Exhibition Records,
circa 1910-1986

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 333
Creators:
National Museum of American Art and Portrait Gallery. Library
Dates:
circa 1910-1986
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
10.43 cu. ft. (20 document boxes) (1 12x17 box)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This collection consists primarily of brochures, booklets, and books cataloging single exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, the National Collection of Fine Arts, the National Museum of American Art, and the Renwick Gallery. Also included are a few catalogs from exhibitions of SITES. There are catalogs from exhibitions staged by the Smithsonian alone, those staged in conjunction with one or more other art museums, those organized by other museums but shown at the Institution, those held elsewhere but consisting in whole or in part of Smithsonian works, and those organized as the Smithsonian contribution to exhibitions in other countries. In a few cases, the connection between the Institution and the exhibition is not known. The catalogs range in format from the one-page flyers of the pre-World War I period to the lavish publications of recent years. Also included are miscellaneous publications, such as early catalogs of the entire collection (the two-volume set prepared by Holmes in the 1920s); the checklists of the opening exhibition of 1968; and The History of the National Gallery of Art, United States National Museum Bulletin 70, by Richard Rathbun. In addition there is one journal article describing an exhibition of the work of Albert Pinkham Ryder and the text of a dedication ceremony held by the museum.
This record unit chiefly consists of a collection of publications assembled over the years by the library. In addition, catalogs were pulled from two other accessions which contained many copies. However, the collection does not claim to be complete and should be used in conjunction with other records in the Smithsonian Institution Archives, such as the records of the Office of the Director, Record Units 311 and 312, and central administrative files, Record Unit 313, and later accessions. In particular, SITES catalogs produced since the office became independent are not included. For these, researchers should consult Record Units 290 and 316, as well as unprocessed collections.
This record unit contains exhibition catalogs, booklets, and books arranged in alphabetical order. The name of the sponsoring Smithsonian Institution, generally the National Gallery of Art (NGA), the National Collection of Fine Arts (NCFA), the National Museum of American Art (NMAA), the Renwick Gallery (Renwick), and Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), appears in parentheses. The date of the exhibition follows. For items which do not represent exhibitions, the physical format and publication information are noted. In some cases, the connection of the publication with the Smithsonian is not known.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Although the Smithsonian had paintings and sculpture in its collections since 1849, the works that remained after the fire of 1865 were dispersed. The turn of the century brought a renewed interest in building the art collection, and in 1907, William Henry Holmes became the first Curator of the National Gallery of Art, as it was officially designated a year earlier. In 1920 the Gallery became an administrative entity, separate from the United States National Museum, of the Institution, and Holmes was named its first Director. The collections were displayed first in the Castle, then in the Arts and Industries Building, and after its completion in 1910, the Natural History Building. A number of bequests, most notably by Harriet Lane Johnston and William T. Evans, fostered the growth of the Gallery. In 1937, it became the National Collection of Fine Arts. When Holmes retired in 1932, Ruel P. Tolman became Acting Director until 1946 when he was named Director. Thomas Beggs assumed the title in 1948 and served until 1964 when David Scott became Director. In 1968 the art collections were at last given a separate building, the Old Patent Office, which was renamed the Fine Arts and Portrait Gallery Building. In 1980 the museum became the National Museum of American Art. Joshua Taylor served as Director from 1970 until his death in 1981, when Harry Lowe became Acting Director. Charles C. Eldredge assumed the position of Director in 1982.
The traveling exhibition service was a part of the art museum from its establishment in 1951 until it became independent in 1965. It is now known as the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).
In 1965 the Smithsonian asked that the Renwick Gallery, once home to the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the U. S. Court of Claims, be transferred to the Institution for use as a gallery of "art, craft, and design." The transfer was accomplished, the building restored, and the museum opened in 1972 with Lloyd Herman as Director. Herman served until 1986, when Michael Monroe was named Acting Director and Curator in Charge. Administratively, the Renwick is a curatorial division of NMAA.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 333, National Museum of American Art and Portrait Gallery. Library, Exhibition Records

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
National Collection of Fine Arts (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of American Art (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Renwick Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art museums Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum exhibits Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum libraries Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Traveling exhibitions Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Books Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brochures Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Exhibition catalogs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
Contact us at osiaref@si.edu