Williams & Everett

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Williams & Everett, Boston, 1882

Williams & Everett (est.1855) in Boston, Massachusetts, was an art dealership run by Henry Dudley Williams and William Everett. The firm sold original artworks by American and European artists, as well as "photographs and carbon-pictures of eminent persons, noted places, and famous paintings."[1] It also continued the mirror and picture frame business that had been established earlier by the Doggett brothers.[2]


Gallery founder Dudley Williams had worked for John Doggett & Co., 1816-1855. "John Doggett retired from the firm in 1845, and his brother Samuel in 1854, and the business was reorganized, the manufacture of mirror and picture frames being continued under the name of Williams & Everett, who added the branch of paintings, etc.."[3][4]

Portrait of Dudley Williams by Hubert von Herkomer, c. 1883 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)[5]

Williams and his new business partner, William Everett, were related by marriage; Williams had married Everett's sister Isabel in 1832.[6] Before creating a formal partnership, Williams and Everett each sold mirrors, picture frames and carpets from the same address on Washington Street.[7][8]

The gallery was located at the corner of Bedford and Washington Street until 1885.[9][10] The gallery moved in 1885 from downtown to Back Bay, where it remained until the business closed around 1907.[11][12][13] "Williams & Everett's Galleries, at No. 79 Boylston Street, were ... designed and built expressly as a repository of the Fine Arts. ... The architectural adornment of the interior is of the English Renaissance, with carved wood and heavy beams in sight. On one side is a carved chimney piece, extending to the ceiling, and near this is a grand staircase leading to a series of galleries, extending from the carved wood coigne which looks down into the store, to the balcony overlooking Park Square. The wainscoting of dark wood is surmounted with pomegranate hangings, and the ceiling is effectively decorated in plain and harmonious tints. Incandescent lights placed in the ceiling in a novel and original manner, are used throughout the store and galleries."[14]

European artists exhibited included Rosa Bonheur[15] and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.[16] Williams & Everett also exhibited and sold works by American artists such as:

Williams & Everett, Washington Street (corner Bedford Street), Boston, 1881
Williams & Everett's, Boylston Street, Boston, 1889

"In the store are departments for etchings, engravings, water colors and photographs. If you desire to purchase a fine impression, a rare proof, a unique etching, a carbon reproduction of a favorite picture by one of the old masters, or a representative work of the modern schools, if you want instructive photographs of ancient sculptures or classic ruins, you are sure to find them in the ample folios of this establishment."[14] The firm published its own pictorial reproductions of selected artworks, such as a chromolithograph of the character "Dotty Dimple" (after Elizabeth Murray),[38] and photographic portraits of H.W. Longfellow and his family.

"Williams & Everett, recognizing the deficiency in the subjects of photographs brought to America, have made this particular branch a specialty. ... One portion of their establishment is entirely devoted to this class of art, and here on the walls are hung large and magnificent carbons of the rarest subjects. Below these pictures of Michael Angelo, frescoes from the Sistine Chapel, his sculptures from the church of San Lorenzo, and the old frescoes of Fra Angelico and Giotto in the convent of San Marco at Florence, are ranged in large wooden cases separately the works of the famous artists, some thousand in number. Here is a whole section devoted to Bellini, another to Cimabue, and another to Velasquez. Their pictures from Spain, Italy, and Germany, France and England, are collected here, and, sitting at the table at which visitors are freely allowed to examine these treasures, a feeling of embarras de richesse comes over one."[39]

Clients included Thomas Thompson.[40] Among the many walk-in visitors to the gallery was Sophia Peabody Hawthorne in 1863: "5 June, Thursday. Finest day - cool. We went out after breakfast with Annie. We visited Studio gallery. ... Then to Williams & Everett's - Then we shopped." "29 September, Monday. I went to town at noon. Went to see Tilton's pictures at Williams & Everetts."[41]

The firm consisted of its founders, Henry Dudley Williams (1809-1888)[42] his brother-in-law William Everett (1821-1899),[43] and their sons, Henry Dudley Williams (1833-1907)[44][45] and William B. Everett (1856-1907)[46]

In 1901, "Williams & Everett ... made an assignment. The liabilities are said to be between $40,000 and $50,000, and the assets consist principally if a large stock of prints, engravings and paintings of high quality. The firm, since the death of Mr. Everett several years ago, has consisted of Henry D. Williams. It is the hope of the firm and assignee that the affairs can be arranged without interruption of business and in such a manner as to re-establish the business on a firm foundation."[47] The firm seems to have ceased with the death of H.D. Williams in 1907.


