Adalbert J. Volck Manuscript Collection, 1878 - 1948, MS 867

Finding Aid to the Adalbert J. Volck Manuscript Collection,

1878-1948  

MS 867

H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society

 

 

Collection summary

 

Title

Adalbert J. Volck Manuscript Collection, 1878-1948

Creator

Volck, Adalbert J. (1828-1912)

Call number

MS 867

Inclusive dates

1878-1948

Bulk dates

nd

Extent

1 Box

Abstract

Summary: Collection of manuscript items, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and published material related to Adalbert J. Volck (1828-1912), a Baltimore dentist, artist, cartoonist, sculptor, and silversmith. Also contains 7 of Volck’s sketchbooks.

Administrative summary

 

Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
www.mdhs.org
special_collections@mdhs.org

Access restrictions

There are no access restrictions

Use restrictions

Permission to quote must be received in writing from the Special Collections Librarian.

Provenance and Accession numbers

Gift; John M. Glenn (#49326); Julia E. Spircker (#56181); the estate of Mrs. Frank H. Falkenburg (Henrietta Forman Volck) (#52176); Misses Lucy and Ethel Woods (#49220). Feb 1945; Oct 1958; June 1950; August 1943.

Processing note

Finding aid created by Damon Talbot in January 2011.

Items removed from collection

Catalog entry indicates a collection of glass plates, coins, and medals missing to date  Other photographic material was transferred to Graphics in 1974 and is now housed in PP 248

Biographical Note
Adalbert Johann Volck (1828-1912) was born April 14, 1828 in the town of Augsburg in Bavaria, Germany. As a youth he studied art in Nuremburg and Munich, and in 1848 participated in the revolutions then sweeping through Germany and parts of Europe. Volck was captured and sentenced to four years of service in the Bavarian Army. Rather than serve, he deserted and fled to the United States. Volck arrived in Boston and headed west. In 1849, he followed the gold rush to California but soon returned east, finally settling in the Baltimore area, where he would remain for the rest of his life. He entered the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery as one of its first students, graduating in 1852. Volck was a member of the Association of Dental Surgeons and served as president of the organization. He was one of the first dentists to use porcelain fillings. In 1852, he married Letitia Robert Alleyn, one of his patients, and their union produced two sons and three daughters.

During the Civil War, Volck became an ardent supporter of the Confederacy. According to some accounts, he served as a personal courier for Confederate President Jefferson Davis, carried dispatches across the Potomac River, smuggled medicine and other contraband for the Confederacy, assisted volunteers, mechanics and artisans with their defection to the South, and used his Charles Street home as a rendezvous and hiding place for Confederate sympathizers. Other sources dispute these exploits. Volck is most famous for his political drawings and etchings produced during the Civil War, although this is largely due to a later rediscovery of his work, rather than any contemporary impact. There was limited circulation of his drawings in the North and most likely none in the Confederate States until after the war. Under the pseudonym V. Blada, Volck printed three series of thirty Civil War sketches, titled Sketches from the Civil War in North America. Another series, Comedians and Tragedians of the North, caricatured prominent northern figures including President Lincoln, General Benjamin F. Butler, General Winfield Scott, and Thomas Hicks, Governor of Maryland. Benjamin Butler and President Lincoln drew particular scorn from Volck’s pen; Volck produced a series of sketches and two books lampooning Butler, and nine images featuring Lincoln. Although his feelings toward Lincoln apparently softened over time, he maintained his affinity for the Confederacy; discussing his Civil War sketches in a letter to the Library of Congress in 1905, he wrote that his “greatest regret ever was to have aimed ridicule at that great and good Lincoln - outside of that the pictures represent events as truthfully as my close connection with the South enabled me to get at them.”

Following the war, Volck continued both his dental practice and art. He produced portraiture and works in silver, bronze, oil, and sculpture, while largely avoiding the political slant of his earlier work. Volck was also a fixture in the cultural and artistic life of Baltimore. He was a founding member or member of various organizations devoted to the arts including the Academy of Art, the Allston Association, the Wednesday Club, the Athenaeum Club, and the Charcoal Club.Volck died on March 26, 1912 and is interred in Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore.

Sources:

Anderson, George C., The Work of Adalbert Johann Volck (Privately printed by George McCullough Anderson, 1970)

Keidel, George C., “Catonsville Biographies: A Series of Personal Sketches,” The Argus, October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, November 13, 29, 1915.

Neely, Jr. Mark E., Harold Holzer & Gabor S. Boritt, The Confederate Image: Prints of the Lost Cause (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987)

Van Dyk Macbride, “The Lincoln Caricatures,” The Lincoln Herald Vol. 56, no. 3 (1954): 23-43.

