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Tyson-Madeira Family Papers

Identifier: TMF

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of various records of the Tyson-Madeira family. Found within the collection are many photographs and albums of the Tyson family, but it also includes some of the Roeblings and the Madeiras. There is also a number of correspondence from the families ranging from 1839 to 1990. Many of the letters came from family members visiting other countries, with postmarks from Spain, France, Germany and others. Along with some of the letters there were found a few small items: a flower, sketches, newspaper clippings, and the occasional photograph. Most of the correspondence is in English, though the occasional letter in French can also be found. Also included in the collection is art documentation, detailing the loans and acquisition of various paintings by artists such as van Gogh, Morisot, Pissaro, and Cezanne. Many of these paintings were owned by the Tyson-Madeira family and museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, and the Institute for American Universities in France requested their loan. Documents also came from other countries such as Mexico and Japan, who were also requesting their artwork. Carroll S. Tyson, Jr. was a well known artist in the area and many museums also wished to showcase his work as well, including the Durand-Ruel Galleries, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. There are also a number of Tyson’s sketches and photographs of his paintings included in the collection.


  • 1839-2009


Language of Materials

Materials mostly in English with some letters and/or art documentation in French or Spanish. Some translations may be included.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Tyson-Madeira Family Papers are the physical property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. The Museum holds literary rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Biographical / Historical

Helen "Patsy" Madeira, whose daughter donated this collection, was born Helen Tyson on May 15, 1916, to Carroll S. Tyson, Jr. and Helen R. Tyson, née Roebling. Helen died suddenly on August 4, 2014. She was the great-granddaughter of John A. Roebling, the designer and builder of the Brooklyn Bridge. While living, she and her husband, Louis C. Madeira IV, were active in various committees at the Philadelphia Art Museum, including the Painting and Sculpture Committee (1975-1978), the European Painting and Sculpture Committee (1986-1987 and 1990) and the Women's Committee (1975-1976). Louis Madeira was also an Associate Decorative Arts curator from 1948-1963. Patsy's father, Carroll S. Tyson, Jr., was an avid painter and a large supporter of the arts. Many of his paintings are now in the collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and many other museums and institutions have been known to showcase his pieces, such as the David David Art Gallery, The Whitney Museum of Art, and the Woodmere Art Gallery. The Tyson-Madeira family owned many priceless pieces of artwork, including Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers," Renoir's “Bathers,” and even some smaller well known artist's work such as original sketches from “Fantasia” by Walt Disney. Many museums around the world such as the Louvre in France, the Grand Palais in Paris and The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Texas vied for the family’s attention. Many of their paintings were loaned to these institutions; the family was generous with their collections. Many of these transactions can be traced in the Art Documentation Series.


29 linear feet


This collection consists of various records of the Tyson-Madeira family, including correspondence, photographs, and documentation of Tyson-Madeira artwork collections - both owned and those created by Carroll S. Tyson, Jr.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These materials were donated by the Madeira family.

Processing Information

This collection was arranged and described by Shirleon Benson and Rose Chiango in 2017.

Guide to the Tyson-Madeira Family Papers
Shirleon Benson and Rose Chiango
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library and Archives Repository

Philadelphia Museum of Art
PO Box 7646
Philadelphia PA 19101-7646 United States