Agency history, 1949-

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  • McFadden, David Revere
  • Johnson, J. Stewart
  • Lynn, Catherine
  • Shinn, Deborah
  • Lennox, Thomas E
  • Thorpe, Janet


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
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution, 1972-1984
  • Annals of the Smithsonian Institution, 1985-1996
  • Smithsonian Directory, 1997, 2000
  • The Department of Decorative Arts was established in 1949 to collect, preserve, exhibit, and act as an information source for three-dimensional objects used in architectural, residential, and personal environments. In addition, the Department maintained the Museum's wallpaper pattern collections until the creation of a separate Department of Wallcoverings in 1976. The Department's name was changed to Applied Arts and Industrial Design in about 1993.
  • Staff have included Thomas E. Lennox, Assistant Curator, 1964-1967; Janet Thorpe, Assistant Curator, 1967-1969, and Associate Curator, 1969-1973; Catherine Lynn, Assistant Curator, 1969-1974; J. Stewart Johnson, Curator, 1974-1976; David R. McFadden, Curator, 1978-1993; and Deborah Shinn, Curator in Charge, 1995-1996, and Assistant Curator, 1997- .
  • 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


  • 1949
  • 1949-


  • Decoration and ornament
  • Art museums
  • Decorative arts


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00192

Full Record

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