A Window into Collecting American Folk Art: The Edward Duff Balken Collection at Princeton || Another Generation's Folk Art: Edward Duff Balken and His Collection of American Provincial Paintings and Drawings

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  • Another Generation's Folk Art: Edward Duff Balken and His Collection of AmericanProvincial Paintings and DrawingsAuthor(s): Charlotte Emans MooreSource: Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University, Vol. 57, No. 1/2, A Window intoCollecting American Folk Art: The Edward Duff Balken Collection at Princeton (1998), pp. 10-28Published by: Princeton University Art MuseumStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3774772 .Accessed: 25/06/2014 01:12

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  • Another Generation 's Folk Art Edward Duff Balken and His Collection ofAmerican Provincial Paintings and Drawings

    O ver a period of twenty-six years, Edward Duff Balken (fig. i) amassed an important collection of sixty-five paintings and drawings that he termed

    at various times "primitive," "provincial," or "folk" art.1 Beginning in I920, with his acquisition of the portrait of Mr. Goodrich of Hancock, Massachusetts, attributed to Ammi Phillips (fig. 2, cat. no. ii), Balken sought these works of art to decorate his country home in the Berkshires. His appreciation and avid collecting of American provincials predated those of many of his more celebrated contempo- raries, such as Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Edith Halpert, and Holger Cahill, who were not introduced to the subject as an art form worthy of attention until the mid-to-late 1920S. A reserved individual who valued his privacy, often lending anonymously to exhibitions, Balken actively, but discreetly, participated in the burgeoning field of American provincial art during a period encompassing its rediscovery by artists, collectors, and scholars and its insti- tutional acceptance as a valued contribution to the histo- ry ofAmerican art.

    Two years before his death, in i960, Balken presented this entire collection to The Art Museum at Princeton University, his alma mater.This gift provides art historians, researchers, and the general public with a rare opportuni- ty to study and evaluate a collection that has remained intact over time, unedited by curators, dealers, family members, or others. Whether experts label the works in Balken's collection high style, primitive, provincial, folk, or, simply, art, this group of paintings and drawings informs our understanding of how the field currently referred to as American folk art was defined and codified by previous generations. A window into the world of folk art collect- ing of the I920S through the 1940s, the Balken collection conveys one man's interpretation, or definition, of the sub- ject, in whose rediscovery, scholarly evaluation, as well as

    market and institutional validation he participated. This essay will examine Edward Duff Balken, his involvement in the art worlds of Pittsburgh and NewYork City, and his activities related to collecting American folk art while liv- ing in the Berkshires. A man of leisure with professional ties to the world of modern art, a connoisseur's eye, and a penchant for acquiring art, Balken was present at the moment when many Americans began to find meaning in the nation's previously overlooked artistic heritage. Through his collecting efforts and involvement with influential exhibitions, Balken helped to mold public per- ceptions of American visual culture that inform our dis- course to this day.

    Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 26, i874, Edward Duff Balken was the son of Henry, a Norwegian immigrant, andWilhelmina Duff Balken. Raised in a priv- ileged family, he attended the prestigious Shadyside

    Fiigure i. Edward Duff Balken, I938. Carnegie Magazine 12, no. i (April I938), IjS5.

    Opposite: Polly Maxon of Stephentown, New York (detail), cat. no. 36 (yi958-64). I I

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  • Figure 2. Mr. Goodrich of Hancock, Massachusetts, cat. no. II (yI958-65).

    Figure 3. Adriaen van Ostade, Dutch, i620-i685, Le Peintre (The Painter), etching, 2I.1 X i6.9 cm. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, gift of Edward Duff Balken (47.I0-3)-



    Academy. Following the lead of many sons of profession- al men of standing in Pittsburgh, he enrolled at Princeton University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in i897. After taking part in archaeology expeditions to Greece and the Near East, he returned home to work as secretary for Weyman and Brother, a local tobacco firm. On October 7, I902, he married Lois Livingston Bailey, daughter of James Bailey, a pioneer iron manufacturer, industrialist, railroad magnate, and banker. Soon after- wards, in i906, the same year his second child was born, Balken retired from business at the age of thirty-two to pursue his passion for art collecting.2

    During trips to Europe in i9oi and I902, Balken may have been exposed to the print revival that began in the i88os, since he developed a taste for prints and subsequent- ly secured many for his personal collection.3 In addition to acquiring The Painter (fig. 3) by Adriaen van Ostade (i6io- I684) and Antoine Vitre (fig. 4) by Jean Morin (i590- i650), in time Balken owned engravings by Albrecht Direr (I47I-I528), Fran~ois Millet (i814-i875), and Henri de

    Toulouse-Lautrec (i864-I901), as well as prints by American artists such as Arthur B. Davies (i862-I928), Stuart Davis (i892-i964), and Rockwell Kent (i882-1971), among others.4 Prints, however, were just one facet of the voluminous collection Balken maintained in his large yellow brick house located on Colonial Place in the fashionable Shadyside district of Pittsburgh. This home, where Balken, his wife, and two children lived, was decorated with handsome pieces ofAmerican furniture of the Greek Revival period, oriental rugs, and framed works of art.5 Like many of his contemporaries, Balken also kept abreast of what were heralded at the time as the work of twentieth-century self-taught artists, purchasing paintings by John Kane (i860-1934), a local Pittsburgh artist, and Pop Hart (I868-I933).6 In addition to the seventy-two prints he donated to the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh during the I940S and i950s, he gave this institution many decorative arts, paintings, and watercolors, including Swampscott Beach, by Maurice B. Prendergast (i859- 1924) (fig. 5).7 Manuscripts and rare books also excited his


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    Figure 4. jean Morin, French, I59o-i65o, Antoine Vitre', engraving, 31.91 X 21.6 cm. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, gift of Edward Duff Balken (46. 6.2).

    connoisseur's nature and he acquired an impressive assem- blage of documents and imprints, which he subsequently donated to Princeton University.8

    In December of I9I5, John W Beatty, director of the Department of Fine Arts at the Carnegie Institute, ap- proached Balken to found a department of prints and to serve as its first curator.9 Balken's many years of engage- ment with Pittsburgh's artistic community and the local reputation surrounding his collection of fine prints prob- ably influenced Beatty in his decision to offer this position to a man with little formal training in the arts.10 Thus, in i9i6, at the age of forty-two, Balken embarked on a new professional career that allowed him to draw upon his expertise in print collecting and provided him with official authority to arbitrate taste in Pittsburgh and the art world in general." During this period, Balken befriended the teenage John Walker, who later became chief curator and then director at the National Gallery ofArt inWashington, D.C. In his memoirs, Walker recalled that Balken had "a knowledge, a sensitivity to works of art, and an intuitive feeling for beauty" he envied and aspired to attain in his own work.12

    Since Balken and his family spent only six months of each year in Pittsburgh, however, his leisure-class life-style shaped his professional activities at the museum. In about 19II, Balken had purchased property in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts, south of Stockbridge and west of

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    Figure 5. Maurice Prendergast, American, born in Canada,

    t e ; _ _1\= t t Act T i859-I924, Swampscott Beach, ca. 1917, graphite, watercolor, pastel, and gouache, 39.7 x 57.5 cm. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, gift of Edward Duff Balken (49.5. IO) -


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  • Figure 6. Edward Duff Balken's home in the Berkshires.

    Figure 7. Office.

    Figure 8. Living room.

    Figure IO. Living room Figure 9. Dining room.

    Photographs of EDB's home are by Art Evans.


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  • Great Barrington. He commissioned architect J. McA. Vance of nearby Pittsfield in 19I2 to build a large and spa- cious country home in the colonial revival style, drawing upon an eighteenth-century architectural vocabulary for its exterior appearance (fig. 6) 13 Here, Balken and his fam- ily lived during the spring and summer months. With its modern conveniences, the house was already wired for power when the electric line was brought to the area in 1912 from nearby Great Barrington.'4 Portions of this house may have been modified in about I921, since Balken wrote back to the Carnegie Institute asking to bor- row for study several photographs depicting "early Colonial Architecture, exteriors, interiors, also pho- tographs of details-doorways, etc." from the museum's collection.15 A gentleman farmer, Balken employed local men to maintain his property, which included a vegetable garden supplying the family with fresh produce such as rhubarb and asparagus. These men also supervised Balken's small holdings of livestock.16 From his country house, Balken kept abreast of his department's activities in Pittsburgh through correspondence, thus participating in the museum's programs from his desk overlooking the farm (fig. 7). Writing to Charles F. Ramsey of the Department of Fine Arts at the Carnegie Institute in 19i5, Balken acknowledged the value of his farmhouse retreat and its powers of rejuvenation. "The country was never so beautiful," he wrote, the farm never so interesting, and never have I been more resolved to live this life at least six months in every year. Art and pictures? Well, to paraphrase a page or two in a recent book, art simply represents man's passionate desire to drag the truth out of life in half a dozen different ways. God does it for you in the country!"17

    Balken and his family were not alone in seeking soli- tude among the woods and hills of the Berkshires.With its pastoral setting of lakes, small farms, and country villages, this idyllic portion of New England had already drawn generations to experience its natural beauty and pic- turesque atmosphere. Made accessible by railroad in the nineteenth century, the Berkshires offered sanctuary to twentieth-century city dwellers concerned about industrial problems and overcrowding.'8 In increasing numbers, fam- ilies who had lived on the land for generations gave up their homesteads to move to the cities for employment and opportunities unavailable to them in rural settings. Farm land thus became plentiful and affordable to those in the early twentieth century who sought asylum.'9 When Balken

    and his family moved to this region, imbued with histor- ical associations, the Berkshires were blossoming as a cul- tural center and summer resort. Institutions like the Berkshire Museum, the Stockbridge Art Association, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood provided an artistic milieu for summer residents.

