Evelyn Way Kendall

Evelyn Kendall ca. 1927

This archive deals with the life, accomplishments, and family history of Evelyn Louise Way Kendall (1893–1979). Born in Ontario and trained as a nurse, she married Henry P. Kendall in 1926, and the couple had three children. Evelyn Kendall was an active artist and art and history collector. She created the Kendall Ballooning and Early Aviation Collection, established the Kendall Doll Museum, and played a substantial role in assembling the collections of the Kendall Whaling Museum. The archive includes correspondence, documents, photographs, memorabilia, and some samples of her collecting activities, as well as genealogical and historical information about her ancestry and family of origin. Materials on Evelyn Way Kendall can be found at these institutions: The Evelyn Way Kendall Archive at Amherst College, the Kendall Household Archive at The Trustees of Reservations (contact arc@thetrustees.org), and the Ontario Genealogical Society (contact info@ogs.on.ca).

A nurse by profession, Mrs. Kendall was an artist and collector by avocation. Her interests were eclectic. She was instrumental in assembling the extensive art holdings of the Kendall Whaling Museum and in creatively furnishing the museum.

She created the Evelyn Kendall Ballooning and Early Aviation Collection, an assemblage of paintings, drawings, prints, decorative items, books, photographs and other materials from the 18th through the early 20th centuries related to the European and American history of ballooning and early mechanized aviation. This collection was given to the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in 2014.

With her husband, she developed a collection of early South Carolina maps and prints which they donated to the University of South Carolina’s Caroliniana Library. She assembled a significant doll collection (sold in 1999), much of which she displayed in the former Kendall Doll Museum, as well as a collection of antique clothing, much of which she donated to the Royal Ontario Museum. She was both an artist in and a collector of folk artwork in sea shells, and pursued interests in textiles and interior design.

From her doll collection

From her doll collection

From her doll collection

From her doll collection

Her records and memorabilia include personal and professional correspondence, scrapbooks, family mementos , documents, photograph albums, magazine and news clippings, records of her collecting activities, and photographs of items in various collections, as well as samples of some collections, including  a three-album set of picture postcards, primarily antique cards of Massachusetts locales. Her adult life and activities are chronicled both in the Evelyn Way Kendall Archive at Amherst College and in the Henry P. and Evelyn W. Kendall Household Archive at the Trustees of Reservations.

She was also interested in family history, and assembled an archive of Way family history and genealogy, which, along with documentation of her childhood and young adult life in Canada, is now held by the Ontario Genealogical Society (contact info@ogs.on.ca). Among her papers are genealogical documents, books and other printed materials, family memoirs, photographs and memorabilia related to the Way, Beall and Deacon families of Canada and Great Britain, including a biographical sketch of her great grandfather, Captain John Hatherly Way, and an 1824–1826 nautical logbook of her great great-grandfather Benjamin Way of Biddeford, England.