Agency history, 1955-

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  • Hart, Harry T
  • Behlen, Eugene F
  • Alexander, Carl A
  • Blond, Kara
  • Lawrence, Michael
  • United States National Museum
  • United States National Museum Office of Exhibits
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Office of Exhibits Programs


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.
  • Guide to the Smithsonian Archives
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution
  • Smithsonian Year
  • Smithsonian News Release, "Michael Atwood Mason Named Director of the Smithsonian's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage," March 26, 2013,, accessed August 16, 2021.
  • Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum, Staff,, accessed August 16, 2021.
  • National Museum of Natural History, About, Executive Staff,, accessed August 16, 2021.
  • The Office of Exhibits in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) was created in 1973 when a reorganization established independent exhibit offices in several Smithsonian museums. Prior to its establishment, natural history exhibitions were the responsibility of the Office of Exhibits, 1955-1969, and the Office of Exhibits Programs, 1969-1973.
  • Harry T. Hart was appointed Chief of the Office of Exhibits, NMNH, on March 18, 1973. Eugene F. Behlen replaced Hart on May 22, 1977, and he served as Chief until 1983. Carl A. Alexander was Acting Chief during 1983-1984. After 1984, administration of the Office of Exhibits became the responsibility of the Assistant Director for Exhibits, 1984-1992, and the Associate Director for Public Programs, 1992- . Chiefs of Exhibit Design and Development, Special Exhibits, and Exhibit Production were established to carry out the work of the Office of Exhibits at that time. Heads of the office also include Michael Atwood Mason, Assistant Director for Exhibitions, 2009-2013; Kara Blond, Director of Exhibitions, 2013-2017, and Michael Lawrence, Assistant Director for Exhibitions, 2017- .
  • For a history of the larger creating unit, refer to "Forms part of" above.

Repository Loc.

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


  • 1955
  • 1955-


  • Natural history museums
  • Museums
  • Museum exhibits


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00066

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