Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943

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Painter, lawyer, businessman, and art director; Washington, D.C.

b. 1879, Dover Plains, N.Y.; d. 1943, Washington, D.C. Practiced law in N.Y. and Manila, Philippines; president of Pacific Development Corporation of California; lived and painted in Anticoli Carrado, Italy; director of the Treasury Dept.'s Section of Fine Arts.

From the description of Edward Bruce papers, 1902-1960 (bulk 1932-1942). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80468367

Edward Bruce was born in 1879 in Dover Plains, New York. Though he enjoyed painting at a young age, he pursued a career in law and graduated from Columbia Law School in 1904. He practiced law in New York and in Manila, Philippines and was actively involved in international issues. He became president of the Pacific Development Corporation of California, was a lobbyist for the Philippine Independence Bill, and, in 1933, attended the London Economic Conference as a silver expert.

In 1923 Bruce gave up his career in law and business and began to paint, particularly landscapes. He and his wife Peggy spent the next six years in Anticoli Carrado, Italy where he studied painting from his friend and fellow artist Maurice Sterne. Bruce returned to the United States in 1929 and settled in California, exhibiting his artwork to much public and critical praise. In addition, Bruce was an avid collector of Chinese art.

In 1933 Bruce was appointed Chief of the newly established Public Works of Art Project, a federal government New Deal program within the U.S. Treasury Department, that employed artists to decorate numerous public buildings and parks. Though this federal program lasted less than a year, Bruce worked with Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., to establish the Treasury Department's Section of Painting and Sculpture in 1934 - later renamed the Section of Fine Arts in 1938. Bruce was appointed Director of the department and played a primary role in securing federal government support for American artists. In 1940 he was appointed to the Commission of Fine Arts by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Bruce received many honors and awards during his lifetime both for his work as an artist and for his capable and dedicated administration of federal arts programs. Despite poor health, he continued his work for the Section of Fine Arts until shortly before his death in 1943.

