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Henry L. A. Culmer papers

Identifier: MSS 8787

Content Description

Contains photographs, clippings, scrapbooks, ledgers, correspondence, and poetry produced by Culmer. Materials document Culmer's art production and sales, as well as his work as a mining agent and author. Also includes photograph albums of the Culmer family, and a small collection of watercolors by Culmer and his son H. Wells Culmer. Materials date from between 1874 and 1914.


  • approximately 1874-1914


Conditions Governing Access

Condition restricted. Permission to use materials must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Henry L. A. Culmer papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

Henry L. A. Culmer (1854-1914) was a renowned painter of the Utah wilderness and natural wonders in general.

Henry "Harry" Lavender Adolphus Culmer was born on March 25, 1854, in Darington, Kent, England. While young he apprencticed at a print shop. Converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Culmer immigrated to Utah in 1868. He married Susan Annette Wells. He graduated from the University of Deseret (now University of Utah) and studied with painters Alfred Lambourne, Reuben Kirkham, and Thomas Moan in the 1870's. Culmer was a painter of landscapes, panoramas, and rock formations. He was the first professional painter to depict the Alaskan interior and the Natural Bridges in and much of Southern Utah. His paintings played a significant role in promotion and early economic progress of the West. Culmer was an entrepreneur, developer of natural resources, miner, civic leader, playwright and lyricist, editor, and amateur geologist and naturalist. Culmer was also the first president of the Salt Lake Rotary and first president of the Utah Art Institute. His son Henry Wells Culmer is a less notable landscape painter. Culmer died in Salt Lake City in 1914.


2 cartons (2 linear ft.)

2 folders (0.2 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in four series: 1. Henry L. A. Culmer art papers, approximately 1880-1914. 2. Henry L. A. Culmer letters, writings, and ephemera, 1874-1911. 3. Henry L. A. and H. Wells Culmer artwork, approximately 1874-1914. 4. Culmer and Wells family photographs, approximately 1880-1910.

Custodial History

The transaction was conducted between Greg Seppi, L. Tom Perry Special Collections curator, and Ken Sanders Rare Books on August 10, 2015. The acquisition was reviewed at the September 10, 2015 Special Collections Coordinating Committee meeting. Greg Seppi initiated a library purchase request September 28, 2015 for the Culmer Collection from Ken Sanders Rare Books. The final purchase of the collection and the reciving of it by curator Ryan Lee at the L. Tom. Perry Special Collections, was conducted September 29, 2015.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased; Ken Sanders Rare Books; September 29, 2015.


Utah and Western American and LDS cultural, family, social, intellectual, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy IV.a.i.1 and 4, November 2013).

Processing Information

Processed; McKinley Griffin Student Manuscript Processor; Ryan Lee Curator; December 10, 2015.

Register of Henry L. A. Culmer papers
McKinley Griffin
2015 December 12
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States