Once the code of Sargent’s almost indecipherable handwriting has been cracked, his letters reveal the man behind the canvas. The correspondence shows Sargent’s enthusiasms, his sense of humor, his opinions about his own work, and his involvement in the business of exhibitions and the strategies of display. The letters presented here provide a sample of the rich resources of The John Singer Sargent Archive. For letters written in French, the transcription is followed by the English translation. We will continue to add material online as resources become available.

Correspondence with Emma-Marie Allouard-Jouan


Correspondence with Walter L. Clark


Correspondence with Arthur Fairbanks


Correspondence with Claude Monet


Correspondence with Edward Robinson


Access to the John Singer Sargent Archive

These letters are a part of The John Singer Sargent Archive.

The Archive is available for viewing by appointment in the Morse Study Room for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, located on the first floor of the Museum, near the Lower Rotunda. We are open for appointments Tuesday through Friday, 10 am–Noon and 1:30–4 pm. To schedule an appointment, please call 617-369-3112 or e-mail Patrick Murphy at pmurphy@mfa.org.