From the guide to the Edward Bruce papers, 1902-1960 (bulk 1932-1942), (Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945. Federal art program papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry L. Hopkins, 1932-1942. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960. Forbes Watson papers, 1840-1967, bulk 1900-1960. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.). National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895-2007. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Bruce, Edward, 1880-1943 : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
creatorOf United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Section of Fine Arts. Exhibition : 200 American Watercolors / by the Section of Fine Arts, 1940. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Dows, Olin, 1904-1981. Olin Dows interview, 1963 Oct. 31. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Papers, 1867-2005 Harvard Art Museums. Archives
referencedIn Olin Dows letters, 1938-1949 Archives of American Art
referencedIn Sterne, Maurice, 1878-1957. Maurice Sterne papers, 1912-1963. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Edward Bruce papers, 1902-1960 (bulk 1932-1942) Archives of American Art
creatorOf Bluemner, Oscar, 1867-1938. Oscar Bluemner papers, 1886-1939, 1960. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn United States. Public Buildings Service. Material concerning Edward Bruce, 1933-1960. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Dows, Olin, 1904-1981. Olin Dows letters, 1938-1949. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Records., undated and 1933-1935. Minnesota Historical Society.
creatorOf Contreras, Belisario R., 1916-. Papers on New Deal art, 1860-1976; (bulk 1933-1942). University of New Mexico-Main Campus
referencedIn Belisario R. Contreras Papers on New Deal Art, 1860-1976 (bulk 1933-1942) University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research
creatorOf Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974. Leon Kroll papers, 1905-1974. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Public Works of Art Project. PWAP Region 15 (Calif.) papers, 1934-1964. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Hatch, John Davis. Oral history interview with John Davis Hatch, 1979 Aug. 30-1980 Nov. 7. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Armitage, Merle, 1893-1975,. Oral history interview with Merle Armitage, 1964 Feb. 6 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Forbes Watson papers, 1840-1967, bulk 1900-1960 Archives of American Art
creatorOf Brinley, Putnam. Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers, 1879-1984. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Leon Kroll papers, 1905-1974 Archives of American Art
creatorOf Jones, Wendell, 1899-1956. Wendell Jones papers, 1933-1969. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Armitage, Merle, 1893-1975. Oral history interview with Merle Armitage, 1964 Feb. 6. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Birnbaum, Martin, 1878-1970. Martin Birnbaum papers, 1862-1970. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Lyonel Feininger papers, 1883-1960. Houghton Library
creatorOf Zeigler, Lee Woodward, 1868-1952. Lee Woodward Zeigler papers, 1911-1968. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Public Works of Art Project. Public Works of Art Project selected administrative and business records, 1933-1934. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Dows, Olin, 1904-1981. Olin Dows letters, 1938-1949 and [undated]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.). National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895-1963. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia Museum of Art selected records, 1874-1954. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981. Audrey McMahon interview, 1964 Nov. 18. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Jones, Wendell, 1899-1956. Wendell Jones papers, 1933-1969. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Foster, Gerald Sargent, 1900-. Gerald S. Foster papers, 1930-1982. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943. Edward Bruce : artist file : study photographs and reproductions of works of art with accompanying documentation 1930?-1990 [graphic] [compiled by staff of The Museum of Modern Art, New York]. Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection
referencedIn Hopper, Inslee. Oral history interview with Inslee Hopper, 1981 July 28. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970. Oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor, 1964. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981,. Oral history interview with Audrey McMahon, 1964 Nov. 18 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Bluemner, Oscar, 1867-1938. Oscar Bluemner papers, 1886-1939, 1960. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943. Edward Bruce papers, 1902-1960 (bulk 1932-1942). Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970. Henry Varnum Poor interview, 1964. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Hatch, John Davis. John Davis Hatch interview, 1964 June 8. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Hatch, John Davis. Oral history interview with John Davis Hatch, 1964 June 8. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Biddle, George, 1885-. Oral history interview with George Biddle, 1963. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Public Works of Art Project. Central office (Washington, D.C.) files and publicity materials, 1933-1934. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Bruce, Margaret T.,. Oral history interview with Margaret T. Bruce, 1963 Oct. 11 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Oscar Bluemner papers, 1886-1939, 1960 Archives of American Art
referencedIn Maurice Sterne papers, 1912-1963 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945. Correspondence to Paul Philippe Cret, 1941. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Milch Gallery records, 1911-1980 Archives of American Art
referencedIn United States. Public Buildings Administration. Section of Fine Arts. Section of Fine Arts selected administrative records and correspondence, 1934-1943. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Gifford Beal sketches, sketchbooks, and papers, 1889-1954 Archives of American Art
referencedIn Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers, 1879-1984 Archives of American Art
creatorOf Beal, Gifford, 1879-1956. Gifford Beal sketches, sketchbooks and papers, 1889-2001. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf United States. Public Buildings Administration. Section of Fine Arts. Correspondence of Edward Bruce, 1934-1943. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Dows, Olin, 1904-. Oral history interview with Olin Dows, 1963 Oct. 31 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Hopper, Inslee. Inslee Hopper interview, 1981 July 28. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960. Forbes Watson papers, 1900-1950. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Public Works of Art Project. Public Works of Art Project articles and exhibition catalog, 1933-1934. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Hatch, John Davis. Oral history interview with John Davis Hatch, 1979 Aug. 30-1980 Nov. 7. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Beal, Gifford, 1879-1956. Gifford Beal sketches, sketchbooks and papers, 1902-1953. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Read, Helen Appleton, 1897-1974. Helen Appleton Read letters and lectures, [ca. 1935]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Driggs, Elsie, 1898-1992. Elsie Driggs papers, 1924-1979. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Edward Bruce, William Carmody, John Dewey and Henry Morgenthau during radio broadcast [graphic]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Hatch, John Davis. John Davis Hatch interview, 1964 June 8 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Hatch, John Davis. John Davis Hatch interview, 1979 Aug. 30-1980 Nov. 7. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, 1941. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
referencedIn Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970. Henry Varnum Poor interview, 1964 [microform]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Milch Gallery. Milch Gallery records, 1911-1980. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Milch Gallery. Milch Gallery records, 1911-1980. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Armitage, Merle, 1893-1975. person
associatedWith Beal, Gifford, 1879-1956. person
associatedWith Biddle, George, 1885-1973. person
associatedWith Birnbaum, Martin, 1878-1970. person
associatedWith Bluemner, Oscar, 1867-1938. person
associatedWith Brinley, Putnam. person
associatedWith Bruce, Margaret T., person
associatedWith Contreras, Belisario R., 1916- person
associatedWith Dornbush, Adrian, 1900- person
associatedWith Dows, Olin, 1904-1981. person
associatedWith Driggs, Elsie, 1898-1992. person
correspondedWith Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956 person
correspondedWith Forbes, Edward Waldo, 1873-1969 person
associatedWith Foster, Gerald Sargent, 1900- person
associatedWith Hatch, John Davis person
associatedWith Hopper, Inslee. person
associatedWith Jones, Wendell, 1899-1956. person
associatedWith Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974. person
associatedWith McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981, person
associatedWith Milch Gallery. corporateBody
associatedWith Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Philadelphia Museum of Art. corporateBody
associatedWith Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970. person
associatedWith Public Works of Art Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Public Works of Art Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Public Works of Art Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Public Works of Art Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Public Works of Art Project (Minnesota). corporateBody
associatedWith Read, Helen Appleton, 1897-1974. person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962. person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945. person
associatedWith Stein, Leo, 1872-1947. person
associatedWith Sterne, Maurice, 1878-1957. person
associatedWith United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Section of Fine Arts. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Section of Fine Arts. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Public Buildings Administration. Section of Fine Arts. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Public Buildings Service. corporateBody
associatedWith Watson, Forbes person
associatedWith Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960. person
associatedWith Zeigler, Lee Woodward, 1868-1952. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Washington (D.C.)
United States
Subject
Art--Collectors and collecting--Washington (D.C.)
Painters--Washington (D.C.)
Art--Collectors and collecting
Art, Modern--20th century
Art--American (?)--Reproductions
Art, Modern--20th century--United States
Arts administrators
Painters
United States--Dept. of the Treasury--Section of Fine Arts
Art, American
Arts administrators--Washington (D.C.)
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1879-04-13

Death 1943-01-26

Americans

Information

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