Agency history, 1987-

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  • Southworth, Gayle
  • Pierce, Lucia B
  • Williams, Ray
  • Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (Smithsonian Institution)
  • Freer Gallery of Art


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, 1981-1997
  • Smithsonian Directory, 1999
  • The first full-scale volunteer docent program, launched in 1981, served to educate the public through lectures by staff, leaflet distribution, and docent services. Gayle Southworth served as Docent Chairman, 1981-1983 and Docent Coordinator, 1983-1987. The docent program was the nearest predecessor to the Department of Education (though docent services still exist to the present). The Department of Education of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery was created in 1987.
  • Lucia B. Pierce was Director of Education from 1987 to about 1989 and Head of Education from 1989/1990 to 2000/2001. Ray Williams acquired the position after Pierce and remains Head of Education to the present. The Head of Education reports to the Deputy Director.
  • The Department of Education seeks to enhance the public's awareness of and interest in the Middle Eastern and Far Eastern arts through many public programs, including film screenings, performances, and lectures; free pamphlets; and docent tours of the galleries.
  • 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


  • 1987
  • 1987-


  • Art museums
  • Education
  • Museums
  • Museums--Educational aspects


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00218

Full Record

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