    Balken's choices to purchase a farm in a rural area, to construct a house based on eighteenth-century proto- types, and to live in the country for half the year reflect a broader trend in American society during this period. Although the vision of colonial America, as historian Kenneth Ames has acknowledged, is a "persistent and per- vasive component" of the nation's culture, during the early twentieth century the colonial revival impulse gained momentum. Americans eagerly appropriated images of the country's mythic Founding Fathers, acclaimed the vir- tues of an eighteenth-century premodern, preindustrial society, and collected its historical relics and artifacts, including furnishings, buildings, and fine arts.20 During the colonial revival of the early twentieth century, the past was symbolized for some by hand-made objects permeat- ed with the ideas and ideals of the nation's forefathers. These items were contrasted with the impersonal mass- produced industrial commodities of the machine age in which they lived. For others, the narratives and attributes of the country's early history were a means to acculturate and socialize the rising immigrant populations as well as to claim their own ancestral legacy. This colonial revival period also provided a source of national identity for patri- otic purposes, particularly during times of conflict and war.21

    Built as an informal retreat from the more formal sur- roundings of his life in industrial Pittsburgh, Balken's home in the Berkshires drew on the colonial revival for its exterior and, in addition, for its interior details, including a large open fireplace, beamed ceilings, muted light gray walls, and hardwood floors (fig. 8).22 Decorated primarily with furnishings acquired in the region, with a penchant for early Americana, the house was filled with eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century ladder-back and Windsor sidechairs, hooked rugs, pewter, stoneware pottery, early blown glass, samplers, Shaker bandboxes and tilt-back chairs, and wrought-iron lighting devices (fig. 9). The straightforward, unadorned lines of the colonial-style architecture, the stark walls devoid of wallpaper, and the restrained upholstery treatment of the sofa, reproduction wing-back chairs, and draperies showed to advantage the

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  • antique furniture and provided a neutral background for the framed works of art on the walls. A spinning wheel, the dominant icon of the colonial revival, occupied a cor- ner of the living room (fig. io), although it is doubtful any- one in the Balken household spent much time spinning flax fiber into thread.23

    In i919, tragedy struck the Balken family with the un- expected death of Lois Bailey Balken from complications due to accute appendicitis.24 Balken suddenly found him- self the single father of two teenage children. Perhaps as a distraction from his grief, the following year, he entered the third phase of his life by purchasing his first provincial painting, the portrait of Mr. Goodrich of Hancock, Massachu- setts (fig. 2, cat. no. ii) from Edward Deming Andrews, a local Pittsfield antiques dealer and burgeoning authority on Shaker life and material culture. In time, he would acquire seven more portraits now attributed to Phillips, creating, in part, a regional identity to his collection, which included primarily nineteenth-century works of art de- picting local residents and other subjects by artists who lived and worked in the Berkshires.

    Balken's collection of American provincial art resulted from a number of factors that fell into place around I920. A self-trained connoisseur, who accrued expertise from assembling his collection, Balken found himself in a region where the native artistic tradition was underappreciated and at the same time economic conditions loosened objects from their ancestral contexts. Traveling the Berkshire roads, he stopped at antique shops and, on occa- sion, knocked on the doors of private residences in search of paintings and drawings. His expeditions yielded works of art mainly found on the backroads of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and NewYork.When documentation regard- ing portrait subjects wasn't forthcoming, Balken allegedly assigned names to these likenesses in tribute to friends.25 According to art historian Mary C. Black, who knew him, Balken never paid more than one hundred dollars for his provincial pictures.26 With few exceptions, Black's asser- tion is substantiated in Balken's inventory recording either prices paid or values for works of art and furnishings con- tained in his country home. Portraits of David Carpenter and his wife, Azubah Allen Carpenter (cat. nos. i9 and 20), attributed to the artist Asahael Powers; Mr. Goodrich of Hancock, Massachusetts (cat. no. ii), attributed to Ammi Phillips; and Polly Maxon of Stephentown, NewYork (cat. no. 36), by an unidentified artist, are all listed at one hundred dollars each (Appendix I).27 Since the collecting and

    reevaluating of early American antiques and fine arts were still in their infancy, Balken was in an enviable position to acquire works of art at modest prices from area residents who needed cash more than their family heirlooms.28 Furthermore, because Balken began to collect provincial paintings and drawings in I920, he preceded by several years those whom cultural historian Elizabeth Stillinger would identify as rich "super-collectors": Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Electra Havemeyer Webb, Henry Ford, and Francis Garvan, and, later, Edgar and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch and Nina Fletcher Little, among others, who inflated the market for American folk art and who are now recognized in scholarly writing as pivotal leaders in its rediscovery.29

    In the summer of 1924, the American wing of the Metropolitan Museum ofArt in NewYork opened to the public and featured the country's decorative arts arranged in period rooms from the colonial period through the Federal era. The year 1924 also marked two landmark exhibitions featuring folk art, which took place in New York. In February, artist Henry Schnakenberg (I870- 1971) organized an exhibition entitled "Early American Art" at the Whitney Studio Club. This show borrowed works from the collections of several artists who were introduced to folk art during summers at Hamilton Easter Field's artist colony in Ogunquit, Maine.30 The following December, the Dudensing Galleries organized an exhibi- tion of early American portraits and landscapes in its showroom located at 45 West Forty-fourth Street.3" Featuring what were perceived at the time to be exclu- sively the work of nineteenth-century self-taught artists, the Dudensing Galleries was heralded in the press for offering one of three critical exhibitions held in 1924 to foster the public's appreciation and awareness ofAmerican art.32 As one of ten lenders to this seminal exhibition, along with modern artists Robert Laurent (I890-I970) and Wood Gaylor (I883-I957), Balken's participation iden- tifies him as a pioneer collector and leader in the re- evaluation of American primitives.33 Furthermore, in lending objects from his private home in the Berkshires to a gallery exhibition in NewYork, at the center of the American art world, Balken was not merely a casual, ama- teur collector but a sophisticated advocate for provincial art, playing a formative role in defining the artistic legiti- macy of this art. Unlike some of the later collectors of American folk art, Balken predominantly acquired his col- lection without employing a dealer to assist him; his back-


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  • ground in prints and museum acquisitions gave him confidence in his own judgment and taste in art.

    Balken's attraction to American primitives may have derived from a desire to appoint his country home with inexpensive, informal furnishings, although he had the income to pursue more costly collections, such as fine prints, rare books, and manuscripts.34 He may have chosen the American paintings to compliment his eighteenth-and early nineteenth-century furnishings or to save them as artifacts ofAmerica's preindustrial history. By virtue of his staff position at the Carnegie Institute and direct in- volvement in the museum's Carnegie International, a prestigious, annual, international exhibition of modern art, however, Balken was also a pivotal player in the world of modern art of the 1920s and I930s. Historian Michael Kammen has argued that during the decades between World Wars I and II, many Americans embraced the co- existence of modernism and traditionalism in their lives. "The modernist," according to Kammen, "might or might not also be a traditionalist; but he clearly felt the need to take native traditions into account."35 Balken apparently was in sympathy with both worlds, whose intersection informed and codifed his appreciation and evaluation of American folk art.

    Under the leadership of Homer Saint-Gaudens, the Carnegie Institute's new director of the Department of Fine Arts, in I922, Balken was promoted to acting assistant director of this department, a position he held until his retirement in I935.36 In conjunction with Saint-Gaudens, Balken helped select and secure many works by contem- porary American artists for inclusion in the Carnegie In- ternational. Established in i896, this annual exhibition fostered good will among nations through the interna- tional language of art, provided an opportunity for the Carnegie Institute to purchase the best in contemporary painting for its permanent collection, and brought news of the art world in America and abroad to Pittsburgh resi- dents.With American and European contemporary paint- ings shown together, the exhibition also was meant to promote native talent by favorably comparing it with the skill of European artists.37

    His involvement with the International made Balken a recognized figure within the modern art milieu. From Vermont in I925, Saint-Gaudens paid tribute to Balken's central role as a conduit between the Carnegie Interna- tional and New York's art community: "For in New York you are much more a part of the American artists than I

    am ... ," he wrote. "For Pittsburgh the same situation

    exists."38 Balken traveled frequently to NewYork to meet with dealers representing modern American artists and corresponded with principal artists of the day, including Childe Hassam (i859-I935), George Luks (i866-i933), Alfred Stieglitz (i864-i946), Maurice Sterne (i878-i957), and Marsden Hartley (i877-I943), among others. He often met with them in their studios or their dealers' showrooms to examine their latest canvases.

    For example, Balken was instrumental in selecting and persuading Charles Sheeler (i883-i965) to send his ac- claimed painting American Interior to the Carnegie International in I934 (fig. ii). Showing a portion of Sheeler's living room in his former home in South Salem, New York, this painting, which features hooked rugs, a Shaker table and bandbox, an early nineteenth-century turned-post bed, and a slip-decorated ceramic mug, testifies to his own collecting interests in Americana. Sheeler's title for this painting, American Interior, according to art historians Carol Troyen and Erica E. Hirshler, "pays homage to the unpretentious but handsome assemblage of traditional and native manufactures depicted, and also inti- mates that this sort of simple interior represents the best of




    Figure ii. Charles Sheeler,American, i883-i965. American Interior, 1934, oil on canvas, 82.6 x 76.2 cm.Yale University Art Gallery, gift of Mrs. Paul Moore (1947.424).


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  • _1 ... ...... ............Figure I2. Edward Duff Balken's home, upstairs hall (photo: Art Evans).

