Art work


Series VI, Papers of Theodore Chase, Jr. (1832-1895), 1820-1893, undated: Theodore Chase, Jr.'s correspondence reveals his considerable interest in music and musical criticism; several letters refer to his writing reviews of various performances. We also learn that he was both a supporter of and organizer for the Boston opera in 1887. Chase seems also to have taken an interest in preserving Boston's West End; several letters refer to a citizen's action committee to save the West End from further commercial development in 1890. Chase's far flung connections are also revealed in his correspondence; among his correspondents were the Marquis de Lafayette, son of the Lafayette of Revolutionary fame, and Julia Ward Howe. Chase was also interested in his family history, as the letters he copied of his grandfather and grandmother, Colonel and Mrs. Timothy Bigelow, reveal. His travel log is rather scant, but it is illustrated with a number of sketches. His paid bills relate primarily to foreign pur\-chases while living in Europe, and his fiduciary papers in account with his brother George, which include payments to his wife Alice, are probably based on his inheritance from Theodore Chase, Sr. The bill of Theodore Chase, Sr. is for a painting at a raffle held in the Chickering Pianoforte Manufactory. The letters from Baring Brothers deal with an attempt by them to recover for Chase property lost in travelling. Theodore Chase, Jr.'s legal papers contain, in his own handwriting, notes on a trial concerning an accident Theodore and Alice had in 1884 in Marblehead, where they had summered since 1880. The outcome of the case, involving injury to the Chase's horse who stumbled in a badly-kept road, is not clear from the record which survives. Perhaps the most unusual item in Chase's papers is the holograph agreement with his friend Arthur Dexter in 1860 to “meet” after the death of one or the other friend; this during a time when belief in the supernatural and spiritualismwas at a peak. Chase's academic compositions, or conventional subjects, date primarily from his sophomore and junior years at Harvard, 1850-1852. The source of his observations on the hanging of Jefferson Davis is from The Saturday Review of 20 May 1865, but he clearly favors leniency. We find Chase as something of a poet: at least one of his poems is a humorous, if not bawdy, version of “a French dressing maid's prayer.” Also of some humor are Chase's addresses to the Porcellian Club, parodies of the more serious, formal type compositions he delivered in class. The maps in Chase's collection were collected at the time of the West End development debate; of especial interest, however, is the Olmstead map with its proposal, later accomplished, for widening Beacon Street in 1886. The Pau map shows the location of MARY BRADLEE GAILLARD during the Paris Commune. The survey of Chase's Marlboro Street home is in his own hand. There are several broadsides which Chase collected in Paris during the Commune, as well as several dozen newspapers, both in French and English, giving the particulars on the Paris Commune and its collapse on a day to day basis. His papers constitute, in fact, a rather diverse accumulation of Commune-related items. Collection count: 8 volumes and 243 items. The series is arranged in five subseries.


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works of art

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Works of art

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Codman family papers

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