Edgar Alonzo Josselyn was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1861. He was the fourth recipient of the Rotch Travelling Scholarship and studied in Europe from June 1887 to September 1889. He was admitted to the atelier of Jean-Louis Pascal in Paris in July 1887 and passed the entrance examinations for the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in March of 1888. After his return to the United States, Josselyn was a founding member of the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects, an important early group of American architects who had studied in Paris at the École and who sought to improve the quality of architectural education in the United States. Josselyn later returned to the United States, practicing in New York City from 1897 until circa 1933. He died in Mt. Kisco, New York, in 1943.
This collection includes a menu card with signatures of many of the members of the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects and three photographs depicting students in an atelier in Paris associated with the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts. The menu card, dated in Josselyn's hand "Feb. 22, 1889", is from a dinner at the Cafe d'Orsay in Paris, during which preliminary discussions about forming the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects were held. On the verso of the card are the signatures of Thornton Floyd Turner, Austin W. Lord, Louis de Sibourg, T. R. Plummer, William A. Boring, Whitney Warren, Stephen Bonsal, Jr., S. B. P. Trowbridge, Ernest Flagg, John P. Benson, Evans Preston, Juan Guillermo de Lavalle, A. L. Brockway, Joseph H. McGuire, John W. Bemis, Edward L. Tilton, George Cary, and J. Donaldson, Jr. Mr. Josselyn's name also appears on the card, although not in his handwriting. According to correspondence from John Benson held in the Phillips Library in Salem, Massachusetts, the three photographs, taken by Benson, depict the students and instructor of a watercolor class in Paris in early 1889. In the first photograph, Josselyn has identified on the verso the sitters as follows: de Sibourg, McGuire, Josselyn, Lord, Flagg, Brockway, Cary, de Lavalle, Leteurtre, and Saglio. The second and third photographs depict the same men in the same atelier, although they appear to have been taken on a different day than the first image.
This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please call (212) 854-4110 or email email@example.com.
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