Skip to main content

Torpedo Factory Art Center records, 1974-1996

Torpedo Factory Art Center records, 1974-1996

Torpedo Factory Art Center

Collection Information

Size: 4.7 linear ft.

Biographical/Historical Note

Art center; Alexandria, Va. Opened September 1974 in an old factory which manufactured torpedoes at the close of WWI and during WWII. The initial proposal in 1973 for the center was from Marian Van Landingham, a delegate for the State of Virginia, and Projects and Programs Director of the Alexandria Bicentennial Commission. It continues as one of the most successful, largest, and longest running artist collaboratives in the United States. In 1998, it boasts of more than eight hundred thousand visitors annually, with eighty-three studios, five cooperative galleries, an art school, and an archaeology laboratory and museum. The artists form the Torpedo Factory Artists Association. The Center is also supported by the Friends of the Torpedo Factory.


Donated 1998 by Penelope C. Barringer for the Torpedo Factory Artists' Association.

Scope and Contents

Organizational records, correspondence, a file for the Friends of the Torpedo Factory Art Center (TFAC), business and financial records, lists and directories, reports, event files, printed material, and photographs document the history, operations, and activities of one of the largest and longest-running artist collaboratives in the United States.

Organizational records, 1974-1995, consist of brief histories, copies of the constitution and by-laws, minutes of meetings, ballots from elections, and responses to surveys. Correspondence, 1974-1995, consists of both external and internal communications discussing the Art Center's business, including legal and financial matters, and the planning of exhibitions, events, and classes. An organization file for the Friends of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 1980-1992, contains copies of by-laws, correspondence primarily concerning fund-raising and outreach teaching programs, and newsletters.

Business and financial records, 1974-1995, consist of leasing policies, tax records, insurance records, general budget information, payroll ledgers, rent records, dues assessments, information desk accounts, publicity receipts, and miscellaneous receipts. The general budget information subseries includes miscellaneous check registers, income and expense ledgers, cost projections, and a report of net cost analysis.

Lists and directories, 1975-1996, include listings of artists' names, artist directories, and miscellaneous notes. Reports, 1986-1994, document the operations and management strategy of the Art Center and the cultural plans of the City of Alexandria. Event files, 1979-1995, contain correspondence, receipts, notes, and printed material concerning the planning of special events, including the annual Mardi Gras Costume Ball, and the "Art in the Vineyards" competition.

Printed material, 1975-1995, is comprised of clippings, newsletters, exhibition announcements, brochures, and schedules of classes. Photographs, 1983-1989, are of the Torpedo Factory Art Center building, miscellaneous events, artists, and art work.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

  • No downloads available