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John Milton Fogg, Jr. collection of letters and papers relating to Albert C. Barnes and the University of Pennsylvania

Ms. Coll. 402

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Fogg‏, John M. (John Milton), 1898-1982‏
Title:
John Milton Fogg, Jr. collection of letters and papers relating to Albert C. Barnes and the University of Pennsylvania
Date [inclusive]:
1925-1984
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 402
Extent:
0.4 linear foot (1 box)
Language:
English
Abstract:
Albert C. Barnes (1872-1951), an art collector and founder of the Barnes Foundation, had an uneasy relationship with the University of Pennsylvania, despite efforts on both parts to establish a collaboration in art education between the Barnes Foundation and the University. This collection contains primarily correspondence between Barnes (or the secretary of the Barnes Foundation, Nelle E. Mullen, on Barnes' behalf) and University of Pennsylvania officials, largely related to an effort to establish a joint Penn-Barnes course, which met for only a few sessions in 1946 before being called off by Barnes.
Cite as:
John Milton Fogg, Jr. collection of letters and papers relating to Albert C. Barnes and the University of Pennsylvania, 1925-1984, Ms. Coll. 402, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
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Biography/History

John Milton Fogg, Jr. was born on November 8, 1898, and was educated at Germantown High School, the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1925, and Harvard University, publishing his dissertation in 1929. Even before earning his PhD, he was hired as an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania; and in 1934, when the University acquired the Morris Arboretum, Fogg was hired to survey and identify its plantings. In 1940, Laura L. Barnes solicited Fogg’s help with the establishment of a horticulture school at the Barnes Foundation in Merion and he helped her organize a curriculum for the program and suggested lecturers. In 1940, he became the school’s first instructor of botany.

In 1941, Fogg's career with the University of Pennsylvania expanded. He was first appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and, in 1944, Vice Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, a post he held until 1953. Fogg was named director of the Morris Arboretum in 1959 and in 1966, at the time of Laura L. Barnes's death, he was appointed Director of the Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation, serving until his retirement in 1979. He died in 1982.

In this collection, Fogg was corresponding with Albert C. Barnes, largely as a University of Pennsylvania administrator. His work with Mrs. Barnes may have helped forge and renew relationships with the University following an earlier disappointing collaboration that occurred prior to his appointment as Vice Provost.

Albert Coombs Barnes was born into a working-class family in Philadelphia in 1872. He earned his education at Central High School and the University of Pennsylvania, graduating from medical school before continuing his study of chemistry in Germany. He made his fortune by co-inventing the silver-based antiseptic Argyrol with his German colleague Hermann Hille.

In addition to operating his Philadelphia business, A. C. Barnes Company, Dr. Barnes collected art, amassing "a treasure trove of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist paintings, as well as old master works, Native American fine crafts, and early American furniture and decorative art," (Barnes Foundation). He and his wife Laura Leggett Barnes purchased a 12-acre arboretum in Merion, Pennsylvania in 1922 and he hired architect Paul Cret to design a residence and gallery, in which he would establish the Barnes Foundation, "an educational institution dedicated to promoting an appreciation of fine art and horticulture." According to the Barnes Foundation, the innovative arts education program was based on the teachings of Dr. Barnes, Violette de Mazia, and John Dewey, and emphasized direct engagement with works of art.

