Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Vanderbilt, William K. (William Kissam), 1849-1920

titleVanderbilt Museum of Suffolk County (Centerport, N.Y.) Scrapbooks, logbooks and photo albums, ca. 1885-1952, ca. 1900-ca. 1940 (bulk)
repositoryVanderbilt Museum
collection titleScrapbooks and photograph albums of William K. Vanderbilt II and various members of his family; also logbooks kept by Vanderbilt as captain on voyages aboard his yachts.

Scrapbooks of newspaper clippings contain news about the Vanderbilt family from the 1880s on. Photo albums and scrapbooks document William Kissam Vanderbilt II's homes and estates in Lake Success and Centerport, Long Island; his interest in automobile racing in Europe and on Long Island; his travels around the world on his steam yachts including the Tarantula, the Eagle, the Alva and the Ara; and his interst in marine biology.

Other items of note include a photo album of William K. Vanderbilt III, 1918; an album of photos, clippings and notes about the funeral of Vanderbilt's mother, Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont, 1933; and scrapbooks of clippings and letters concerning The Glitter and The Gold, a book written by Vanderbilt's sister, Consuelo Balsan, 1952.

William Kissam Vanderbilt II (1878-1944) was son of William K. Vanderbilt I and great grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt.
extentca. 160 v.
formatsScrapbooks Photographs Notes Ephemera
accessContact repositoroy for restrictions
record link
record source
updated02/07/2020 18:20:31

titlePapers of Raoul Heilbronner, 1887-1914 (MSS25650)
repositoryLibrary of Congress
collection titleCorrespondence; letterbooks; business records including invoices, inventories, notebooks, address book, records of purchases and sales, deposits, and consignments; and historical notes and clippings relating to particular objects. Individuals represented in the collection include George Grey Barnard, Samuel R. Bertron, Mrs. Chauncey J. Blair, Edson Bradley, Charles T. Crocker, Mrs. Edward H. Harriman, William Randolph Hearst, Mrs. William H. Klapp, Mrs. Potter Palmer, Thomas Fortune Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt, and Henry Walters.
extent9,000 items. 9 containers.
formatsCorrespondence Business Records Financial Records Notes Ephemera
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record source
finding aidFinding aid available in the Library of Congress Manuscript Reading Room./
acquisition informationGift, Tudor Wilkinson, 1952.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:07

titleMatilda Young Papers, 1932-1933.
repositoryDuke University Library
collection titleLetters of Miss Young, paid companion of Mrs. Alva Murray (Smith) Vanderbilt Belmont during 1932, commenting on Mrs. Belmont and the Vanderbilt family; together with Mrs. Belmont's memoirs, describing her personal life as a child, in Mobile, Ala., New York City, and Paris, and as a wife, hostess, and militant feminist, social life and the family estates in New York City and Newport, R.I., women's rights, her marriage to and divorce from William K. Vanderbilt, Sr., and marriage to Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont, and her three children, William K. Vanderbilt, Jr., Harold S. Vanderbilt, and Consuelo (Vanderbilt) Spencer-Churchill Balsan.
extent28 items.
formatsCorrespondence Diaries
accessContact Assistant Curator for Reader Services, Manuscript Dept., Duke University Library, Durham, N.C., 27706.
record source
acquisition informationPurchase 1966
updated11/12/2014 11:30:07

titleVanderbilt Museum of Suffolk County (Centerport, N.Y.) Records, ca. 1920-ca. 1975.
repositoryVanderbilt Museum
collection titleRecords and papers of William K. Vanderbilt II and his Marine Museum as well as records of the Vanderbilt Museum after it came under the administration of Suffolk County.

There are catalogs of specimens; correspondence with other museums, zoos, scientists and such organizations as the Long Island Biological Association and the National Geographic Society; records relating to taxidermy and mounting of specimens; correspondence of Charles H. Stoll, a trustee, Walter Fasbender, director, and others regarding contributions to the museum and other administrative affairs; correspondence about construction and alterations to the Museum buildings; bills and other business records; and papers relating to museum publications.

Of note are papers of William E. Belanske, an artist who accompanied Vanderbilt on many of his collecting expeditions, including field notes, measurements, sketches and watercolors of specimens; and photoprints, negatives and glass plate photographs of expeditions and specimens.