Florinda by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1853); shown at the gallery in 1858
Portrait of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Wiedemann Barrett, published by Williams & Everett, 19th century
Ad for Williams & Everett, "special agents for Rogers' Groups," 1870
Mrs. Longfellow (Fanny Appleton), published by Williams & Everett, 19th century
  1. ^ Science (Cambridge, Mass.) v.1, no.6, March 16, 1883.
  2. ^ "John Doggett retired from the firm in 1845, and his brother Samuel in 1854, and the business was reorganized, the manufacture of mirror and picture frames being continued under the name of Williams & Everett, who added the branch of paintings, etc.;" cf. William Richard Cutter, ed. Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of Boston and eastern Massachusetts, Volume 3. NY: Lewis historical publishing company, 1908
  3. ^ William Richard Cutter, ed. Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of Boston and eastern Massachusetts, Volume 3. NY: Lewis historical publishing company, 1908
  4. ^ Because Doggett's framing/mirror business had been established in 1810, Williams & Everett advertised the 1810 as their year of establishment. Cf. King's hand-book of Boston. 1889; p.350
  5. ^ Lee M. Edwards. Hubert Herkomer in America. American Art Journal, Vol. 21, No. 3 (1989)
  6. ^ Everett. 1902; p.183
  7. ^ Dudley Williams, "looking-glasses, 234 Washington" cf. Boston Directory, 1852
  8. ^ Dudley Williams, "carpets, 234 Washington St."; and William Everett, "lookingglasses and picture frames, 234 Washington"; cf. Boston Directory. 1857, 1858
  9. ^ Boston Almanac. 1860, 1875
  10. ^ Boston Directory. 1861
  11. ^ Boston almanac and business directory. 1891
  12. ^ "190 Boylston and 30 Park Square;" cf. Boston almanac and business directory. 1894
  13. ^ Clark's Boston blue book. 1908
  14. ^ a b King's hand-book of Boston. 1889; p.350
  15. ^ a b c d e American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series 1
  16. ^ Special exhibition of important foreign paintings : including work by Bouguereau, Baugniet, Corot, Daubigny, Fromentin, Jacquand, Lambinet, Roybet, and other prominent artists. Boston: Williams & Everett's Gallery, 19th century.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Fine arts: The Williams & Everett Collection. New York Times, February 12, 1873
  18. ^ Art in Boston: Pictures by Inness, Brown and Others. The Aldine, Vol. 8, No. 9 (1877)
  19. ^ Williams & Everett ... represented Mary Cassatt early in her career;" cf. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  20. ^ Exhibition of paintings, engravings, drawings aquarelles and works of household art, in the Cincinnati Industrial Exposition. 1875.
  21. ^ Catalogue of original paintings and water-colors by Mrs. S.T. Darrah : on view in William & Everett's Gallery, 508 Washington Street Boston. Boston : Frank Wood, printer, 1881.
  22. ^ "Exhibition of water colors by H. Anthony Dyer." Boston : Williams & Everett, 1904.
  23. ^ Paintings by George Fuller, May 9, 1884. [Boston: Williams & Everett, 1884]; cf. Archives of American Art
  24. ^ Grand Prix Day, 1887, by Childe Hassam. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  25. ^ a b c Cincinnati Industrial Exposition. 1875.
  26. ^ a b Exhibition of landscapes by Robert W. Van Boskerck of New York, and a series of pastels and water colors by George Hitchcock of Paris ... : March 16–30, 1894. Boston: Williams & Everett's Gallery, 1894
  27. ^ "Williams & Everett were Boston dealers who sent George Inness to Europe in 1870;" cf. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  28. ^ Ernest W. Longfellow (b. 1845). "His 'John and Priscilla,' exhibited at Williams & Everett's, Boston, in 1875, attracted much attention. It represents the Puritan youths strolling on the bench, the water rolling its breakers nearly to their feet, and the sun setting brilliantly in the background." Cf. Clara Erskine Clement and Laurence Hutton. Artists of the nineteenth century and their works: A handbook containing two thousand and fifty biographical sketches, Volume 2. Boston: Houghton, Osgood, 1879. Google books
  29. ^ Miss A.S. Patterson and Miss Sarah S. Perkins take pleasure in announcing an exhibition of their pictures : in the gallery of Williams & Everett, 190 Boylston Street, January 1 to January 8, 1900. Boston : Frank Wood, printer, 1899.
