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SC 14

Scott, Jr., Henry Edwards, 1900-1990. Papers, 1918-1956: A Guide

Harvard Art Museum Archives, Harvard Art Museums, Harvard University
The President and Fellows of Harvard College

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: SC 14
Repository: Harvard Art Museum Archives, Harvard Art Museums, Harvard University
Title: Papers of Henry Edwards Scott, Jr., 1918-1956: A Guide
Date(s): 1918-1956 (inclusive).
Date(s): 1921-1929 (bulk).
Quantity: 3.25 linear feet (3 file boxes, 2 folio boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Photographs, drawings, paintings, course notes, albums, journals, and research papers documenting Henry Edwards Scott Jr.'s education at Harvard and subsequent teaching career.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The collection was donated to the Harvard Art Museums Archives by Henry Edwards Scott, Jr.'s heirs, Sarah Scott Cook and Jonathan Fletcher Scott, in 2006. An addendum to the collection was donated by Sarah Scott Cook in 2013.

Processing Information:

The collection was processed in late 2010 by Andrew L. French with assistance from Erin Murphy and Susan von Salis. Several folders of addenda were processed by Brooke McManus in 2015. The finding aid was encoded in May 2016 by Michelle Interrante.

Conditions on Access:

Access: 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 quotations from any material in the collection.
Copying: Papers may be copied in accordance with the Harvard Art Museums Archives' usual procedures.

Related Material

There are additional papers of Henry Edwards Scott, Jr., at Houghton Library, Harvard University, as well as the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.


Henry Edwards Scott, Jr., was born on August 22, 1900, in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Henry Edwards Scott, Sr., (Harvard 1881) and Harriet Adelia Chapman, of Middlebury, Vermont. Scott, Sr., was a history instructor at Harvard University (1884-1888); he later taught Latin, Greek, and history at Middlebury College, St. Paul's School in Concord, NH, and Medford High School. From 1912 until his retirement in 1937 he was editor of the publications of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society. Henry Edwards Scott, Jr.'s mother was a musician. His twin sister, Harriet, graduated from Radcliffe College in 1922; a second sister, Elizabeth, died prematurely.
After serving in the Navy during World War I, Scott, Jr., attended Harvard, graduating in 1922 with a degree in engineering. After completing a tour of Europe in the fall of 1922, he returned to Harvard to assist Arthur Pope and George Edgell, both of whom inspired him to pursue post-graduate work in art history. Scott, Jr., was active in the Harvard Department of Fine Arts as he continued his education, rising from student to classroom assistant, then tutor, and finally, head tutor and lecturer in Venetian painting.
In November 1926, Scott, Jr., married Radcliffe College graduate Margaret "Peggy" Gustin (1905-1994). The Scotts had four children: Henry Edwards Scott III, Anne (Scott) McGhee, Sarah (Scott) Cook, and Jonathan Fletcher Scott.
From 1926 to 1928, Scott, Jr., lived in New York, where he studied and practiced painting. Subsequently, he became an instructor at the University of Rochester and assistant to the director of the university's Memorial Art Gallery (1928-1929). He spent the next five years at the University of Pittsburgh working with Helen Clay Frick to establish an arts department. An accomplished painter, he also taught studio art classes and exhibited his own work. From 1935 to 1943, Scott, Jr., was a tenured professor at Amherst College, where he became head of Amherst's art department and was instrumental in ensuring the secure storage of the school's art collection during the Second World War. During WWII, he returned to serve in the Navy as a navigation instructor in Texas and Martha's Vineyard. In 1945, Scott, Jr., returned to Harvard for graduate study under Paul J. Sachs, taking Sachs's "Museum Course." He received an A.M. in 1946. In 1947, he was appointed chairman of the art department at the University of Kansas City, where he remained until he retired to Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, in 1970. Scott, Jr., died in Chilmark on October 24, 1990.

Scope and Content

The papers of Henry Edwards Scott, Jr., date from 1918-1946. The materials document Scott, Jr.'s student years at Harvard as well as his teaching career, and include correspondence, photographs, drawings, paintings, course notes, and research papers. The collection also contains a photo album from one of Scott, Jr.'s trips to Europe in 1922 and journals from his undergraduate years at Harvard.
Correspondents include Paul J. Sachs and Edward W. Forbes. There are also photographs of Arthur Pope's daughter, Mary Pope (Mrs. Benjamin Cornwall), a drawing of Charles William Eliot inscribed by Pope and two books by Pope (one inscribed). In addition to drawings by Scott, Jr., there is an oil painting of him as a young man by Denman Waldo Ross, a prominent member of Harvard's Fine Arts faculty. Also included are art history course notes, some taken by Scott, Jr.'s wife and sister.
Because the materials came to the Archives over a period of years, there is no original order to the collection as a whole, although whenever possible materials relating to each other have been kept together. Items in the collection have been rehoused in acid-free folders. Drawings and fragile items have been preserved by interleaving with archival tissue. Oversized materials have been removed from folders and housed in appropriate flat containers.

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