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    national values."39 A pioneer collector, scholar, and dealer in folk art, Holger Cahill in 1941 described the artist in a letter to art historianJean Lipman as "one of the real Afici- onados ofAmerican Primitives."40 To Sheeler at his home in Ridgefield, Connecticut, Balken wrote, "Last week when I was in NewYork I called at the Downtown Gallery and saw there your canvas 'American Interior.' I liked this painting so very much that we are asking Mrs. Halpert to reserve it for us for the International in the fall.' I The sim- ilarities between the painted interior of Sheeler's residence and the interior photographs of Balken's Berkshires house-for example, the image of the upstairs hallway with the Windsor and ladder-back chairs, hooked rugs, Shaker bandboxes, and antique desk (fig. 12)-are com- pelling. In exhibiting Sheeler's work in the Carnegie's gal- leries, Balken-who was so self-effacing that he applied a coat of neutral gray paint over the surface and chrome of his car-in effect, anonymously displayed his own home and aesthetic preferences.42 Furthermore, this choice defined the collection and display of traditional American arts as a "modern" activity.43

    In the infancy of collectingAmerican primitives, or folk art, objects were undocumented, artists unstudied, many of the works of art unattributed to identified artists, and the context in which artists and patrons interacted unexam- ined. Enthusiasts freely ascribed to these works whatever attributes they pleased. Collecting American primitives provided blank canvases on which to portray a romanti- cized, and, in many ways, inaccurate, past. Two seemingly disparate, although complementary, forces in American society, were interested in reclaiming them from obscuri-

    ty. The antimodernists, or traditionalists, as addressed pre- viously, embraced these objects because, in part, they rep- resented remnants of a pure, preindustrial society whose handmade objects were imbued with nationalistic conno- tations. Modern artists, seeking to rebel against the estab- lished academy, were attracted by the untrained, artistic responses of individuals working outside the prescribed aesthetic mandates." Art historian Beatrix Rumford has stated that the modernists valued the formal qualities of these objects.The early paintings, portraits, decoy carvings, ship figureheads, cigar store figures, hooked rugs, and weathervanes were "a means to dignify their own use of simplified forms, arbitrary perspective, and unmixed color by suggesting that such methods were rooted in an earlier American tradition."45 Rather than looking to Europe for precedent, the modernists identified with the native cre- ators and appointed themselves the rightful heirs of this indigenous legacy. As a result, many modern artists col- lected American folk art and paid tribute to it in their own canvases and sculpture. Charles Sheeler's American Interior epitomizes the convergence of the antimodernist and the modernist.

    Edith Halpert, a dealer in modern art and the owner of the Downtown Gallery in NewYork, recognized the mar- ket for American folk art. In 1929, she opened an addi- tional showroom to offer it for sale. Halpert chose the phrase "American Ancestors" to advertise these goods, shrewdly alluding to both traits supporting the collection of American folk art. The ancestors could be interpreted as either the nation's forebears or the precursors of mod- ern art. Selling to high-profile clients like Abby Aldrich


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  • Rockefeller and Electra Havemeyer Webb, Halpert be- came one of the most enterprising and influential deal- ers in American folk art. Her endeavors also caught the attention of Balken, who purchased a provincial painting from her entitled Lady on Wood.46 Since the Carnegie International showcased American modern art, it was in Edith Halpert's interest to secure a productive profes- sional relationship with the Carnegie Institute, in particu- lar, with Balken.

    Agent for prominent contemporary American artists, including Stuart Davis (i892-1964), Bernard Karfoil (I866-1955), Max Weber (188I-i96i), and William (I889- i966) and Marguerite (i887-i968) Zorach, Edith Hal- pert's Downtown Gallery was a logical stop on Homer Saint-Gaudens and Edward Duff Balken's itinerary during their visits to NewYork to vet works for the International. In Balken, Halpert had a receptive client not only for her living artists, but also for her business in American Ancestors. During the early I930S, they exchanged letters about the International but also about their mutual pas- sion for folk art. Halpert praised Balken for producing converts "to our great cause ofAmericana," soliciting him to see her folk art gallery and to view "the new ancestors we have excavated."47

    Peppering their letters with quips about American provincial art, they drew upon each other's judgment. In

    47 * i / o Af, S + *j~~~~~~~~

    Figure 13. Polly Maxon of Stephentown, New York, unidentified artist, cat. no. 36 (yI958-64).

    April of I93I, for example, Halpert responded to Balken's solicitation for her opinion on his portrait of Polly Maxon, by an unidentified artist (fig. I3, cat. no. 36). Basing her comments on a black and white photograph Balken had enclosed in a previous letter, Halpert wrote, "I think the picture is swell.What colors were employed? I am curious to know whether it was painted in a high key as some of the paintings of that time were. In any event you can add another admirer to the list."48 In reply, Balken compared the artist's palette with that of the eighteenth-century Spanish artist Francisco de Goya (I746-i828), revealing his close study of the likeness and attraction to its painterly formal qualities. "I am glad you liked my American prim- itive, 'Polly Maxson [sic],"' Balken stated. "The color is entirely in the background, just slightly reminiscent of some of Goya's painting that I have seen. The figure is in black, with the exception of the white collar and cuffs, and the rose the lady holds in her hand so coyly is a red, red rose. The Hitchcock chair is a delicate shade of pink, and I suppose was originally red like most of that type of chair, with some slight ornamentation on the back and legs."49

    An astute businesswoman, in 1933, Halpert wasted no time in confiding to Balken that it was she, omitting any reference to Holger Cahill, who had been instrumental in putting together Abby Aldrich Rockefeller's folk art col- lection, then on exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.50 Soliciting Balken to see "the grand exhibition," Halpert underscored her authority as an expert on the material by her association with this client. In a second let- ter, she again enticed Balken to visit: "Have you seen the exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art and if so what do you think of it. [?] It is a collection I made up for a New York client and covers the territory of folk art pretty gen- erally. It would be a treat to get your reaction to the col- lection." 5'

    Balken's relationship with Edith Halpert reinforced his position as a sophisticated and astute collector. A pioneer in appreciating this material, he also participated in pro- moting the emergence ofAmerican folk art in the market and among institutions.52 Halpert and Balken also mutu- ally promoted their own causes. Balken received affirma- tion of his artistic judgments and entry into the world of Halpert's artists. Halpert gained access to the Carnegie's galleries, and possibly to its coffers, and secured Balken as a client.

    During the 1930s, exhibitions on American folk art proliferated throughout the nation. "American Primitives,"


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    Figr 4 Henrietta Dorr, attributed to Arnmi Phillips, cat. no. I2 (Y I95 8-66) .

    shown at the Newark Museum November 4, 1930- February I, I93 I, subsequently traveled to Chicago, Illi-


    nois; Toledo, Ohio; and Rochester, New York.53 The Museum of Modern Art's exhibition, "The Art of the Common Man," November 15, 1932-January I5, I933, also circulated to major American cities, introducing these works of art to a national audience. In I930, the Harvard Society for Contemporary Art held an exhibition in Cambridge, Massachusetts, entitled "Exhibition of American Folk Painting in Connection with the Massachusetts Tercentary Celebration," organized by Lincoln Kirstein and two undergraduates, Edward Warburg andJohnWalker, Balken's protege.54 Newspapers and periodicals exploded with reviews of these exhibitions and with articles on the status of folk art in American art scholarship. A collecting phenomenon earlier confined to modern artists, antiquarians, and other pioneer collectors expanded to include collectors and enthusiasts introduced to folk art as a result of this exposure.

    Within close proximity to NewYork and Boston, the Berkshires region offered antique shops situated along the major travel routes north that met the increasing demand for American primitives and decorative arts.55 Two close

    i ., |

    Figure I5. Girl in Mauve, attributed to Zedekiah Belknap, cat. no. 2

    friends of Balken's, J. Stuart Halladay and Herrel George Thomas, among the area's most notable dealers, had a shop in Sheffield, Massachusetts, just a few mi'les from Balken's home. By 1932, the partners had purchased and refur- bished a colonial house to serve as their residence and busi- ness operation, dubbing it the "1750 House." Although dealing in American decorative arts, Halladay and Thomas became well known, not for their clientele or for the objects they sold, but for their extraordinary personal col- lection of American provincial paintings. These works hung on the second floor of their residence in gallery space separated from their business inventory on the main floor. By their own account, Halladay and Thomas began to acquire provincial paintings in I929 and, once these paintings entered their private collection, never sold them as part of their commercial inventory. Once referred to by a colleague as "the father and mother" of Halladay and Thomas's collection, Balken introduced these men to American provincial paintings, encouraged them to col- lect, and gave their collection its first public exhibition at his museum,-v the,, Carnegie;,: Institute.'56 Thei.r holdiA;ngsr

    evnulyinlddsmefu ofiehnrd itrs5 FolowngThma'sdeahin197,ths colcio a


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  • purchased with funds from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and given in memory of his wife, Abby Aldrich, to Colonial Williamsburg, where portions of it are owned by the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center.58

    Maintaining a relatively formal relationship, in which Halladay and Thomas never ventured to Balken's house without an invitation, the three men shared a passion for provincial art that may have included some business nego- tiations for works of art.59 Although no comprehensive written records appear to survive concerning Balken's acquisitions, pictures provide clues linking his collection with their paintings. Both the portrait of Henrietta Dorr, attributed to Ammi Phillips (fig. I4, cat. no. I2), and the likeness entitled Girl in Mauve, attributed to Zedekiah Belknap (fig. i5, cat. no. 2), are believed to have been asso- ciated originally with two groups of family portraits owned by Halladay and Thomas.60 In a letter written in I958 to Mary C. Black, at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, in Williamsburg, Virginia, Balken relates how he, and subsequently Halladay andThomas, ac- quired the family group of portraits now attributed to Zedekiah Belknap. "You are right," Balken wrote, "Lenox is not the family name, but the town where pur- chased from a dealer now dead. He had seven portraits, all of the same family, father, mother, and five children. I considered No. i0 [Girl in Mauve] the most appealing, and later Halliday [sic] and Thomas bought the others. I was told at the time that the paintings came out of a house in Stockbridge...."61

