange, are also included. In addition, one letter from Anne Thackeray [Ritchie] to Mary James mentions that Miss Hosmer lives nearby and includes a sketch of her. Miss Hosmer’s handwriting is not the easiest to read.
The items are in accession number order.
LANGUAGE OF MATERIALS
The materials are in English.
RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS
Collection is open to the public. Copyright restrictions may apply.
Purchases from various sources.
Harriet Hosmer is mentioned in the New Orleans Artists Roster, available at this repository on microfilm, Mic. 893, in volume III, 1874.
Ritchie, Anne Thackeray, 1837-1919.
Voyages and travels.
Artists - Correspondence.
Caricatures and cartoons.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION
Location: 34 J 2
67x71.-.2 To Minnie, from Hosmer, n.d.,
Two personal letters that talk about meeting. In the first letter, written from Alford House, Princes Gate, S.W., Hosmer thanks Minnie for a stitched gift (“I send you as many thanks as stitches…”).
67x71.3 To my dear Kinswoman, from Hosmer,
Mentions a reception. Mrs. Gross will lend her carriage “if this will facilitate your coming out on the 24th. I have lived in perfect seclusion….”
[Emily and Samuel Gross,
a successful businessman, lived at this address in
67x71.4 To my dear Kinswoman [a cousin], from
Accepts invitation to visit, and solicits an invitation for Mrs. Gross as well. “I have just come from the South Side Club.” “My nose to the grindstone almost perpetually,” but manages some pleasures.
[John G. Shortall, a
67x149 To Capt. Lewis from Hosmer, Aug. 6,
Discusses the closure of a gypsum quarry near
67x150.6 To Mrs. Putnam from Hosmer, Oct. 13,
Writes of visiting. Plans to live on Monday next. Invites Mrs. Putnam to visit her new studio
[This might be a reference to the studio Hosmer had built in 1864.]
67x150.7 To an unidentified friend from Hosmer, n.d., n.p.
Cancels a meeting due to an urgent telegram received.
67x150.8 To Ellen from Hosmer, Sept. 18, ?2 [date unclear], n.p.
Thanks her for her letter and kind wishes. Sends a copy of “Seasong” in return.
A mounted photo of Mme La Grange, perhaps taken in the late 1860s, is affixed to the letter.
68x17.5a-c Letter from Anne Isabella Thackeray [Anne Isabella Thackeray
Ritchie], Warsash, Titchfield, Hants., to Miss Mary James, Hound House, Shire,
Tells Mary about the house
in which she is now living. Thackeray
mentions that Miss Hosmer is in the same household; gives a description of her,
and includes a little sketch of her (showing Miss Hosmer’s “short hair &
petticoats & neatest little boots”). Wishes that someone would order a novel from
her (Thackeray) in the same way that Miss Hosmer has just received an order for
a statue of
Thanks Mary for ferns and for recent hospitality. Williamson furniture arrived. Made an umbrella stand. Will send photos.
69x56 To Mr. Gray from Hosmer, Nov. 28,
Discusses the public argument she is engaged in with Mr. Chapman. Mentions an exhibition of the perpetual motion machine.
[James L. Chapman had
assisted Hosmer as she worked on a perpetual motion machine. In 1878 Chapman claimed the work as his
own. Her friends defended her, offering
proof of her long years of work on the machine.
Kent House was the
69x84.1 To Miss Dempster from Hosmer, 38
Prefers to put off the
visit to the
[For several years in
the 1850s and early 1860s, Hosmer shared a home with Charlotte Cushman and
others at 38 Via Gregoriana in
69x84.2 To Miss Dempster from Hosmer, n.d.
[1864 penciled in], [place illegible, but possibly
Speaks of contemporary and historical art. Mentions her “sister sculptors,” rocks for work, drapery on statues, Mr. Gibson (“the kindest of men”), Mr. Gibson’s “Cleopatra,” etc.
69x84.3 To Kate from Hosmer, Friday, oct. 4,
Describes her travels. Mentions a Miss Erskine and Lady Ashburton.
69x84.4 To Kate from Hosmer, n.d. [Sept. 1872 penciled in], Buxton.
News of family and travels. Mentions a course of bathing [Buxton is a spa town] and trying to cheer up Lady Ashburton. Hopes they can meet.
69x84.5 To Kate from Hosmer, n.d., Arniston, Gorebridge, N.B. [printed on paper].
Writes of visits. Plans to be in Arniston until Sept. 1.
[Refers to Kate as Charley’s sister.]
69x229.1 To Mr. Penn from Hosmer, June 8,
Talks about her sculpture work; hopes to exhibit 3 of them next year: two belonging to Lady Ashburton and her statue of the Queen of Naples. Mentions a Mr. Boxah[?] as a staunch friend; also mentions Mr. Gibson.
[The statue of Maria Sophia, Queen of Naples, was begun in 1868.]
69x229.2 Carte-de-visite photo of Hosmer mounted
on cardboard. Published by E. &