FOSTER, Joshua James (1847-1923)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Research material, manuscripts, and publications of Joshua James Foster, 1880-1935, notably exhibition catalogues, 1880-1881, 1908, 1912; catalogues of miniatures owned by Sir H Stafford Northcote, [1902], and the Duke of Buccleugh (John Charles Montagu-Douglas-Scott) at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1916-1917; proofs of articles for The Antiquary, [1884]-1889, and other publications, 1899, 1909-1918, with related letters to Foster from Viscount Cobham (Charles George Lyttelton), Earl of Gosford, (Archibald Brabazon Sparrow Acheson), Sir William Hesketh Lever, M H (Marion Harry) Spielmann, Lord Weardale (Philip James Stanhope); transcripts of published articles relating to Richard Crosse, artist, post 1910; published works annotated by Foster, 1916-1917; notes and an article on miniatures in private collections, 1912-[1916]; newspaper cuttings relating to Wessex Worthies , 1921; printed articles written by Foster, relating to miniatures and Giles Hussey, artist, 1923;

correspondence, notably relating to research projects, 1895-1917, including letter relating to the publication of British Miniature Painters , 1898, correspondence concerning the Buccleuch Miniatures, 1916, and a letter from Sir Robert Witt, 1917;

miscellaneous material collected by Foster's children, 1925-1932, notably sales catalogues featuring miniatures, 1925-1932; newspaper cuttings, 1925-1929; sales catalogue including books sold from Foster's library, 1935.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in Dorchester, 1847; trained with Messrs Agnew, Fine Art Publishers, c.1866-c.1875; purchased the London Art Business of Messrs Dickinson, New Bond Street, c.1875; Honorary Secretary of the Folk-lore Society, 1885-1892; became interested in the art of miniature painting and visited a large number of collections in Britain and abroad; Member of the British Committee International Exhibition of Miniatures, 1912; produced a large number of publications relating to the History of Art, and miniature paintings in particular; published Wessex Worthies , biographies of notable Wessex personages, 1920; continued his research for a dictionary of miniature painters, published posthumously by his daughter; died 1923.

Publications: Catalogue of a Loan Collection of Miniatures and Enamels [Compiled by J J Foster]([London,] 1880); British Miniature Painters and their works (Sampson, Low & Co, London, 1898); The Stuarts, 2 vols (Dickinsons, London; E P Dutton & Co, New York, 1902); Miniature Painters, British and Foreign, with some account of those who practised in America in the eighteenth century, 2 vols (Dickinsons, London; E P Dutton & Co, New York, 1903); The Life of George Morland, with remarks on his works with an introduction and notes by J J Foster (Dickinsons, London, 1904) [Reprint of: The Life of George Morland by Vernor, Hood, & Sharpe (J Walker, London, 1807)]; Concerning the True Portraiture of Mary, Queen of Scots (Dickinsons, London, 1904); French Art from Watteau to Prud'hon Edited by J J Foster (Dickinsons, London, 1905-1907); Chats on Old Miniatures (T Fisher Unwin, London, 1908); Samuel Cooper and the English miniature painters of the XVII Century, with supplement: A List, alphabetically arranged, of works of English miniature painters of the XVII century, with a description of the same, names of the owners and remarks, 2 vols (Dickinsons, London, 1914-1916); Wessex Worthies - Dorset (Dickinsons, London, 1920); A Dictionary of Painters of Miniatures, 1525-1850 edited by Ethel M Foster (P Allan & Co, London, 1926).

Arrangement

Arranged in three series of research material, correspondence and items collected by Foster's children after his death.

Conditions Governing Access

Initial applications should be made to the Deputy Librarian, Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R ORN. At least one week's notice is generally required for access to archival material.

Acquisition Information

The papers were donated to the Courtauld in 1934 and 1935, by Foster's son and daughter.

Other Finding Aids

A detailed catalogue is available in the Courtauld Institute Library.

Archivist's Note

Sources: Who's Who 1897-1996 (A & C Black, 1996); Courtauld Institute of Art catalogue; British Library On-Line Public Access Catalogue 97. Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the AIM25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

Material may be photocopied subject to the approval of the Librarian or Archivist, and provided it does not breach the provisions of the Copyright Act, 1988.