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SC 23

Grace, Frederick Randolph, 1909-1942. Papers of Frederick Randolph Grace, 1910-2012: 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 23
Repository: Harvard Art Museum Archives, Harvard Art Museums, Harvard University
Title: Papers of Frederick Randolph Grace, 1910-2012: A Guide
Date(s): 1910-2012.
Quantity: 8 linear feet (7 file boxes, 2 8.5x12 card boxes, 2 5.5x12 card boxes, 1 15x22 folio box, oversize materials)
Abstract: Class notes and papers from Grace's time as a student at in Harvard's Fine Arts Department, as well as documents, report cards, and student evaluations related to his work as a tutor in the department. The collection also includes varied ephemera he collected, and correspondence received by his widow after his death.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The collection was donated by Judith Grace Stetson in November 2012.

Processing Information:

The collection was processed from January to September, 2013 by Brooke McManus with assistance from Karen Trop.

Conditions on Access:


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 Materials

There are additional papers concerning Frederick Randolph Grace in the Edward Waldo Forbes Papers, Records of the Assistants to the Directors, and Paul J. Sachs Papers in the Harvard Art Museums Archives.


Frederick Randolph Grace was born in New York City on September 21, 1909 to Virginia Fitz Grace (née Randolph) and Lee Ashley Grace, a cotton importer. One of his siblings, Virginia R. "Mart" Grace, was a professional archaeologist and worked for the Allies during WWII. In 1926, he graduated with high marks from Phillips Andover Academy. From 1927-1928, he attended the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece. He received his A.B. in Fine Arts from Harvard College in 1930. From 1930-1933 he was employed at the National City Bank of New York.
As an undergraduate, Grace became close with Paul J. Sachs and his wife, Meta, and visited them often at their home Shady Hill. Grace stayed in touch with Sachs after graduating, and with Sachs' encouragement, he returned to Harvard to pursue a graduate degree in art in 1934, during which time he was a student in Sachs' "Museum Course." The same year, he became an Assistant and Tutor in the Fine Arts Department, positions he held until 1936. Grace married Priscilla Bartol on December 21, 1935. They had four children: John Sebastian, Judith, Nicholas Adam, and Daniel Gregory.
Between study excursions to Greece in 1934 and 1937, Grace received his A.M. from Harvard in 1935, and in 1938, he earned a Ph.D. specializing in Ancient Art. His thesis, Archaic Sculpture of Boeotia, was published by Harvard University Press in 1939. From 1938 to 1941 he was an Instructor in Fine Arts and acted as Head Tutor; in that capacity, he assigned tutors to lead academic instruction sessions one on one or in small groups of students. He also delivered papers at meetings of the Archaeological Institute of America and gave lectures from 1939-1941 in various eastern colleges under the auspices of the Institute. His final publication was an article titled "Notes on Seventh-Century Sculpture."
Grace served as the Acting Assistant to the Directors of the Fogg Museum for one year from 1941 to 1942, during which time he oversaw museum programs and exhibition arrangements, and managed the galleries. In the fall of 1941, he was promoted to a Faculty Instructorship in the Department of the Fine Arts for a period of five years, which he was unable to fulfill; shortly thereafter, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve in April 1942. Grace died while on active duty on November 23, 1942. He was the first civilian Harvard faculty member to die in the war.

Series and Subseries in the Collection

The collection is arranged into two series: Education, Research, and Teaching, and Personal. Each series is further divided into subseries, based on topical groupings. For example, in the Personal series, "Correspondence" is one subseries, while "Ephemera, Art, and Memorabilia" is another.

Scope and Content:

The papers in this collection document Frederick Grace's education and brief teaching career in the Fine Arts Department at Harvard, his research interests in Ancient art, and the response to his death from colleagues, friends, and family. The bulk of the material dates from the late 1930s to the mid 1940s. The papers consist of a range of material including but not limited to class notes, student evaluations, correspondence, publications, drawings, and photographs.
When possible, acidic documents have been isolated from neighboring materials to mitigate damage. Extremely fragile materials have been placed in Mylar sleeves. Oversized and rolled items have been separated and housed in appropriately sized containers. The location of these items is marked on the finding aid.

Box and Folder Locations






Form/Genre Terms

Container List