Full Name: Carrington, Fitzroy
Date Born: 1869
Date Died: 1954
Place Born: Greater London, Surrey, England
Place Died: Old Lyme, New London, Connecticut, USA
Home Country/ies: United States
Subject Area(s): graphic arts and prints (visual works)
Institution(s): Harvard University and Museum of Fine Art Boston
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, curator of prints, founded Print Collector’s quarterly. Carrington was born in Surbiton, Surrey, England (today, Greater London) in 1869 to R. C. and Sarah Jane (née Pewtress) Carrington. He was educated at Bute House in Petersham, England before attending college at Victoria College on the Island of Jersey. In 1886, he moved to Minnesota, United States. He briefly worked in agriculture, but soon began surveying for the Great Northern Railway. Afterwards, he was employed by Harington Beard (ca. 1868-1940), a fine art dealer in the city. In 1892, he moved to New York City and began working as a clerk and salesman at Keppel & Co, a business that sold etchings and engravings. He worked his way through the ranks at Keppel & Co. first as partner, then general manager, treasurer, and a minority stockholder. He married Charlotte Austen Singleton (1873-1951) in 1897. In 1899, he began publishing books, though his initial works mainly focus on poetry. Though not formally trained as an art critic, he is recognized as one in the 1908 edition of Who’s Who in New York City and State due to his work editing, arranging, and writing introductions for various books of fine art. At the time most of these were still books of poetry, but some had started to feature pictures as complements to the verse. In 1911 he began publishing The Print-Collector’s Quarterly, at the time “the only serious journal devoted to prints in the English language.” (Sizer) In 1912, Carrington published Prints and their Makers: Essays on Engravers and Etchers Od and Modern. In 1913, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston appointed him Curator of the Department of Prints and taking over the publication of the Quarterly. He was simultaneously recommended by the Fine Arts Department at Harvard University to serve as a lecturer. During his time in Boston, he also assisted founding the Children’s Art Center. During World War I publication of the Quarterly ceased and afterward it was transferred to the British Museum on the editorship of Campbell Dodgson. Carrington resigned from the Museum to return to private business in 1921, succeeded at the Museum by Henry P. Rossiter. Carrington worked for M. Knoedler & Co., art gallery in New York. He retired in 1942. While visiting friends in Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1954 he died.
Colleagues estimated that Carrington did “more…for scholarship in prints in English” than nearly any other person. (Sizer) Though not a trained or especially learned scholar, his devotion to the field of etchings and engravings brought him high profile. The lectures he gave on prints at Harvard were among the first–if not the first–formal courses offered on prints, a curatorial discipline later developed at Harvard by Paul J. Sachs. As an exponent of prints as an art form he stands in league with early curators of prints, William M. Ivins, Jr., A. Hyatt Mayor, Carl Zigrosser and Adelyn Dohme Breeskin. He raised the profile of prints studies in America, particularly fifteenth-century engravings.
- Carrington, Fitz Roy. 1912. Prints and their makers; essays on engravers and etchers old and modern. New York: The Century Co. https://archive.org/details/printstheirmaker00carr/page/n12.
- Carrington, Fitz Roy. 1917. Engravers and etchers; six lectures delivered on the Scammon Foundation at the Art Institute of Chicago, March 1916. [Chicago]: The Art Institute of Chicago. https://archive.org/details/engraversetchers00carr/page/n4.
Hamersly, Lewis Randolph, John W. Leonard, William Frederick Mohr, Herman Warren Knox, Frank R. Holmes, and Winfield Scott Downs. Who’s Who in New York City and State. New York, NY: L.R. Hamersly Co., 1904. https://archive.org/details/whoswhoinnewyor00holmgoog/page/n126.
Hamersly, Lewis Randolph, John W. Leonard, William Frederick Mohr, Herman Warren Knox, Frank R. Holmes. Who’s Who in New York City and State. New York, NY: L.R. Hamersly Co., 1908. https://archive.org/details/whoswhoinnewyork00hame_0/page/238.
“The Print Department of the Museum: Appointment of Mr. FitzRoy Carrington.” Museum of Fine Arts Bulletin 10, no. 59 (1912): 42. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4423566.
Whitehill, Walter Muir. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: a Centennial History. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1970, pp. 387-390.
Contributors: Arial Hart