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Richard McLanathan papers, 1901-1995, bulk 1940s-1990s

McLanathan, Richard B. K., 1916-1998

Author, Arts administrator, Art historian


Collection Information

Size: 29.8 linear ft.

Summary: The papers of art historian, arts administrator, consultant, and author Richard McLanathan, measure 29.8 linear feet and date from 1901-1995, with the bulk of the records dating from the 1940s to the 1990s. The bulk of the collection pertains to McLanathan's career as an author, museum administrator, and consultant through records documenting his Harvard studies, book projects and lectures, his career at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, his directorship at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, and his consulting work for clients in arts, education, historic preservation, and administrative reorganization, funding, and publicity. Additionally, the collection documents McLanathan's career through biographical material, correspondence with consultees, colleagues, and family, association and membership records, printed matter, some audiovisual material, and photographs.

Biographical/Historical Note

Richard McLanathan (1916-1998) was an art historian, arts administrator, consultant, and author primarily in New York and Boston. McLanathan began his career at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, before moving on to consulting work for the remainder of his career. He published numerous books and articles, was a key member of several professional and cultural organizations, and consulted on multiple projects for corporations, municipalities, museums, and educational institutions.


This collection was donated in two installments by Richard McLanathan, 1994-1995, and by Jane McLanathan, 2005-2007, via her estate's executor.


The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

Some of the sound recordings in the collection were digitized for research access and are available at Archives of American Art offices.

Restrictions on Access

The collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment, and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Richard McLanathan papers, 1901-1995, bulk 1940s-1990s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.