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Early Administrative Records

 Collection
Identifier: NNWhit.004

Scope and Contents

The collection encompasses a selection of central administrative records produced by Whitney Museum staff and maintained by the Museum secretary from 1930 to approximately 1960. Records include administrative files, correspondence, board meeting minutes, annual reports, photographs, publications, exhibition planning documents, early property records, press announcements, clippings, and lists of art works. The collection also includes original correspondence with former directors of the Whitney, including Juliana Force, Lloyd Goodrich, and Hermon More. Other significant documents include a copy of the original deed of trust, handwritten responses to museum questionnaires by artists, and original correspondence pertaining to the “Statement on Modern Art” that was co-published by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1950. The records provide unique insight into the early history and operations of the Whitney Museum.

Dates

  • 1930-1966

Access to Collection

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 24 hours advance notice.

Extent

14 boxes

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The collection encompasses a selection of central administrative records produced by Whitney Museum staff and maintained by the Museum secretary from 1930 to approximately 1960. Records include administrative files, correspondence, board meeting minutes, annual reports, photographs, publications, exhibition planning documents, early property records, press announcements, clippings, and lists of art works. The records provide unique insight into the early history and operations of the Whitney Museum.

Organization of the Collection

The records are arranged in three series, which generally correspond to a decade, and have been further arranged into subseries. The contents of each subseries are arranged loosely by museum department or function.

Series I: 1930-1940, 1896-1992

  • Subseries A: Executive, 1931-1939
  • Subseries B: Administration, 1931-1939
  • Subseries C: Public Relations, 1930-1939
  • Subseries D: Education, 1931-1936
  • Subseries E: Museum Publication Records, 1930-1939
  • Subseries F: Properties, 1896-1988
  • Subseries G: Research Curator (Lloyd Goodrich), 1936-1940
  • Subseries H: Exhibitions, 1932-1942
  • Subseries I: Administrative, 1935-1940

Series II: 1940-1950, 1937-1983

  • Subseries A: Executive, 1942-1949
  • Subseries B: Administration, 1940-1950
  • Subseries C: Director’s General Correspondence (Juliana Force), 1940-1949
  • Subseries D: Research Curator’s Correspondence (Lloyd Goodrich), 1940-1949
  • Subseries E: Secretary and Assistant Curator’s Correspondence (Rosalind Irvine), 1946-1958
  • Subseries F: Public Relations, 1940-1950
  • Subseries G: Properties, 1939-1951
  • Subseries H: Exhibitions: General Records, 1932-1951
  • Subseries I: Administrative, 1940-1945

Series III: 1950-1960, 1932-1966

  • Subseries A: Executive, 1950-1957
  • Subseries B: Administrative, 1949-1960
  • Subseries C: General Administrative Correspondence, 1950-1960
  • Subseries D: Artist Equity Association, 1950-1955
  • Subseries E: Modern Art Controversy, 1950, 1960
  • Subseries F: Guest Books, 1950-1953
  • Subseries G: Memorabilia and Awards, 1956
  • Subseries H: Central Viewing Catalog, 1949-1958
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Whitney Museum of American Art Archives, New York, NY Repository

Contact:
Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort St.
New York, NY 10014 United States




Access to the Archives:

Researchers may consult archival materials on-site at the Frances Mulhall Achilles Library and Archives in West Chelsea. To request an appointment, please send an email to archives@whitney.org with the following information:
Note: This platform contains information about archival collections only. To search for Library and Special Collections resources, please visit library.whitney.org. To search for information about artists and artworks in the Museum’s permanent collection, please visit collection.whitney.org.