Stanley Massey Arthurs manuscript collection

 A Finding Aid to the Stanley Massey Arthurs manuscript collection

Helen Farr Sloan Library, Delaware Art Museum

Wilmington, Delaware

Accessioned: Gift of Marjorie and Frank Virdin, 1973-1974
Extent: 17 Linear Feet
Access: Unrestricted
Contact Information:

Helen Farr Sloan Library
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE 19806



Biography of Stanley Massey Arthurs
Scope and Contents Note 
Organization of the Collection
Description of the Collection



Stanley Massey Arthurs was born November 27, 1877, to Nancy and Joshua Arthurs, in Kenton, Delaware, where Joshua Arthurs owned a general store. Arthurs was interested in art as a boy, and, after leaving school, he studied in Wilmington with Clawson Hammitt, who urged him to study with Howard Pyle. Convinced of his talent, Pyle enthusiastically accepted him as a student. In 1897 Arthurs joined the classes Pyle was teaching at Drexel Institute, and in 1898 he was invited to attend the summer scholarship classes at Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. His first illustration was published in the December 2, 1899 issue of Harper’s Weekly. When Pyle left Drexel to open his own school in Wilmington, Arthurs went with him and worked in one of the studios Pyle had built for the school. When Pyle died in 1911, Arthurs purchased his studio and, until he died, led a quiet, solitary life there, dedicated to his work. He lectured occasionally at the Wilmington Academy and did some teaching in his studio.

Although Arthurs illustrated a great deal of popular literature, his real specialty was illustrating historical texts. His pictures were as historically accurate as he could make them. He did several murals of historical subjects for the State House in Dover, Delaware, and for the Minnesota State capitol building and produced a long series of historical paintings for DuPont Company calendars and the DuPont Magazine. Many of these were published in book form in the American Historical Scene in 1938. The historical illustrations occupied most of Arthurs’ attention after 1920, but he also painted landscapes, not only of local scenes but also in Florida, the Western states, and Europe.

By Rowland Elzea

Taken from Elzea, Rowland and Elizabeth H. Hawkes, eds. A Small School of Art: The Students of Howard Pyle. Wilmington: Delaware Art Museum, 1980.

back to top



The Stanley Arthurs collection consists of fifteen scrapbooks of Arthurs’ illustrations compiled by the artist, himself, as well as a separate gift of scrapbooks, sketchbooks, photographs, clippings, memorabilia by Arthurs’ niece and nephew.

back to top




Series I: Scrapbooks
Series II: Miscellaneous
Series III: Photographs
Series IV: Material Collected by the Delaware Art Museum

back to top



Series I: Scrapbooks
Series I: Scrapbooks contain clippings of magazine illustrations by Arthurs, including large-scale reproductions of paintings and Ketterlinus Calendars.

Box 1 Five (5) scrapbooks

Box 2 Three (3) scrapbooks: 1902-1906, 1907-1909, 1910-March 1912

Box 3 Six (6) scrapbooks: 1912-1913, #7, three (3) misc

Box 4 Three (3) scrapbooks: 1914-1925

Box 5 (Oversize) Two (2) scrapbooks

Box 6 (Oversize) Two (2) scrapbooks

Box 7 One (1) scrapbook; Photographs of pictures done in France

back to top
Series II: Miscellaneous

Box 7 (cont) Glass negatives: Arthurs’ pictures (7), Scenes around Delaware (7), Scenes of Kenton, Delaware (4), Pictures of his own work (4), Family members (6), Pictures used for posing (12)

Box 8 Calendars: Ketterlinus Calendars – 1922, 1923, 1924-1927 complete, 1924 November and December; Puzzle; Delaware Art Museum catalog index

Box 9 Reproductions of Stanley Arthurs’ paintings; Clippings from magazines

back to top
Series III: Photographs

Box 10
Howard Pyle
Stanley Arthurs
Kenton, Delaware home
Newspaper clippings
Pyle Days
Scenes of Chadds Ford
Studio 1305 Franklin Street, Wilmington, Delaware
Stanley Arthurs’ mother and father
Poses used in paintings
166 Rodney Street Studio, Wilmington, Delaware
Dry mounted photos used for exhibition May 1974 Delaware Art Museum

back to top


Series IV: Material Collected by the Delaware Art Museum

Auction Books and Correspondence regarding 1951
Artwork – pencil sketch
American History Magazine December 1966
American Magazine 1908, 1911, 1912
Architectural League 1916, 1918
Art and Progress Magazine December 1912
Book illustrations
Century Magazine 1905, 1907, 1913, 1914
Colliers Weekly 1900, 1902, 1904, 1909, 1913, 1915, 1918
Delaware Art Museum catalog, bulletin, preview announcement
Delaware Tercentenary 1938
Exhibition catalogs 1934, 1945, 1974
Delineator 1908, 1915
Everybody’s Magazine 1902, 1909, 1912, 1921
Far West 1928
Good Housekeeping 1902, 1910
Harpers Bazaar 1909
Harpers Magazine 1905, 1906
Harpers Magazine 1907, 1908
Harpers Magazine 1910-1923
Harpers Weekly 1899-1190
Ladies Home Journal 1902, 1918-1919
McClure’s 1904, 1907
Mentor 1927
Minnesota Capitol (Official Guide and History)
Newspaper articles
Newspaper articles no date
Newspaper articles 1899-1964
Postage stamp 1938
Outing 1906
Outing 1907, 1910
Popular Magazine 1911-1914, 1917
Redbook April 1913
St. Nicholas December 1900
Saturday Evening Post 1902, 1905, 1908, 1909, 1911
Saturday Evening Post 1912-1914, 1921
Scribners 1903-1906
Scribners 1908-1922
Souvenir of the Pilgrimage of the Swedish American Society to Wilmington, Delaware June 7, 1926 (From Schoonover Collection)
Success Magazine 1901
Western Story 1921, 1928
Wilmington Trust Publication
Youth’s Companion 1996, 1900, 1926

back to top


© Delaware Art Museum