Scope and Content Note


With the 1933 publication of the first monograph of the American artist Thomas Eakins, Lloyd Goodrich became one of the earliest modern writers to study the artist, whose posthumous reputation was only beginning to be revitalized. As this collection makes evident, Goodrich never lost interest in Eakins. Comprised of correspondence, drafts, extensive notes and lists, photographs, a variety of published references, and numerous photocopies, the collection documents approximately half a century of the research and writing Goodrich devoted to the artist. While this material focuses primarily on Eakins's life and oeuvre, it in turn serves as working evidence of Goodrich's lifelong advocacy of American art and artists. The collection also illustrates Goodrich's evolving methodologies and resources, as a first-time author to seasoned writer and museum administrator.

The arrangement of the collection presents the material in two groups--the first is comprised of three series defined primarily by format, and consists of material Goodrich would have compiled for any or all of his studies. The second group consists of five series that document specific works by Goodrich that were published, presented, or, in the case of the catalog raisonné and dubious files, were ongoing projects, never completed.

The first group begins with the "Correspondence and related material" series, which consists primarily of Goodrich's correspondence with other scholars of Eakins as well as graduate students requesting information or access to Goodrich's records of the artist. The "Research" series is comprised of Goodrich's general reference files on people and subjects related to Thomas Eakins and his work. The "People" subseries contains primary source material related to Thomas Eakins, his wife Susan Macdowell Eakins, and other contemporaries, such as students, sitters, and friends. The "Subjects" subseries contains research material on a variety of topics, such as the art schools at which Eakins taught and pertinent art and archival collections. The "Reference" series consists primarily of newspaper clippings, periodical articles, and books about Thomas Eakins that Goodrich did not write. Much of the material contains his marginal notations.

The second group begins the "Dubious" series which underscores Goodrich's recognition as the preeminent authority on Thomas Eakins. Most of the material is correspondence with owners of possible works by Eakins who were referred to Goodrich or sought his advice in order to establish authenticity. Photographs, notes, and sketches by Goodrich are also included. The next four series document Goodrich's planned and executed publications and lectures. Records of Goodrich's first published study of the artist are in the "Thomas Eakins: his life and work (1933)." Material includes notes documenting Goodrich's earliest musings and outlines for this type of study, as well as research strategies and sources. Other material relates to the book's production and distribution, and some reviews are also included. Although there is some correspondence documenting Goodrich's attempts to locate works of art, he apparently transferred the more informative letters and related notes and sketches to the working files of a catalogue raisonné, which he began compiling approximately 30 years later. By the 1960s, Goodrich envisioned a two-volume publication that would revise his 1933 catalog. One volume would be devoted to a narrative of the artist's life, while the second would be a revised and expanded catalogue raisonné. His intention was realized only in part with the 1982 publication of "Thomas Eakins," a two-volume biographical study, and the subject of the next series. Most of the material consists of Goodrich's manuscript and typescript revisions, with copious research material mixed within the various drafts. The series also includes original and photocopied papers related to Goodrich's 1933 book, as well as material documenting the production and distribution of the catalog, including a complete proof of the book, and transparencies and negatives for the illustrations.

Encompassing Goodrich's first to last thoughts on Thomas Eakins, the "Catalogue raisonné" series comprises the largest portion of material. Its dates span a 50-year work in progress that was never completed, and remains unpublished. Most of the material consists of the catalog entry forms, correspondence, notes and assorted clippings and ephemera related to the approximately 600 works of art Goodrich intended to include in his revised study, and which he originally maintained in 20 binders. Photographs of most of the works, which he kept in an additional 12 binders, are also included. In addition to this material, which served as Goodrich's "master catalog," the series contains his working notes, partial writing drafts, and additional research material, which substantiated most of the observations Goodrich noted in his binders. The final series, "Other writings," refers to additional works by Goodrich, most of which were written between 1925 and 1970. The series contains manuscripts, typescripts, notes, and other material related to articles, exhibition catalog essays, encyclopedia entries, book reviews, and lectures related to Eakins, as well as audiotapes and an extensive collection of slides. Some of Goodrich's published material on Thomas Nash, George Luks, John Singleton Copley, David Morrison, Pierre Auguste Rodin, Auguste Renoir, landscape painting, and abstract art are also included.

Overall, much of the material comprising this collection shares certain characteristics that suggest Goodrich's working style. Based on certain annotations, Goodrich worked concurrently out of three "offices," and at each site he apparently kept a separate set of notes and other papers. Folders originally marked for "WMAA" designate papers Goodrich intended to use at the Whitney Museum of Art, while papers marked "1349" were for use at his New York City residence--1349 Lexington Avenue. Goodrich's home in Little Compton, located on the Sakonnet Point of Rhode Island, served as the third office space. Those papers are marked "Little Compton" or "Sakonnet." While some of these sets were exact duplicates and therefore removed, other seemingly similar sets have been retained because each contains different annotations, which at times vary only slightly. Which set he worked on first is not often obvious. The date Goodrich would note on many of his manuscript papers is also ambiguous. It could reflect the date he compiled, revised, or simply reviewed and "checked" the material. This collection also makes evident the assistance Goodrich received from his wife Edith, particularly in carrying out much of the library research. The amount and date span of papers obviously in her hand or marked "EHG," suggest her contribution was constant and significant.

DIGITAL COLLECTIONS

Two digital image collections have been created to accompany this finding aid: 1) Goodrich's interview notes from the 1930s; and 2) narrative excerpts from Goodrich's unpublished catalogue raisonné. Descriptions of these collections follow; digital images can be located within this finding aid by following the "camera" icon.

The first group of images is comprised of unpublished notes from interviews conducted by Goodrich in the early 1930s with friends, family, sitters, colleagues and students of Thomas Eakins. The information Goodrich gathered in his interviews played a major role in informing the narrative of his 1933 biography, and photocopies of the notes were used in preparation for the 1982 revision. Extensive notes from his interviews with Susan Macdowell Eakins can be found in the "Susan Macdowell Eakins" sub-subseries of the "People" subseries of the "Research" series. Digital images of notes from interviews with other people such as Charles Bregler, Frances Eakins Crowell, Samuel Murray and Francis Joseph Ziegler are all located in the "Others" sub-subseries of the "People" subseries of the "Research" series.

The second set of images, generated from two series, represents some of Goodrich's last thoughts on his never-completed catalogue raisonné. The image to be viewed first is in the "Correspondence" series, and is the letter written at the time Goodrich was transferring his Eakins records to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In the enclosure to that letter, Goodrich recaps the project, giving a historical briefing of his research, explaining his system of cataloging and discussing the additional works of art by Eakins that were not included in his 1933 publication or simply recorded as a verso study to an "unconnected" work painted on the recto. The remaining images pertain to these additions as represented in the "Writing drafts" subseries of the "Master catalog" series. Taken from the manuscript pages he worked on during the mid-1980s, these narratives appear to be written in a style Goodrich intended for publication, as opposed to the style of his working notes. Images were also made of several explanatory and working notes within the draft that pertain to the additions. The manuscript, however, is incomplete, and describes only one-half of the total number of entries Goodrich planned to include in the catalog.