Frederick Mortimer Clapp Papers
Scope and Contents
The Frederick Mortimer Clapp Papers consists of personal and professional correspondence, writings, research material, lecture notes, subject files, diaries, and other papers documenting Clapp's activities as an art historian, educator, and poet as well as his personal and professional relationships. Writings include drafts and proofs for Clapp's various collections of verse and other works such as A History of the 17th Aero Squadron (1920) and The Frick Collection : Paintings : Summary Catalogue (1935). Among the extensive lecture notes and research material on various topics are some notes relating to Clapp's research on Jacopo da Pontormo and his work with The Frick Collection. Also found in the collection are the personal and family papers of Clapp's wife, Maud Ede Clapp, which largely consist of correspondence, diaries, writings and artwork.
- 1852 - 1969
- Majority of material found within 1906 - 1969
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The Frederick Mortimer Clapp Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift and bequest of Frederick Mortimer Clapp, 1966, 1970. Gift of William Q. Maxwell, 1968. Gift of Roger Butterfield, 1971.
Organized into five series: I. Correspondence, 1878-1969. II. Subject Files, 1928-1963. III. Writing and Research Files, 1917-1967. IV. Personal and Other Papers, 1906-1967. V. Maud Ede Clapp Papers, 1852-1960.
52.55 Linear Feet (133 boxes)
Language of Materials
The Frederick Mortimer Clapp Papers consists of personal and professional correspondence, writings, research material, lecture notes, subject files, diaries, and other papers documenting Clapp's activities as an art historian, educator, and poet as well as his personal and professional relationships. Writings include drafts and proofs for Clapp's various collections of verse and other works such as A History of the 17th Aero Squadron (1920) and The Frick Collection : Paintings : Summary Catalogue (1935). Amongst the extensive lecture notes and research material on various topics are some notes relating to Clapp's research on Pontormo and his work with The Frick Collection. Also found in the collection are the personal and family papers of Clapp's wife, Maud Ede Clapp, which consist of correspondence, diaries, writings and artwork.
Frederick Mortimer Clapp (1879-1969)
Frederick Mortimer Clapp was an American art historian, educator, and poet, and the first director of The Frick Collection from 1936 to 1951. He was born in New York City in 1879, and attended the City College of New York (1896-1899) and then Yale (1899-1902) receiving a B.A. and M.A. He taught at City College and the University of California extension services before traveling throughout Europe and studying art. Clapp married Maud Caroline Ede (1876-1960), an artist in Florence, in 1908. He received a doctorate in art history from the Sorbonne in 1914 and wrote his dissertation on Pontormo's drawings. In 1916 Clapp published a book and catalogue raisonné on Pontormo's paintings. The same year, he began publishing poetry, issuing collections of verse through the 1950s.
Clapp served with the 17th and 22nd Aero Squadrons during the First World War, and wrote a history of the 17th Aero Squadron that was published in 1920. In 1926 Clapp joined the University of Pittsburgh as chair of the art history program. His association with The Frick Collection began in 1931, when he was named advisor to the collection after the death of Mrs. Frick. He became organizing director in 1933, overseeing the transformation of the Frick mansion from a home into the present museum, and then director in 1936, eventually retiring in 1951. Clapp died in 1969 at the age of ninety.
Biographical information drawn from Dictionary of Art Historians: http://www.dictionaryofarthistorians.org/clappf.htm (accessed on 28 January 2011).
Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
The collection received some level of processing in the 1970s or 1980s. Further organization and description were carried out in 2010. Series I, Correspondence, was largely left arranged as it was, with the exception that a distinct group of subject files was organized as a separate series (II). The group of Miscellaneous Manuscripts was broadened into a series of Writing and Research Files (Series III). The papers relating to Maud Ede Clapp and her family were organized as a separate series (V), and the remainder of the material was organized as a series of Personal and Other Papers (IV), including a small group of miscellaneous letters that had not previously been arranged with the rest of the correspondence and was therefore not included in Series I.
The collection is comprised of material formerly classed as: Za Clapp, Uncat Za MSS Clapp, ZA File Clapp, ZA File Jeffers.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- American literature -- 20th century
- American poetry -- 20th Century
- Art -- History -- Study and teaching
- Art historians
- Art historians -- United States -- 20th Century
- Authors, American -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Clapp, Frederick Mortimer, 1879-1969
- Clapp, Maud Ede
- Ede family
- Frick Collection
- Poets, American -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Pontormo, Jacopo da, 1494-1556
- Teachers -- United States -- 20th Century
- United States. Army. Air Service. Aero Squadron, 17th
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Regimental histories -- United States
- Guide to the Frederick Mortimer Clapp Papers
- by Andrea Benefiel and Jennifer Meehan
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
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