  30. ^ Miss A.S. Patterson and Miss Sarah S. Perkins take pleasure in announcing an exhibition of their pictures: in the gallery of Williams & Everett, 190 Boylston Street, January 1 to January 8, 1900. Boston : Frank Wood, printer, 1899.
  31. ^ "Caroline Hunt Rimmer is having an exhibit of her vases at Williams & Everett's. Miss Rimmer stands alone in her special line of work, and her vases are very dainty. They are to be reproduced in bronze by the Bonnard Company, I am told." Cf. Dora M. Morrell. Boston Notes. Brush and Pencil, Vol. 4, No. 2 (May, 1899)
  32. ^ a b Paintings in Oil and Pastel by Theodore Robinson and Theodore Wendel, April 1–14, 1892. [Boston: Williams & Everett, 1892]; cf. Archives of American Art
  33. ^ 12th exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. Boston: 1874.
  34. ^ Catalogue of oil paintings and water colors by Henry Sandham: on view in the gallery of Williams & Everett, Boston. 19th century.
  35. ^ Paintings and water-colors by William Sartain: the honor of your company is respectfully requested at a private view in Williams & Everett's gallery. Boston : 1884
  36. ^ Atlantic Monthly, April 1877 Google books
  37. ^ The Wellesley Magazine. Feb. 10, 1900
  38. ^ Dotty Dimple: After original picture by Mrs. Elizabeth Murray. Boston: Published by Williams & Everett, 219 Washington Street, Boston, 1869
  39. ^ Appleton's Journal, Nov.6, 1875
  40. ^ A Picture Miser. His Gallery the Finest in the Country---His Eccentricities---He loved his pictures as his life, and kept them jealously to himself. Philadelphia Inquirer; Date: 12-11-1869
  41. ^ Thomas Woodson, James A. Rubino, Jamie Barlowe Kayes. With Hawthorne in Wartime Concord: Sophia Hawthorne's 1862 Diary. Studies in the American Renaissance, (1988)
  42. ^ "Dudley Williams, born 1809; died Mar. 6, 1888, at Roxbury; he was educated in the public schools, and was apprenticed to John Doggett, a picture dealer in Boston, whom he succeeded in business." He married Isabel Everett (1811-1886) in 1832. "He soon, with his wife's brother, William, formed the well known firm of Williams & Everett, dealers in pictures and engravings for three generations. Their store became, and continued, headquarters for artists and lovers of art." Children: Henry Dudley Williams (b. 1833); Mary Isabel; Ellen Louise; Stephen Joseph (1844-1884); George Everett (1846-1847); Hetty Brown (b. 1848). Cf. Edward Franklin Everett. Descendants of Richard Everett of Dedham, Mass. T. R. Marvin & Son printers, 1902; p.183. Google books
  43. ^ "William Everett ... born Jan. 26, 1821, at Roxbury, Mass.; died Aug. 24, 1899; married June 4, 1846, Rachel Ford, daughter of Charles and Lois (Pierce) Ford, born Feb. 25, 1823. He was a resident of Dorchester, and for many years in partnership with his brother in law in the firm of Williams & Everett." Children: Florence; Grace Adelaide; William B. Everett (b. 1856). Cf. Everett. 1902; p.183
  44. ^ "Henry Dudley Williams, of the firm of Williams & Everett, of Boston, Mass. ... A graduate of Brown University in the class of 1855." Cf. Annual report of the president to the Corporation of Brown University, 1896
  45. ^ New England historical and genealogical register. April, 1907; p.218
  46. ^ W.B. Everett died October 30, 1907; cf. "Known in art circles." Duluth News Tribune (Minnesota); Date: 10-31-1907
  47. ^ Publishers Weekly, Nov. 2, 1901

Further reading[edit]

  • Copley's picture of King Charles the First demanding in the House of Commons the five impeached members, A.D. MDCXLI-II: now exhibiting at the rooms of Williams and Everett, 254 Washington Street, Boston, for the benefit of the city public library. Boston: W. White, printer, 1859. Google books
  • Catalogue of oil paintings and water colors by the late John Rollin Tilton ... of Rome: on exhibition and sale from January 23 to February 2, 1889, in Williams & Everett's gallery. Google books
  • King's hand-book of Boston. Boston: M. King, 1889; p. 350+. Google books

External links[edit]

  • Library of Congress. "On exhibition at Williams & Everett's, No. 234 Washington Street, Boston, the original painting of Florinde, by Winterhalter, (exhibited in the Royal Academy of arts, 1852.) Admission 25 cents."
  • Indiana State Museum. "Engraving of a beardless Abraham Lincoln. ... A ring of dried flowers and plants encircles the portrait. .... The label reads: '486. From Williams & Everett, (Successors to John Doggett & Co. and N.D. Cotton) ... Boston.'"