This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
This record unit documents the tenure of Charles Blitzer as assistant secretary for History and Art from 1973 to 1979. There are also records pertaining to the Office of Education and Training, 1965-1968, which Blitzer had directed.
The celebration of the bicentennial of the American Revolution was a major Smithsonian project from 1972 to 1977. These records document those efforts from first proposals to their completion or abandonment and include memoranda, budget proposals, and audio-visual recordings, including a 16-mm film of the Wells Fargo Essay Contest, Towards Our Third Century.
The records consist of correspondence, memoranda, budgets, and associated materials documenting the changing activities of History and Art bureaus during a period of intense activity and growth.
Changes in History and Art's organization during these years included the return of the Hillwood Estate to the Marjorie Merriweather Post Foundation in 1975, the transfer of the Smithsonian Institution Archives to the Assistant Secretary for Museum Programs, and the assignment of the office of the American Revolution Bicentennial Coordinator to History and Art. The Renwick Gallery was acquired as a showcase for design, crafts, and decorative arts and became part of the National Museum of American Art. The Smithsonian also acquired the Carnegie Mansion and renovated it to house the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, which opened in 1976. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden was completed during this period and opened in 1974. The Museum of History and Technology became the National Museum of History and Technology (NMHT) in 1969.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 281, Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Secretary for History and Art, Records
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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