Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 458
Creators:
National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture
Dates:
circa 1961-1980
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
29 cu. ft. (29 record storage boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
These records document the work of the Department and its curators in the late 1960s and in the 1970s, with some material dated as early as 1961. The files include correspondence concerning proposed and rejected works of art, some administrative actions, and the Department's relationship with other museums. The majority of the records concern major exhibitions mounted by the Department during the period, including Made in Chicago, Robert Rauschenberg, and America as Art. Also included are files of Breeskin and Hopps, their correspondence, speeches, and travel. The bulk of the materials date to when the museum was known at the National Collection of Fine Arts.

Historical Note
Historical Note
The Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture maintains works of artists born after 1880 or who were working by 1900. However, there is still some overlap with the artwork maintained by the National Collection of Fine Arts (NCFA), Department of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Painting and Sculpture.
The administrative history of the Department dates back to 1964 when Adelyn Dohme Breeskin, a specialist in contemporary art, became Special Consultant to NCFA. Breeskin became Acting Curator of the newly created Department of Contemporary Art in 1967 and Curator of the Department in 1968. The Department's name was changed to Contemporary Painting and Sculpture in 1970 and in 1974 it was changed to its present title. Walter Hopps was appointed Curator of the Department in 1974 and Breeskin became a consultant within the Department.
Walter Hopps remained as Curator from 1974 to 1977 and then served as Adjunct Curator until his departure later that year. Harry Rand joined the staff in 1977 as Associate Curator, with the additional title of Chairman in 1978. Rand was named Curator in 1979. The staff included Virginia M. Mecklenburg, Associate Curator, and Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, Assistant Curator. Adelyn Dohme Breeskin remained as Consultant to the Department.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 458, National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, Records
Access Restriction
Boxes 16-22 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Breeskin, Adelyn Dohme, 1896-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopps, Walter Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rand, Harry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mecklenburg, Virginia M. (Virginia McCord), 1946- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hartigan, Lynda Roscoe Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Collection of Fine Arts (U.S.). Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Made in Chicago (Exhibition) (1974: Washington, D.C.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Robert Rauschenberg (Exhibition) (1973-1974: Washington, D.C.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
America as Art (Exhibition) (1976: Washington, D.C.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art museum curators Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum exhibits Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white negatives Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white transparencies Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Exhibition catalogs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Floor plans Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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