Agency history record. 1961-

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Subject

  • Rand, Harry
  • Mecklenburg, Virginia M (Virginia McCord) 1946-
  • Moser, Joann
  • Murray, Richard N. 1942-2006
  • Serwer, Jacquelyn Days
  • Foresta, Merry A
  • Hartigan, Lynda Roscoe
  • Gurney, George
  • Truettner, William H
  • National Museum of American Art (U.S.) Curatorial Departments
  • National Museum of American Art (U.S.) Curatorial Office
  • National Collection of Fine Arts (U.S.) Department of Prints and Drawings

Category

Agency History

Notes

  • This is an agency history. It does not describe actual records. The Smithsonian Institution Archives uses these histories as brief accounts of the origin, development, and functions of an office or administrative unit to set that unit in its historical context. To find information on record holdings, please double-click the highlighted field "Creator/Author", which will open on a brief view of relevant records.
  • Guide to the Smithsonian Archives, 1996
  • Annals of the Smithsonian Institution, 1992
  • Smithsonian Directory, 1994
  • National Museum of American Art, "The Curatorial Office," [http://nmaa-ryder.si.edu/nmaainfor/dept-curatorial.html], 02/22/2000
  • Curatorial departments of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and its predecessors, the National Museum of American Art (NMAA) and the National Collection of Fine Arts (NCFA), have borne a variety of titles: the Department of Painting and Sculpture, the Department of Prints and Drawings, the Department of Contemporary Arts, the Department of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, the Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, the Department of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Painting and Sculpture, the Curatorial Department, the Department of Graphic Arts, and the Office of the Director, Renwick Gallery.
  • The Department of Painting and Sculpture developed as an administrative unit when Richard P. Wunder was appointed Curator, Painting and Sculpture, in FY 1964. In 1967, Painting and Sculpture became a Department. Wunder resigned in FY 1968. In 1967 a Department of Contemporary Art was created, with Adelyn Breeskin as Acting (1967) Curator and Curator (1968-1974). The name was changed to the Department of Contemporary Paintings and Sculpture in 1970; and in 1974 the title became the Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture.
  • In 1967 a Department of Contemporary Art was created, with Adelyn Breeskin as Acting (1967) Curator and Curator (1968-1974). The name was changed to the Department of Contemporary Paintings and Sculpture in 1970; and in 1974 the title became the Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture.
  • In 1970 Painting and Sculpture was divided into a Department of Contemporary Art and a Department of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Painting and Sculpture. In 1984 the two departments were rejoined into a new Department of Painting and Sculpture. Harry Z. Rand served as Curator, Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, 1977-1983. In 1984 the titles of Rand, Virginia M. Mecklenberg and William H. Truettner became Curator, Painting and Sculpture. All three served 1984- . Adelyn D. Breeskin remained as Senior Curatorial Advisor until her death in 1968.
  • The Department of Prints and Drawings was created in 1967. Jacob Kainen was Curator until 1969, and in 1970 Janet L. Flint was named Acting Curator and Curator, 1971- . In 1983 the Department was renamed the Department of Graphic Arts. In 1989 The Department of Painting and Sculpture and the Department of Graphic Arts merged into the Curatorial Department. Virginia M. Mecklenberg became Curator-in-Charge, Painting and Sculpture, in 1987 and Chief Curator in 1990.
  • In 1989 The Department of Painting and Sculpture and the Department of Graphic Arts mere merged into the Curatorial Department. Virginia M. Mecklenberg became Curator-in-Charge, Painting and Sculpture, in 1987 and Chief Curator in 1990. The Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture dates back to 1964 when Adelyn D. Breeskin, a specialist in contemporary art, became Special Consultant to NCFA. Breeskin became Acting Curator of the newly created Department of Contemporary Art in 1967 and Curator of the Department in 1968. The Department's name was changed to Contemporary Painting and Sculpture in 1970 and in 1974 it was changed to Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture. Walter Hopps was appointed Curator of the Department, 1974-1977, and Breeskin became a consultant within the Department. Harry Z. Rand became Associate Curator in 1977 and Curator in 1979.
  • The Department of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Painting and Sculpture was created in 1970 from part of the old Department of Painting and Sculpture. William H. Truettner became Associate Curator in 1969 and Curator in 1977. The Renwick Gallery opened in January 1973 as the curatorial branch of the national Collection of Fine Arts (now the National Museum of American Art. Its focus is the presentation of American crafts and design. Housed in the original building of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Museum also holds a permanent collection of American furniture. Lloyd E. Herman served as Director, 1974- .
  • For a further history of the creating unit, refer to the highlighted link "Forms part of" above.

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520

Date

  • 1961
  • 1961-

Topic

  • Art museums
  • Art museum curators

Form/Genre

Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00154

Full Record

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