Agency history, 1985-

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  • Hobbs, Susan 1945-
  • Myers, Kenneth 1955-
  • Curry, David Park
  • Merrill, Linda 1959-
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Office of the Assistant Director, Research and Collections Division
  • Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Chief Curator
  • James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art (Exhibition) (1984: Washington, D.C.)


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.
  • Smithsonian Annals, 1974-1998
  • Beyond the Legacy, pp. 64-65
  • Smithsonian Directory, 1994, 1999
  • Curatorial - American Art did not exist as a full-time, permanent position until 1985; although, the position was first filled in a temporary capacity in 1974. In that year, Susan Hobbs was hired as Joint Curator of American Art at the Freer Gallery of Art and the National Collection of Fine Arts. Then, in 1981, David Park Curry served a term of one and a half years to conduct research for the James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art exhibition (1984) in commemoration of the anniversary of the artist's 150th birthday. His position was terminated in 1983, and the full-time position was created 2 years later. The incumbent reported to the Assistant Director for Research and Collections from about 1989 to 1994. It currently reports to the Chief Curator.
  • Hobbs was Joint Curator of American Art from 1974 to 1978. Curry's curatorship extended from 1981 to 1983. Linda Merrill was the first full-time, permanent Curator of American Art at the Freer Gallery of Art, serving from 1985 to 1998. After a brief vacancy Kenneth Myers became Curator in 1999 and remains so to the present.
  • Curatorial - American Art conducts research for publication and for use in exhibitions about Freer Gallery of Art's American art collection, artwork from the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. This work entails studying the collection at hand and its relation to the Asian art collections of the Freer Gallery of Art.
  • 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


  • 1985
  • 1985-


  • Art museums
  • Art museum curators


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00315

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