Arthur J. Olmsted

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Arthur J. Olmsted, osteopath, photographer and later Associate Curator, standing with his eyes closed in front of an exhibit case and two framed images. The image is slightly blurry.


  • Olmsted, Arthur J
  • United States National Museum Section of Photography
  • Division of Photographic History
  • National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.) Division of Graphic Arts
  • United States National Museum Dept. of Arts and Industries


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • Taken by Ruel P. Tolman, former Director of the Smithsonian's National Collection of Fine Arts, and is included in a scrapbook of photographs of Smithsonian staff, grounds and buildings, exhibitions, and Washington, D.C. scenes. (Section O).
  • Arthur J. Olmsted (1873-1954) practiced osteopathy in Iowa; was chief, photographic section, Department of Agriculture, 1910-1920; and at the Smithsonian held the following positions: custodian and photographer,1920-1930, assistant curator and photographer, 1931-1941, associate curator and photographer, 1942, associate curator, 1943-1946.
  • For additional photos of Arthur Olmsted, see also SIA2011-2376, SIA2011-2377, SIA2011-2378, SIA2011-2380, SIA2011-2381
  • In 1881 the Department of Arts and Industries in the United States National Museum is established as the first curatorial office to collect objects related to transportation, textiles, materia medica, manufacturing and commerical products, historical relics of prominent Americans, scientific instruments, graphic arts, and coins and medals.
  • The Division of Photographic History and its predecessors primarily documented the history of photographic science and technology in America since the nineteenth century. The Division collected cameras, patent models, motion picture apparatus, and photographs such as daguerreotypes, tintypes, and collotypes. In 1883, the Section of Photography was established in the Department of Preparation. In 1897, the Section became a part of the Division of Graphic Arts, where it remained until 1969. At that time, the Division was redesignated Graphic Arts and Photography. In 1972, the two functions divided, and the Division of Photographic History was established in the Department of Applied Arts.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7433, Box 3, Folder: Ruel P. Tolman Collection, Scrapbook O-Z

Contact information

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


January 1936

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Photographers
  • Exhibit cases
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • Osteopathy
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees
  • Museum curators


Washington (D.C.)


Person, candid

ID Number

SIA2011-2379 or 32307-02

Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and White; Size: 2.25w x 2.25h; Type of Image: Person, candid; Medium:Photographic print

Full Record

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