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Oral history interview with William Milliken, 1974 Dec. 27-1976 Mar. 13

Milliken, William Mathewson, 1889-1978

Museum director


Collection Information

Size: 106 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 5 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hrs., 45 min.

Summary: An interview of William Milliken conducted 1974 Dec. 27-1976 Mar. 13, by Dennis Barrie, for the Archives of American Art. Milliken speaks of his family background and history; his childhood; his education, and studies at Princeton; his first position as Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum; his involvement with the Frick and the Cooper Union Museum; his appointment to the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1919, and becoming its director in 1930. He recalls William R. Valentiner, Jacques Seligmann, Isabella Stewart Gardner, J.P. Morgan, Henry Frick and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

William Milliken (1889-1978) was a museum director from Cleveland, Ohio. He was the director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1930-1958.


These interviews are part of the Archives' 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

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with William Milliken, 1974 Dec. 27-1976 Mar. 13. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.