Agency history, 1963-1968

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  • Taylor, Lisa 1933-1991
  • Wunder, Richard P
  • Hathaway, Calvin S
  • Kallop, Edward L
  • Rohlfing, H. Christian
  • DuPont, Henry Francis 1880-
  • American Association of Museums


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, 1996
  • Sherman R. Emery, How to Save a Museum: A Suspense Story in Thirteen Chapters with Epilogue, Interior Design, January 1968
  • In re THE COOPER UNION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE AND ART, Special Term, Part I, Supreme Court of the State of New York, Order 03410-1968 (1968).
  • The Committee to Save the Cooper Union, a body of Cooper-Hewitt supporters independent of the Museum's trustees, grew out of a financial crisis facing the Museum. On June 25, 1963, the president and Board of Trustees of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art announced their plans to close the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration. They temporarily closed the Museum in order to study the possibilities of dispersing the collections to other New York institutions. These actions aroused much comment in the press and among art patrons.
  • On July 9, 1963, the Committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum announced its formation to the Trustees of the Cooper Union. The Committee was chaired by Henry Francis DuPont and eventually numbered 260 members. The Committee raised funds to form a charitable trust, and on September 17 it offered to assume responsibility for the Museum from the Cooper Union. However, in November the Trustees accepted an offer by the American Association of Museums (AAM) to form a committee of advisors to aid in the study of the Museum's future. Shortly thereafter, the Museum was reopened to the public.
  • On behalf of the Committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum, duPont asked the Smithsonian Institution to become responsible for the Museum. The AAM committee substantially endorsed DuPont's proposal. In fact, the Museum and the Smithsonian had had prior dealings on matters of common interest, dating back to 1932. On October 9, 1967, the Committee, the Trustees of the Cooper Union, and the Smithsonian jointly announced an agreement that the Museum and its library would be transferred to the Institution. Some members of the Committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum became trustees of the new entity.
  • Staff of the Museum during this period included Directors Lisa Taylor, Richard P. Wunder, and Calvin S. Hathaway; Administrator H. Christian Rohlfing; and Associate Curator of Exhibitions Edward L. Kallop.
  • 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


  • 1963
  • 1963-1967
  • 1963-1968


Art museums


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00190

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