Scope and Contents
The papers of New York City arts administrator Porter A. McCray measure 12.3 linear feet and date from 1936 to 1989. The papers include scattered biographical materials, correspondence, and writings and notes. The bulk of the collection consists of professional files documenting his advisory and consulting work for museums, institutions, organizations, and foundations. Also found within the collection are printed materials and photographs of McCray and artwork.
Scattered biographical materials include appointment books, curricula vitae, a transcript of an interview conducted by McCray with Dr. Grace Morley, and an unsigned painting.
Found within the general correspondence are letters that relate to his work as an arts advisor and consultant, but which appear to be more personal in nature. The bulk of correspondence related to specific projects is found within the professional files. Correspondents include Hubert Humphrey, Mrs. John Lockwood, Grace Morely, Kazuko Oshima, Donald Richie, John D. Rockefeller III, and Tenzin Thetong among others.
Writings and notes include lectures by McCray and writings by others including Brock Cutting, Lord Sherfield, and Nam June Paik. Also found are travel notes for McCray's travels throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Professional files document McCray's work as an arts advisor and consultant for numerous museums, foundations, organizations, foundations, and special committees, as well as his membership in various arts committees and boards. Files document McCray's work for and/or membership in the Asia Society, Asian Cultural Program of Cultural Exchange, Byrd Hoffman Foundation, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Cunningham Dance Foundation, Indo-United States committees, International Council of Museums, Japan Society, John D. Rockefeller 3rd Fund, Museum of Modern Art, Society of Architectural Historians, UNESCO, and the United States Foreign Service.
Printed materials include clippings and articles, a Drawing and Architecture exhibition catalog, and a book by Robert Wilson. Photographs include personal photographs and oversized photographs of sculptures by an unknown artist.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated in 1994 by Porter McCray.
Also found at the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview of Porter A. McCray conducted by Paul Cummings from September 17 to October 4, 1977.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund.
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Mundy in 2015 with funding from the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund, using accelerated processing strategies recently implemented by the Archives 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.