    Unable to offer the International in 1940 because it could not secure works from abroad due to World War II, the Carnegie Institute held a survey ofAmerican painting, featuring several folk paintings.62 Emboldened by the pub- lic's favorable response to these pictures, the museum decided to devote an entire exhibition to the subject. In October I940, John 0' Connor,Jr., assistant director of the Department of Fine Arts, enlisted Balken's cooperation: "As you know, there are a few of the so-called 'American Primitives' in the Survey of American Painting. In talking with people here and there, I find that there is a great interest in them. I suggested to Mr. Saint-Gaudens the possibility of having an exhibition of, say, fifty from the collection of Messrs. Stuart Halladay and Herrel George Thomas.... This exhibition is all up to you... . 63 Under the direction of Balken, in his capacity as honorary cura- tor and trustee of the Department of Fine Arts since his retirement in 1935, Halladay and Thomas sent eighty

    paintings to Pittsburgh for the collection's debut in the museum's first exhibition exclusively featuring American folk art, "American Provincial Paintings I68o-i86o," April I7-June I, 94I .64

    Halladay and Thomas expressed their underlying moti- vation for collecting these works, surely shared by Balken, stating that they enjoyed "looking after the roots so that one day in modern painting the people of America will have the pleasure of owning and living with blossoms which will really be American in their fine simplicity."65 Balken's advice to Halladay and Thomas suggests his per- spective on these works. Urging the partners to be con- servative with the information they presented in the accompanying catalogue, Balken argued that the works themselves stood on their own. Their practice of assign- ing known artists without documentation was a mis- placed effort to validate the pieces. "I am wary of attributions . . . ," he wrote. "It is in your interest as well as ours to step softly.To hell with undocumented attribu- tions just now. The show is the thing. Regard this first exhibition in all modesty as a debut which, if worthy, as certainly I think it is, will be a stepping stone to a larger and more appreciative understanding of the value of your collection."66 A scholar of old master prints, who was familiar with terminology such as "school of" and "style of," Balken could appreciate the fine qualities of the works without the need, or benefit, of documented art- ists' names. While Balken valued both American provin- cials and modern art, Halladay andThomas appear to have embraced American provincial paintings as an alternative to collecting modern canvases, which they perceived as "nothing new."67

    The following year, this collection was once again in the limelight, enlisted by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York as a fundraiser for the American Field Service.68 As a result of these showings and subsequent public venues, the Halladay-Thomas collec- tion gained national notoriety, well beyond the limited confines of the "I750 House" in the Berkshires.69 Had it not been for Balken, Halladay and Thomas's collection might have remained a small, local attraction, known only to informed curiosity seekers and those in the market for American antiques.

    Unlike Halladay and Thomas, who enjoyed diplaying their collection to people who dropped by unexpectedly at their antiques business, Balken, intensely private and re- served, regarded his provincial art collection as an exten-


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  • Figure i6. Romantic Landscape, unidentified artist, cat. no. 6i (yI958-95).

    I ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ - P 1

    sion of his home. His collection was not for public view; only individuals whom Balken knew and formally invited to visit him in the Berkshires were treated to seeing it. Consequently, when John O'Connor approached him about showing his own collection at the Carnegie, he summarily dismissed the request. Visitors had been so enthusiastic about Halladay and Thomas's collection at the museum, the staff persisted in soliciting Balken's coopera- tion. Contacting him in August 1942, O'Connor made a proposal worded to reflect his colleague's guarded privacy. "Virginia [Lewis] was most enthusiastic about your provincial paintings, and she wanted to know why they had never been exhibited. I told her it wasn't our fault. What do you say to an anonymous exhibition during the winter? I mean anonymous as to the owner or source of the paintings.... Don't say no immediately, but think it over and we'll discuss it further."70 Two months later, he again opened the subject, in regard to Balken's attendance at the Whitney Museum for the Halladay and Thomas exhibition."So you are putting one over on me by sneak- ing off to New York for the opening of the American Provincial Paintings at the Whitney," he noted. "I would like to be there too.This all brings me back to the subject of showing your paintings at some time. Have you thought that idea through?"'71 O'Connor made several more attempts over the next few years to persuade Balken to loan his collection. In I946, Balken finally complied.

    Unconvinced that his collection would receive a sympa- thetic audience in Pittsburgh, his hometown, he acqui- esced with trepidation: "I am not keen about showing the American Provincial Paintings, and I think Father O'Connor will tell you I am not being coy," he wrote to Saint-Gaudens. "I feel the collection is not important enough to rate an exhibition in Pittsburgh and that very few people in the town will be interested. However, since the matter has been decided in the affirmative we will do our best from this end...."72

    In preparation, Balken agreed to have his house stripped of his provincial paintings and drawings, which were taken to the Carnegie Institute for the exhibition, scheduled January 9-February 23, I947.73 Much to his surprise and delight, the first public exposure of this collection was a great success. He remarked in relief to Halladay and Thomas, "The show is going on very well indeed-much more interest than expected."74 Balken also shared John Walker's remarks, by now chief curator at the National Gallery ofArt in Washington, D.C. Responding to the cat- alogue Balken had sent him, Walker, who never had the opportunity to view Balken's collection in situ, found the catalogue's illustrations adequate reference: "I have always been enthusiastic about this type of painting, though last summer when my English colleagues preferred our folk artists to Winslow Homer, I felt their values were slightly distorted.There are several pictures like the Girl in Pink or


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  • Polly Maxon which I would give anything to have, and so perhaps the English are right after all."75

    Dominated by forty-eight portraits and featuring nine landscapes and seven other works of art, this exhibition represented twenty-six years of collecting, culminating with his last acquisition, in I946, of the painting, Romantic Landscape (fig. i6, cat. no. 60), by an unidentified artist.The emphasis on the appreciation of American provincial art had previously been confined primarily to formal qualities of works, without reference to artistic context. By the I940s, this approach began to shift, with new research on not only the identity and lives of these artists but also the patrons who commissioned the works. Balken researched his own collection in the 1930S and 194os; however, his collection still reflected his hesitancy to assert unfounded attributions, as he had advised Halladay and Thomas. As published in 1947 his collection included fifty-six pictures by unidentified artists and only eight works by six known artists.76

    Balken was well into his seventies by the time his col- lection received its first institutional exposure and public validation. In making plans for his estate, he proposed to Princeton University, his alma mater, in 1952, the dona- tion of this entire collection upon his death, without re- strictions.Writing initially to Professor Donald Egbert at Princeton, Balken outlined his objectives: "Do you think the Art Museum would be interested in having a collec- tion of American Provincial ("Primitive") paintings given on death of the owner and with no strings attached?"77

    Balken wrote again six years later in 1958 with a revised request based upon his personal circumstances and a con- cern for the collection: "My country home has not been occupied for more than three years, and due to physical disablement I know I shall not return there," Balken wrote. "It seems to me unwise that my collection of American Folk Art paintings, water colors [sic], and drawings should remain longer in the empty, cold, and unventilated house. ... I am wondering if you can receive them sometime soon, this spring or summer."78 Two months later, the entire collection was installed at The Art Museum, with a published catalogue based on the one prepared for the Pittsburgh show.The exhibition,June 6-30, was one of the featured events of that year's commencement in June, and the collection recognized as the impressive and generous gift of Edward Duff Balken, a member of the Class of I897. 79

    A pioneer collector who recognized the artistic merit ofAmerican provincial art, Balken participated in the crit- ical, early period of this field's development, from its redis- covery and reevaluation to its successful marketing and institutional validation, crowned by Princeton University's acceptance of his gift, two years before his death, in i960. His comprehensive collection, which remains intact and unculled, provides an extraordinary opportunity for today's scholars to examine one collector's definition of American folk art and lays the foundation for understand- ing how our own perceptions of the subject have been shaped and informed by previous generations.

    Charlotte Emans Moore

    i. Until Princeton University undertook this summary catalogue, the only recent scholarly study identifying Edward Duff Balken and his role as a collector ofAmerican provincial art was Beatrix Rumford's essay on the twentieth-century rediscovery and early collecting ofAmerican folk art, see Beatrix T. Rumford, "Uncommon Art of the Common People: A Review of Trends in the Collecting and Exhibiting of American Folk Art," in Ian M. G. Quimby and Scott T. Swank, eds., Perspectives on American Folk Art (New York and London, 1980), 46. Since the early twentieth century when these works of art were "rediscovered" until the present, scholars have debated the accuracy and use of the terms "provincial," "primitive," "folk," and "plain," among others, to describe these objects and the artists who created them. In the context of this essay, some of these words have been employed because Balken and his contemporaries used them to define this emerging field of inquiry and appreciation. In particular, the word "provincial" is used here predomi- nantly since it appears to be the term Balken preferred to describe his collection. Codified in the early twentieth century, it is noted that these terms have no currency in period references of the eighteenth or nine-

    teenth century. Their meaning lies more in the history of the discipline than with the act of creation in time and place. For a similar discussion of the term "primitive" as used by these same generations to address tribal art, see William Rubin's essay "Primitivism" in which he states, "That the term primitivism is ethnocentric is surely true-and logical- ly so, for it refers not to the tribal arts in themselves, but to the Western interest in and reaction to them. Primitivism is thus an aspect of the his- tory of modern art, not of tribal art. In this sense, the word is compara- ble to the French 'japonisme,' which refers not directly to the art and culture of Japan, but to the European fascination with it," in William Rubin, ed., 20th Century Art:Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern (New York, I984), 5.

    2. Biographical information pertaining to Edward Duff Balken and his family is from various sources. These include: "Obituaries, Edward D. Balken, Trustee of Institute'" Pittsburgh Sun- Telegraph, April 6, i960; "E. 1). Balken, Institute Pioneer, Dies, Prints Division Founder, 85, Made Many Rich Gifts," Pittsburgh Post Gazette, April 6, i960; "Carnegie Art Official Dies, Balken Assembled Pioneer Collection," Pittsburgh Press,


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  • April 6, 1g60; "In Memoriam," Carnegie Magazine 34, no. 5 (i960), I57; "Memorials, Edward Duff Balken, '97," Princeton Alumni Weekly, July i, i960, i6;"Edward Balken, Print Curator, 85, Retired Carnegie Institute Official Dies-Donated Art to Princeton," New York Times, April 12, i960; "Edward Duff Balken Dies; Was Benefactor of University," Princeton Herald, April I5, ig6o;John O'Connor,Jr.,"Balken Marks 8oth Birthday, Collector of Fine Prints, Manuscripts; Active in International Shows," Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, August 26, 1954; "Our New Trustees, Edward Duff Balken," Carnegie Magazine 12, no. i (April 1938), I55. For these citations, the author thanks Rina Youngner, research associate, "International Encounters," Department of Fine Arts, Carnegie Museum ofArt;Jennifer A. Krantz, assistant to the registrar, Department of Fine Arts, Carnegie Museum of Art; and Monica Ruscil, Special Collections assistant, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University. For information pertaining to Balken's father-in-law, see "Pioneer Iron Maker Is Deadjames M. Bailey... " unidentified source and date, courtesy Beckerman Balken, NewYork, in curatorial filesThe Art Museum.

