Scope and Contents
The Correspondence contains primarily social notes, detailing plans for concert attendance, country outings, travel arrangements, and visits to and news of family members and friends. Letters by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks and George Grove concern exhibition of some of Dennistoun's collection at the Adelphi Institute; letters by Alexander Christie discuss an auction of paintings. Art collecting and Italian painting are also the subjects of letters by William Carnegie, 8th Earl of Northesk and William Sterling Maxwell. Sir George Lewis's letters concern copy of Dennistoun's articles for the Edinburgh Review. In addition, there is a letter of introduction for Dennistoun's first Italian tour by Sir George Canning and a lecture pass signed by John Ruskin.
Other Papers includes occasional poems by James Dennistoun and James Murray of Elibank; one folder of invitations and musical programs; and miscellaneous bibliographical information.
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
0.84 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
Language of Materials
JAMES DENNISTOUN (1803-1855)
After his father's death in 1834 he sold the family estate on the Clyde and purchased the farm of Dennistoun in Renfrewshire. In 1836 he left Scotland and spent the following 12 years primarily in Germany and Italy, pursuing research and collecting early Italian art, drawings and medieval antiquities. From 1847 on these were displayed in his Edinburgh home.
Dennistoun was a member of and contributor to the Maitland Club and the Bannatyne Club, editing several early texts for their publication series. The author of several works, he is perhaps best known for his Memoirs of the Duke of Urbino Illustrating the Arms Arts and Literature of Italy from 1440-1630 (1851), and Memoirs of Sir Robert Strange and Andrew Lumisden (1855). In 1853 he wrote an influential article for the Edinburgh Review criticizing the collecting policies of the National Gallery in London, and later that year appeared before the Select Committee on the National Gallery.
James Dennistoun died in Edinburgh on February 13, 1855. The greater portion of his collection was sold at Christie's & Manson's on June 14, 1855.
- Guide to the Dennistoun Correspondence
- Under Revision
- by Diane J. Ducharme
- June 1996
- Description rules
- Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
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