Agency history, 1946-

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


  • Rohlfing, H. Christian
  • Lupton, Ellen
  • Keith, D. Graeme (David Graeme) 1934-
  • Rambo, James I
  • Lesley, Everett P. Jr
  • Osmun, William R
  • Dodge, Alleine E
  • Globus, Dorothy Twining
  • Cooper-Hewitt Museum Exhibits Section
  • Cooper-Hewitt Museum Department of Exhibitions


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
  • Smithsonian Directory, 1968-1987, 1999
  • SI Annals, 1988-1995
  • The Department of Design was first organized as the Exhibits Section in 1946, its staff known as Assistants. In 1953 the Exhibits Section was renamed the Department of Exhibitions, and the title of Assistant was changed to Keeper. The title was changed to Curator, Department of Exhibitions, in 1958 and so remained through 1972. In 1973 exhibits functions were assigned to an Exhibits Specialist and, in 1979, to an Exhibits Coordinator. In 1988 a Curator of Exhibitions was again appointed. After a vacancy during 1993-1994 a Head, Design Department was appointed in 1995.
  • The Department of Design is responsible for the design, preparation, installation, and maintenance of exhibitions presented by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.
  • Alliene E. Dodge, D. Graeme Keith, James I. Rambo, Everett P. Lesley, Jr., and William R. Osmun were Assistants, Exhibits Section, during the period from 1946 to 1953. H. Christian Rohlfing, Osmun and Keith were curators, 1953-1958. Rohlfing continued as Curator of Exhibitions until 1977. Dorothy Twining Globus was Exhibits Specialist, 1973-1978, Exhibits Coordinator,1979-1987, and Curator of Exhibitions, 1988-1992. Ellen Lupton was appointed Head, Design Department, 1993- .
  • 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


  • 1946
  • 1946-


Art museums


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00308

Full Record

View Full Record