Scope and Content

Series I: Correspondence (Folders 1-2)

This series contains correspondence relating to Volck. Folder 1 consists of correspondence of Mrs. Frank H. (Henrietta) Falkinburg (Adalbert Volck's daughter) with Baltimore museums concerning exhibitions of her father’s work and with Dr. George Anderson, a collector of Volck's work. Folder 2 contains 6 letters from Adalbert Volck. Two of the letters have small sketches.

Series II: Published material related to Adalbert Volck and his work (Folders 2-12)

Folder 3 contains items describing Volck's works including, Adalbert Johann Volck, D.D.S., 1828-1912. Photographs of Dr. Volck's work collected by George M. Anderson, D.D.S., a small pamphlet containing descriptions of 29 of Volck's works that were in the possession of George Anderson. There is also a copy of a Volck medallion "The Massacre at Henrico." Folder 4 contains photocopies of newspaper clippings pertaining to exhibitions of Volck’s work. This series also contains items Volck provided artwork for including The Grasshopper: a Tragic Cantata, a piece of sheet music written for the Wednesday Club, and a program for the Academy of Music. There is also a record of a dinner given in honor of Volck's seventieth birthday by the Association of Dental Surgeons of Baltimore on April 14, 1898.

Series III: Sketchbooks

This series consists of 7 of Volck's sketchbooks. Sketchbook #1 contains preliminary sketches for "Don Quixote and Sancho Panzo," as well as for Civil War sketches. Sketchbook # 5 appears to contain early sketches for the Wednesday Club. The brown, unnumbered Sketchbook contains preliminary sketches for "Lee at Jackson's Grave" and "Butler at Great Bethel" as well as what appears to be preliminary sketches for Volck's Civil War sketches. There is also one album containing newspaper clippings of exhibitions of Volck's work and a few sketches.

See also the following related manuscript and photograph collections:

Adalbert Johann Volck Photograph Collection, 1861-1892, PP 248

George M. Anderson Manuscript Collection, 1852-1972, MS 2092

George M. Anderson Photograph Collection, 1861-1969, PP 247

See also the following works in the Maryland Historical Society’s Main Reading Room:

George M. Anderson, The Work of Adalbert Johann Volck (Baltimore: Privately Printed by George McCullough Anderson, 1970), N 6537.V6 A67  

Adalbert Johann Volck, D.D.S., 1828-1912. Photographs of Dr. Volck's work collected by George M. Anderson, D.D.S. (Baltimore: Salt House Press, 1934), Dielman-Hayward Oversize File, Folder - Volck, Adalbert Johann         

In addition to the collections noted above, The Maryland Historical Society has numerous items relating to Adalbert Volck in its possession. See the MdHS Librarian or visit the online catalog.

Container List

Contents

Description

Span Dates

Folder

Series I: Correspondence

 

 

 

Falkinburg Correspondence

 

1923-1948

1

Volck Letters

 

1889-[1904], nd

2

Series II: Published material related to Adalbert Volck and his work

 

 

 

Material re: Volck's Work

 

1935, nd

2

Newspaper Clippings

 

1913, nd

4

The Grasshopper: a Tragic Cantata

Sheet music by Innes Randolph, 1837-1887, with illustrations by Adalbert Volck. For the Wednesday Club.

1878

5

Wednesday Club Album, Christmas, 1878

Cover for album for Wednesday club event  by A. Volck

1878

6

Dr. Volck's Repousse Work

Description of three of Volck's metal shields from The American, Oct. 26, 1884

October 26, 1884

7

Dr. A. J. Volck's Seventieth Birthday

Record of Dinner given at the occasion of A.J. Volck's seventieth birthday by the Association of Dental Surgeons of Baltimore, April 14, 1898. Reprinted from American Journal of Dental Science, June 1898

June 1898

8

Official Programme Baltimore Oriole Pageant Celebration, October 10-11-12th, 1881

Volck may have done illustration on cover. Also contains on page 7 a sketch for an advertisement "Designed by Prof. A.J. Volck"

October 10,11,12 1881

9

Jarley's Wax Works - Academy of Music, May 4, 1886

Program containing 19 drawings by Volck

May 4, 1886

10

Cotton States and International Exposition, Bronze Medal, 1895

Award given to A.J. Volck for his exhibition of a metal shield "Cortez in Battle." Includes description of award types

1895

11

A bill entitled an Act for the Protection of Mutton in the State of Maryland

Volck provided the text and sketches.

1878

12

Series III: Sketchbooks

 

 

 

7 Sketchbooks

 

nd

 

Album

 

1878-1910