Collection Title: Christian Brinton Collection

Collection Number: 222

Dates of Collection: 1870-1942

Box Numbers: 1-11

RepositoryChester County Historical Society


Christian Frederick Brinton (1870-1942) Collection of the Chester County Historical Society. Gift of Joseph R. McKenna (nephew) and purchased from the estate of Naomi Schoonover (who lived in Quarry House).


Christian Frederick Brinton (1870-1942) was the youngest son in a Quaker family of Chester County, Pennsylvania, proud of its heritage and tied to the land. He was educated at Haverford College, where he roomed with Maxfield Parrish and had a reputation for theatrical high jinks. A trip to Europe in 1898 made him decide to choose art rather than the stage for a career. He studied abroad in Heidelberg and Paris, made influential friends, and achieved recognition as an art critic, leading to his career as organizer of art exhibitions, lecturer, and writer for many of the art magazines. In the winter he lived at the Players’ Club, New York, but he spent summers at the family home, the Homestead, in West Chester. He was married for a short time to the artist Caroline Peart. In 1921 he added a large wing to the quarry master’s house at Brinton’s Quarry, and this building, which he named Quarry House, became his permanent home. In 1931 he helped organize a group of local artists into the Chester County Art Association to provide a place for artists to exhibit, and he wa.s president of the association until 1941. He made many trips abroad, notably to the Scandinavian countries and to Russia, and introduced foreign artists in the United States. He was active in the American Russian Institute in Philadelphia. His own art collection and his art library were given in 1941 to the Philadelphia Museum. of Art.

Collections Scope:

15 cu. foot boxes plus 4 boxes photographs and two albums

Collections Contents: