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Anne Terhune Research Collection of Thomas Hovenden


Held at: Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives [Contact Us]Philadelphia Museum of Art, PO Box 7646, Philadelphia, PA 19101-7646

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Art historian Anne Gregory Terhune (1921-2005) created these records in her research of Irish-American artist Thomas Hovenden (1840-1895). In addition to her 1983 dissertation, Terhune's most notable study of Hovenden was a critical biography, "Thomas Hovenden: His Life and Art," which was published in 2006 by University of Pennsylvania Press. The materials comprising this collection appear to have been created primarily for these two projects. The bulk of material consists of index cards, most of which Terhune organized by subject and often annotated with supporting commentary and bibliographic references. Most of her research files are also identified by subject and consist of clippings, correspondence, notes and photographs. Much of the primary and secondary source materials are photocopies, including the artist's sketchbook and lecture notes. There are also individual index cards and files for many of Hovenden's works of art. Terhune also compiled a photograph album consisting of copy prints of many images pertaining to Hovenden, his career and his family. Notes accompany many of the photos. The collection also includes a large number of slides Terhune used to illustrate her lectures, as well as correspondence files, manuscript drafts, lecture notes and exhibition research. Because Terhune often made extensive notations on a folder, originals (or copies of) have been maintained.

These materials were arranged and described by Bertha Adams. Funded by a grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Bertha Adams
Finding Aid Date
Funded by a grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The Anne Terhune Research Collection of Thomas Hovenden is the physical property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. The Museum holds literary rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Collection Inventory

Scope and Content Note

Index cards were Terhune's primary method of research and record keeping. On these cards she would note subject ideas and often include brief passages summarizing pertinent readings and her own thoughts on the topic as well as related bibliographic references. Based on original tab headings, Terhune arranged the first set of cards first by chapter and then by subject within each chapter subgroup. The arrangement of topics does not always coincide with the book order and may therefore reflect the structure of Terhune's dissertation. The second subseries chronicles Hovenden's works of art. His paintings are arranged alphabetically by title, followed by drawings, related photographs and related works by other artists, such as his daughter Martha. The third subseries is also by various subjects, including people and reference sources in addition to topics. There is no discernible order. As the two subgorups within the next subseries indicates, Terhune added to the bibliography she originally prepared for her 1983 dissertation, identifying the latter as "1984." The final subseries consists of names and addresses of people and organizations pertinent to Terhune's work, and the set is identified here as "Rolodex."

Physical Description

6 linear feet

Subjects by chapter.
Drawings and related works.
Additional notes.
Various subjects.
Dissertation references.
1984 references.

Scope and Content Note

Terhune's research files offer documentary evidence and substantiation to a number of topics noted on her index cards. The "People" subseries consists of information about Hovenden, his family, and other figures who influenced his work, particularly contemporary artists and collectors. In addition to photocopying primary materials held at various institutions, Terhune apparently had access to materials held by Hovenden's descendants who continue to live in the Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania area, where the artist maintained his home. Photocopies of the artist's sketchbook, lecture notes and snapshots are identified as "attic" material. Terhune made an inventory of these materials, which also included 19th century catalogues and clippings. Terhune also conducted interviews at Plymouth Meeting, and made "miscellaneous" notes about the Corson family, which was the family of Hovenden's wife Helen. "African Americans" is one of the more extensive topics documented in the "Subjects" subseries and consists primarily of articles on their depiction in art. There is also a notebook in which Terhune made comments to a related exhibition at the Wadsworth Athenaeum as well as notes from her 1992 interview of, and later lecture by, Edmund Barry Gaither, director and curator of the Museum of National Center of Afro-American Artists. The subseries also includes a print-out of American art exhibitions prior to 1877 as well as photocopies of directories of 19th century galleries and other art institutions. Also of note is Terhune's demographic research based on 1880 censuses of Plymouth Meeting and Montgomery counties. Terhune's papers include photocopies of these documents as well as her analysis of the information. Most of the material in the "Works of Art" subseries consists of Terhune's correspondence with institutuions and private collectors owning works by Hovenden. Provenance, identification of the artist's models, and permission to publish are the issues most often documented. Photographs, notes and clippings are also included. "Writings" consist of clippings, original and photocopied, to which Terhune did not assign a specific topic. Included in the "Primary" sources are articles from the Philadelphia Press, Harper's Weekly and Harper's Magazine. "Secondary" sources include scholarly writings by Linda Ferber (1980), Lee M. Edwards (1987) as well as chapters from American Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Volumes II and III (1980, 1985) and New York Times clippings.

Physical Description

2.5 linear feet

Hovenden and family.
Works of art.
Primary sources.
Secondary sources.

Scope and Content Note

In compiling images depicting Hovenden's career, life and influences, Terhune put together an album of copy prints, inserting explanatory notes to almost every image. In addition to Hovenden's works of art and that of other artists, there are also scenic photos of Brittany and Pont-Aven, the artist's home in Plymouth Meeting, costumed models, and photos of his daughter Martha in her studio and of her own sculptural works. Terhune also took her own photographs, for which there are contact prints and negatives. There are also a few folders of photographs Terhune acquired from other sources, including "extras" she decided not to use in her book. A meticulous notekeeper, Terhune recorded subjects, dates, and locations of images she photographed as well as those she saw elsewhere. Those notes are included here as are approximately 400 slides. Most of those images are identified on the slide itself, and there are also some index cards included in her photo notes as well as a list of slides of Hovenden paintings.

Physical Description

1 linear foot

Prints and negatives.
Correspondence and related material. 0.5 linear foot.
Scope and Content Note

Most of Terhune's correspondence is with Robert L. McNeil,Jr., president of Barra Foundation Inc., which financed the publishing of Terhune's book. Their correspondence covers a 13-year period, beginning in 1984 when Terhune contacted the Foundation upon the recommendation of her graduate adviser William Gerdts. As chronicled in their letters, Terhune submitted her first manuscript in 1988, and through the 1990s was working on her rewrites while teaching art history courses. Another long-term correspondent was Nancy Corson, grandniece of Helen Corson Hovenden. Other correspondence documents Terhune's contact with several scholars, private collectors and research repositories, and issues of access to her dissertation while she worked on the book.

Physical Description

0.5 linear foot

Scope and Content Note

The first subseries, which pertains to Terhune's disseration and book on Hovenden, consists of her proposals for each, segments of writing drafts, bibliographic notes and illustration lists. Her correspondence with the Barra Foundation regarding the publication of her book is included in the "Correspondence" series. The second subseries documents Terhune's involvment in the 1995 exhibition and related programs held at the Woodmere Art Museum to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Hovenden's death. Terhune advised in the selection of works for the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue. She also wrote one of the essays and led several tours of the exhibition. Documentation consists of correspondence, checklists, essay drafts and lecture notes. The final subseries documents "other projects," some of which were proposed by Terhune, but never realized. These include two Hovenden exhibitions and a research project about John Brown. Projects successfully completed include the slide lecture Terhune gave to the Plymouth Meeting Historical Society about her graduate work on Thomas Hovenden. She also was involved in the video recording of the lecture, particularly in obtaining the necessary permissions to reproduce the works of art she used in her presentation. Documentaiton consists of lecture notes, correspondence and forms. Touching upon Terhune's teaching career is a program, project description and biographical sketch produced for a faculty art show at Norwalk Community College. A research paper entitled "Wilderness in the American Landscape" documents her work as a graduate student.

Physical Description

0.5 linear foot

Dissertation and book.
Woodmere Art Museum exhibition.
Other projects.
Miscellany. 0.25 linear foot.
Scope and Content Note

Most of this material consists of loose pages of notes to which Terhund did not assign a subject. Other materials include several scenic calendar reprints by Currier & Ives and one of a painting by Norman Rockwell, as well as Terhune's c.v. and a few versions of her biographical sketch. Loose index cards similarly unassigned were placed in the "Index cards" series as "miscellany."

Physical Description

0.25 linear foot

Print, Suggest