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C. Durand Chapman collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MG Nwk Chapman-(Main)

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of correspondence, photographs, sketches, cut-out picture books, reproductions of art work, clippings, book plates, address books, travel souvenirs, and ephemera related to the Cyrus Chapman's life and career. Also present are family papers and photographs, most of them associated with Caroline Holbrook Chapman.

Box 1: contains a copy of a handwritten biographical sketch of Chapman; mock-ups, sketches, and copies of cut-out children's games; a box of book plates; a business card; miscellaneous sketches and reproductions of paintings; a folder of sketches/designs for houses; 3 copies (one incomplete) of "Self Made Pictures for Children," by CDC (1916 edition); sketches, draft descriptions, and rules for "American Hoop Golf" (or "American Net Golf"), a lawn game created by Chapman (1916); souvenirs of CDC's European travels; and a European travel journal kept by CDC's mother, Jane W. Chapman (1862)

Box 2: contains a folder of scrapbook pages with clippings and ephemera documenting Chapman's exhibits, travels, etc.; an album of (family?) portraits by Newark and New York photographers (most appear to date from the mid-19th century; two very small images are prints on metal); a small box containing 57 postage stamp-sized photo portraits, on metal, many bearing the label of Nichols, Broadway and Bowery, New York City (1870s-80s?); a small silk-covered album of (family?) portraits (19th century); 45 loose portrait photographs (ca. 3 1/2" x 2 1/2", one dated 1886); several larger photographs, including images of Durand, of his wife and son, of his studio, and of early premises of T. B. Cryer & Co. Heating and Ventilating Engineers, Newark (some are identified as by Newark photographers; various dates); and two envelopes of 4" x 5" negatives (groups, interiors, exteriors, etc.). Subjects of the nineteenth-century photographs include many women and children, and some men in military uniform. NOTE: Contents of this box are fragile and in some cases damaged; consult staff for access.

Box 3: contains 3 folders of correspondence and one folder of miscellaneous documents. The contents are as follows:

Box 3, Folder 1: a large collection of letters sent by his parents to John H. Chapman during his World War I service in France as a Field Clerk in the Air Service; the letters contain news of friends and family in Newark and Irvington and sometimes include clippings relating to other Newarkers serving in the military (1917-1918). In the same folder are letters from Caroline Chapman to her son John dating from the time of her husband's death in 1918 through the 1920s; these are filled with news of prominent Newark families, of theatrical and musical performances, of philanthropic activities, and of her involvement with Trinity Church.

Box 3, Folder 2: contains some incoming correspondence of CDC and many cards and letters exchanged between members and friends of the extended Chapman family (ca. 1835-1932)

Box 3, Folder 3: contains incoming correspondence of Caroline Holbrook dating from before her marriage, and letters exchanged between other members of the Holbrook and associated families (ca. 1848-1905)

Box 3, Folder 4: contains writings of Cyrus Chapman, including two typescripts of stories for children; draft synopses of a World War I-era play, "The Path of Yesterday"; words to a patriotic song by CDC; a typsescript of a brief (magazine?) story, "The Parlor Car"; and a typescript of a novel for children, "Jim Gift of Kansas" (publ. 1917). Also in this folder are specifications and sketches for a "Cottage with Studio" (undated) and a certificate of Honorable Mention from the National Academy of Design (1879).


  • c. 1896-1913


Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff. Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

Biographical / Historical

Cyrus Durand Chapman, born in Irvington, NJ in 1856, was a painter, illustrator, architect, writer, teacher, clubman, and medal-winning horseman. He boarded with an uncle in Newark during his high school years, graduated from Stevens High School in Hoboken, attended Stevens Institute for one year, and studied at the National Academy of Design in New York City (1875-1879). He married Caroline S. F. Holbrook in 1890; the couple had one son, John Holbrook Chapman, born in 1891. Cyrus Chapman was the nephew of the Hudson River School painter Asher B. Durand.

A pupil of Lemuel Wilmarth, J. W. Champney, and J. G. Brown in New York, and of Cormon and Constant in Paris, Chapman exhibited his paintings, sketches, and photographs widely and became a popular illustrator. He traveled extensively in Europe from the 1880s until the early years of the twentieth century. He was Professor of Drawing at the Newark Drawing School for eleven years and also taught at Newark Technical School. He was a member of the Newark Sketch Club and maintained a studio in the Prudential Building from 1891 to 1895 and at other Newark locations until 1903. In 1904 he opened a studio in Washington, DC. His works were regularly exhibited at the Newark Public Library, the Newark Museum, and private galleries in Newark. He died at Irvington on April 12, 1918.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials