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Anna Hyatt Huntington Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University


Finding aid created by: -
Date: Sep 1966



Biographical History

Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973) was an award-winning American sculptor, best known for her animal pieces and her large equestrian statues.

Born in Cambridge, Mass. on March 10, 1876, the daughter of noted palaeontologist, naturalist, and Harvard professor, Alpheus Hyatt, she had planned to become a concert violinist but was encouraged by her sister to try sculpture. She studied briefly under H.E. Kitsen of Boston, and in the Art Students' League in New York, and received valuable criticism from Gustav Borglum. Other artists with whom she studied include Hermon Atkins MacNeil, George Grey Barnard, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and Malvina Hoffman.

As early as 1898 she began to exhibit her work and by 1906 had established a reputation as a fine sculptor of animals. She lived in Europe from 1906 to 1908 and again in 1910 when she won an honorable mention for her plaster model of Joan of Arc. She then returned to America where she executed many commissions, several of monumental size, such as the Joan of Arc which was placed along Riverside Drive in New York City.

In 1923 she became the second wife of Archer Milton Huntington, adopted son of Collis P. Huntington who founded the Southern Pacific Railroad. Archer Huntington was vitally interested in art, particularly Spanish art and culture; he encouraged his wife's work and she came to share his love for Spain and its people. Despite a lengthy bout with tuberculosis beginning in 1927, Anna continued to actively produce and show her work after their marriage. In 1937 the Huntingtons moved from New York City to Haverstraw, New York to an estate they called "Rocas," and then in 1940 to an estate and farm near Bethel, Connecticut, which they called "Stanerigg." Here Mrs. Huntington became interested in owning and breeding Scottish deerhounds and her kennel at Stanerigg produced a number of award-winning dogs, but her main focus was always her art. She continued to sculpt and produce fine pieces until illness forced her to stop in 1972, and she died shortly thereafter in 1973.

Sculptors Marjorie Jay Daingerfield and Katherine Ward Lane Weems both studied with her, and she was the friend and collaborator of sculptor Abastenia St. Leger Eberle (whom she affectionately called "Stennie") and a colleague of artist Elizabeth Norton.

Particularly well-known are Mrs. Huntington's heroic equestrian statues. These include El Cid (several locations including the Hispanic Society of America in New York and Seville, Spain), Young Andrew Jackson (Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster, South Carolina), General Israel Putnam (Putnam Memorial Park, Redding, Connecticut), and The Torchbearers (Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid). Her last major equestrian piece was a statue of Cuban nationalist José Martí, which stands in New York's Central Park; the piece was begun in the mid 1950s but due to the United States' difficult relations with Cuba it was not unveiled until 1965.

Mrs. Huntington was an active member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Academy of Design, and the National Sculpture Society, and gave generously to numerous museums, charities and civic organizations. With her husband, she founded Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina, a state preserve and sculpture garden, and the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Virginia; the couple also donated 15,000 acres of forestland in the central Adirondacks to the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). Mr. Huntington founded the Hispanic Society and Museum in New York City, and Anna also actively supported this organization.

Mrs. Huntington received numerous awards and honors over her career, among them a silver medal at the San Francisco Exposition in 1915, a gold medal in Philadelphia in 1917, and the Saltus Gold Medal from the National Academy of Design. She became a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur in 1933, was named "Woman of the Americas" in 1958, and on her ninetieth birthday she received greetings from friends, fellow artists, and admirers worldwide. Her sculpture is in the permanent collections of more than 200 museums across the United States as well as overseas.


Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Anna Hyatt Huntington Papers include art files, original artwork, biographical material, correspondence-subject files, financial-legal files, memorabilia, photographs, printed material, reference files, and a few writings by others.

Art files contains material relating to Mrs. Huntington's art -- transport, insurance, research material, copyright information, correspondence with bronze foundries, lists of exhibitions, and similar material.

Artwork (original) consists of a few items by Anna (a medal and some sketches) and original artwork by others, primarily sketches, drawings, watercolors, and so on. Original artwork sent with correspondence was kept with it and may be found in the correspondence-subject files under the surname of the correspondent.

Biographical material contains material on the Beebe, Huntington, Hyatt, Mayor, Reynolds, and Vaughn families. (See also Related material, below).

Correspondence-subject files consists of correspondence with, and material related to, various individuals and organizations. The correspondence of Anna's husband, Archer Milton Huntington, has been merged into this series. The files include artists, authors, gallery owners, friends and family, as well as notes from visitors to Brookgreen; art galleries, museums, schools, cities, societies, charities, and so on; and topics ranging from blueprints to maps. Of particular interest in this series are Anna's extensive correspondence with her mother, Audella Hyatt (4 boxes spanning forty years), and her sister, Harriet Hyatt Mayor (2 boxes spanning 60 years). Included also is material relating to Brookgreen Gardens (6 boxes, including annual reports, bank statements, cash statements, a deed, inventories, minutes, photographs, reports, and other material) and the Hispanic Society of America (3 boxes). The 11 boxes of Scottish deerhound material reflect Anna's intense interest in the breed.

