These records document the opening of the National Collection of Fine Arts and the National Portrait Gallery in the Patent Office Building in 1968. Included are press kits; photographs; development files; pamphlets of the opening; catalogs from the Henry Ward Ranger exhibition, 1929-1930; an annotated copy of Catalog of Collections, volume I, 1922, by William Henry Holmes; and minutes of the Smithsonian Art Commission, 1963-1964. There is also one folder devoted to the bequest of Reverend Bruce Hughes of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, to establish the "Hughes Alcove" and fund efforts to amass "a reference library of art works" for study.
Also included are newsletters, library count sheets, policies, minutes of meetings, surveys, a variety of reports, brochures, volunteer and internship information, and other records. Some materials date to when the museum was known as the National Gallery of Art.
The Fine Arts and Portrait Gallery Library was established in 1965 as a joint operation of the National Collection of Fine Arts (NFCA) and the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) and was originally housed in the Arts and Industries Building. In 1968, the two museums moved into the newly-renovated Old Patent Office Building, renamed the Fine Arts and Portrait Gallery Building, where the Library continued as before. In 1980, the Library became the National Museum of American Art and Portrait Gallery Library (AA&PG) as a result of the name change.
William B. Walker was hired as Librarian in 1965 and held that position until 1979. Katherine Ratzenberger was named Acting Librarian in 1980 followed by Acting Librarian Susan Gurney in 1981. Cecilia H. Chin served as Librarian of AA&PG Library, 1982- .
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 463, National Museum of American Art and Portrait Gallery. Library, Records
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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