Scope and Contents
The papers of art historian, writer, and educator Millard Meiss measure 11.4 linear feet and date from circa 1918 to circa 1977, with the bulk of the material dating from 1950 to 1975. The papers are comprised of biographical material, correspondence, writing projects and lectures, and professional files that document his post World War II work as chairman of the American Committee for the Restoration of Italian Monuments, among other work.
Biographical material includes various awards and honorary degrees received; a bibliography of published and unpublished books, articles, essays, and editing projects by Meiss; memorial materials and obituaries for Meiss as well as for Dora and Erwin Panofsky (to whom he was close); and resumes and education materials among other files.
Correspondence is predominantly professional in nature and is with colleagues, peers, museums, and institutions. Some correspondents include Ernst Gombrich, Irving Lavin, Carl Nordenfalk, and Erwin Panofsky, among many others.
Writing project and lecture files document Meiss's work on numerous published and unpublished articles and book projects, and lectures. Books include The Boucicaut Hours, De Artibud Opscula XL: Essays on Erwin Panofsky, French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry, and Painting in Florence and Siena, among many other works. Files contain manuscripts, notes, book proposals, reviews, correspondence, and clippings.
Professional files document the many committees, institutions, and organizations in which Meiss was involved, including the American Committee for the Restoration of Italian Monuments, Committee to Rescue Italian Art, and International Committee of the History of Art. Also included are general files on The Art Bulletin, College Art Association, Institute for Advanced Study, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Princeton University, among others.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Millard Meiss papers were donated to the archives in 1976 and 1986 by Meiss's widow Margaret L. Meiss.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund.
Multiple accessions were merged and archivally processed and a finding aid prepared by Anna Rimel in 2016 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund. The Archives of American Art has implemented accelerated processing when possible to increase information about and access to more of our collections. For this collection, accelerated processing included arrangement to the series, subseries and folder levels, adhering to the creator's original arrangement as much as possible. Generally, folder contents were simply verified with the original folder titles, but items within folders were not arranged further. All materials were rehoused in archival folders and boxes for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed.