John Milton Fogg, Jr. collection of letters and papers relating to Albert C. Barnes and the University of Pennsylvania
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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
John Milton Fogg, Jr. was born on November 8, 1898, and was educated at Germantown High School, the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1925, and Harvard University, publishing his dissertation in 1929. Even before earning his PhD, he was hired as an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania; and in 1934, when the University acquired the Morris Arboretum, Fogg was hired to survey and identify its plantings. In 1940, Laura L. Barnes solicited Fogg's help with the establishment of a horticulture school at the Barnes Foundation in Merion and he helped her organize a curriculum for the program and suggested lecturers. In 1940, he became the school's first instructor of botany.
In 1941, Fogg's career with the University of Pennsylvania expanded. He was first appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and, in 1944, Vice Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, a post he held until 1953. Fogg was named director of the Morris Arboretum in 1959 and in 1966, at the time of Laura L. Barnes's death, he was appointed Director of the Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation, serving until his retirement in 1979. He died in 1982.
In this collection, Fogg was corresponding with Albert C. Barnes, largely as a University of Pennsylvania administrator. His work with Mrs. Barnes may have helped forge and renew relationships with the University following an earlier disappointing collaboration that occurred prior to his appointment as Vice Provost.
Albert Coombs Barnes was born into a working-class family in Philadelphia in 1872. He earned his education at Central High School and the University of Pennsylvania, graduating from medical school before continuing his study of chemistry in Germany. He made his fortune by co-inventing the silver-based antiseptic Argyrol with his German colleague Hermann Hille.
In addition to operating his Philadelphia business, A. C. Barnes Company, Dr. Barnes collected art, amassing "a treasure trove of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist paintings, as well as old master works, Native American fine crafts, and early American furniture and decorative art," (Barnes Foundation). He and his wife Laura Leggett Barnes purchased a 12-acre arboretum in Merion, Pennsylvania in 1922 and he hired architect Paul Cret to design a residence and gallery, in which he would establish the Barnes Foundation, "an educational institution dedicated to promoting an appreciation of fine art and horticulture." According to the Barnes Foundation, the innovative arts education program was based on the teachings of Dr. Barnes, Violette de Mazia, and John Dewey, and emphasized direct engagement with works of art.
From 1924 to 1926, a course entitled "Modern Art," was offered at the University in collaboration with Albert C. Barnes, with Barnes establishing "a course in art appreciation at the University, supplying a lecturer, and opening its art gallery to students in the course," (box 1, folder 1). In a 1926 report or "survey" delivered to the University's provost, the author (almost certainly Barnes, himself) cites the problem as a "lack of intelligent cooperation on the part of the University authorities;" and states that as of November, 1926, the Barnes Foundation decided to suspend its formal arrangement with the University of Pennsylvania. Barnes's displeasure with the University of Pennsylvania's Fine Arts Department continued through the 1930s, but appears to have thawed slightly through a developing relationship with John M. Fogg, Jr., vice-provost of the University of Pennsylvania, in 1941; and by April of 1946, there were renewed efforts to establish a joint Penn-Barnes course. In a proposal which was accepted by the University on April 29, 1946, Dr. Roderick Chisholm was to be appointed full professor in the Department of Philosophy at Penn; his salary was to be paid by Barnes; and he was to teach one course each week in the Barnes gallery. As arrangements for accepting students began, Barnes became increasingly unhappy with Penn's management and by September 23, was sending "exhibits" of "data to show disorder at the University in arranging for Dr. Chisholm's class," (box 1, folder 15) the first of which was to be held on October 3, 1946. By November 26, Dr. Chisholm resigned as lecturer and on December 17, a notice was sent to students that the class was discontinued.
Following the dissolution of the course, Barnes continued to write to University of Pennsylvania administrators, however, the possibility of future collaboration was not considered by Barnes. Instead, Barnes discussed other conflicts, including his disapproval of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (and its association to the University); his feud with James Michener (and his association with the University); and the general disintegration of the University, and particularly his disapproval of its president, Harold E. Stassen. Even his relationship with John M. Fogg, Jr. appears to have dissolved in 1950.
This collection provides a fascinating glimpse into the personality of Barnes, his educational ideals and expectations, the administration and operation of the University of Pennsylvania during the 1920s to the 1950s, and the state of art education in the United States during that same time frame.
This collection contains primarily correspondence between Barnes (or the secretary of the Barnes Foundation, Nelle E. Mullen, on Barnes' behalf) and University of Pennsylvania officials. Vice-provost John M. Fogg is Barnes' most frequent correspondent, but other members of the university in the collection include presidents George William McClelland and Harold Edward Stassen; executive vice-president William H. DuBarry; George Simpson Koyl, dean of the School of Fine Arts; Roderick M. Chisholm, who was hired by the university to teach a joint Penn-Barnes course; Glenn R. Morrow, dean of the College; Edgar Arthur Singer, philosophy professor; Frederick C. Gruber of Penn's radio station; and students Jon D. Longaker and Hannah Dorothy Clymer.
In his correspondence with university officials, Barnes frequently enclosed copies of his correspondence with individuals not associated with the university, such as Marie Clews, John Dewey, John Hospers, R. Sturgis Ingersoll and Fiske Kimball of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, C. Brewster Rhoads, Nelson Read, Henry Clifford, James A. Michener, and Horace Stern. Much of the correspondence concerns attempts to establish a joint Penn-Barnes course, which met for only a few sessions before being called off by Barnes. Other topics of the correspondence include Barnes' feuds with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and with the author James Michener. A small series of miscellaneous materials (4 folders) includes copies of writings by Barnes; newspaper and magazine clippings concerning Barnes, which extend past the dates of the correspondence to 1974; and a brochure for the 1984-1985 program at the Arboretum School of the Barnes Foundation.
Gift of Helen B. Fogg, 1986.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Amey Hutchins
- Finding Aid Date
- 2018 December 7
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.