Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 547
Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Public Information Office
Records, 1890, 1943-1984
While under the auspices of the Cooper Union, the Museum had no staff or offices devoted exclusively to publicity, and it relied upon the Public Relations Office of the parent organization to issue press releases about its exhibitions and activities. In 1943 responsibility for publicity was included in the duties of D. Graeme Keith, Assistant to the Curator in charge of Services. He was replaced in 1944 by Allison Delarue. Mary A. Noon assumed responsibility for maintaining records on the Museum's history and publicity when she became Recorder in 1946. When the Museum was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in 1968, Noon continued in this function as Museum Specialist.
An independent Public Relations Office was not established until 1977, one year after the Cooper-Hewitt Museum reopened to the public in the Carnegie Mansion. Isabelle Silverman was the Museum's first Public Relations Officer, and in 1979 she became Public Relations Manager. She was named Public Information Manager in 1983.
Many of these records predate Silverman's arrival at the Museum, and consist of subject files that were apparently assembled by Mary Noon and others to document the history and activities of the Museum under the Cooper Union. They contain curatorial correspondence; press releases; fact sheets; information leaflets; news clippings; and photographs of activities at the Museum. Also included are information files about important figures in the Museum's history.
These records also describe the work of the Public Information Office on the Museum's first exhibitions under Smithsonian auspices. The exhibitions Immovable Objects/Lower Manhattan from Battery Park to the Brooklyn Bridge, 1975, and MAN transFORMS/Aspects of Design, 1976, are documented through press releases, news clippings, and files on the opening receptions.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Silverman, Isabelle
- Noon, Mary A.
- Keith, D. Graeme (David Graeme), 1934-
- Delarue, Allison
- Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
- Carnegie Mansion (New York, N.Y.)
- Immovable Objects: Lower Manhattan from Battery Park to the Brooklyn Bridge (Exhibition) (1975: New York, N.Y.)
- MANtransFORMS: An International Exhibition on Aspects of Design (1976-1977: New York, N.Y.)
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 547, Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Public Information Office, Records