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Perry Townsend Rathbone papers, 1929-1985

Rathbone, Perry Townsend, 1911-2000

Arts administrator

Collection Information

Size: 4.3 linear feet

Summary: The papers of museum director Perry Townsend Rathbone measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1929 to 1985. The papers document Rathbone's career as museum director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and his later work with Christie's New York office. Found within the papers are biographical materials, correspondence with friends and colleagues, writings, professional and project files, printed materials, and photographs, mostly of exhibitions.

Biographical/Historical Note

Perry Townsend Rathbone (1911-2000) was a museum director in New York, N.Y. and Boston, Mass. Rathbone was the director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis, 1940-1955, and director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1954-1972. He was director of the auction house, Christie's USA, between 1973-1977, senior vice-president from 1977-1987, and a consultant beginning in 1987.


Perry Townsend Rathbone donated his paper to the Archives of American Art in 1977 and 1988.

Related Materials


Processing of this collection was funded by the Kress H. Kress Foundation.