    3. Lynn Barstis Williams, comp., American Printmakers 1880-1945: An Index to Reproductions and Biocritical Information (Metuchen, NJ, 1993), viii.

    4. Edward Duff Balken (hereafter EDB)'s collection also included prints by John J. A. Murphy (i888-i967), Roi Partridge (i888-i984), Joseph Pennell (i860-1926), and Boardman Robinson (i876-1952), among others, see list of prints EDB owned,April 14, 1943, Archives, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA (hereafter Archives, CMA), code no. 4122. Information pertaining to EDB and his association with the Carnegie Institute is contained primarily in two repositories.All corre- spondence before 1940, unless noted otherwise, is on deposit as the Carnegie Museum of Art Papers at the Archives of American Art, Washington, D.C. (hereafter CMA Papers,AAA). Correspondence after 1940, unless stated otherwise, is from Archives, CMA. In I986, the Department of Fine Arts at the Carnegie Institute was made a compo- nent of this institution and given the name The Carnegie Museum of Art (hereafter CMA). All text and correspondence cited in this essay, unless stated otherwise, use the term Carnegie Institute (hereafter CI). The author thanks Rachel E. C. Layton, curatorial assistant, Decorative Arts, CMA, for clarifying this change.

    5. The author thanks Mrs. Charles Fagan, II, for sharing her memories of Balken's Pittsburgh home and its furnishings. The author also thanks Charles Fagan, III, for his comments and assistance, interviewed January I995, Pittsburgh.

    6. EDB owned John Kane's painting Squirrel Hill Farm, ca. 1926, in Leon Anthony Arkus, comp.,John Kane: Painter (Pittsburgh, 1971), 170, ilus. cat. no. 104, on p. 28I. In his autobiography, Kane acknowledges EDB for being one of the earliest purchasers of his work. See, "Sky Hooks: the Autobiography ofJohn Kane, as told to Marie McSwigan," in ibid., 88. This painting was included in the "Eighteenth Annual Exhibition of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh," CI, February io-March 9, 1928, and exhib. cat. as no. 38, and was also included in Kane's memorial exhi- bition held at the CI. See, Department of Fine Arts, CI, "A Memorial Exhibition of the Paintings of John Kane (I860-1934)," April 9-May 14, I936, cat. no. 7. Other collectors who acquired Kane's work include, Stephen Clark, Stephen Hirsch, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, G. David Thompson, and John Walker. EDB also acquired Pop Hart's drawing entitled, Matching and Weighing the "Birds," Mexico, 1927. See, Holger Cahill, George 0. 'Pop' Hart: Twenty-four Selections from his Work (New York, I928), unpaginated, courtesy, Elizabeth Stillinger, Westport, CT, July 23, 1995. These works of art probably were furnishings of Balken's home in Pittsburgh.

    7.In total, Balken donated fourteen decorative art objects, seven water- colors, and two paintings, one being another work by Prendergast enti- tled Women at Seashore. Jennifer A. Krantz, assistant to the registrar, CMA, to Charlotte Emans Moore (hereafter CEM), September 6, I994,

    curatorial files, The Art Museum. See bill of sale from Maurice B. Prendergast to EDBApril 4, 91i8, for painting Swampscott Beach, which sold for $250.00. Archives, CMA, code no. i09.

    8. These included a 553-page manuscript, copied in 171I from the origi- nal of about 1573, detailing a history of the civil strife at Munster, Germany; a seventeenth-century copy of an encyclopedia of athletics in the ancient world entitled DeArte Gymnastica, byJerome Mercuriale, an Italian physician; two volumes of an eighteenth-century unpublished manuscript by Cosimo Baroncelli addressing the history of the Medici family; an edition of Quintus Curtius, Life ofAlexander the Great, print- ed inVenice in I494; a copy of The Letters of St.Jerome, published in Basel in 1489 by Nicolaus Kesler; three incunables, or "cradle" books, one being a concordance of religious and ecclesiastical terms compiled by Niccolo da Osimo, printed in Venice in 1474, the others being Saint Thomas Aquinas's commentaries on the letters of Saint Paul and a vol- ume of Saint Bonaventure's Sententiarum. Other generous donations to Princeton University's library include a copy of Munster's Cosmographey, printed in 1578, and a i649 printing of Gottfried's Archontologia Cosmica. Monica Ruscil, Special Collections assistant, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton Univeristy, to CEM, September 22, 1994, curatorial filesThe Art Museum.The author also thanks Margaret M. Sherry, archivist, Rare Books and Special Collections, Firestone Library, Princeton University, for confirming the correct spelling of these titles and for providing a comprehensive list of EDB's donations to this library, see Margaret M. Sherry to CEM, December 15, 1995, curatorial files.

    9. John W Beatty, director of Fine Arts, CI, to EDB, September 2, 1915, and J.W Beatty to EDB, December 31, 1915, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 4122.

    i0. EDB worked with several groups in the city, including the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, One Hundred Friends of Pittsburgh Art, Pittsburgh Etching Club, and Art Society of Pittsburgh on projects that sought to boost local appreciation for the arts and to provide public access to works of art and cultural activities. Affiliated with the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Balken worked with its members to sponsor annual art exhibitions in the city to interest residents in the fine arts and to provide support and encouragement for local artists. Founded in i910, this organization is recognized as the second oldest continuous artists' group of its kind in the country. Artists who con- tributed to its annual shows over the years include John W Alexander, Mary Cassatt, Henry O.Tanner, Philip Pearlstein, and Andy Warhol.The membership of this organization, seeking to present a professional forum for artists and their work, invited to Pittsburgh some of the most prominent American artists of the day to serve as judges, including George Luks,William Glackens, Charles W Hawthorne, Ernest Lawson, Reginald Marsh,William Zorach, Charles Burchfield, and, more recent- ly, Robert Motherwell. See, Mary Brignano, The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh: The First Seventy-Five Years, 1910-1985 (Pittsburgh, I985); Christian J. Walter, "The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh," Carnegie Magazine 2, no. 9 (1929), 259-62; idem, "The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh," Art and Archaeology 14, nos. 5-6 (I922), 329-30; see also, miscellaneous clippings, vertical files,Art and Music Division, Carnegie Public Library, Pittsburgh. Another organization Balken assisted, One Hundred Friends of Pittsburgh Art, purchased works of art from the Associated Artists' exhibitions and gave them to the city's public schools. A voluntary group of one hundred individuals who contributed funds each year for the purchase of works of art, this organization sought to support local artists financially and to uplift school-age children through art appreciation and instruction in the classroom.John L. Porter, "One Hundred Friends of Pittsburgh Art,"' Art and Archaeology 14, nos. 5-6 (1922), 347-49y; idem, "Those One Hundred Friends," Catnegie Magazine 2, 00. 10 (1929), 302-4; and miscellaneous clippings, vertical files, Art and Music Division, Carnegie Public Library, Pittsburgh. See,


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  • John L. Porter, secretary, One Hundred Friends of Pittsburgh Art, to EDB, concerning call for an executive committee meeting, October 31, I923; EDB to Homer Saint-Gaudens, director of the Department of Fine Arts, CI, October 4, 1935, and October i9, I935, and Saint- Gaudens to EDB, October 14, 1935, and October i9, 1935, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 4122. The Art Society of Pittsburgh, another of Balken's interests, was founded in i873 to promote cultural, education- al, and artistic endeavors in the community. Sponsoring art exhibitions at the CI and lectures on art, the Society also strongly encouraged music appreciation with concerts and receptions featuring prominent per- formers of the day. See, Edwin Z. Smith, "The Art Society of Pittsburgh," Art andArchaeology I4, nos. 5-6 (I922), 350-51, and Chapter and By-Laws ofArt Society of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, i8gi); see also, verti- cal files, Pennsylvania Room, and Art and Music Division, Carnegie Public Library, Pittsburgh, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 594. For her contributions, the author thanks Rina Youngner, research associate, "International Encounters," Department of Fine Arts, CMA. An ardent collector of fine prints, EDB was also instrumental in founding a short- lived organization dedicated to developing local interest in fine prints and the graphic arts. In existence for only six years beginning in i909, the Pittsburgh Etching Club ceased operations in 1915 and subsequent- ly donated its impressive collection of lithographs by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (I834-I903) to the CI. Archives, CMA, Pittsburgh, code no. 2412; in particular, see EDB to John W Beatty, Department of Fine Arts, CI, December 31, I915, in which Balken acknowledges the dissolution of the club, notes its presentation of twelve Whistler litho- graphs to the CI, and provides a description of the organization "which for six years labored unselfishly to develop in this community a love of Fine Prints, and a studious interest in Graphic Art."

    ii. By lobbying at the museum for adequate exhibition facilities for the print department and working to build its collection, in his first year as curator Balken brought into the collection forty-five line engravings, forty-six wood engravings, thirty-six etchings, and four original litho- graphs, while mounting exhibitions of lithographs by James Abbott McNeill Whistler and etchings by Childe Hassam. See EDB, curator, Department of Prints, CI, to John W Beatty, director, Department of Fine Arts, March 31, I9I6, CMA Papers,AAA, code no. 4122. Although Balken was not a prolific writer, during his tenure at this institution he wrote articles for the Carnegie Magazine addressing various subjects, including "Malvina Hoffman-American Sculptor," Carnegie Magazine 2, no. 9 (1929), 270-72; "Fine Prints from the Collection of Lessing J. Rosenwald," Carnegie Magazine 7, no. I (I933), 13-i8; "Holbein Drawings Engraved by Bartolozzi," Carnegie Magazine 8, no. 6 (i934), I63-66. For these citations, the author thanks Bob Gangewere, editor, Carnegie Magazine, Pittsburgh, PA.

