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MS Am 1938

James, William, 1882-1961. William James Jr. papers: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Am 1938
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: William James Jr. papers
Date(s): 1857-1960
Date(s): 1911-1959
Quantity: 3.5 linear feet (7 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Papers of American painter William James.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

*76M-51. Deposited by Mrs. John S. R. James, Stockbridge, Massachusetts 01262; received: 1977.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

William James Jr. Papers (MS Am 1938). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

James, an American painter, was associated with the school at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts as critic of painting (1913-1925) and acting director (1930-1937). He was son of the psychologist William James. Alice Rutherford Runnells James was his wife.


Organized into the following series:

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of personal letters to William or Alice James from friends in their large social/intellectual/artistic circle. Includes letters to William concerning his portrait painting and articles, his illustrious father and uncle, and Alice's death in 1957. Compositions consist of poems by poet friends and William James's manuscript on Langdon Warner, curator of Oriental art at the Fogg Museum. Third party correspondence is mostly of earlier family members.
Daniel Lewis Gibbens' papers contain correspondence, including 15 letters to his daughter Alice Howe (Gibbens) James written during the Civil War when he was employed by the U.S. military government in the South as secretary to the New Orleans mayor and assistant supervising special agent of the Treasury Department in Mobile, Ala. Also includes his commonplace book, 1857-1859, and notes on his life and suicide compiled by his grandson Henry James III.

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