Alice Pike Barney at the Hollywood Playhouse

ID: 2004-63043

Creator: Paralta Studio (Los Angeles, Cali.)

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: c. 1927

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 96-153, Box 2, Folder 4.55

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  • Alice Pike Barney (1857-1931) sits at a table in the Hollywood Playhouse. She is best remembered for her efforts to transform Washington, D.C., into the nation's cultural capital during the first quarter of the twentieth century. Alice Pike Barney's home during her residence in Washington, The Barney Studio House, by architect Waddy B. Wood, provided a gathering place for the District's fledgling artists' community. There Barney entertained the likes of Franklin Roosevelt, Sarah Bernhardt, President Taft, and visiting avant-garde artists with elaborate performances of her countless plays, mime dramas, ballets, and musical productions.
  • Barney convinced Congress to fund the building of the National Sylvan Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument in 1916. Alice's daughters, Natalie Pike Barney (1876-1972), and Laura Clifford Dreyfuss-Barney (1879-1974), gave Studio House to the Smithsonian Institution for use as an arts and cultural center. The building initially housed offices and visiting scholars and guests. After renovation in 1980, Studio House was opened to the public for tours and entertainment events, including restagings of several of Alice Barney's plays. In March 1995, the Smithsonian approved the sale of Barney Studio House, the proceeds to go toward the endowment fund for its Smithsonian American Art Museum.


  • Barney, Alice Pike 1857-1931
  • Barney Studio House (Washington, D.C.)
  • Hollywood Playhouse
  • National Sylvan Theater


Historic Images of the Smithsonian

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 96-153, Box 2, Folder 4.55

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


c. 1927

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Women
  • Artists


Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.)


  • Photographic print
  • Person, candid

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and white; Size: 8w x 10h; Type of Image: Person, candid; Medium: Photographic print

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