Financial-legal files includes bank statements, files on trusts and deeds of gift, and Archer Milton Huntington's financial notebooks; some papers relate to Brookgreen and the Hispanic Society of America, and there are some legal papers relating to Collis P. Huntington's adopted daughter (therefore Archer's adoptive sister) Clara Hatzfeldt.

Memorabilia is extensive and comprises address books, awards and certificates, daily calendars for nearly fifty years, Anna's own diaries (39 volumes covering 1925-1965), membership cards, passports, plaques, more than 25 scrapbooks, and secretary's diaries (1934-1945). Miscellaneous items include Mrs. Huntington's honorary degree from the University of South Carolina and a beautiful framed decree of honorary citizenship from Valencia, Spain.

Photographs includes photographs of artwork (primarily Mrs. Huntington's but a few of others); exhibits; family members and friends; family property (Atalaya, Rocas, Stanerigg, various New York houses); and miscellaneous people (Francisco Franco, Jose Simeon Canas, Robert Peary) and places (Africa, Monaco, Spain, New Orleans, Nashville). Also included here are negatives, slides, photoplates (metal plates affixed to wooden blocks) and three 16mm films. Some correspondence-subject files also contain photographs; these are noted in the inventory below. Of particular interest, in Box 93, is a photograph of a sculpture of a boy and a dog which is annotated on the back as "Anna V. Hyatt and Harriet Randolph Hyatt, only piece done together." According to several sources, this collaboration was Anna's first piece, and its acceptance for exhibition and subsequent purchase encouraged her to give up the violin and turn her talents to sculpture.

Printed material consists of articles (about Anna, about family members, about others); books (about Anna, about others, and one by Archer), clippings (about Anna, about family members, about others); exhibit catalogs; press releases; and miscellaneous advertisements, fliers, magazines, pamphlets, programs, and so on. A few of the magazines are in French or Spanish.

Anna's Reference files contain vast numbers of clippings, photographs, books, and magazines used by Anna as reference for her sculptures.

Writings of others contains typescripts and manuscripts of articles, books, essays, poems, and other pieces. The bulk of the material is that of Emile Schaub-Koch, a French art critic who wrote extensively about Anna and her work. There are also a few poems by Archer Milton Huntington. Some correspondence-subject files also contain original poems, essays, or other writings; these are noted in the inventory below.

Deerhounds (1902-1957, 5 Boxes) were a long-time hobby of Mrs. Huntington. In the early 1930's, she became interested in introducing the breed of Scottish deerhounds into the United States. She maintained extensive kennels, bred the dogs, and showed them nationally. Her dogs won many championships, and her kennels remained active until the 1950's. This series includes subject files (American Kennel Club material, Deerhound Club information, extensive records of Mrs. Huntington's kennels, scrapbooks, and other material) and published material (magazine articles and clippings about deerhounds and publicity material relating to the kennels).

In the interests of space, throughout the inventory Mrs. Huntington is referred to as "AHH."


Arrangement of the Collection

All series are arranged alphabetically, with the sole exception of the photographs of exhibits; these are arranged chronologically.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.


Related Material

The finding aids file contains several family trees compiled by Special Collections Research Center staff during processing. Although every effort has been made to confirm names, dates and relationships, the charts should not be regarded as definitive.

Special Collections Research Center has the papers of numerous members of the Hyatt, Mayor and Beebe families; please see our complete collection list under each surname for these. See also the following collections:

Archer Milton Huntington Papers (Anna's husband)
Arabella Huntington Papers (Archer's mother)
Collis P. Huntington Papers (Archer's father)
Huntington Estate Papers

Syracuse University also owns artwork by Anna Hyatt Huntington; please contact the Syracuse University Art Galleries at suart.syr.edu for more information.


Subject Headings

Persons

Huntington, Anna Hyatt, 1876-1973.
Huntington, Archer M. (Archer Milton), 1870-1955.

Corporate Bodies

Brookgreen Gardens.
Hispanic Society of America.
Mariners' Museum (Newport News, Va.)

Subjects

Animal sculptors -- United States.
Animals in art.
Art -- Collectors and collecting.
Art museums.
Art patronage.
Art, American -- 20th century.
Art, American.
Bronze sculpture, American.
Dog breeders.
Endowments.
Equestrian statues.
Hispanists, United States.
Monuments.
Public art.
Public sculpture.
Scottish deerhound.
Sculptors -- United States.
Sculpture gardens.
Sculpture, American -- 20th century.
Upper class -- United States.
Women -- Biography.
Women and animals.
Women art patrons.
Women artists -- United States.
Women philanthropists.
Women sculptors -- United States.

Places

United States -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

16mm (photographic film size)
Address books.
Annual reports.
Articles.
Awards.
Bank statements.
Blueprints (reprographic copies)
Calendars.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Correspondence.
Diaries.
Exhibition catalogs.
Minutes (administrative records)
Photographs.
Poems.
Posters.
Press releases.
Scrapbooks.
Slides (photographs)
Studbooks.

Occupations

Artists.
Sculptors.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Anna Hyatt Huntington Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries


Table of Contents

Art files

Artwork (original)

Biographical material

Correspondence-subject files

Financial-legal files

Memorabilia

Photographs

Printed material

Reference files

Writings (of others)


Inventory