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Photographs of Artists in Their Studios Collection

Identifier: MS.014

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains seventy-four albumen prints mounted on cardboard depicting artists in their Paris studios circa 1885-1890. They range in size from 9 x 11.5 in. to 10 x 12 in. The photographs are not signed and do not bear photographers' imprints, but some images have been attributed to either Édouard Fiorillo or Edmond Bénard. The photographs were most likely purchased by the donor, Frank W. Stokes, when he lived and studied in France from 1887 to 1892. Some of the artists appear to have been fellow students, friends, and instructors of Stokes. He provided annotations on roughly one-third of the photographs, describing personal anecdotes and opinions regarding the artists. These annotations have been transcribed in the container list below.


  • circa 1885-1890


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

Historical Note

Frank W. Stokes (1858-1955), a New York artist known for his paintings of the polar regions, which he called "icescapes," was born in Nashville, Tennessee. He first studied under Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Stokes spent five years in France from 1887 to 1892, studying in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts under Jean Léon Gérôme (see Box 1, Folder 28), at the Académie Colarossi under Raphael Collin, and at the Académie Julian under Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre (see Box 2, Folder 6).

Upon returning to America, Stokes served as staff artist for three Robert Edwin Peary expeditions to Greenland and the Arctic Regions from 1892 to 1894. He also joined Otto Nordenskjold in a 1901 expedition to Antarctica. These experiences provided inspiration for hundreds of paintings of the polar landscape. Stokes' "icescapes" were exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, and other galleries and museums in London, Paris, and the U.S. He authored several illustrated articles based on his polar experiences for Century Magazine, including an "An Artist in the Antarctic" and "The Aurora Borealis."


1.0 Linear feet (2 boxes; 4 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



Seventy-four photographs of artists in their Paris studios circa 1885-1890, collected by artist Frank W. Stokes.


Photographs are arranged alphabetically by artist, except in a handful of cases where the identification of the sitter has changed (e.g. the photograph of Elizabeth Jane Gardner was previously identified as Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts). These changes have been noted in the container list below.

Physical Condition

The photographs are bowed and the cardboard mounts are fragile. Some photographs are quite faded.


Gift of Frank W. Stokes, 1940.

Related Materials

For additional images of artists, see the Images of Artists Collection in this repository.

Other repositories hold images that are similar, related, or in some cases, identical to those in this collection. See:

Photographs of artists in their Paris studios, 1880-1890. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Ateliers d'artistes by Edmond Bénard. Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA), Paris, France.

Processing Information

Arranged and described by Sally Brazil, 1999. EAD finding aid created by Shannon Yule, 2008. Revised by Julie Ludwig, 2022.

Finding Aid for the Photographs of Artists in Their Studios Collection, circa 1885-1890
Finding aid prepared by Shannon Yule
© 2010 The Frick Collection. All rights reserved.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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

10 East 71st Street
New York NY 10021 United States