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Henry Mattson Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Mattson, Henry E. (Henry Elis), 1887-1971
Title: Henry Mattson Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1933-1964
Quantity: 0.5 linear ft
Abstract: Swedish-American painter. Collection contains clippings, correspondence, printed material, subject files, photographs, drawings, manuscripts and articles.
Language: Most is in English, a few items in Swedish
Repository: Syracuse University
222 Waverly Ave
Syracuse, NY 13244

Biographical History

Henry Mattson (1887-1971) was a Swedish-American painter known for his seascapes, nocturnal scenes and figures. Born in Gothenburg, Sweden, Mattson emigrated to the United States in 1906. Mattson began painting in 1912, while working in a machine shop in Worcester, Massachusetts. He moved to Woodstock, New York in 1916 and developed a distinctive style through being almost entirely self-taught. In the 1930s and 1940s, Mattson’s career began to flourish, winning awards and wider recognition.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Henry Mattson Papers are divided into five series. Clippings include both newsprint and magazine articles related to Mattson's work. Correspondence is a mixture of personal and professional letters, often congratulating Mattson on accomplishments or negotiating the purchase of a work of art. Memorabilia are a collection of photos, receipts, self-portraits, and other materials. Publications are a collection of full publications featuring articles on Mattson's work. Writings include autobiographical materials written for address or broadcast.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Materials are alphabetically arranged by topic or format. Publications are arranged chronologically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Mattson, Henry E. (Henry Elis), 1887-1971.


New York World's Fair (1939-1940: New York, N.Y.)
Painters -- United States.
Painting, American -- 20th century.


Woodstock (N.Y.).

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Henry Mattson Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Henry Mattson, 1964.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: Ryan Perry
Date: 30 Mar 2015
Revision history: 30 Mar 2015 - Finding aid encoded in EAD (RTP)

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Box 1, Folder 1 Magazine 1934-1940, 1943-1946, 1956, undated
Box 1, Folder 2 Newspaper 1942-1953, 1956, undated
Box 1, Folder 3 Incoming 1933-1945, 1948-1953, 1964, undated - letters received by Mattson, mostly written in praise of his work or in congratulation for awards he received
Box 1, Folder 4 Exhibition catalogs 1941-1942, 1945, 1949-1956, undated
Oversize 1 Scrapbook - contains newspaper clippings
Box 1, Folder 5 Self-portraits - includes original sketches, photographs, and negatives
Box 1, Folder 6 World's Fair materials - relating to Mattson’s participation in the international “Wall of Fame” in the 1940 New York World’s Fair
Box 1, Folder 7 Miscellaneous
Note about collection, contract for painting Portland, Maine Post Office mural, invitation to 75th anniversary of the MET, certificate of identification for traveling in Sweden, 2 post cards from Portland, Maine and photographs of 2 paintings.
Box 1, Folder 8 Oct 1935 Carnegie Magazine
Box 1, Folder 9 May 1937 Magazine of Art
Box 1, Folder 10 Aug 1943 The Art Digest
Box 1, Folder 11 Nov 1943 American Artist
Box 1, Folder 12 1945 Encyclopedia Britannica Collection of Contemporary American Painting
Box 1, Folder 13 1946-1947 Paintings of the Year
Box 1, Folder 14 Mar 1952 American Swedish Monthly
Box 1, Folder 15 1935 Oct Radio transcript
Box 1, Folder 16 Mar 1943 Autobiography in Swedish and English

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