    I2. John Walker,John Walker, Self-Portrait with Donors: Confessions of an Art Collector (Boston andToronto, 1974), 20, and interview withJohnWalker by CEM, February 6, 1995, curatorial files, The Art Museum; see also, Balken's comment reflecting his philosophy on modern prints, "Here is a safe and sane rule to put in your hat:-Never take a modern exhibi- tion of prints, or anything else, without somebody first seeing it. That 'somebody' must be one for whose judgement you have respect," in handwritten response to letter fromJohn O'Connor,Jr., assistant direc- tor, CI, to EDB, August 30, 1936, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 4122.

    13. The author thanks EDB's grandson Beckerman Balken for allowing her to examine the architectural plans for this house.

    14. For information about the electric line, see Lila S. Parrish, Great Barrington, MA, to CEM, February i8, 1995, curatorial files, The Art Museum.

    I5. EDB toJohnW Beatty,July 6, 192I, CM APapers,AAA, code no. 4I22. At an undetermined rime, EDB's friend and neighbor Albert H. Spahr designed modest additions and made some changes to the house's inte- rior.

    i6. EDB to Miss Mary L. McBride, May 22, 1927; EDB to Major John] O'Connor,June I, 1924, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 4122. See also, interviews with EDB's son Bailey Balken, and grandson Beckerman Balken, by CCH,June II, i99i, and with Beckerman Balken by CEM, 1994, curatorial files, The Art Museum.

    I7. EDB to Charles F Ramsey, Department of Fine Arts, CI,June 27, I915, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 4122.

    i8. During the years between i840 and i86o, many American writers resided in or visited the Berkshires.William Cullen Bryant built a house in Cummington; Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick at his home, Arrowhead, in Pittsfield. Others include Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Russell Lowell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Catharine Sedgwick, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This concentration of many of the nation's great writers during this period, within a few miles of each other and in combination with the surroundings, led the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher to bestow on this region the title, "The American Lake District," alluding to its similarities with the English Lake District, made famous by writers like William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Later in the nineteenth century, the sculptor Daniel Chester French (i850-193I) lived at his home, Chesterwood, in Stockbridge. In i885, attorney and diplomat Joseph Hodges Choate commissioned architect Stanford White to build his home Naumkeag in this town, while writer Edith Wharton owned the Mount in nearby Lenox. See Edward Halsey Foster, Catharine Maria Sedgwick (New York, 1974), 19-20; see also, Berkshire County: ItsArt and Culture 1700-1840 (Pittsfield, MA, i986).

    i9. For a first-hand account addressing the availability of farm land for modest prices during this period, see the comments of artist George Laurence Nelson. He and his wife purchased a home in Kent, CT, in i919. George Laurence Nelson, New Lifefor Old Timber (Kent, CT, i982), 7, 21, 37.

    20. Kenneth L. Ames, Introduction, in Alan Axelrod, ed., The Colonial Revival in America (NewYork and London, I985), 3.

    2 I. For information pertaining to the colonial revival in America, see, ibid., 1-14; Karal Ann Marling, George Washington Slept Here: Colonial Revivals and American Culture, 1876-1986 (Cambridge, MA, I988), in particular, i85-222; Michael Kammen, Mystic Chords of Memory:The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture (New York, I99I), part 3, 1915-45, 299-527; Elizabeth Stillinger, The Antiquers, The Lives and Careers, the Deals, the Finds, the Collections of the Men and Women who were Responsible for the Changing Taste in American Antiques, 185o-1930 (NewYork, I980); and William H. Truettner and Roger B. Stein, eds., Picturing Old New England: Image anad Memory (New Haven, I999).

    22. After EDB died, his family closed up the house. Arranged by Colleen C. Heslip, photographs were taken that accurately reflect its appearance during EDB's lifetime, omitting the paintings and drawings given to Princeton University. The author thanks Beckerman Balken and his wife, Mary Riddell, for allowing her to see the house and examine its contents and for sharing EDB's papers and an inventory he made at an undetermined time, which appears to indicate approximate prices paid for the furnishings and works of art contained in this home.

    23. Christopher Monkhouse,"The SpinningWheel as Artifact, Symbol, and Source of Design," in Kenneth L. Ames, ed., Victorian Furniture: Essays from a Victorian Society Autumn Symposium (Philadelphia, PA, I983), 153-72. In EDB's inventory, he recorded the value of $25 for this "Spinning wheel and Flax Reel. Turnings delicate & fine for so useful a piece," in "Furniture Inventory Farm," courtesy Beckerman Balken, NewYork, photocopy in curatorial files, The Art Museum.

    24. EDB to John W Beatty, October 29, I919; Beatty to EDB, November 3, 1919, Western Union Telegram; and EDB to Beatty, November 3, I9I9, Western Union Telegram, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 4I22.

    25. In a letter to Colleen C. Heslip (hereafter CCH), Mary C. Black recalled, "It was [John3 O'Connor who reiterated what Mr. Balken had


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  • told me, that Balken liked to bestow names on unidentified subjects that related to his friends or contemporaries." Mary C. Black, Germantown, NY, to Heslip,June 20, i99i, curatorial files,The Art Museum.This fac- tor, in combination with a lack of contemporary documentation, may explain why few identified portrait subjects could be found in primary sources.

    26. Mary C. Black, Germantown, NY, to CCH, Williamstown, MA, June 20, i99i, curatorial filesThe Art Museum.

    27. Ibid. Exceptions to this limit include, Colonial Dame (yi958-57), attrib- uted to Sarah Perkins, Girl in Pink (yi958-74), attributed to Ammi Phillips, and George Washington (yi958-IoI), by an unidentified artist, in "Furniture Inventory Farm," courtesy, Beckerman Balken, New York, photocopy in curatorial files, The Art Museum (see also, Appendix i). In I946, EDB paid one thousand dollars to Harry Shaw Newman of the Old Print Shop, New York, for the pair of paintings depicting Mother and Daughter and Father and Son, The Walker Family (yi958-58 and yi958-59). See copy of EDB's account card in letter from Kenneth M. Newman,The Old Print Shop Inc., NewYork, NY, to CCH, October IO, i99i, curatorial filesThe Art Museum.

    28. For information pertaining to the availability of works of art at modest prices, see Lila S. Parrish, Great Barrington, MA, to CEM, February i8, i995, curatorial files, The Art Museum, and interview with Agnes Halsey Jones, Haverford, PA, and CEM,July 1994, curatorial files.

    29. For reference to the term "super-collector," in the context of collecting Americana, see Stillinger, Antiquers, 200. The author also thanks Elizabeth Stillinger for her comments concerning the inclusion of the individuals cited. Elizabeth Stillinger to CEM, April 28, i999.

    30. Early American Art, exhib. cat.,Whitney Studio Club (NewYork, 1924) courtesy, Elizabeth Stillinger, Westport, CT. Also in I924, in Kent, CT, an exhibition was held in the summer featuring many portraits that would be attributed later to the artist Ammi Phillips. Organized by artist George Laurence Nelson, this exhibition, whose works of art were bor- rowed from local residents, was held in conjunction with a street fair to benefit the Kent Public Library. See Mrs. H. G. Nelson,"EarlyAmerican Primitives," International Studio 8o, no. 334 (1925), 454-59; "The Kent Street Fair," New Mif ord Times,July 31, 1924; "Kent," New Milford Times, August 7, 1924; "The Kent Street Fair," Milford Times, August 14, 1924. As far as has been determined, EDB probably did not attend this exhi- bition. Writing to EDB in I941, the art historian James Flexner remarked on how pleased he and his wife, Agnes (later Mrs. Louis C. Jones, an authority on the subject in her own right), had been to see his painting collection. He noted that he was enclosing Mrs. Nelson's arti- cle on the exhibition, indicating that EDB probably was not familiar with it. "At that time, I promised to hunt out the reference for you.... You will find canvasses by the Kent artist [later identified as Ammi Phillips] illustrated there...."James Thomas Flexner, Clintonville, CT, to EDB, October 2, I941, courtesy, Beckerman Balken, NewYork, pho- tocopy in curatorial files, The Art Museum. Thanks also to Emily Hobson, Kent, CT.

    31. During this exhibition, the Frick Art Reference Library photographed the sixteen portraits and possibly two of eight landscapes shown. Consequently, it is almost possible visually to reconstruct the portrait section of this installation to gain an impression of painting preferences in 1924. Interestingly, the canvases included are relatively dark and somber, suggesting a specific aesthetic value at work during this period of collecting that is different from today. Furthermore, with little regard for historical accuracy, the portraits were assigned names that were thought to coincide with the sitters' appearance or seemed in keeping with the New England Yankee identity, such as Drusilla, Prudence, Euphemia, and Tabitha. It is contended here that this I920S folk art aes- thetic was transformed in the 1930S by the activities of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and her hired associates who, because of their vast financial resources, gained access to a significantly broader cross-section of

    American material culture.A new "folk art canon" was formed with the exhibition of her collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which showcased brightly colored portraits and landscapes fea- turing cute children with adorable pets and decorative narrative scenes. This visual canon was later institutionalized in numerous public and pri- vate collections and continues to inform our judgments to the present. To judge EDB's collection by the aesthetic definitions of the later canon is to view his accomplishment anachronistically, without a sophisticat- ed grasp of how the taste for American folk art developed over time.

