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Guide to Samuel F.B. Morse Papers MC 10

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY, 10012
(212) 998-2641

New York University Archives

Collection processed by Bayrd Still and Tom Frusciano. Electronic version prepared by Jackie Rider.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on January 26, 2011

Biographical/Historical note

Samuel F.B. Morse was born in Charlestown, Mass., April 27, 1791. He began his association with the University of the City of New York (now New York University) at age 41. By this time he had an established reputation as an artist. Morse founded the National Academy of Design and presided over it since its inception in 1826. He lectured widely on art from 1826 to 1829. Morse left for Europe in 1829 and returned to New York in October, 1832. Within days he was appointed Chair of Sculpture and Painting at the University.

When the University Building on Washington Square opened in 1835, Morse rented space there for lodgings and to house a studio and laboratory for his experiments in photography and telegraphy. Morse left the University Building in 1841 but continued his association as professor of fine arts until his retirement in 1871. Although Morse's connection with the University has been described as "nominal," he maintained close contact with certain faculty members and emphasized his professorial connection. He died April 2, 1872, in New York.