Correspondence,
1976-1991

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 539
Creators:
Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Department of Textiles
Dates:
1976-1991
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1 cu. ft. (1 record storage box)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
These records consist of departmental correspondence and office memoranda from 1976 to 1991. Files for 1984 and 1988 are missing. The records were created mostly by Milton Sonday and Gillian Moss, and concern subjects such as exhibition loans, textile scholarship, catalogs and publications, public inquiries, the donation and acquisition of objects, research on collections, activities in other museums, and administrative needs. The records include some files on the exhibition, "Lace," which was shown at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum from August to November 1982.

Historical Note
Historical Note
The textile collection of the Cooper Union Museum rose to preeminence with John Pierpont Morgan's 1902 donation of three significant collections of medieval European cloth designs. Mary S.M. Gibson took charge of the museum collections as Curator in 1904, and was responsible for the general oversight of the textile department until Jean Reed was hired as Assistant Keeper for Textiles in 1935 and Elizabeth Haynes became Keeper of Lace and Embroidery in 1937. In 1941 Reed was replaced by Alvena Vajda Secklar, who was succeeded by Dorothy G. Shepherd in 1942, and by Lili Blumendau in 1944.
Haynes died in June 1948 and three months later Alice Baldwin Beer was hired as Keeper of Needlework. Beer became Keeper of Textiles in 1950, and at the same time Jean E. Mailey replaced Blumendau as Assistant Keeper. Mailey resigned in 1957, and the designation KEEPER was changed to CURATOR in October 1958. Sarah Frantz was Assistant Curator of Textiles from 1958 to 1961, and Christa C. Mayer held the post from 1961 to 1967. Milton F. Sonday of the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., became Assistant Curator in December 1967.
In 1970 Beer retired and became Consultant for Textiles, and in fiscal year 1977 Sonday was appointed Curator of Textiles. In 1979 Beer was named Curator Emeritus, a position she held until her death in November 1981. Textile Conservator Lucy Commoner began work in FY 1977, and the appointment of Gillian Moss as Textiles Assistant in FY 1984 led to her assignment as Assistant Curator of Textiles in FY 1985.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 539, Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Department of Textiles, Correspondence

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sonday, Milton Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Moss, Gillian Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gibson, Mary S. M. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reed, Jean Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Haynes, Elizabeth, d. 1948 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seckar, Alvena, 1916- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shepherd, Dorothy G. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blumenau, Lili Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Beer, Alice Baldwin Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mailey, Jean Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Frantz, Sarah Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mayer-Thurman, Christa C. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Commoner, Lucy A. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lace (Exhibition) (1982: New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art museum curators Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Textile fabrics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art museums Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum exhibits Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museums -- Collection management Topic 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