During David W. Scott's 1965-1968 tenure as director of the National Collection of Fine Arts (NCFA), the public affairs program for the Museum emanated from the director's office under the supervision of Special Services. This division began its operations in FY 1966 when John Latham was appointed assistant for Special Services. When Latham resigned in May 1967, Jane Marsh became acting assistant until FY 1968, when Mary Nell Sherman took over the duties of assistant for Special Services. Benjamin Ruhe, a staff member from the Smithsonian's Office of Public Affairs, took on the responsibilities of the public relations section of Special Services in 1967.
The programs supervised by Special Services included programming various exhibition openings; conducting private tours for distinguished visitors; programming special lecture series and symposiums; arranging congressional and ambassadorial teas; preparing press kits; maintaining magazine and newspaper contacts; and preparing the NCFA monthly calendar. Special Services was also responsible for the rotating art exhibitions held in the White House and the Executive Office Building, and the White House Fellow's Seminars on American art. During 1967 the division established a docent program and began a community relations program with local businesses and schools in the Washington, D.C., area for the NCFA opening in the Fine Arts and Portrait Gallery Building.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 320, National Collection of Fine Arts. Office of the Director, Special Services Records
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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