Records,
1954-1985, with related records from 1917

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 401
Creators:
Archives of American Art
Dates:
1954-1985, with related records from 1917
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
16 cu. ft. (16 record storage boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This record unit consists of the correspondence of Edgar P. Richardson, Director, 1954-1964; his successor, William E. Woolfenden, 1964-1983; Richard N. Murray, 1983- , and other staff members; minutes and records of the Board of Trustees; manuscripts, correspondence, and other records of the Archives of American Art Journal; and the files of various projects in which the Archives participated. These include the correspondence of Sandra J. Levy, area director for the Texas project, 1979-1985; correspondence of Sharyn Udall, AAA representative, for the Southwest Project, 1969-1975; correspondence of Paul Cumming, Boston area office; and records related to the Treasury Relief Art Project and other Depression-era relief programs for artists, surveyed and filmed in 1963-1964. Correspondents include William E. Woolfenden, Edgar P. Richardson, Garnett McCoy, Sharyn Udall, Sandra J. Levy, Paul Cumming, Richard J. Nicastro, Sylvia Loomis, Gilbert H. Kinney, Regina Soria, and Eloise Spaeth.

Historical Note
Historical Note
The Archives of American Art (AAA) was founded as an independent non-profit corporation in 1954. Edgar P. Richardson, then Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and businessman and art collector Lawrence Fleishman were its founders. AAA originally focused on collecting and microfilming information documenting artists' lives and careers as reflected in the records of museums, galleries, family members, and collectors. Subsequently the Archives broadened its interests to include the visual arts in America from the eighteenth century to the present day.
From its founding in 1954 until 1960 the AAA operated from Detroit, headquartered at the Detroit Institute of Arts, but independently supported by gifts and grants. In 1960 the Archives moved its headquarters to New York City, retaining an office in Detroit. In 1963 the AAA opened a field office in Rome in order to tap the records of American artists' work in Rome and in Italy generally. In 1970 the AAA became a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution. In 1970-1971 field offices were established in Boston and San Francisco, and in 1984 in San Marino, California.
Edgar P. Richardson, the first Director, had many other commitments, especially to his work at the Winterthur Museum in Delaware. Increasingly, most duties fell to the Assistant Director, William E. Woolfenden, who served in that capacity from 1960 until 1964, when he officially became Director. Woolfenden remained Director until 1983, when he was succeeded by Richard N. Murray.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 401, Archives of American Art, Records
Access Restriction
Boxes 3-6 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid; Contact reference staff for details.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Woolfenden, William E. (William Edward), 1918-1995 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McCoy, Garnett Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Richardson, Edgar Preston, 1902-1985 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Murray, Richard N., 1942-2006 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Levy, Sandra Curtis Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Udall, Sharyn Rohlfsen Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cummings, Paul Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Loomis, Sylvia Glidden Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kinney, Gilbert H. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Soria, Regina, 1911-2006 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Spaeth, Eloise Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nicastro, Richard J. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fleischman, Lawrence A. (Lawrence Arthur), 1925-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Treasury Relief Art Project Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Detroit Institute of Arts Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Archives of American Art. Texas Project Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Archives of American Art. Southwest Project Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Archives of American Art Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Archives of American Art Journal (Serial) Title Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art museums Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum archives Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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