The Cleveland Museum of Art

Background
Overview
Box List

King Family Scrapbooks

Background Information

The scrapbooks in this collection were most likely assembled by the daughter of Ralph Thrall King (1855-1926), Francis King (Mrs. Gilbert) Schafer. Ralph Thrall King was a prominent Cleveland businessman and the President of Realty Investment Co., the largest holder of downtown Cleveland real estate at the turn of the century. Ralph T. King was married to Fanny Tewksbury King of Lexington, Michigan in Detroit in 1897. The couple shortly thereafter located to Cleveland. Mr. King both created the Cleveland Museum of Art's Prints Department and helped organize the Print Club in 1919. He also served as the volunteer curator of the Prints Department from 1919-1921. Together the Kings donated 870 items to the CMA. One of their many gifts was Rodin's "Thinker" (1917.42) located at the South entrance of the museum today. They were also recognized as important early contributors and founders of the Oriental Art Department. In 1919, Mr. King replaced Mr. Jeptha Wade II as the First Vice President of the Museum Board of Trustees and also served for a short period as Acting President of the CMA Board of Trustees following Mr. Wade's death and before his own sudden death in March of 1926. Mrs. Fanny Tewksbury King served on the Advisory Council of the CMA from 1926 until her death in 1949, at which time her daughter Frances King (Mrs. Gilbert) Schafer began serving on the council. Mrs. Schafer served on the Advisory Council until 1968. She was an active board member of Rainbow Hospital, the Visiting Nurse Association, Family Health Association, and Church Home of the Episcopal church. A family tree is located at the conclusion of the finding aid.

General Overview of the Records

The records in the box include two scrapbooks, a hand signed photograph of Ralph Thrall King, and photographs of the King family homes, not specifically identified. The two scrapbooks appear to have been assembled by Francis King, and/or Fanny Tewksbury King, as the clippings are dated primarily from the time of Mr. King's death forward. They are comprised primarily of King's memorial tributes, especially CMA tributes; clippings regarding the King estate; children's weddings; the military career of King's third son; clippings about prominent Cleveland figures, perhaps friends; and various clippings regarding the art world. There are five folders containing the original items or photocopies of items from scrapbooks I and II. Both scrapbooks were disassembled and preservation photocopies were made of deteriorating papers which were then discarded. When possible, the originals were saved and if an item contained an original autograph, this then was also saved without regard to condition. The first scrapbook is contained in two folders and the items within are dated ca. 1926 to 1966. The second scrapbook is contained in three additional folders. The items in this scrapbook are dated primarily ca. 1915-1948 with some material dated as early as 1895. All pages in the second scrapbook were photocopied. Due to their deteriorated condition, originals where necessary to maintain, were placed in a third folder and interlaced with protective tissue paper.

Box List

Box 1
  1. Photograph of Ralph Thrall King, signed in pencil by Standiford.
  2. Photographs of the King Family home or homes unknown.
  3. Scrapbook I, originals and photocopies.
  4. Scrapbook I, cover.
  5. Scrapbook II, Part 1, photocopies.
  6. Scrapbook II, Part 2, photocopies.
  7. Scrapbook II, originals in good condition and/or autographed.