History and Chronologies

John Gray, Director, National Museum of American History, 2012, by Richard Strauss.





Chronologies and history go hand in hand.  With more than 3 million objects in its collectons, the National Museum of American History is focused on the scientific, cultural, social, technological, and political development of the United States.  The museum opened in 1964 and holds among its collections the Star Spangled Banner, Abraham Lincoln’s top hat, Dizzy Gillespie’s angled trumpet, Dorothy’s ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz," First Ladies gowns, a Samuel Morse telegraph, locomotives, an Alexander Graham Bell telephone, American-made quilts, Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves, Duke Ellington’s sheet music and presidential artifacts.  On the occasion of John Gray beginning his tenure this month as Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, we take a look back at those who proceeded him.







Frank A. Taylor, 1958–1964

Frank Taylor, 1936, by Ruel P. Tolman, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7433, SIA2012-2

John Canfield Ewers, 1964–1965

John Canfield Ewers, 1978, by Chip Clark, Neg. no. 92-1794.

Robert P. Multhauf, 1966–1968

Robert P. Multhauf, c. 1970, Neg. no. MAH 64181.

Daniel J. Boorstin, 1969-1973

Daniel J. Boorstin, 1977, by Bernard Schwartz, National Portrait Gallery, Gift of the Bernard L. Sch

Brooke Hindle, 1974-1978

Brooke Hindle presenting thirty year certificate to Grace Rogers Cooper, former curator in the Divis

Otto Mayr, 1978-1979 (Acting)

Otto Mayr, 1978, by Richard Hofmeister, Neg. no. 78-7490-35.

Claudia Brush Kidwell, 1979 (Acting)

Claudia Brush Kidwell, 1979, by Richard Hofmeisler, Record Unit 371, Box 3.

Roger G. Kennedy, 1979–1992

Roger G. Kennedy at the Sesame Street Opening Reception, 1989, by Hugh Talman, Smithsonian Instituti

Spencer Crew, 1992–1994 (Acting), 1994–2001

Spencer Crew with Secretary Michael Heyman, June 10, 1997, Neg no. 2006-3738.

Marc J. Pachter, 2001–2002 (Acting)

Marc Pachter, Acting Director, National Museum of American History, 2012, by Harold Dorwin.

Brent Glass, 2002–2011

Brent Glass, Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.

Marc J. Pachter, 2011–2012 (Acting)

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