Skip to main content

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: Project, research, museum, and exhibition files; writings; photographs; sound and video recordings; and motion picture film compiled by McLanathan during his career as a curator, museum director, administrator and consultant.

Lecture notes; research material for articles, lectures and publications, including guidebooks on museums. Also included is a manuscript on Hugh Stix. Videos include "See the Americas"; a conversation between Carroll M. Williams and McLanathan made during the Summer of 1987 for a segment of tapings for the Society of Fellows of Harvard University; and a kinescope film of a broadcast show entitled "State of the Arts" from 1962. Personal materials relate to McLanathan's travel on his Moscow trip, including menus, ticket stubs, hotel bills, and other ephemera and journals of McLanathan's European travels in Greece and France.

Biographical/Historical Note

Curator, museum director; writer; b. 1916; d. 1997 McLanathan received a Ph.D from Harvard in 1951. Positions include Ass't Curator of Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1946-1948, and Secretary, 1949-1956; Director, Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, 1957-1962; Curator of the art exhibit of the American National Exhibition, Moscow, Russia, 1959; Director, New York State Council on the Arts, 1960-1964; Director, American Association for Museums, 1976-1978; author of numerous publications on art.


Donated 1994 by Richard McLanathan and in 2007 by Jane McLanathan via Elena D. Vandervoot. One video was received in 1995 from the Society of Fellows of Harvard University at Richard McLanathan's request.

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.

How to Cite This Collection

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