School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston records, 1876-1962

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School

Collection size: 38 v. (on 7 microfilm reels)
Index cards: 1.0 linear ft. (on 1 microfilm reel)

Collection Summary: Records and indexes to the records of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1837-1962, consisting primarily of meeting minutes of the governing committees and Secretary, early student registration records, annual reports and catalogs, scrapbooks of school and student activities and exhibitions.

Included are: Records of the Permanent Committee, 1876-1901 (3 v.), containing minutes, a statement on the founding of the School, and a petitition to the MFA Trustees about the relation of the School to the Museum; School of Drawing and Painting, Secretary's Record, 1888-1902 (1 v.), containing minutes of the Permanent Committee, the Managing Committee, and various sub-committees; Records of the School Council, 1902-1954 (5 v.), containing minutes, actions, and inserts of notes, lists, and letters; Registers of Pupils, ca. 1882-1927 (3 v.); School Annual Reports, 1877-1930, and School Annual Catalogs, 1931-1957, bound together in six volumes; Alumni Association By-Laws, 1924 (1 v.); Paige Scholarship Rules, 1900-1913; and a file of correspondence with architect Guy Lowell regarding the School building, 1924-1928.

There are eighteen volumes of scrapbooks, 1880-1962, chronologically documenting student, teacher, and school activities and containing clippings, catalogs, brochures, flyers, photographs, and scattered letters, announcements, and reports, as well as other ephemera; a scrapbook of exhibitions, 1927-1953 (1 v.) containing exhibition announcements, entry forms, and invitations; several photographs, 1877-1920s, depicting 19th century students and teachers, including one photograph possibly of William Morris Hunt teaching in a studio in the late 1870s, snapshots of students in the 1920s, and photographs of the School Building upon completion of construction in 1927.

REEL 5050: Card indexes, including: an alphabetical index to the Registers of Pupils indicating dates of entrance and courses taken, including summer and evening schools and a cross reference to married names; a name index to student names in the scrapbooks; and a subject index to the Records of the School Council, with summaries of actions.

Biographical/Historical Note: Art school. From 1877-1901 was called the School of Drawing and Painting of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Managing body from its founding until 1902 was the Permanent Committee, followed by the Council of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts into the 1950s, with the chairman serving as the head of the School and a Manager in charge of day-to-day management. In the 1950s, a member of the faculty was made the first Head of the School. The School functioned until 1909 in the first Museum building on Copley Square, moving to a temporary space adjacent to the Museum's present site on Huntington Avenue until the permanent structure opened in 1927.

The records were lent for microfilming in 1995, and the card indices in 1996 by the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Microfilming of the records made possible through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. William B. Osgood.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels 4996-5002 and 5050 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
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