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Author/Artist Hesselius Family.
Title Hesselius Family Papers, 1780-1820s.
Description 0.5 linear feet (1 box).
Arrangement The collection is arranged in two series: Series I: Correspondence and Series II: Other Material.
Location Call Number Vol./Copy Status Information
 Frick Archives  MS.011    AVAILABLE BY APPT
Access restrictions These records are open for research by appointment under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives Access Policy. For all inquiries or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Archives Department at
Summary This collection consists of approximately 215 letters and other material concerning the descendants of Gustavus Hesselius. The records consist primarily of correspondence received by Elizabeth Henderson Wertmuller. Correspondence received by Elizabeth's mother, Lydia Hesselius Henderson, is also included. Elizabeth Henderson Wertmuller's correspondents are most often her aunt, Mary Hesselius (widow of John Hesselius), and various cousins. There are also letters from suitors of Miss Henderson, correspondence received by her husband, the painter Adolph Wertmuller, and miscellaneous business and estate records for Elizabeth and Adolph Wertmuller.
The individuals cited in this material lived in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Annapolis, and on country properties in Maryland and Delaware. Subjects covered in the letters include health matters, births, deaths, travel plans, real estate matters, and other accounts of family activities. Business matters include real estate transactions and property management, and the sale of Adolph Wertmuller's paintings.
Biographical/historical note Gustavus Hesselius (1682-1755), a Swedish-born painter who emigrated to America in 1711, was known for his portraits and religious paintings. His son, John Hesselius (1728-1778), was also a prominent portrait painter. Elizabeth Henderson, the granddaughter of Gustavus Hesselius and niece of John Hesselius, married Adolph Wertmuller (1751-1811), a prominent Swedish painter, in 1801, and the two settled on a farm near Wilmington, Delaware.
Cite as Hesselius Family Papers, The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.
Source of acquisition Believed to be part of a larger donation by Mrs. Charles Henry Hart.
Related collections Henderson-Wertmüller Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Finding aids Available online and in repository.
LC subject Campan, Mme (Jeanne-Louise-Henriette), 1752-1822.
Henderson, Lydia.
Other subject Hesselius family.
LC subject Hesselius, Gustavus, 1682-1755.
Other subject Hesselius, John, 1728-1778.
LC subject Wertmüller, Adolph Ulric, 1751-1811.
Wertmüller, Elizabeth.
Genre/Form Correspondence.
WorldCat no. 607107463

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