Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 379
National Portrait Gallery. Administrative Office
Central Administrative Records, 1963-1987
The Administrative Office was established in 1966 by Charles Nagel, who served as the first director of the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) from 1964 to 1969. The primary responsibility of the Office was to organize temporary exhibitions of portraits and statuary of men and women who have made contributions to the history, development, and culture of the United States. The Office also administered the acquisition of portraits and photographs for the NPG and coordinated special exhibition schedules.
This record unit documents the activities and efforts of the Administrative Office to acquire objects and portraits, most notably correspondence with art collectors and professional artists. The records include correspondence and memoranda with various art collectors, professional artists, domestic and foreign museums, educational institutions, government agencies, professional associations, and scholars; NPG curators' correspondence with institutions regarding borrowing exhibition objects; exhibition records and scripts, including photographs, slides, posters, donor information, and memoranda; programs and plans for exhibitions and special events in the NPG, including fundraising activities; plans for the the establishment of the Catalog of American Portraits and the Charles Willson Peale Papers project; NPG policies and organization; plans to establish a research center for American biography, iconography, and history; acquisition of portraits and photographs; publication of curators' research; security of collections and the building; blueprints for the exhibition floors; photographs of the building; reports concerning NPG's relationship with Smithsonian bureaus and offices, the United States Congress, and the public.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Nagel, Charles, 1899-1992
- National Portrait Gallery (U.S.). Catalog of American Portraits
- National Portrait Gallery (U.S.). Charles Willson Peale Papers
- Art museums
- Museums -- Administration
- Museum exhibits
- Museums -- Acquisitions
- Museums -- Collection management
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
- Black-and-white photographs
- Color transparencies
- Architectural drawings
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 379, National Portrait Gallery. Administrative Office, Central Administrative Records