Harriet Lane Johnston and the National Collection of Fine Arts

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Outlines a short history of beginnings of the National Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum) with Harriet Lane Johnston's bequest. Also includes a biographical sketch of Lane Johnston's years as a Senator's niece and later as President James Buchanan's official hostess at the White House. Lists art work from the collection.


  • Buchanan, James
  • Johnston, Harriet Lane 1830-1903
  • National Collection of Fine Arts
  • National Museum of American Art (U.S.)
  • National Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian
  • Smithsonian Gallery of Art
  • United States President
  • United States Congress
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Includes eight black and white plates. Written by the director of the National Collection of Fine Arts, Thomas M. Beggs.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Annual Report for 1954 (Book)

Contact information

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




  • Politics and culture
  • Art
  • Benefactors
  • Art, American
  • Art museums
  • Government
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Gifts
  • Politics
  • History
  • Private collections
  • Art--History
  • Art--Private collections
  • Art objects
  • United States--Politics and government


United States

Physical description

pp. 443-448

Full Record

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