John Ferguson Weir correspondence, 1873-1920
Scope and Contents note
Contains correspondence of John Ferguson Weir dated from December 18, 1873 to July 1, 1920 primarily from West Point. The letters concern artwork, family events, and future exhibitions.
Conditions Governing Access
Condition restricted; permission to use original materials must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services. Patron should use microfiche copy.
Conditions Governing Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Copyright resides with the Weir family.
Permission to publish material from Weir family papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
John Ferguson Weir (b. 1841) was a painter and teacher best remembered as the long-time director of the Yale School of Fine Arts.
John F. Weir was a painter and teacher best remembered as the long-time director of the Yale School of Fine Arts. He was educated at West Point and received art instruction from his father, Robert W. Weir. In 1861 he moved to the Tenth Street Studio Building in New York, where he came to know the leading American painters. During this decade Weir was at his height as an artist; in 1866 he was elected to the National Academy of Design on the basis of one of the first American industrial pictures, The Gun Foundry (1866, Putnam County Historical Society, Cold Spring, N.Y.), a boldly painted view of men at work in the hot, glowing interior of a factory. After spending a year in Europe and painting a number of charming small oil sketches of landscape views that suggest the influence of Frederic Church, he took on the Yale directorship in 1869 and held the post until 1913. Though he continued to paint in his later years, his output consisted of academic portraits and increasingly impressionist landscapes, and his most important achievements stem from his administrative efforts, such as the acquisition in 1871 of the James Jarves collection of early Italian paintings.