A Finding Aid to the Washington Gallery of Modern Art Records, 1959-1992, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.washgall
Creators:
Washington Gallery of Modern Art (Washington, D.C.)
Dates:
1959-1992
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
15.7 Linear feet
0.523 Gigabytes
Repository:
The records of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art measure 15.7 linear feet and 0.523 GB and date from 1959 to 1992. The records document the history of the gallery through Board of Directors meeting minutes, various committee meetings minutes and agendas, bylaws, and other trustee records; correspondence and other materials associated with each of the four gallery directors over the course of the gallery's existence; general correspondence; exhibition files, proposed exhibitions, collection files, and other curatorial and registrar records; financial records; development and membership records; tour guide information, gift shop finances and orders, and other museum services; and clippings, catalogs, and other printed and digital material.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The records of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art measure 15.7 linear feet and 0.523 GB and date from 1959 to 1992. The records document the history of the gallery through Board of Directors meeting minutes, various committee meetings minutes and agendas, bylaws, and other trustee records; correspondence and other materials associated with each of the four gallery directors over the course of the gallery's existence; general correspondence; exhibition files, proposed exhibitions, collection files, and other curatorial and registrar records; financial records; development and membership records; tour guide information, gift shop finances and orders, and other museum services; and clippings, catalogs, and other printed and digital material.
Trustee records includes general administrative documents such as the bylaws of the gallery, certificates of incorporation, permits, and a history of the organization. Also included are the agendas and minutes for quarterly board of trustee meetings between 1962 and 1968, correspondence and agendas for various committees, annual reports, and president's records belonging to Julian Eisenstein, Carleton B. Swift, Jr., and Helen "Leni" Stern.
Director's records are arranged according to the tenure of each director of the gallery: Adelyn Breeskin (June 1962-May 1964), Gerald Nordland (June 1964-July 1966), Charles Millard (July 1966-June 1967), and Walter Hopps (August 1967-October 1968). Documents include correspondence with notable individuals, reports made to the board of trustees, and documents regarding exhibitions during each director's tenure.
Correspondence is arranged by year and includes correspondence from 1987 and 1992 between various researchers and Dr. Julian Eisenstein, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the gallery, concerning the history of the gallery.
Curatorial records include loan agreements and other documentation regarding exhibitions held at the gallery, information regarding proposed exhibitions for the gallery, and the collection files for objects in the permanent collection. Also included are transcripts and recordings of interviews from the "Popular Image" exhibition.
Financial documents include general ledgers, miscellaneous accounts arranged alphabetically, copyright information, stocks, and financial reports. Development records include attendance and sales information for each exhibition at the gallery, membership drive statistics and solicitation forms, information from foundations who contributed to the gallery, and membership lists.
Museum service documents include consignment records, rental agreements, museum shop sales and catalog orders, guided tour documents, docent training information, and volunteer lists. Public relation records are primarily on benefits, recitals, and other special events hosted by the gallery. Printed materials include brochures, newspaper clippings, press releases and exhibition catalogs.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into nine series. The arrangement is based on a pre-existing finding aid created by the Washington Gallery of Modern Art.
  • Series 1: Trustee Records, 1959-1968 (1.8 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
  • Series 2: Director's Records, 1962-1968 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 2-4)
  • Series 3: Correspondence, 1961-1992 (0.9 linear feet; Boxes 4-5)
  • Series 4: Curatorial/Registrar Records, 1962-1969 (6.4 linear feet; Boxes 5-11, OV 18, 0.523 GB; ER01)
  • Series 5: Financial Records, 1962-1969 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 11-13)
  • Series 6: Development/Membership Records, 1962-1968 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 13-14)
  • Series 7: Museum Services, 1962-1968 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 14-15)
  • Series 8: Public Relations, 1963-1968 (0.1 linear feet; Box 15)
  • Series 9: Printed Material, 1961-1968 (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 15-17, OV 18)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Washington Gallery of Modern Art (established 1961; closed 1968) was a gallery in Washington, D.C. The Washington Gallery of Modern Art was a non-profit institution organized for the purpose of presenting significant exhibitions of contemporary American painting and sculpture. In conjunction with exhibitions, the gallery also sponsored lectures, concerts, films, tours, and an art rental service designed to encourage the understanding and appreciation of contemporary art. It was located at 1503 21st Street, NW, Washington, D.C. Among its directors were Gerald Nordland, Charles Millard, Adelyn Breeskin and Walter Hopps. In 1968, the Washington Gallery of Modern Art sold its permanent collection to the Oklahoma Art Center and its programs were incorporated into the Corcoran Gallery of Art. At that time, the Washington Gallery of Modern Art turned over all assets to the Corcoran.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Ricky Gomez in 2020. Born-digital records were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2020 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.
Author
Ricky Gomez
Sponsor
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated 1965 by the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, in 1996 and 2002 by the Washington Gallery of Modern Art via Dr. Julian Eisenstein, one of the founders of the Gallery and President of Board of Trustees (1961-1966), in 2004 via Linda Lichtenberg Kaplan, director of public affairs (1965-1967), and in 2015 by the Corcoran Gallery of Art via David S. Julyan representative for the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. One announcement for an exhibition by Mary Meyer was donated in 2009 by former director and curator (1966-1974) Charles Millard.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Terms of Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Preferred Citation
Washington Gallery of Modern Art records, 1959-1992. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arts organizations -- Washington (D.C.) Function Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arts administrators -- Washington (D.C.) Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Corcoran Gallery of Art Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eisenstein, Julian Calvert, 1921- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Breeskin, Adelyn Dohme, 1896-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nordland, Gerald Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Millard, Charles Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopps, Walter Personal Name 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/