Historical/biog note:
In the 1920s, William K. Vanderbilt opened a museum on the grounds of his Centerport mansion to display fish and other marine specimens which he had collected on several worldwide cruises. After his death he left the museum as well as the mansion and grounds to Suffolk County to be maintained for the benefit of the public.
extentca. 15 cubic ft.
formatsAdministrative Records
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record link
record source
updated11/12/2014 11:30:07

titleVanderbilt Museum of Suffolk County (Centerport, N.Y.) Architectural drawings, ca. 1920-ca. 1940.
repositoryVanderbilt Museum
collection titleOriginal architect's drawings and blueprints of the Spanish-style home of William K. Vanderbilt II at Centerport, Long Island, known as Eagle's Nest, showing the various additions and alterations which over the years converted a seven-room cottage into a 24-room mansion; most of the work was done by the firm of Warren & Wetmore.
extentca. 150 items.
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record link
record source
updated11/12/2014 11:30:07

titleGeorge A. Lucas papers, 1825-2003 [bulk 1824-1909] MS.10
repositoryBaltimore Museum of Art
collection titleThe George A. Lucas Papers contain the correspondence, art collection-related papers, and subject files of George A. Lucas, as well as several of his friends and colleagues. They document Lucas’ work as an art agent in late 19th and early 20th century Paris and his collections of artwork, spanning the years 1862 to 1909. They also contain research materials relating to the Lucas Papers that were not part of Lucas’ original collection.

The Papers are housed in 19 boxes and consist of three series: Subject Files, Personal Papers and Lucas Research Collection. One box contains Oversize material. The majority of the material in the Lucas Papers was originally stored with many of the paper based artworks in his collection, pasted to the pages of large folios in the collection of the Prints, Drawings and Photographs Department. For example, letters and newspaper clippings about artists were attached alongside the artist’s prints and drawings. The artwork was separated from the other material by the Conservation Department for improved access and security, the artworks retained in PDP, and the letters and ephemera sent to the Archives and Manuscripts Collections. Note that some items have retained accession numbers and are cross-referenced in the BMA’s collection database.

Lucas also pasted ephemeral material about artists in some of the books in his collection. A thorough inventory of this material has not yet been done and none of it has been removed from the books. A few items from Félix Ziem have already been found and their location is noted along with the other Ziem material in the Subject Files Series. As other material is located, it will be added similarly.

Where names, dates or other information was either indecipherable or missing, The Diary of George A. Lucas and other reference sources have been checked to obtain correct information. Names have been verified in either the Getty’s Union List of Artist Names or Bénézit’s Dictionary of Artists.

In general, materials are arranged alphabetically by correspondent or subject and then by date. Exceptions are noted below.

Additional reference materials stored with the Lucas Papers include a photocopy of handwritten translations of some of the correspondence in the Subject Files. The original translations can be difficult to read, however, in some cases they were used to aid in the translations in this finding aid. A photocopy of Lucas’ collection inventory, “Catalogue – Eaux Fortes” is also available and should be used in place of the original.

Biographical Information
George Aloysius Lucas was born May 29th, 1824 in Baltimore, Maryland. His father, Fielding Lucas, Jr. owned a publishing and stationer’s company in Baltimore that was known for publishing maps, atlases and several important drawing books and was to eventually become Lucas Bros. Inc. Leaving his brothers to assist with the family business, Lucas left Baltimore in 1851 to work for the New York, New Haven Railroad and subsequently worked for several other railroad companies before moving to Paris in 1857.

In Paris, Lucas made his living as an art agent, buying and commissioning paintings, prints, and drawings for wealthy American friends such as William Henry Huntington, Frank Frick, William Walters, Samuel Putnam Avery, and William Henry Huntington. He met and befriended many artists and made frequent visits to their studios to see their works in progress.

At the same time, Lucas was making his own purchases and putting together his remarkable collection of artworks and books. Beginning in 1887, Lucas worked with Walters on the Barye Monument Committee and was also instrumental in putting together the Barye exhibition at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1889.

Lucas’ companion in Paris was Octavie-Josephine Marchand, who though never mentioned by anything other than “M” in either his diaries or correspondence, was an important figure in his life. Lucas remained in Paris until his death on December 17th, 1909.

Language of Materials
Material is in French and English. Correspondence from British and American persons is generally in English.

Existence and Location of Copies
For complete transcriptions of the Whistler letters held by the BMA, see The Centre for Whistler Studies:

extent3.2 Linear feet ; 19 boxes
formatsCorrespondence Artist Files Clippings Photographs Ephemera
accessThe collection is open for research. The George A. Lucas Papers are part of The George A. Lucas Collection, purchased with funds from the State of Maryland, Laurence and Stella Bendann Fund, and contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations throughout the Baltimore community, and are the physical property of the Archives and Manuscripts Collections, Baltimore Museum of Art. Copyright, except in cases where material has passed into the public domain, belongs to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult a Library staff member
record link
bibliographyThe Diary of George A. Lucas, an American Art Agent in Paris, 1857-1909. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979.
record source
finding aidIn repository and on the repository's website
acquisition informationGeorge A. Lucas willed his art collection and papers to Henry Walters on his death in 1909. Walters donated the entire collection to The Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1911. The collection was moved to the BMA beginning in 1933 and was finally purchased by the BMA in 1996. In 2005 the letters and ephemera in the collection were transferred from the Prints, Drawings and Photographs Department to the Archives and Manuscripts Collections.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:11