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Charles W. Hawthorne Papers

Identifier: MS.005

Scope and Content Note

The Charles W. Hawthorne papers measure 0.75 linear feet and date from 1904-1947. The papers provide researchers with information about the work of American painter and instructor, Charles W. Hawthorne (1872-1930). Found in the collection are letters, telegrams, newspaper clippings, photographs, research material and printed material.

The collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material with newspaper clippings forming the bulk. These clippings are arranged by artwork or date and discuss his paintings and exhibitions. A small amount of correspondence is included, mainly incoming telegrams regarding the granting of awards or the sale of artwork. There is one outgoing draft letter to a Mrs. Sibley and several letters written to his wife, Marion Campbell Hawthorne, after his death. The remainder of the collection consists of printed and research materials, including one folder of Elizabeth McCausland's correspondence and provenance forms regarding her attempts to locate information about Hawthorne for a catalog of a 1947 exhibition, and one folder of lists and notes created by his wife that attempt to date his work.

This collection does not illuminate the personal life of Charles W. Hawthorne, nor does it contain information about his role as founder of the Cape Cod School of Art; however, the newspaper clippings may serve those seeking the public opinion of his career as an American artist.


  • 1904-1947


Access Restrictions

These records are open for research under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives access policy. Contact the Archives Department for further information at

Biographical Note

Charles Webster Hawthorne (1872-1930), an American portrait and genre painter and teacher, founded the Cape Cod School of Art in 1899. The son of a sea captain, he was born in Illinois on January 8, 1872 and grew up in Maine. Hawthorne moved to New York in 1894 to attend the Art Students League as a night student. He began studying under William Merritt Chase in 1896 and attended his outdoor painting classes at Shinnecock, Long Island.

Hawthorne spent a year abroad in 1898, traveling to Holland and Italy. His time there inspired him to open his own school. He founded the Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1899. The school, dedicated to outdoor figure painting, proved very successful and influential, attracting many well-known artists. Hawthorne directed the school until his death in 1930.

Hawthorne is known for his genre scenes (he was intrigued by the Portuguese fishing families from Provincetown) and his portraits. He won numerous awards for his painting, including those from the National Academy of Design, Art Institute of Chicago, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and his paintings were collected by prominent museums during his lifetime.

Hawthorne spent his summers in Provincetown, Mass., and his winters in New York City, with occasional travel to Italy or Paris to paint. He married Marion Campbell and they had one son, Joseph C. Hawthorne.


0.75 Linear feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and research material regarding the work of American painter and founder of the Cape Cod School of Art, Charles W. Hawthorne.


This collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material.


Gift of Joseph C. Hawthorne, 1948.

Related Materials

Charles Webster and Marion Campbell Hawthorne papers, 1870-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Processing Information

Arranged and described by Shannon Yule, 2008.

Finding Aid for the Charles W. Hawthorne Papers, 1904-1947 MS.005
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Shannon Yule
© 2010 The Frick Collection. All rights reserved.
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Repository Details

Part of the Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives Repository

10 East 71st Street
New York NY 10021 United States