This accession consists of records that document the programs created and organized by the Research and Scholars Center. The records in this collection are partial; an earlier set of records can be found in Record Unit 596. Included among the programs documented is the lunchbag program which serves as a venue for art historians, archivists, and other active members of the American art community to share research, present findings, and discuss the state of the field. The records for the lunchbag seminars in this collection begin in September 1976; however, the program was initiated in September 1970 at the National Collection of Fine Arts (NCFA, later the Smithsonian American Art Museum) by Lois Marie Fink, Coordinator of Research, at the behest of the museum's director, Joshua C. Taylor. In the early 1980s, the program was under the direction of the Office of Research and Professional Training, then jointly led by Lois M. Fink, Curator of Research, and Patricia H. Chieffo, Chair of Professional Training Programs (later Intern Programs). In 1984 the Office of Research and Fellowships (later separate from Intern Programs) took over full responsibility for the program. In 1988 the program began being co-sponsored with the Archives of American Art, and then in 1993 the National Portrait Gallery joined in sponsoring. Also included is Information regarding the fellows' lecture series, which originated at NCFA in 1970, and occurs annually in the spring.
This accession also includes ART NET which stood for American ART NETwork, an internal newsletter that reported on the office's activities, and was distributed to the alumni of the museum's fellowship program, scholars, and staff in order to keep them abreast of the current opportunities at the museum as well as the progress of its fellows.
Lastly, beginning in 1974 the museum began holding annual one or two-day symposia to further scholarship in American art. The first of these symposia (1974-1980) were co-sponsored with the University of Delaware.
This accession includes records from when the office was known as the Office of Research and Professional Training and the Office of Research and Fellowships, and from when the museum was known as the National Collection of Fine Arts (NCFA) and the National Museum of American Art (NMAA).
Materials include correspondence, memoranda, program schedules, advertisement flyers, symposia records, and newsletters.