    32. Exhibition of EarlyAmerican Portraits and Landscapes, also someAntiques and Rare Hooked Rugs, exhib. cat., (NewYork, 1924), courtesy, Elizabeth Stil- linger, Westport, CT; for published reviews of this exhibition, see, "Random Impressions In Current Exhibitions," NewYork Herald Tribune, December I4, I924, is;"Art, Exhibitions of the Week," New York Times, December 14, 1924, I4; "Varied Exhibitions in the Galleries," New York Sun, December 13, 1924, II; Deoch Fulton, "Cabbages & Kings," International Studio 80, no. 334 (1925), 489-9i. Thanks to Elizabeth Stillinger, for the following reviews, see also, Guy Eglington, "Art and Other Things," International Studio 8o, no. 333 (1925), 4i6-i9; "Popular Cult forAmerican Primitives," Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 21, 1924; "Current Exhibitions," Arts 7, no. I (1925), 46-47.

    33. EDB's fellow lenders to this exhibition include Mrs. F F Brumbach, Mrs. H. S. Davis, Stephan Hirsch, Mrs. G. Laying, E. R. Stock,Alfred M. Uhler, and L. EWhite.

    34. For contemporary commentary on the use of American primitives to decorate country homes, see Homer Eaton Keyes, "Some American Primitives," Magazine Antiques 12, no. 2 (1927), ii8-22.

    35. Kammen, Mystic Chords of Memory, 309. 36. For the intervening thirteen years, Balken retained this administrative

    title, reflecting his refusal to assume full-time residency in Pittsburgh, see Homer Saint-Gaudens to EDB,July 26, 1922, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 4I22; EDB to Saint-Gaudens, March I8, 1935, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 4I22; Saint-Gaudens to EDB, May 27, 1935, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 4122.

    37. Unless otherwise stated, information pertaining to the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh is fromJohn O'Connor,Jr., "The Pittsburgh International, Its Beginnings, Development, and Evolution," in The History of the Pittsburgh International, Carnegie Institute, 1896-1952 (Pittsburgh, 1952); idem, "The Carnegie Institute International Exhibition,"Art andArchaeology I4, nos. 5-6 (1922), 301-II;Department of Fine Arts, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, i896-1955, Retrospective Exhibition of Paintingsfrom Previous Internationals (Pittsburgh, i958).

    38. Homer Saint-Gaudens to EDB, August 25, 1925, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 4I22.

    39. Carol Troyen and Erica E. Hirshler, Charles Sheeler: Paintings and Drawings (Boston, i987), 154.

    40. Holger Cahill, Federal Works Agency, Works Projects Administration, Washington, D.C., to Jean Lipman, editor, Art in America, Cannondale, CT,January 5, 1941, Jean Lipman Papers,AAA, courtesy, Elizabeth Stil- linger,Westport, CT.

    41. EDB to Charles Sheeler, Ridgefield, CT, May 9, I934; Sheeler to EDB, May 15, 1934, Archives, CMA, code no. 6oo.

    42. Interview with Bailey and Beckerman Balken by CCH,June II, i99i, and interviews with Beckerman Balken by CEM, 1994, curatorial files, The Art Museum.

    43. For a sociological analysis of modernity, see Peter L. Berger, Brigitte Berger, and Hansfried Kellner, The Homeless Mind: Modernization and Consciousness (NewYork, I973).

    44. For scholarly studies on the history ofAmerican folk art collecting, see for example, Wanda Corn, "The Return of the Native: The Development of Interest in American Primitive Painting;' master's the- sis, New York University, 1965; David Park Curry, "Rose-Colored Glasses, Looking for 'Good Design' in American Folk Art," in An


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  • American Sampler: FolkArtfrom the Shelburne Museum (Washington, D.C., i987), 24-4I; Alice Ford, Pictorial Folk Art: New England to Calfornia (New York and London, 1949); Patricia Mainardi, American Sculpture, Folk & Modern, exhib. cat.,The Queens Museum (NewYork, 1977), cat- alogue for exhibition held March i2-May 8, 1977; BeatrixT. Rumford, "Uncommon Art," I3-53.

    45. Rumford, "Uncommon Art," 23. 46. EDB's collection contains three single portraits of women painted on

    panel, Rural Matron (yI958-87), Lois Barnes Smith Warner, Educator (yI958-97), and Ann of Malden Bridge (yI9s8-93), all by unidentified artists. Any of these three could be the relevant work. Edith G. Halpert to EDB, April IO, I934, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 5921. See also, telegram from Halpert, American Folk Art Gallery, to CI, May 24, 1934, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 589i; Halpert to CI, May 24, I934, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 589i;John O'ConnorJr., Carnegie Insti- tute, to Halpert, May 25, 1934, CMA Papers,AAA, code no. 589i.

    47. Edith G. Halpert to EDB, September 4, 1931, CMA Papers,AAA, code no. 5891; Halpert to EDB, January 22, 1933, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 5800; Halpert to EDB, December I2, 1931, CMA, AAA, code no. II0. In this correspondence, she also provides him with a prepared biog- raphy on Holger Cahill, her business partner, and one of the leading scholars in the emerging field of folk art. Halpert to EDB, December I2, I93I, CMA Papers,AAA, code no. 589I.

    48. Edith G. Halpert to EDB, April 30, I93I, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 589I.

    49. EDB to Edith G. Halpert, May 5, 193I, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 589I.

    50. Curated by Holger Cahill, who had previously organized two other seminal exhibitions addressingAmerican folk art in I930 and I93I at the Newark Museum, the show at the Museum of Modern Art, entitled, "American FolkArt-TheArt of the Common Man, 1750-Igoo," No- vember 30, I932-january 15, 1933, featured 174 works of art lent anonymously by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. A founder and active sup- porter of the Museum of Modern Art, whose husband's financial back- ing subsequently helped to restore Colonial Williamsburg,Abby Aldrich Rockefeller's interest in American folk art probably developed, in part, from her personal appreciation of contemporary art and its historical antecedents. See, Rumford, "Uncommon Art," 32.

    5 . Edith G. Halpert to EDB, December 2, 1932, CMA Papers,AAA, code no. 589I and Halpert to EDB,January I2, 1933, CMA Papers,AAA, code no. 5800; Halpert may have embellished her involvement with Mrs. Rockefeller since Holger Cahill obviously played a critical role, see, Wendy Jeffers, "Holger Cahill and American Art," Archives of American ArtJournal 3I, no. 4 (I991), 7.

    52. EDB to Edith G. Halpert, January 13, 1933, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 5800.

    53. Holger Cahill, American Primitives: An Exhibit of the Paintings of Nineteenth-Century Folk Art (Newark, NJ, 193I).

    54. Exhibition ofAmerican Folk Painting in Connection with the Massachusetts Tercentenary Celebration (Cambridge, MA, I930), unpaginated.

    55. Over the years, the region was home to several other folk art collectors. Eaton Paper Corporation executive Horace W Davis of Pittsfield, MA, collected American folk paintings from 1934 until his death, in 1942. Seventy-five of them were loaned to the Berkshire Museum in 1941 for an exhibition entitled "American Folk Painting of the Nineteenth Century." Upon Davis's death, Howard andJean Lipman purchased this collection, retaining some pieces and dispersing the remainder at auc- tion in NewYork in 1946. According to Wendy Jeffers, Dorothy Miller and her husband, Holger Cahill, owned a home in Stockbridge, MA, which she inherited in I943. However, since her parents lived there until the early 1950S, they did not spend much time at this residence. For information pertaining to Horace W. Davis and his collection, see, American Folk Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Lent by Horace W Davis

    (Pittsfield, MA, 194I);"Folk Art Attains Historical Value," New York Sun, February 22, 194I, Jean Lipman Papers, AAA, courtesy, Elizabeth Stillinger,Westport, CT. For information pertaining to the sale of Davis's collection, see, Jean Lipman to Maxim Karolik, January 8, 1945, Jean Lipman Papers, and Parke-Bernet Galleries, American Folk Paintings, Including Imaginative Primitives, Marines, ScenicAmerica, Localities of Interest, Homes and Schools of OurAncestors, Folk as They Were, Collection Formed by the Late Horace W Davis, Sold by Order of Mr. & Mrs. Howard Lipman, Cannondale, Conn. (February 28, 1946). For information pertaining to Dorothy Miller and Holger Cahill in the Berkshires, see,WendyJeffers, New York, to CEM, September 12, 1994, curatorial files, The Art Museum.

    56. J. Stuart Halladay and Herrel George Thomas to John O'Connor, Jr., CI, March 22, I941, Archives, CMA, code no. I5i0; Halladay and Thomas to O'Connor, April 2I, 194I, Archives, CMA, code no. I5o0; Halladay and Thomas to O'Connor,June 3, 1941, Archives, CMA, code no. i5io; Halladay and Thomas to O'ConnorJune I2, 1941, Archives, CMA, code no. iSio; O'Connor to F. A. Leovy, Pittsburgh, August i8, 194I, Archives, CMA, code no. i5io. At a later date,Thomas acknowl- edged that the collection had grown to more than five hundred items, see, "The Halladay-Thomas Story," clipping, unidentified source, cura- torial files,AbbyAldrich Rockefeller FolkArt Center,WilliamsburgVA.

    57. John O'Connor, Jr., CI, to EDB, October 20, 1942, Archives, CMA, code no. 4122. For sources pertaining to EDB introducing Halladay and Thomas to American provincial paintings, see telegram from Mary C. BlackAbby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection,Williamsburg,VA, to Robert Koch, Princeton University, April i8, I960, curatorial files, The Art Museum, in which she sends message, "...We are proud of mention of his pioneer interest in folk art that led Halladay andThomas of Sheffield to make their collection." See also, various obituaries, including "E. D. Balken, Institute Pioneer, Dies, Prints Division Founder, 85, Made Many Rich Gifts," Pittsburgh Post Gazette, April 6, 1960; "Carnegie Art Official Dies, Balken Assembled Pioneer Collection," Pittsburgh Press, April 6, ig60; "Memorials, Edward Duff Balken, '97," Princeton Alumni Weekly,July I, ig60, i6;John O'Connor, Jr., "Balken Marks 8oth Birthday, Collector of Fine Prints, Manuscripts; Active in International Shows," Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, August 26, 1954. For these citations, the author thanks Rina Youngner, research associate, "International Encounters," Department of Fine Arts, CMA, Jennifer A. Krantz, assistant to the registrar, Department of Fine Arts, CMA, and Monica Ruscil, Special Collections assistant, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton Universisty.

