A Finding Aid to the Municipal Art Society of New York Records, 1901-1960, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.muniartn
Creators:
Municipal Art Society of New York
Dates:
1901-1960
Languages:
English
Collection is in English
Physical Description:
3.2 Linear feet
Repository:
The records of the Municipal Art Society of New York, based out of New York City and established in 1893, measure 3.2 linear feet and date from 1901 to 1960. The records include minutes from the annual and directors meetings, which incorporate reports, directors' files, committee files, and printed material. Financial reports to the Municipal Art Society Board that detail the organization's Permanent Fund are also present.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The records of the Municipal Art Society of New York measure 3.2 linear feet and date from 1901 to 1960. Minutes from annual and directors meetings, printed materials, and financial reports document the Municipal Art Society of New York's involvement in urban planning, city beautification, funding art for public spaces, and generally improving the quality of life in New York City.
Bound minute books from the annual and directors meetings incorporate annual reports, committee reports, membership lists, and by-laws, as well as some correspondence with business colleagues and fellow arts organizations. Printed materials are also integrated into the minute books and often relate to the content of the adjacent administrative files and include exhibition announcements and catalogs, event invitations, meeting announcements, bulletins, newsletters, magazine and newspaper clippings, and membership solicitation materials.
Financial reports to the Municipal Art Society Board detail the Permanent Fund and the organization's accounts.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 2 series.
  • Series 1: Annual and Directors Meetings Minutes, 1901-1960 (3.2 linear feet; Box 1-8)
  • Series 2: Permanent Fund Financial Records, 1913-1949 (1 folder; Box 8)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Municipal Art Society of New York is a private organization that was founded in 1893 to beautify New York City streets, parks, and public places in ways both practical and artistic through projects supported by member dues. The society regularly held competitions for artists to create murals and sculptures to decorate public buildings, and exhibited artists' public works. Members of the society spearheaded efforts to preserve, improve, and maintain public buildings, monuments, and parks; create and maintain street signage and fixtures; regulate zoning; plan thoroughfares; and advocate for public housing. Interests of the society also included establishing a housing authority, slum clearance, and post-World War II planning. The Municipal Art Society of New York continues to influence urban planning and historic preservation into the 21st century, and is known for their architectural tours of New York CIty.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and described by Megan Bean in 2016.
Existence and Location of Copies
The collection is also available on 35 mm microfilm reels 15-18 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Author
Megan Bean
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated 1968 by Municipal Art Society of New York.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Municipal Art Society of New York records, 1901-1960. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Municipal Art Society of New York records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Historic buildings -- Conservation and restoration -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Societies, etc. -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Public art -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/