Philadelphia Museum of Art selected records, 1874-1954

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Collection size: 15 microfilm reels.

Collection Summary: Selected records, including scrapbooks, 1874-1954; letterbooks of the Dalton Dorr administration, 1876-1904; Board of Trustees letterbooks regarding the Pottery and Porcelain exhibitions, 1888-1890; and Fiske Kimball correspondence relating to the PWAP and the WPA, 1933-1942.

REELS P14-P16 and 4557-4758: Scrapbooks, 1874-1954, containing clippings relating to the museum.

REEL P16, frames 350-375: "Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art" (No. 1-8, Jan. 1903-Oct. 1904).

REELS 1395-1396: Correspondence and other papers of Director Fiske Kimball, 1933-1942, relating to various federal and state relief projects, particularly the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), of which he was chairman of Region 3 (Del, Penn., N.J.), and the WPA, which financed several projects at the Museum. Much of the correspondence relates to the selection of artists to be given employment under the PWAP, and to the controversy surrounding the administration of the program by Mary Curran, including complaints from artists and groups. Frequent correspondents include Forbes Watson, Edward Bruce, and Holger Cahill.

REELS 4549-4557: Letterbooks of Acting Director Dalton Dorr, 1876-1904 (incoming) and 1876-1901 (outgoing), and of curator Edwin Atlee Barber, 1893-1901, and President William Platt Pepper, 1893-1901. Correspondence pertains to acquisitions, the collection, staff, Memorial Hall repairs, and the overall establishment of the museum and school. Also included are letterbooks of the Board of Trustees, 1888-1890, relating to the 1888-1889 Pottery and Porcelain exhibitions at the museum, containing correspondence with firms and individuals regarding submissions and prizes.

Biographical/Historical Note: Art museum; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Est. 1876 as the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art. In 1929 the name changed to the Pennsylvania Museum of Art, and in 1938 to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and School of Industrial Art. Dalton Dorr served as director, 1876-1904. Fiske Kimball was director 1925-1954.

Material on reels P14-P16 lent for microfilming by the Pennsylvania Museum of Art, 1955. The Fiske Kimball material on reels 1395-1396 was filmed at the Museum in 1963; the remainder on reels 4549-4558 was microfilmed in 1993 as part of AAA's Philadelphia Arts Documentation Project.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels P14-P16, 1395-1396, and 4549-4558 available for use at Archives of American Art offices, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and through interlibrary loan.
  • Authorization to publish, quote or reproduce must be obtained from: Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives, P.O. Box 7646, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19101.
  • The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
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