From 1924 to 1926, a course entitled "Modern Art," was offered at the University in collaboration with Albert C. Barnes, with Barnes establishing "a course in art appreciation at the University, supplying a lecturer, and opening its art gallery to students in the course," (box 1, folder 1). In a 1926 report or "survey" delivered to the University's provost, the author (almost certainly Barnes, himself) cites the problem as a "lack of intelligent cooperation on the part of the University authorities;" and states that as of November, 1926, the Barnes Foundation decided to suspend its formal arrangement with the University of Pennsylvania. Barnes's displeasure with the University of Pennsylvania's Fine Arts Department continued through the 1930s, but appears to have thawed slightly through a developing relationship with John M. Fogg, Jr., vice-provost of the University of Pennsylvania, in 1941; and by April of 1946, there were renewed efforts to establish a joint Penn-Barnes course. In a proposal which was accepted by the University on April 29, 1946, Dr. Roderick Chisholm was to be appointed full professor in the Department of Philosophy at Penn; his salary was to be paid by Barnes; and he was to teach one course each week in the Barnes gallery. As arrangements for accepting students began, Barnes became increasingly unhappy with Penn's management and by September 23, was sending "exhibits" of "data to show disorder at the University in arranging for Dr. Chisholm's class," (box 1, folder 15) the first of which was to be held on October 3, 1946. By November 26, Dr. Chisholm resigned as lecturer and on December 17, a notice was sent to students that the class was discontinued.

Following the dissolution of the course, Barnes continued to write to University of Pennsylvania administrators, however, the possibility of future collaboration was not considered by Barnes. Instead, Barnes discussed other conflicts, including his disapproval of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (and its association to the University); his feud with James Michener (and his association with the University); and the general disintegration of the University, and particularly his disapproval of its president, Harold E. Stassen. Even his relationship with John M. Fogg, Jr. appears to have dissolved in 1950.

This collection provides a fascinating glimpse into the personality of Barnes, his educational ideals and expectations, the administration and operation of the University of Pennsylvania during the 1920s to the 1950s, and the state of art education in the United States during that same time frame.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains primarily correspondence between Barnes (or the secretary of the Barnes Foundation, Nelle E. Mullen, on Barnes' behalf) and University of Pennsylvania officials. Vice-provost John M. Fogg is Barnes' most frequent correspondent, but other members of the university in the collection include presidents George William McClelland and Harold Edward Stassen; executive vice-president William H. DuBarry; George Simpson Koyl, dean of the School of Fine Arts; Roderick M. Chisholm, who was hired by the university to teach a joint Penn-Barnes course; Glenn R. Morrow, dean of the College; Edgar Arthur Singer, philosophy professor; Frederick C. Gruber of Penn's radio station; and students Jon D. Longaker and Hannah Dorothy Clymer.

In his correspondence with university officials, Barnes frequently enclosed copies of his correspondence with individuals not associated with the university, such as Marie Clews, John Dewey, John Hospers, R. Sturgis Ingersoll and Fiske Kimball of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, C. Brewster Rhoads, Nelson Read, Henry Clifford, James A. Michener, and Horace Stern. Much of the correspondence concerns attempts to establish a joint Penn-Barnes course, which met for only a few sessions before being called off by Barnes. Other topics of the correspondence include Barnes' feuds with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and with the author James Michener. A small series of miscellaneous materials (4 folders) includes copies of writings by Barnes; newspaper and magazine clippings concerning Barnes, which extend past the dates of the correspondence to 1974; and a brochure for the 1984-1985 program at the Arboretum School of the Barnes Foundation.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2018 December 7

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Amey Hutchins

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Gift of Helen B. Fogg, 1986.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

At the Barnes Foundation Archives:

John Milton Fogg Papers, 1924-1983, JMF

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Barnes Foundation.
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • University of Pennsylvania.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Press releases
  • Writings (documents)
Personal Name(s)
  • Barnes, Albert C. (Albert Coombs), 1872-1951
  • Kimball, Fiske, 1888-1955
  • Michener, James A. (James Albert), 1907-1997
Subject(s)
  • Art
  • Art--Study and teaching

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

"The Barnes Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania," copy of report/survey delivered to the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania related to the end of the "Modern Art" collaboration, 1926 November 27.

1 1

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and George Simpson Koyl, Dean, School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania, 1934 March 10-17.

1 2

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John M. Fogg, Jr. and an open letter from Barnes to the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, 1940, 1941 September-October.

