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Institute of Contemporary Arts records, 1927-circa 1985, bulk 1947-1967

Institute of Contemporary Arts (Washington, D.C.)

Collection Information

Size: 36.0 linear feet

Summary: The records of the Washington, D.C. arts and educational organization, Institute of Contemporary Arts, measure 36 linear feet and date from 1927-circa 1985, with the bulk of the material spanning the organization's active years, 1947-1967. The collection documents the arts and cultural programming organized by the ICA through correspondence, artists' files, program and exhibition files, administrative and financial records, printed materials and photographs. Also found are administrative, student, and teacher records of the ICA school; records of the Fine Arts Committee of the People-to-People Project; and some personal papers of the ICA's founder, Robert Richman.

Biographical/Historical Note

Institute of Contemporary Arts (founded 1947; closed 1967) was an arts organization and educational institute in Washington, D.C. Founded by poet Robert Richman, who came to Washington, D.C. in 1947. Devoted to bringing culture to the nation's capital, the school's philosophy was based on Sir Herbert Read's "Education Through Art." Many of the exhibitions and programs were held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.


The Institute of Contemporary Arts records were donated by Maida Richman, the wife of the ICA's founder, Robert Richman, in 1986.


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collection Care Preservation Fund.