Agency history, 1954-

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  • Wattenmaker, Richard J
  • Hamilton, Susan A
  • Murray, Richard N. 1942-2006
  • Woolfenden, William E (William Edward) 1918-1995
  • Richardson, Edgar Preston 1902-1985
  • Kirwin, Liza
  • Smith, John W (John William) 1959-
  • Fleckner, John A. 1941-
  • Haw, Kate


Agency History


  • 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.
  • From its founding to 1954 the Archives was headquartered at the Detroit Institute of Arts. In 1960 the Archives moved its headquarters to New York but a branch office remained in Detroit. In 1963 an office was opened in Rome to collect the records of American artists' work in Italy. In 1970 the Archives became a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution and moved to Washington, D.C. Directors have included Edgar Preston Richardson, 1954-1964; William E. Woolfenden, 1964-1983; Richard N. Murray, 1983-1988; John A. Fleckner (Acting Director), 1987-1988; Susan A. Hamilton (Acting Director), 1988-1990; Richard J. Wattenmaker, 1990-2005; John W. Smith, 2006-2011; Liza Kirwin (Acting Director), 2011-2013; and Kate Haw, 2013-2019.

Repository Loc.

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


  • 1954
  • 1954-


  • Art museums
  • Museum archives


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00018

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