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Effie Seachrest Papers

 Collection — Box: MSS#.01
Identifier: MSS-025

Collection Description

The Effie Seachrest Papers, 1927-1939, consists of four letters written to Seachrest and one photograph.

The first letter, dated December 12, 1927, is from Marie-Paule Lapauze, the widow of Henry Lapauze,a French art critic, curator, art historian, and conservator at the Palais des Beaux-arts in Paris. After Henry’s death in 1925, Marie-Paule became a well-known editor, publisher, art expert, and the only female curator of the Luxembourg Museum. In her letter, Marie-Paule Lapauze proposes to Seachrest the idea of becoming an advisor for the Nelson museum, believing her connection to French museums would be beneficial for the museum as they assess European artwork, and relates that Sir Joseph Duveen, head of the Duveen Brothers art dealer firm, agrees to the benefit of this proposition. Madame Lapauze then states her hopes to visit Kansas City to discuss this with the chairman and trustees of the museum as soon as possible.

The second letter, dated March 4, [1931], is likely from American artist George Waller Parker. Seachrest hosted an exhibit of his work at her gallery in March 1931. In this letter the artist inquires about his upcoming show, asks her for lodging suggestions, and shares his plans to arrive in Kansas City either March 20 or 21.

The third letter, dated April 27, 1937, is from Armenian-American artist Hovsep T. Pushman. He requests that Effie return five paintings he loaned her, so they may be present at an exhibition at a museum in Dayton, Ohio.

The fourth letter, dated January 13, 1939, is from Canadian-American Impressionist painter Ernest Lawson, who was Effie Seachrest’s art mentor and close friend. In his letter, Lawson outlines his health decline and requests Effie to sell any remaining artwork and send him the earnings. This letter is paired with a photograph of Ernest Lawson.


  • Creation: 1927-1939

Conditions on Access

This collection is open for research. Appointments are necessary for the use of manuscript and archival collections.

Conditions on Use

These records are the property of the Nelson Gallery Foundation and it retains all rights, including possible copyright, which they may contain. Notification of intent to publish, quote, or cite archival materials is required. Contact the archives via

Administrative/Biographical Sketch

Effie Seachrest was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1869. She had always had an affinity for art and decided to pursue her passion by becoming an art collector, art teacher, and writer. She studied at the University of Chicago and the Stacey Art School (later the Kansas City Art Institute). After some years teaching art to children, she retired early and devoted the rest of her time to managing a small art gallery with her sister, Minnie Wagner, and conducting art lectures for the public. Her audience was primarily women.

Determined to grow her knowledge about art, Effie Seachrest travelled to Europe and hosted trips for her students. These trips helped her bolster relationships with many artists, curators, and dealers, which allowed her to host exhibits promoting new, avant-garde artwork at the Little Gallery in the Woods, located at 4928 Troostwood Road in Kansas City, the gallery she shared with her sister. Seachrest was particularly drawn to the work of early Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Auguste Renoir, and Ernest Lawson. She played a significant role in introducing modern and contemporary art to Kansas City and helped local collectors, especially women collectors, build their collections.


5 Items (in 1 folder)

Language of Materials



The Effie Seachrest Papers, dated 1927-1939, consists of four letters and a photograph from various artists and advisors to Effie Seachrest.

Note on Collection Organization

Arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfer from vertical file, 2019. Previous source unknown.


Additions to the collection are not anticipated.

Finding Aid of the Effie Seachrest Papers, MSS 025
Finding aid prepared by Tara Laver and Miranda Mahoney
2022 November
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Archives Repository

4525 Oak St.
Kansas City MO 64111 United States