Query: Blanchard, Melanie, interviewer
Interview of W. Richard West (1943- ) by Melanie M. Blanchard at his office at the NMAI covers where he was born and grew up, his family and cultural background, and the area in which he was raised. West discusses his experience as a member of the Cheyenne culture; and recounts stories of how he and his brother were influenced by their parents, relatives, and also the campus community at Bacone College. He recalls his father's art and art career, especially how the senior Mr. West's work was exhibited, how he used museum and gallery visits as educational experiences for Mr. West and his brother, and also how the senior Mr. West viewed the concept of American Indian art in relation to traditional art. Mr. West discusses the three pieces of his father's artwork which hang in his office at NMAI. He reminiscences about a visit that he and his brother made with their father to New York City in 1956 to film a movie called Off to Adventure. On this trip, the senior Mr. West took his sons to view the collection of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. Mr. West next focuses on his educational and professional background, including his degrees, both in American history, at the University of Redlands in California and Harvard University. Mr. West then pursued a law career, graduating from Stanford University School of Law and working at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, and Jacobson. His move to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1988 is briefly discussed. Mr. West's career with the National Museum of the American Indian began in 1990 with his appointment as the founding director. He also discusses the first issues he dealt with as a new director of a museum of such a unique character as the NMAI, including some of his mentors, problems encountered in the creation of NMAI, and tasks that the Museum had to take on in order to create the current museum. The Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA) and the National Museum of the American Indian Act (1989) are touched upon with a story concerning a speech given to an American Association of Museums session concerning repatriation. He then discusses exhibition issues with the NMAI collection, both at the George Gustav Heye Center in New York and the NMAI on the National Mall. The interview closes with Mr. West presenting his view of the future of the NMAI and also the future for Mr. West himself, including issues of cultural exhibitions, the relationship of American Indians to the collections, and the role of the founding director of such an institution, c. 1940s-2006.
Level:
file
Collection ID:
Record Unit 9620
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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in Record Unit 9620 for Blanchard, Melanie, interviewer
American Association of Museums Centennial Oral History Interviews
Dates:
2006
Size:
11 compact discs (Reference copies).
Collection ID:
Record Unit 9620
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

The Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives' record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff …

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in Record Unit 9620 for Blanchard, Melanie, interviewer
Downtown Gallery records
Creators:
Downtown Gallery
Dates:
1824-1974
bulk 1926-1969
Size:
109.56 Linear feet
Collection ID:
AAA.downgall
Repository:
Archives of American Art

The records of the Downtown Gallery date from 1824 to 1974 (bulk 1926-1969) and measure 109.56 linear feet. The records present a comprehensive portrait of a significant commercial gallery that operated as a successful business for more than forty years, representing major contemporary American artists and engendering appreciation for early American folk art. There is an unprocessed addition to this collection dating circa 1970 of a single financial/legal document.

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in AAA.downgall for Blanchard, Melanie, interviewer
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1996 Festival of American Folklife
Creators:
Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Dates:
June 26-July 7, 1996
Size:
1 Cubic foot (approximate)
Collection ID:
CFCH.SFF.1996
Repository:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections

The Smithsonian Institution Festival of American Folklife, held annually since 1967 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was renamed the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1998. The materials collected here document the planning, production, and execution of the annual Festival, produced by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (1999-present) and its predecessor offices (1967-1999). An overview of the entire Festival records group is available here: Smithsonian Folklife Festival records.

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in CFCH.SFF.1996 for Blanchard, Melanie, interviewer
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1976 Festival of American Folklife
Creators:
Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Dates:
June 16-September 6, 1976
Size:
1 Cubic foot (approximate)
Collection ID:
CFCH.SFF.1976
Repository:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections

The Smithsonian Institution Festival of American Folklife, held annually since 1967 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was renamed the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1998. The materials collected here document the planning, production, and execution of the annual Festival, produced by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (1999-present) and its predecessor offices (1967-1999). An overview of the entire Festival records group is available here: Smithsonian Folklife Festival records.

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in CFCH.SFF.1976 for Blanchard, Melanie, interviewer
The Garden Club of America collection
Creators:
Garden Club of America
Dates:
circa 1920-present
Size:
37,000 Slides (35mm slides)
33 Linear feet ((garden files))
3,000 Lantern slides
37,000 Slides (35mm slides)
33 Linear feet ((garden files))
3,000 Lantern slides
Collection ID:
AAG.GCA
Repository:
Archives of American Gardens

This collection contains over 37,000 35mm slides, 3,000 glass lantern slides and garden files that may include descriptive information, photocopied articles (from journals, newspapers, or books), planting lists, correspondence, brochures, landscape plans and drawings. Garden files were compiled by Garden Club of America (GCA) members for most of the gardens included in the collection. Some gardens have been photographed over the course of several decades; others only have images from a single point in time. In addition to images of American gardens, there are glass lantern slides of the New York Flower Show (1941-1951) and trips that GCA members took to other countries, including Mexico (1937), Italy, Spain, Japan (1935), France (1936), England (1929), and Scotland. A number of the slides are copies of historic images from outside repositories including horticultural and historical societies or from horticultural books and publications. The GCA made a concerted effort in the mid-1980s to acquire these images in order to increase its documentation of American garden history. Because of copyright considerations, use of these particular images may be restricted.

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in AAG.GCA for Blanchard, Melanie, interviewer