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Oral history interview with Ian McKibbin White, 1980 November 24-1981 January 9

White, Ian McKibbin, 1929-

Arts administrator


Collection Information

Size: 126 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 16 min.

Summary: An interview of Ian McKibbin White conducted 1980 November 24-1981 January 9, by Thomas Carr Howe, for the Archives of American Art.
White speaks of his education; U.S. Navy service, 1952-1955; travel, his museum career including work at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College, and the California Palace of the Legion of Honor; the merger of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor and the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum into the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the funeral of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels; Thomas Carr Howe as his mentor; FAMSF's "blockbuster exhibitions"; membership organizations; development of the American collection; fiscal problems and museum staff. He recalls David Levine, Jack McGregor, Aaron Shikler and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ian McKibbin White (1929-) is a museum administrator of Honolulu, Hawaii. White was the longtime director of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.


These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use This Collection

Transcript: 35mm microfilm reel 3199 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Ian McKibbin White, 1980 November 24-1981 January 9. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.