Scope and Contents
The records of the Fine Arts Federation of New York, a consortium of New York City arts and architecture organizations, measure 15.2 linear feet and date from 1895-2005, bulk 1935-2002. The Federation's activities on behalf of the interests of the constituent organizations and the greater community are documented through officers' files, correspondence, administrative records, scattered printed materials, and scrapbooks.
The records do not span the entire history of the F.A.F.; records prior to 1935 are few and scattered. Generally, the records document the activities of those officers' who served terms from the mid-20th century to the end of the century, and who maintained and donated their files to the Archives of American Art.
Presidents' Files contain scattered correspondence of F.A.F. presidents from 1935-early 1950s, and the files maintained or collated during presidental tenures from the 1970s and the 1990s-2000s. Secretaries' Files contain scattered records of various F.A.F. secretaries from the 1930s-early 1950s, and the files maintained or collated during particular secretaries' tenures from 1952-late 1970s and the early 2000s. Records in both series contain a variety of materials including administrative records, correspondence, meetings records, and subject files. Treasurers' Files include correspondence, two financial ledgers, lists of membership dues, and tax-related materials from 1915-1967.
The bulk of the Correspondence Series ranges from the 1930s-1960s and contains correspondence from constituent societies, special committees, and standing committees, as well as some miscellaneous chronological correspondence. Administrative Records include records related to the F.A.F. constitution and by-laws; meeting minutes and ancillary records; and project files from the late 1980s. Printed Materials include scattered announcements, catalogs, clippings, and pamphlets from the late 20th century to 2000s. Folders containing various types of records with little discernable order, a mélange of correspondence, drafts, meeting minutes, mimeographs, notes, reports, scattered clippings, transcriptions, and other documents, the bulk from the mid-1930s-1950s, comprise the Miscellaneous Series. There are also two photo scrapbooks documenting two separate events held in 1995.
The Fine Arts Federation loaned materials for microfilming in 1968 and 1970; these same records were later donated, along with multiple accretions from 1978-2007 by former officers of the F.A.F., including Minor Bishop, Giorgio Cavaglieri, Margot Gayle, Lorrie Goulet, Katherine Thayer Hobson, Henriette Nathan, and Nanne Wollmann.
The Fine Arts Federation loaned materials to the Archives of American Art for microfilming in 1970 which are available on microfilm reel N70/16 and by interlibrary loan. These materials were not included in later donations and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid. They include correspondence with or related to the Municipal Art Society, mostly about the nomination of delegates to the F.A.F. and appointments to the New York City Art Commission and the mayor's Panel of Architects, 1961-1967; annual and semi-annual meeting reports for 1961-1965, and 1967; and an address by J. Roy Carroll, president of the American Institute of Architects, to the officers and board of the F.A.F., November 1963, concerning the artists-architect's role in society.
Additional records related to the Fine Arts Federation of New York are found in the Architectural League of New York records, 1880s-1974.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund
Portions of the collection were filmed on reels 614-621; this microfilm is no longer in circulation. All previously filmed and unfilmed accessions were merged and processed to a minimal level, and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Haug in 2011, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund. Minimal-level processing methodologies have been used to provide access to collections as soon as possible and to eliminate the backlog of unprocessed collections. For this collection, minimal processing included arrangement to the series, subseries, and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. Folders within boxes were not numbered. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed.