Bernard Berenson Correspondence, 1950-1959 (MSS 694)

Extent: 0.25 Linear feet (1 archives box)

Correspondence of art historian Bernard Berenson primarily with San Diego artist Norah Bisgood Woodward from 1950 to 1959.

Art historian Bernard Berenson specialized in Medieval and Renaissance art, publishing several books on Italian artists and painting. He received critical acclaim for his text, Lorenzo Lotto: An Essay on Constructive Art Criticism and for his later work The Italian Painters of the Renaissance. Berenson also served as an advisor to many prominent collectors such as American art collector and patron Isabella Stewart Gardner. In 1900 Berenson settled into I Tatti, a villa in Fiesole, Italy. He lived there until his death in 1959.

The correspondence of Bernard Berenson exhibits the friendship between San Diego artist Norah Bisgood Woodward and American art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959). The main focus of this collection resides in the correspondence between Woodward and Berenson from 1950 to 1959. Additional materials include a 1953 publication of Banchetto nel Deserto by Alexia Mitchell, photographic reproductions of an unidentified artwork owned by Norah Woodward's husband Henry Woodward, and unsigned cards from Berenson at his estate, Villa I Tatti.

The papers are arranged in two series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE and 2) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS.

Container List


Box 1 Folder 1
Berenson, Bernard, 1950-1955
Box 1 Folder 2
Berenson, Elizabeth, 1958

One manuscript letter from Bernard Berenson's sister, Elizabeth Berenson.

Box 1 Folder 3
Biblioteca Benjamin Franklin, 1951
Box 1 Folder 4
Hess, Joan, 1955-1959

One inscribed postcard and one typescript letter from Bernard Berenson's secretary, Joan Hess.

Box 1 Folder 5
Mariano, Nicky, 1955-1959

Two inscribed postcards and one manuscript letter from Bernard Berenson's librarian Nicky Mariano.


Box 1 Folder 6
Banchetto nel Deserto, by Alexia Mitchell, 1953

Book of poems in Italian and English with an inscription by Bernard Berenson to Norah Woodward on front matter.

Box 1 Folder 7
Photographic reproductions of an unknown painting, annotated verso - Black & white print and color slide, ca. 1950s
Box 1 Folder 8
Unsigned cards - Black and white, and color cards sent from Villa I Tatti, Bernard Berenson's Italian estate, 1953-1959