Committee Records,
1963-1971, with related material from 1932

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 633
Creators:
Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum
Dates:
1963-1971, with related material from 1932
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.5 cu. ft. (1 document box)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
These files were assembled by the management and staff of the Cooper Union Museum, and later the Cooper Hewitt Museum, to document their activities during discussions about the Museum's future and its transfer from the Cooper Union to the Smithsonian Institution from 1963 to 1970. The records contain correspondence and memoranda of Museum Directors Lisa Taylor, Richard P. Wunder, and Calvin S. Hathaway; Administrator Christian Rohlfing; and Associate Curator of Exhibitions Edward Kallop reflecting their interaction with the Cooper Union administration, the Committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and other museum professionals during the period. Also included are press releases, minutes of meetings, lists of Committee members, and information about funds raised by the Committee. In addition, the records contain copies of legal and technical documents regarding the transfer.
The Museum's relationship with the Smithsonian from 1932 to 1968, and with the Smithsonian's National Collection of Fine Arts from 1965 to 1971, is documented through files containing correspondence, memoranda, newsletters, press clippings, and invitations exchanged by administrators and curators of each institution regarding museum business.

Historical Note
Historical Note
On June 25, 1963, the president and Board of Trustees of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art announced their plans to close the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration. They temporarily closed the Museum in order to study the possibilities of dispersing the collections to other New York institutions. These actions aroused much comment in the press and among art patrons.
On July 9, 1963, the Committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum announced its formation to the Trustees of the Cooper Union. The Committee was chaired by Henry F. duPont, and eventually numbered 260 members. The Committee raised funds to form a charitable trust, and on September 17 it offered to assume responsibility for the Museum from the Cooper Union. However, in November the Trustees accepted an offer by the American Association of Museums (AAM) to form a committee of advisors to aid in the study of the Museum's future. Shortly thereafter, the Museum was reopened to the public.
On behalf of the Committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum, duPont asked the Smithsonian Institution to become responsible for the Museum. The AAM committee substantially endorsed duPont's proposal. On October 9, 1967, the Committee, the Trustees of the Cooper Union, and the Smithsonian jointly announced an agreement that the Museum and its library would be transferred to the Institution. The Committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum remained in existence to maintain the Cooper Union Museum Charitable Trust.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 633, Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum, Committee Records

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Taylor, Lisa, 1933-1991 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wunder, Richard P. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hathaway, Calvin S. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rohlfing, H. Christian Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kallop, Edward L. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
DuPont, Henry Francis, 1880- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Collection of Fine Arts (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Association of Museums Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooper-Hewitt Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art museums 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