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.