Committee Chair

Moody, Dana M.

Committee Member

Miller, Tonya D.; Kendall, Catherine


Dept. of Humanities


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This study documented the in-situ, original works of art in the private collection of Sarah Avery Key Patten at historic Ashland Farm just outside Chattanooga, TN. The study focused on culturally significant artists Helen Hyde, Emma Bell Miles, and Martha Walter. Using the principles of archival theory to inform the study, each piece by these three artists was documented by completing Smithsonian Museum of American Art Inventory of American Painting information forms, and detailed digital photography, where possible. The report forms for these pieces were then submitted to the Smithsonian Inventory of American Painting, adding to the body of scholarly knowledge by making this private collection available to researchers. The results of the study included 30 works of art in total by the three artists studied: 11 created by Helen Hyde, five by Emma Bell Miles, and 14 by Martha Walter. Conclusions of the study included strong feminist themes demonstrated through Sarah Key Patten’s choice to patronize female artists, as well as the lifestyles of the artists themselves. Feminine themes also emerged within the collection, including a strong love of family, and traditional values. Evidence of a possible personal relationship between Sarah Key Patten and Helen Hyde was also presented. Finally, recommendations for several future studies that correlate to this study were recommended for further research.


Thank you to the Patten family for allowing me access to Ashland Farm, and for their willingness and enthusiasm in sharing their family history. Your stewardship of Sarah’s home and collection would make her very proud. Much gratitude to Will Hendricks for warmly sharing his knowledge of Ashland Farm and the Patten family, passion for history, and thoughts on where to find those difficult pieces of information. Your excitement was infectious, and you will be missed by so many. Thank you to Diane Mizell and Sunny Wagner for coming through with images I thought were unobtainable, and for allowing me to use them in this work. Thank you to John Wilson for permission to reproduce images of Patten family members from his book, The Patten Chronicle. There is no way to express in words the gratitude that I have for my committee members Catherine Kendall, Tonya Miller, and especially my committee chair, Dr. Dana Moody. Each of you added a unique perspective to this research and guided me through the process with patience and knowledge. I know that editing this work meant spending many late hours that took time out of your very full lives. I am so thankful for your dedication to your students.


M. I. D.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Interior Design.




Painting -- Collectors and collecting -- Georgia; Art, American -- Private collections -- Georgia


Patten, Sarah Avery Key; Hyde, Helen, -- 1868-1919; Miles, Emma Bell, -- 1879-1919; Walter, Martha C., -- 1875-1976


Ashland Farm (Walker County, Ga.)


Art catalogue; Art archive; Ashland Farm; Sarah Key Patten; Emma Bell Miles; Martha Walter

Document Type

Masters theses




285 leaves