Collier Trophy Stolen from Mayflower

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

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

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.

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.

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.


The Collier Trophy, aviation's most coveted award, normally on display at the National Air and Space Museum, disappears from the National Aviation Club's lounge in the basement of the Mayflower Hotel. The trophy was being stored over the weekend at the hotel following the annual Collier award dinner. The trophy, a work by sculptor Ernest Wise Keyser, has been presented annually since 1911. Although no current value is known, in 1951, the trophy was valued at $100,000. Police reported no clues as to how the heavy trophy was removed from the locked clubroom. [The trophy was eventually recovered.]


  • Keyser, Ernest Wise
  • Mayflower Hotel (Washington, D.C.)
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • National Aviation Club


Chronology of Smithsonian History


"Collier Trophy For Aviation Stolen at Hotel," Washington Post, 31 May 1978.

Contact information

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


May, 1978


  • Collier Trophy
  • Art
  • Awards
  • Sculpture
  • Theft
  • Art objects

Full Record

View Full Record