John La Farge drawings, circa 1860-1899

John La Farge drawings, circa 1860-1899.
61 sheets
Drawings from the first accession are organized according to their order in Avery Library's exhibition of the collection in 1950; the later gift is appended.
Finding Aid
Inventory is available in the Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library; item-level control
61 original drawings in various media on paper.
Biographical / Historical Note
John La Farge, 1835-1910, born in New York City of French parents, was a painter, mualist, stained glass artist and writer. After traveling around Europe between 1856 and 1858 studying art, mostly independently, he returned to New York and studied law for a short while. He soon returned to his art work. His early work consisted primarily of landscape and flower studies, showing a particular interest in light and color. One of his teachers in this area was William Morris Hunt, who greatly influenced La Farge. In the 1870s, La Farge began mural painting and executed many murals for churches, one of his finest examples being the Church of the Ascension in New York City. He also painted secular murals. During this period, La Farge also developed an interest in stained glass and in 1899 was awarded a Legion of Honor at the Paris Exposition for his work in the field. He was honored for his development of "opalescent glass" and credited with reviving the art.
La Farge also wrote and lectured. In addition to two books on his travels to Japan and the South Seas, he wrote PAINTINGS IN AMERICAN COLLECTIONS, CONSIDERATION ON PAINTINGS, THE HIGHER LIFE IN ART, and GREAT MASTERS. The red seal, or chop, on many of his paintings was devised during a visit he made to Japan in 1886 with his friend, Henry Adams. It is a monogram that he used to authenticate previous and subsequent works.
This collection is available for use by qualified readers by appointment in the Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please call (212) 854-4110 or email
Permission to publish must be obtained in writing from the Director, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, 1172 Amsterdam Ave., MC 0301, New York, NY 10027.
This collection includes drawings and sketches for projects relating to mural and stained glass design, and designs for books and other printed materials. There is also one travel sketch from Japan. Some drawings are dated; many are undated.
The drawings from this collection have been cataloged separately, by title, in CLIO, and can be searched under "La Farge, John, 1835-1910" as author. The finding aid for this collection also contains the titles and other descriptive and contextual information.
Cite As
John La Farge drawings, circa 1860-1899. Located in Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.
Language Note
Manuscript/Archive Manuscript/Archive
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