Scope and arrangement
The papers of Asher B. Durand consist of Biographical sketches of Asher B. Durand. Also included is General Correspondence 1812-84. The early period 1812-20 concentrates on Durand's partnership with Peter Maverick, a steel engraver, their business arrangements with regard to setting up "Maverick Durand and Co". NYC, and commissions of work. Some of Maverick's letters to Durand state his grievances with him over commissions. According to Maverick, Durand and his brother Cyrus were not keeping to the terms of agreement regarding how work was to be divided.
Correspondence, 1830 - -, includes letters to Durand regarding commissions to engrave bank note vignettes, etc. He also spent several months in Augustus, Florida according to the letters addressed to him. Correspondence c. 1831-32 mentions the cholera epidemic which was sweeping New York and neighboring states. Durand was living outside of New York City at the time. C. 1835 March, Durand wrote to his son John from Washington relating his experiences, especially his portrait sessions with Henry Clay. Later that year in Boston, Durand wrote again regarding his portrait sessions with John Quincy Adams' grand-daughters.
The letters of the latter half of 1840 June-1841 are mostly to his son John and to his wife regarding his tour of Europe. Durand wrote about his impressions of London, especially the Royal Academy, and offered opinion of the Queen, as well as his thoughts about Paris, Antwerp, The Hague, Geneva, and Italy, including Florence, Rome, and Milan.
The period 1848-84 covers Durand's presidency of the National Academy of Design 1848-62, his conflicts with the rival Art Union, and other subjects. Scattered throughout are letters from Durand to his family.
Prominent correspondents include Carey, Lee & Carey, John w. Casilear, Thomas Cole 1836-40, John Durand son, John F. Kensett, William S. Mount, Erastus Dow Palmer, Michael Pekenimo, Luman Reed art patron and Elias B. Wade, Jr. Some letters are in French and illustrated; transcripts are included with many letters.
The remaining papers consist of Testimonials. diplomas 1821- 26, including: the National Academy of Design; Addresses 1846-47; undated, by Durand; Broadsides, an auction of engravings 1 and the American Art Union 1; Graphics. a print of an engraving of David Crockett autograph. Journal: 1840 regarding Durand's European trip including 2 small journals in pencil.