Scope and Content Note


This collection consists of Titus C. Geesey's correspondence with curators, directors and other individuals written from 1945 to 1969, primarily regarding loans and gifts from his collection of American folk art, and in particular, Pennsylvania German objects. A few exhibition checklists are also included. As this correspondence makes evident, such objects were more popularly referred to as "Pennsylvania Dutch." The institutions to which Geesey agreed to lend ranged from the Wilmington (Delaware) Society of Fine Arts and the Historical Society of Delaware to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of American Folk Art, also in New York City, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection in Williamsburg, Virginia. Geesey's loans to a few of the exhibitions of the Philadelphia Museum of Art are also documented, including the shows on Philadelphia silver and Tucker china held respectively in 1956 and 1957. While correspondence pertaining to some of his gifts to the Museum are included here, his major 1953 offering is more fully documented in the eponymous folder included in the Fiske Kimball Records, in the "1953-1954" subseries of the "General correspondence and related material" series. Other gift recipients included the University of Delaware and the Historical Society of York County (Pennsylvania). Lists of objects accompanying several of the letters suggest the extent of Geesey's holdings, which included walnut and decorated furniture, pottery, porcelain, paintings, silver, glass, frakturs, textiles, wrought iron, toleware, children's books and toys, maps, engravings, lithographs, firearms, tools and cooking utensils. There is also correspondence with a few writers and editors requesting to feature Geesey's collection, occasionally photographing it in situ in "Longago," Geesey's18th century-styled residence in Wilmington, Delaware.