Collection number: MC 61
Size: 2 boxes (0.66 cu.ft.)
About Gladys Brannigan
Gladys Ames Brannigan was born June 14, 1882 in Hingham, MA. When she was seven years old, her family moved to New Hampshire. By 1900 Brannigan was living in Washington D.C., where she attended Georgetown University, earning her B.A. in 1903 and M.A. in 1904, and later studied at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. In 1910 she exhibited at the WCC, and in 1911 with the Society of Washington Artists, of which she was a member. She also worked as an artist on the staff of the Washington Evening Star. By 1921 Gladys had married Robert A. Brannigan, a patent lawyer, and was residing in New York City, where she studied at the Art Students’ League and the National Academy of Design with H.B. Snell.
In 1929 Gladys Brannigan moved to Portsmouth, NH, where she resided until 1941, at 32 Livermore Street. She also resided for a time at 4 Church St. in Dover, NH. During the 1930s she continued to keep a residence in New York City, traveling back and forth between Portsmouth and the city. Her driver’s licenses from this time show her holding both New Hampshire and New York State licenses for the years 1932-1934. She was also known to be the Head of the Art Department at Hollins College in Roanoke, VA at some point during this time, although the exact dates are unknown.
In 1930 Brannigan had two exhibitions, one, from March 4th to 17th in New York City at the Macbeth Gallery located on 15 East 57th St., and the other, from April 9th to the 22nd, in Boston at Doll and Richards, located at 71 Newbury Street. Both exhibits featured her watercolors, which appears to have been her preferred medium.
Gladys Brannigan is best known for her mural work produced during the 1930s as part of the W.P.A. She was among three New Hampshire artists commissioned to paint a series of murals for the University of New Hampshire Library (then located in Hamilton-Smith Hall). The murals were painted under the direction of Omer T. Lassonde, State Supervisor of the New Hampshire WPA Art Project. Brannigan painted the murals for the Newspaper Room (Room 103). The remaining mural is in Room 141.
Others of her murals in NH were in Parker Hall, Keene, the Municipal Building in Dover, and a series mural of “Landmarks of Portsmouth” in the historic Livermore House. Portsmouth Public Library owns sketches for the murals that once adorned the Portsmouth Junior High School (now the Middle School).
Outside of NH her paintings are at George Washington University in Washington D.C.; Wesleyan College in Macon Georgia; the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, and Women’s University College in NYC. She also painted the reredos for St. John’s Church in Massena, NY, and has a lithograph in the collection of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
Gladys Ames Brannigan died in New York City on April 27, 1944.
About the Gladys Brannigan papers
The Gladys Brannigan papers consist of a few research notebooks and sketchbooks for the artist’s New Hampshire murals, a small amount of correspondence from and to Brannigan and her husband, some of her poetry, and photographs of the artist and of her work, and miscellaneous other items, such as her driver’s licenses from the early thirties. The bulk of the collection is from the 1930s. Unfinished art work, most of it thought to be the work of Gladys Brannigan, though some is clearly by an artist named M.A. Harris, was added in 2009. This can be found in Box 2.
This collection is open.
Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.
[Identification of item], Gladys Brannigan Papers, 1924-1939, MC 61, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.
Donation, Nancy Beck, Portsmouth NH, 2005 (Accession number: 2005.13)
|Box 1, Folder 1||Correspondence from and to Gladys Brannigan and Robert Brannigan, 1924-1939|
|Box 1, Folder 2||Sketch books: Peabody research and sketches, undated|
|Box 1, Folder 3||Sketch books: research and sketches for mural for the Dover Municipal Building, N.H., undated|
|Box 1, Folder 4||Sketch books: mainly human figures, undated|
|Box 1, Folder 5||Sketch books: research and sketches for mural for Parker, Keene, N.H., 1937|
|Box 1, Folder 6||Notebooks: background research for “Landmarks at Portsmouth” (?), undated|
|Box 1, Folder 7||Notebooks: Irish language notes, undated|
|Box 1, Folder 8||Notes: background notes on Ireland and the Irish, undated|
|Box 1, Folder 9||Poetry, undated|
|Box 1, Folder 10||Exhibition announcements, 1930|
|Box 1, Folder 11||Various licences, registrations, receipts, etc., undated|
|Box 1, Folder 12||Publications: Purple and Gold, Vol. 4, No. 7, November 1936. Contains a description of the murals at Portsmouth Junior High School, pp.9-10|
|Box 1, Folder 13||Publications: The Living Church, January 21, 1936. Contains obituary of Rev. William Walter Webb, p. 355. Webb’s relation to Gladys Brannigan is not known, although there are also three photographs of him in the collection (see f.18.|
|Box 1, Folder 14||Publications: The American Magazine of Art, October 1936|
|Box 1, Folder 15||Miscellaneous items: papers and wallet, undated|
|Box 1, Folder 16|
|Envelope 1-4||Photograph: “Landmarks of Portsmouth”: four sketches for the residence of Rear Admiral Dismukes, USN. Photographer: Willet Art Studios, 115 W. 57th St. NYC. Sepia 7 x 9″, undated|
|Envelope 5||Photograph: “On White Bluff Road (near Savanah [sic].” Photographer: Peter A. Juley and Son, 219 E. 39th St. NYC, undated|
|Envelope 6||Photograph: “Pagan Gods.” Part of John Singer Sargent’s “Triumph of Religion” murals located at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, Boston MA. Photographer unknown Sepia 7 x 9″, undated|
|Envelope 7||Photograph: “The Witches Hollow, Connemara.” By Marion MacIntosh, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester MA. Photographer unknown. Sepia 8×10″, undated|
|Box 1, Folder 17|
|Envelope 1||Photograph: Full length portrait. Photographer: Harris V. Ewing, Washington, D.C. Some discoloration. Matted. Sepia 7.5 x 9.5″, undated|
|Envelope 2||Photograph: As above, but posed sitting on chaise lounge. Matted, undated|
|Box 1, Folder 18|
|Envelope 1||Photograph: Portrait of Gladys. Side view of upper body, face turned towards camera. Photographer unknown. Inscription on back of photograph reads “Gladys Brannigan, Pen + Brush Club.” Sepia 2 x 3″, undated|
|Envelope 2||Photograph: Gladys Brannigan as an older woman. Photographer unknown. Inscription on back of photograph tells birthday,height, weight, hair color, and eye color. Black and white 2×2″, undated|
|Envelope 3||Photograph: Kenya: two children, boy and girl standing side by side. Photographer unknown. Black and white 2×2″, November 1936|
|Envelope 4||Photograph: Kenya: same two children sitting on stoop inside house. Photographer unknown. Black and white 2×2″, November 1936|
|Envelope 5||Photograph: Kenya: Truck stuck in mud. Inscription on back reads: “N.F.D. Near Ijara, our car stuck in mud.” Photographer unknown. Black and white 2×2″, undated|
|Envelope 6||Photograph: Kenya: Ruins in forest. Inscription on back reads: “Old Persian ruins found in clearing coast forest.” Photographer unknown. Black and white 2×2″, undated|
|Envelope 7||Photograph: Kenya: Fort near water. Inscription on back reads: “Fort on Manda Island at entrance to Lamm Harbour.” Photographer unknown. Black and white 2×2″, undated|
|Envelope 8||Photograph: Kenya: House in front of beach. Inscription on back reads: “Sands in front of house at low tide. Lamm Island” Photographer unknown. Black and white 2×2″, undated|
|Envelope 9||Photograph: Kenya: House in front of beach. Inscription on back reads: “Sands in front of house at low tide. Lamm Island” Photographer unknown. Black and white 2×2″, undated|
|Envelope 10||Photograph: Kenya: Street scene with men. Inscription on back reads: “Lamm: Street scene.” Photographer unknown. Black and white 2×2″, undated|
|Envelope 11||Photograph: Kenya: River. Inscription on back reads: “Tara River.” Photographer unknown. Black and white 2×2″, undated|
|Envelope 12||Photograph: Kenya: Mount Kilimanjaro in distance. Inscription on back reads: “Mt. Kilimanjaro from Arusha (nearby).” Photographer unknown. Black and white 2×3″, undated|
|Envelope 13||Photograph: Kenya: Mount Kilimanjaro. Inscription on back reads: “View of Mt. Kilimanjaro from near Arusha.” Photographer unknown. Black and white 2×3″, undated|
|Envelope 14||Photograph: Oval portrait of Rev. Willam Walter Webb. Photographer Klein A. Guttenstein, Milwaukee, WI. Matted. Sepia 3×4″, undated|
|Envelope 15||Photograph: Portrait of Rev. Willam Walter Webb. Photographer: Morrison, Haymerket Theatre Bldg., 161 West Madison St., Chicago IL. Matted. Sepia 4×5″, undated|
|Envelope 16||Photograph: Portrait of Rev. Willam Walter Webb. Photographer Klein A. Guttenstein, Milwaukee, WI. Matted. Sepia 4×6″, undated|
|Box 2, Item 1||Eight oil paintings on canvas, unframed, and two watercolors, unframed, thought to be the work of Gladys Brannigan, undated|
|Box 2, Item 2||Two watercolors on board, five pencil sketches, and one ink drawing by Gladys Brannigan, undated|
|Box 2, Item 2||Twenty-nine studies, some watercolors, some pencil drawings, various sizes, thought to be the work of Gladys Brannigan, undated|
|Box 2, Item 4||Eight pencil sketches by M.A. Harris, 1880-1890|
|Box 2, Item 5||Fourteen oil paintings on canvas, artist unknown, undated|