These records pertain to eight exhibitions which the Office of Exhibitions organized between 1983 and 1991. The bulk of the records includes correspondence between the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) Director, Alan Fern, and various national and international museum institutions, donors, art galleries, archives, various municipal and state historical societies in the United States, universities, individual artists, private citizens both within the United States and overseas, various United States government departments, agencies and other foreign governments.
Additional correspondence, memoranda and notes are between Beverly J. Cox, Curator of Exhibitions, and other bureaus and offices in the NPG and the Smithsonian Institution, guest curators, various art history scholars and experts, including art collectors and venders. The memoranda, notes and correspondence concern such issues as borrowing art objects for the exhibitions, arrangements for the shipment of and insurance for the objects, exhibition designers and constructors, printers of the labels and the catalog, colloquium participants, food services for the opening ceremonies and other special occasions, publicity strategies and activities, security and storage of the objects and closing of the exhibitions.
Other records include loan agreements, shipping and insurance vouchers; mailing and exhibition labels; lists of portraits on loan and those owned by the NPG; exhibition scripts; lists of entries; research notes; journal articles; newspaper clippings; excerpts from published and unpublished monographs and dissertations; lists of guests; drafts of press releases; pamphlets and brochures; cards and flyers from various venders; reviews of the exhibitions; grant proposals; catalog manuscripts; drawings, sketches and architectural drawings for the exhibition halls; objects condition reports; color slides and prints; black and white photographs; and negatives.
The included exhibitions are "Adventurous Pursuits: Americans and the China Trade, 1784-1844;" "Davy Crockett: Gentleman from the Cane;" "Gaston Lachaise Portrait Sculpture;" "John Frazee Sculptor;" "Masters from Versailles: Three Centuries of French Portraiture;" "Mr. Sully, Portrait Painter: The Works of Thomas Sully, 1783-1872;" "Portraits by George Bellows;" and "Portraits from the American Academy and Institute of Arts Letters."