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Lowery Stokes Sims papers, circa 1981-2017

Sims, Lowery Stokes, 1949-

Curator, Art historian


Collection Information

Size: 24.4 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of African American art historian, curator and art administrator, Lowery Stokes Sims, measure 24.2 linear feet and date from circa 1918-2017. Included are correspondence; photographs of Lowery and others at events; notes and journals; exhibition records and administrative records from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Museum of Art and Design and other organizations; VHS videos, DVD and audio cassettes of interviews with Sims regarding artists and exhibitions; and research files on artists.

Biographical/Historical Note

Lowery Stokes Sims (1949-) is an African American art historian, curator and art administrator. Sims was the first African American Curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1972-1999), then served as Executive Director, President then Adjunct Curator of the Permanent Collection of The Studio Museum in Harlem (2000-2007), and Senior Curator and then Chief Curator of the Museum of Art and Design (2007-2015).


The collection was donated in 2019 by Lowery Stokes Sims as part of the Archives' African American Collecting Initiative funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.

How to Use This Collection

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of audio visual recordings with no duplicate copy requires advance notice.

The collection is access restricted. Written permission is required. Contact Reference Services for additional information.

How to Cite This Collection

Lowery Stokes Sims papers, circa 1981-2017. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.