1 3

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John M. Fogg, Jr. (includes radio address, "Dr. Barnes of Merion tells his story," aired on April 9, 1942 on WCAU Philadelphia), 1942 April 13-15.

1 4

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John "Jack" Dewey and John M. Fogg, Jr. (bulk), 1945.

1 5

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and William H. DuBarry, Roderick M. Chisholm, John M. Fogg, Jr. (bulk),C. Brewster Rhoads, and Edgar Arthur Singer (copies of 1925 correspondence), 1946 February 21-March 27.

1 6

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes / N. E. Mullen (secretary) and John M. Fogg, Jr. (bulk) and Horace Stern, 1946 April 17-24.

1 7

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes / N. E. Mullen (secretary) and John M. Fogg, Jr., John Hospers, George William McClelland, and Hoare Stern, 1946 April 26-29.

1 8

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes / N. E. Mullen (secretary) and John M. Fogg, Jr. and Roderick M. Chisholm, 1946 May 3-21.

1 9

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and Walton Battershall, John M. Fogg, Jr. and Glenn R. Morrow, 1946 May 22-25.

1 10

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John M. Fogg, Jr. and Glenn R. Morrow, 1946 August 8-29.

1 11

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and Marie Clews and John M. Fogg, Jr. (bulk), 1946 September 2-6.

1 12

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John Dewey, John M. Fogg, Jr. (bulk), and Horace Stern, 1946 September 10-18.

1 13

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John Dewey and John M. Fogg, Jr. (bulk), 1946 September 19-20.

1 14

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John M. Fogg, Jr. and Glenn R. Morrow, 1946 September 21-23.

1 15

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John Dewey, John M. Fogg, Jr. Jon D. Longaker, Glenn R. Morrow, and Nelson Read, 1946 September 25-26.

1 16

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes / N. E. Mullen (secretary) and Hannah Dorothy Clymer, John M. Fogg, Jr., and Glenn R. Morrow, 1946 October.

1 17

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and Roderick M. Chisholm and John M. Fogg, Jr., 1946 November.

1 18

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes / N. E. Mullen (secretary) and John M. Fogg, Jr., George William McClelland, and Glenn R. Morrow, 1946 December.

1 19

Letters to Dr. Barnes from George William McClelland and letter from Roderick M. Chisholm to the University of Pennsylvania, 1947 January-February.

1 20

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and William H. DuBarry and John M. Fogg, Jr., 1948 March 29-April 29.

1 21

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John M. Fogg, Jr., R. Sturgis Ingersoll, and Fiske Kimball, 1948 March 29-April 29.

1 22

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes / M.S. Ogden (secretary) and Henry Clifford, John M. Fogg, Jr., and Bella Donna van Byttsche, 1948 April 30-May 21.

1 23

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John M. Fogg, Jr., 1949.

1 24

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John M. Fogg, Jr. and Harold Edward Stassen, 1950 January-February.

1 25

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John M. Fogg, Jr. and James A. Michener, 1950 March.

1 26

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and John M. Fogg, Jr., Frederick C. Gruber, Jon D. Longaker, and Harold Edward Stassen, 1950 April-May.

1 27

Letters to and from Dr. Barnes and Harold Edward Stassen, 1950 June-July.

1 28

Charter of the Barnes Foundation (excerpt), undated.

1 29

Writings by Barnes: "A New Wrinkle in 'The Philadelphia Story'" and An Open Letter to the president of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, undated .

1 30

Newspaper Clippings related to Albert C. Barnes (documenting arguments with Walter Annenberg of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Lower Merion Township, Robert McLean of the  Evening Bulletin, and James Michener), 1948, 1950.

1 31

Newspaper Clippings related to Albert C. Barnes (documenting arguments with Lower Merion Township, James Michener, and the University of Pennsylvania; his relationship with the community of Manayunk; and the status of the Barnes following his death), 1950, 1969, 1974.

1 32

Arboretum School of the Barnes Foundation, brochure containing course offerings and general information, 1984-1985.

1 33