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Richard Murray research material regarding mural painting in the United States, 1896-2006, bulk bulk 1970-2006

Murray, Richard, 1942-2006

Curator, Arts administrator, Art historian

Collection Information

Size: 20.5 Linear feet

Summary: The Richard Murray research material regarding mural painting in the United States measures 20.5 linear feet and dates from 1896 to 2006 with the bulk of the material dating from 1970 to 2006. The collection is comprised of Murray's extensive research files, scattered writings, and photographic materials documenting his life-long research on mural painting in the United States.
Mural research files are organized by city, state, artist, and general mural research. The files contain photocopies of printed material, notes, photographs, and correspondence. Artists with extensive documentation include John White Alexander, Edwin Blashfield, Kenyon Cox, John LaFarge, Will H. Low, H. Siddons Mowbray, John Warner Norton, Violet Oakley, Maxfield Parrish, John Singer Sargent, Eduard Steichen, and N.C. Wyeth. Other files consist of bibliographies, a mural catalog and index, hand-drawn statistical graphs, and files on murals in Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.
Writings include drafts of articles "Painted Words: Murals in the Library of Congress" and "Progressive Era Murals in Chicago's Public Schools." There are also writings by others. Subject files consist of compiled notes, photographs, printed materials, and photocopies on general art related topics such as European art history and theory, art criticism, the life of an artist, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, immigration, and decorative arts.
Photographic materials include photographs and negatives of the American Academy in Rome, the Hotel de Ville, and public and private murals throughout various cities. The series also includes two microfilm reels of the Kenyon Cox papers with an index, and a small amount of Murray's personal photographs.

Biographical/Historical Note

Richard Murray (1942-2006) was a curator, educator, and museum administrator in Washington, D.C.


The bulk of the Richard Murray research material regarding mural painting in the United States was donated in 2006 by Murray's wife Marciela Murray. Additional files were transferred from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2009 and 2014 via Rachel Kase in the curatorial office.

Related Materials

Language Note

The collection is in English.


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund