Olivia Stokes Hatch

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Olivia Stokes Hatch
Olivia Egleston Phelps Stokes

OccupationActivist, volunteer, travel writer

Olivia Stokes Hatch (1908 – October 17, 1983) was an American philanthropist, clubwoman, and travel writer.

Early life[edit]

A 1911 portrait titled "Olivia", painted by Lydia Field Emmet; identified as a portrait of Olivia Stokes Hatch, and donated to the National Gallery of Art by her.[1][2]

Olivia Egleston Phelps Stokes was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the daughter of the educator and philanthropist Rev. Dr. Anson Phelps Stokes and Caroline Mitchell Phelps Stokes.[3] She was a member of an extended family of notables: Her grandfather Anson Phelps Stokes was a banker, and her brother, Anson Phelps Stokes, Jr. was an Episcopal bishop. Her great-grandfather James Boulter Stokes and her great-great-grandfather, Anson Green Phelps were Connecticut businessmen. Her great-aunt was Caroline Phelps Stokes was also a wealthy benefactor, mainly of educational causes; real estate developer William Earl Dodge Stokes, socialist writer James Graham Phelps Stokes, and architect Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes were among her uncles. Her maternal great-grandfather was Daniel Lindley, an American missionary in South Africa, and her mother's sister, Anna V. S. Mitchell, did relief work in France during World War I and afterwards among refugees in Istanbul.[4]

Olivia Stokes attended Foxcroft School and Bryn Mawr College, graduating in 1930.[5]


Hatch traveled throughout the United States, Central, and South America, and in the Far East. She was co-author, with Mary Marvin Breckinridge Patterson, of Olivia's African Diary: Cape Town to Cairo, 1932, a record of their trip throughout Africa after college, which was published in 1980.[6] Hatch died in 1983, aged 75 years. Her papers are in the collection of Bryn Mawr College.[4]

Hatch was a member of the Colony Club in New York and of the Junior League in Washington, D.C..[7] She was active with the American Red Cross and American Conferences of Social Work. In the 1940s, Hatch worked with the League of Women Voters, City Club (Albany), Race Relations group and the Red Cross Speakers Bureau. In the 1950s she worked with the Norfolk League of Women Voters, and was active in church groups and the Parent-Teacher Association. In Lenox, Massachusetts, in the 1960s, she volunteered as a reader for Recording for the Blind, and helped to entertain young artists in conjunction with the Berkshire Music Center.[8] She and her husband donated significant lands toward the creation of the Berkshire County Land Trust and Conservation Fund.[9]

Personal life and legacy[edit]

Olivia Phelps Stokes married John Davis Hatch Jr. (1907–1996), an art collector and museum administrator, in 1939.[5] They had four children together, Sarah, John, Daniel, and James.[10] John, Daniel, and Sarah all followed their mother's interest in Africa, and Sarah Stokes Hatch continued her work with the American Red Cross.[11][12][13]

Olivia Stokes Hatch died in 1983, aged 75 years.[14] There is a site called "Olivia's Overlook" in the Berkshire Hills, named for Olivia Stokes Hatch.[15]


  1. ^ "Olivia" (1911), painted by Lydia Field Emmet; identified as a portrait of Olivia Stokes Hatch,≈ and donated to the National Gallery of Art by her.
  2. ^ "Golden Age of Stockbridge Art Gleams Again at Chesterwood" Berkshire Eagle (August 5, 1963): 11. via Newspapers.comopen access
  3. ^ "Junior Leaguer's Engagement Told" Salt Lake Tribune (August 25, 1939): 1. via Newspapers.comopen access
  4. ^ a b Olivia Stokes Hatch Papers, Special Collections, Bryn Mawr College Library.
  5. ^ a b "Lenox Church Scene of Bridal For Miss Stokes: Bryn Mawr Alumna Wed to John Hatch Jr." New York Times (October 15, 1939): 53.
  6. ^ Elizabeth Bumiller, "Marvin's Journey" Washington Post (January 17, 1980).
  7. ^ "Troth Announced of Olivia Stokes" New York Times (August 25, 1939): 18.
  8. ^ "Revolt, They Said". www.andreageyer.info. Retrieved 2017-07-30.CC-BY-SA icon.svg Material was copied from this source, which is available under a Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.
  9. ^ "Land Trust Given 75 Acres" Berkshire Eagle (December 10, 1974): 10. via Newspapers.comopen access
  10. ^ Jayna Hanson, A Finding Aid to the John Davis Hatch Papers, 1790–1995, in the Archives of American Art, (Smithsonian Archives of American Art 1910).
  11. ^ "Back from Africa" Berkshire Eagle (October 12, 1974): 15. via Newspapers.comopen access
  12. ^ Daniel Lindley Hatch, "What's in a Name?" Global Ministries (December 12, 2008).
  13. ^ "J. D. Hatch III Named Director of Fellowships" Berkshire Eagle (September 14, 1976): 9. via Newspapers.comopen access
  14. ^ Obituary listings, New York Times (October 20, 1983): D27.
  15. ^ Lauren R. Stevens, 50 Hikes in the Berkshire Hills (Countryman Press 2016). ISBN 9781581575675