    58. Information from Elizabeth Stillinger, Westport, CT; see also, Beatrix T. Rumford, ed., American Folk Paintings: Paintings and Drawings Other Than Portraitsfrom theAbbyAldrich Rockefeller FolkArt Center (BostonToronto, and London, i988), ix.

    59. J. Stuart Halladay and Herrel George Thomas to John O'Connor, Jr., CIJune 12, I941, Archives, CMA, code no. 1510.

    60. Mary C. Black was the first scholar to note this connection in her cor- respondence with EDB. See, Mary C. Black, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, Williamsburg, VA, to Frances Jones and Robert Koch, Princeton University, July I, I958, curatorial files, The Art Museum. For additional information, see the individual entries for Henrietta Dorr (cat. no. I2) and Girl in Mauve (cat. no. 2).

    6I. EDB to Mary C. Black,Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, Williamsburg, VA, July 22, 1958, courtesy, Beckerman Balken, New York, photocopy in curatorial files, The Art Museum.

    62. Among the works exhibited were: Peaceable Kingdom and The Residence of David Twining in 1787, by Edward Hicks (I780-1849); Self Portrait, by John Kane; Coryell~s Ferry, 1776, byJoseph Pickett; The Burnish Sisters, by William Mathew Prior (I806-I875); Baby in a Red Chair, Oulting on the Hudson, Manchester Valley, and The Runaway Horse, by unidentified artists. See Department of Fine Arts, CI, Survey of American Painting (Pittsburgh,


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  • PA, 1940), catalogue for exhibition held October 24-December iS, 1940. For identification of these works as folk art, see Virgil Barker's notes for exhibition, CMA Papers, AAA, code no. 7000.

    63. John O'Connor,Jr., CI, to EDB, October 17, 1940, CMA Papers,AAA, code no. 15i0.

    64.John O'Connor, Jr., CI, to J. Stuart Halladay and Herrel George Thomas, April I, 1941, Archives, CMA, code no. I5io. Department of Fine Arts, CI, American Provincial Paintings 168o-186o, From the Collection ofj. Stuart Halladay and Herrel George Thomas. For a review of this exhi- bition, see Jeanette Jena,"Four Notable Art Exhibits Will Close Soon At Institute ... 80 Canvasses in Provincial Display," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 20, 1941, courtesyJennifer Hutter, Rochester, NY Reflecting on their efforts, Halladay and Thomas acknowledged Balken's immeasur- able contribution to the exhibition's success. "If you were not involved in the situation," they wrote, "we never in the wide world, no ... never in eighteen worlds eighteen times as wide as this one, would we have put as much into it as we did.... we didn't want to let you down.""The Toilers" [Halladay &Thomas] to EDB, March I7, 1941, Archives, CMA, code no. 1510.

    65. See "The Toilers" [Halladay & Thomas] to EDB, March 17, I941, Archives, CMA, code no. i5io; see alsoThomas's comment, "The news got about that we had a collection of Early American paintings. Critics, painters, authors, and many others came to see them. Then they would return and bring their friends. People became very enthusiastic about them and chiefly those who were aware of the best in modern art, for the similarity between the two was marked. Only, it might be added, while the early American transcended his more popular and sophisti- cated brethren who had the benefit of European training, he, at the same time, anticipated the modern painter who, in many respects, is giving us nothing new," in "The Halladay-Thomas Story," clipping, unidentified source, curatorial files, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, Williamsburg,VA.

    66. EDB to J. Stuart Halladay and Herrel George Thomas, December 13, 1940, original in curatorial files, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, Williamsburg, VA, copy in CMA Papers, AAA, code no. i5i0. For response, see,"TheToilers" [Halladay &Thomas] to EDB, March 17, 1941, Archives, CMA, code no. 15io; and Halladay and Thomas to John O' Connor,Jr., March 17, 1941, Archives, CMA, code no. 1510.

    67. For reference to Thomas's characterization of modern art as "nothing new," see "The Halladay-Thomas Story," clipping, unidentified source, curatorial files, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, Williamsburg,VA, and see note 65 for context.

    68. Whitney Museum ofAmerican Art, American Provincial Paintingsfrom the Collection ofj. Stuart Halladay and Herrel George Thomas (NewYork, 1942), catalogue for benefit exhibition for the American Field Service, held October 27-November I9, 1942.

    69. Portions of this collection would be included in other exhibitions, such as The Arts Club of Chicago, exhib. cat., American Primitive Painting of Four Centuries (Chicago, 1943), November 2-27, 1943.

    70. John O'Connor, Jr., to EDB, August 20, 1942, Archives, CMA, code no. 4122.

    71. John O'Connor, Jr., to EDB, October 26, 1942, Archives, CMA, code no. 4122. For other letters soliciting Balken to lend, see, O'Connor to EDB, May 20, 1943, Archives, CMA, code no. 4122, and O'Connor to EDB,June 7, 1945, Archives, CMA, code no. 4122.

    72. EDB to Homer Saint-Gaudens, September 17, 1946, Archives, CMA, code no. 4122.

    73. Department of Fine Arts, CI, American Provincial Paintings, 1790-1877, from the Collection of Edward Duff Balken (Pittsburgh, 1947).Two paint- ings in the catalogue, no. 33, Little Flower Girl, and no. 40, Rip Van Winkle, Rheinbeck [sic ], New York, by unidentified artists, are not in the collection at Princeton University, nor do they appear in The Art Mu- seum, Princeton University, American Folk Art:A Collection of Paintings Presented in 1958 by Edward Duff Balken of the Class of 1897 to The Art Museum, Princeton University (Princeton, 1958) (hereafter AFA). Number 60, Mrs. Zachariah Flager, is renamed Woman with a Black Paisley Shawl, attributed to Ammi Phillips (cat. no. 17). For the price of one dollar, EDB borrowed No. 33 from the Pittsburgh contemporary art collector G. David Thompson, a banker and steel company execu- tive who was also a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, NewYork. See, memo from John O Connor, Jr., CI, March 13, 1946, Archives, CMA, code no. 4122, and An Exhibition of Works Acquiredfrom the G. David Thompson Collection (Pittsburgh, PA, n.d.). The author thanks Rachel E. C. Layton, curatorial assistant, Decorative Arts, CMA, for her assistance in attempting to locate installation photographs of EDB's collection.

    74. EDB to "The Boys" [Halladay & Thomas],January 20, 1947, curatorial files, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center,Williamsburg,VA.

    75. Transcription of letter from John Walker, chief curator, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., to EDB,January i6, 1947, curatori- al files, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, Williamsburg,VA; interview with John Walker by CEM, February 1995, curatorial files, The Art Museum.

    76. See, "Carnegie Art Exhibits Scheduled," Pittsburgh Post Gazette, January 4, 1947;"Balkan [sic ] Art Collection to go on Exhibition," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 9, 1947; Eugene F Jannuzi, "Carnegie Institute Show Mirrors Early U.S. Life, Selection of Primitive American Art Reflects Fashions of Our Pioneer Folk," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 10, 1947, courtesyJennifer Hutter, Rochester, NY. The portrait entitled Colonial Dame (South Carolina), ascribed to James Earl, is attrib- uted by CCH to Sarah Perkins; the painting entitled Portrait of a MIan was attributed to Joseph Whiting Stock and is currently by an unidentified artist.

    77. EDB to Donald Egbert, Princeton UniversityJuly 12, 1952, curatorial files, The Art Museum; see also, EDB to Egbert, September i0, 1952, curatorial files.

    78. EDB to Ernest T. DeWald, director, The Art Museum, Princeton University, April 21, I958, curatorial files,The Art Museum.

    79. The Art Museum, Princeton University, AFA, catalogue for the exhibi- tion. Two additional portrait miniatures and one oil portrait, which do not appear in the 1947 catalogue, are included in the 1958 publicationl: no. 64, Portrait of a UMan, attributed to Henry Inman, 30.5 x 22.9 cm., whereabouts unknown; no. 65, Portrait of a Man, by an unidentified artist, probably likeness ofWilliamJong (cat. no. 41); and no. 6o, Edward Duff at the Age of Four, see entry for Edward Duff (cat. no. 3). EDB to Ernest T. DeWald,The Art Museum, Princeton University, May I, 1958, curatorial filesThe Art Museum; Anne K. Stolzenbach, registrar, CI, to Frances Follin Jones, assistant to the director, The Art Museum, May 8, 1958, curatorial files; Stolzenbach toJones, May 12, 1958, curatorial files; EDB to DeWald, May I, 1958, curatorial files; deed of gift, May 5, 1958, curatorial files. The author thanks Charles K. Steiner, associate director, The Art Museum, for his assistance in attempting to locate installation photographs of this exhibition.


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    Article Contentsp. 11p. [10]p. 12p. 13p. 14p. 15p. 16p. 17p. 18p. 19p. 20p. 21p. 22p. 23p. 24p. 25p. 26p. 27p. 28

    Issue Table of ContentsRecord of the Art Museum, Princeton University, Vol. 57, No. 1/2, A Window into Collecting American Folk Art: The Edward Duff Balken Collection at Princeton (1998), pp. 1-209Front Matter [pp. 1-163]Foreword [pp. 6]Another Generation's Folk Art: Edward Duff Balken and His Collection of American Provincial Paintings and Drawings [pp. 10-28]Appendix I: An Inventory of Works from the Home of Edward Duff Balken [pp. 29-30]Catalogue of the Collection [pp. 31-162]Acquisitions of the Art Museum 1997 [pp. 164-208]Back Matter [pp. 209-209]