Throughout his life White was a prolific letter writer, both professionally
and personally. This album, one of four in the Avery collection, contains
letters to his mother and father during his employment with Henry Hobson
Richardson in Boston. The letters reveal his enormous energy, keen observation,
and personal magnetism, as well as his strong affection for his parents. White
often included sketches of scenes he described. At this early stage in his
career, he had only recently given up his wish to become an artist, instead
focusing his artistic talents on a career in architecture. Unlike the clarity of
his artistic vision, White's handwriting was nearly illegible; fortunately his
son, the architect Lawrence Grant White, transcribed the letters when he
compiled these albums of letters and drawings.
The White family has also given more than 500 drawings for the White houses
in St. James, Long Island, and on Gramercy Park in Manhattan and a variety of
other projects. They have given letterpress books with outgoing correspondence
and incoming correspondence for White's professional activities from 1887 to
1907, as well as a death mask and plaster cast of the architect's hand.