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Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 547

Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Public Information Office

Records, 1890, 1943-1984

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Public Information Office
Title: Records
Dates: 1890, 1943-1984
Quantity: 2 cu. ft. (2 record storage boxes)
Collection: Record Unit 547
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

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.

Historical Note

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.

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Descriptive Entry

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.

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 547, Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Public Information Office, Records

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Container List

Box 1

"Cooper Union Museum to Cooper-Hewitt Museum: Draft of a History of the Continuation of 'The Making of a Modern Museum'," Alice B. Beer, March 1977

Box 1 of 2

Planning for the National Museum of Design

Box 1 of 2

Alice Beer Memorial Fund, 1979 (2 folders)

Box 1 of 2

Contributors - Major ("Committee to Save"), 1977

Box 1 of 2

Cooper-Hewitt/Cooper Union Museum Transmission Archives Material (assembled by C. Rohlfing for Dan Leary and others), 1966-1969

Box 1 of 2

Brochures - Cooper-Hewitt Collections, 1976

Box 1 of 2

National Museum of Design, 1976

Box 1 of 2

Collections - Cooper-Hewitt, 1975-1976 (4 folders)

Box 1 of 2

Cooper Hewitt Museum History - Judy Margles student paper, 1981

Box 1 of 2

Old Cooper Union and Peter Cooper History

Box 1 of 2

Decorative Arts, 1958 (correspondence of Hedy Backlin, Keeper of Decorative Arts, February-April 1958)

Box 1 of 2

National Museum of Design - Work Papers (press clippings)

Box 1 of 2

Background Information and Press Releases, 1961-1964

Box 1 of 2

Carnegie Mansion Background

Box 1 of 2

Fact Sheets and Information Leaflets, all curatorial departments prior to 1972

Box 1 of 2

Committee to Save Cooper Union Museum (2 folders)

Box 1 of 2

Cooper-Hewitt Museum background, 1955-1969

Box 1 of 2

Ringwood and Early Hewitts, 1974-1984

Box 1 of 2

Carnegie Mansion

Box 1 of 2

TV Program, 1965

Box 1 of 2

Furniture Labels

Box 1 of 2

Exhibition: Creative Craft in Denmark Today, 1962

Box 1 of 2

Museum: Grade School Children in Museum, 1961

Box 1 of 2

High School Students in Museum, c. 1955

Box 1 of 2

Cooper Union Museum, c. 1955

Box 1 of 2

Cooper-Hewitt Museum background, c. 1976

Box 1 of 2

Interiors magazine, January 1963

Box 1 of 2

Alice Beer's History of Cooper-Hewitt

Box 1 of 2

World of the Hewitts by Alice Beer, 1954-1981

Box 1 of 2

Loose Photographs, 1949-

Box 1 of 2

Annual Spring Gathering - Friends of the Museum, March 17, 1958

Box 1 of 2

"The Committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum," 1963

Box 1 of 2

Box 2

Early Press Clippings on Hewitt and Carnegie (originals and copies), 1890-1898

Box 2 of 2

Isabel McIntyre Nelson, Cooper Family Seamstress, 1978

Box 2 of 2

Miller House History, 1984

Box 2 of 2

Cooper Union Correspondence 1943-1944

Box 2 of 2

Draft of Alice Beer's History

Box 2 of 2

Carnegie Mansion History and Description, July 1977 and Renovation

Box 2 of 2

Carnegie Biography and Mansion History, 1980-1982

Box 2 of 2

Carnegie photographs

Box 2 of 2

Lifestyles TV Program featuring Carnegie, 1980 (2 folders)

Box 2 of 2

Exhibition File - MAN transFORMS, 1976-1977

Press Opening Show

Box 2 of 2

Objects from Cooper-Hewitt Collections in the Opening Show, Oct. 1976

Box 2 of 2

Space Design magazine (Japanese), 1976

Box 2 of 2

Opening Invitations

Box 2 of 2

MAN transFORMS Extended

Box 2 of 2

Press Wrap-Up

Box 2 of 2

Carl Byoir

Box 2 of 2

"The Opening Exhibition" philosophy piece and lists of satellite shows

Box 2 of 2

Press Kit and Catalogue Requests

Box 2 of 2

Window Display Project

Box 2 of 2

Satellite Release

Box 2 of 2

Exhibition file - Immovable Objects, 1975

Press Release - "Date Changes for Outdoor Exhibition"

Box 2 of 2

Press Release and Press Clippings

Box 2 of 2

Press Release Worksheets

Box 2 of 2

Scrapbook Addenda, 1975-1977 (3 folders)

Box 2 of 2