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Records of the Curator of Paintings, 1957-1989

Records of the Curator of Paintings, 1957-1989

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Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute:

A Guide to the Records of the Curator of Paintings, 1957-1989

Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Library
225 South Street
Williamstown, MA, 01267
413-458-0532
library@clarkart.edu

March 31, 2009



Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was prepared by Dani Ryan
Language: Finding aid written in English.

Repository: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Library
Creator:Cass, David B.
Creator:Murphy, Alexandra
Title: Records of the Curator of Paintings, 1957-1989
Dates: 1957-1989
General Physical Description: 5 linear feet (4 boxes)
Abstract:This series contains the papers of two curators of paintings, David Cass, curator from 1973-1985 Alexandra (Alixe) Murphy, curator from 1985-1988, as well as early records of the department from an unidentified source.
Identification: CAI .ARC.2007.23
Language: English

Arrangement of the Records

The original organization of the series is largely maintained with some sections alphabetical, some topical, and some seemingly unarranged. Sections of related files, such as those about exhibitions, loans, finances, and conservation were grouped together. There is also a group of alphabetically arranged correspondence files from David Cass at the start of the series. The files belonging to David Cass are roughly separated from those of Alixe Murphy. Cass's files are the earliest in the series and Murphy's begin with folder 67. The files of Moira Jones, curatorial secretary, and John Hallmark Neff, assistant curator, are placed at the end of Murphy's papers. The papers from an unidentified source are placed at the end of the series beginning at folder 191.

Scope and Contents of the Records

This series contains two distinct groups of material. The first is the combined files of David Cass, curator of paintings from 1973-1985 and Alexandra (Alixe) Murphy, his successor from 1985-1988. The second is a series of files about the paintings collection from an unidentified source from the 1950s and 1960s.

In the first group Cass's material is roughly separated from Murphy's but all of the files were apparently in Murphy's possession during her tenure as curator of paintings and they are intermingled in places. There are also some files from Moira Jones, curatorial/registrarial secretary, and John Hallmark Neff, assistant curator. These files contain correspondence, memoranda, and research materials about the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute's collection, acquisitions, conservation work, loans, and exhibitions. There are also files on departmental matters such as staffing and budgets.

The second group of material dates from the 1950s and 1960s and the creator is not identified but the files clearly relate to the paintings collection. The records primarily consist of exhibit label planning including handwritten notes, typed drafts of the labels, and photographs of the artwork being described. The records also include news clippings about the museum and drafts of exhibit catalogues.


History of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

In 1950 Sterling and Francine Clark chartered the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute as a home for their extensive art collection. Opened to public in 1955, the Institute has built upon this extraordinary group of works to become one of the most beloved and respected art museums in the world, known for its intimate galleries and stunning natural environment. One of the few institutions in the United States that combines a public art museum with a complement of research and academic programs, including a major art history library, the Clark is now a leading international center for research and discussion on the nature of art and art history. Building upon the founders' legacy, the Institute has recently unveiled its master plan for the twenty-first century, which fosters the Clark's commitment to providing space for its expanding research and museum programs while maintaining the unique character of its beautiful rural setting.


Index Terms

Art museum curators
Art museums
Art museums -- Exhibitions
Beard, John M.
Broido, Lucy
Brooke, David S.
Budgets
Business correspondence
Cass, David B.
Center for Humanities
Cintas Foundation
First drafts
Hoephner, Gerry
Jones, Moira
Kieffer, Joe
Koch Foundation
McManus, George Louis
Memorandums
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)
Minutes
Morgan Library
Murphy, Alexandra
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Neff, John Hallmark
New York Cultural Center
Photographs
Spencer A. Samuels & Company
Spink & Gabore
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Wadsworth Atheneum
Weimann, Robert Paul
Williamstown (Mass.)
Williamstown Regional Art Conservation Center
Yale Center for British Art

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This material is currently restricted.

Restrictions on Use

This material is currently restricted.


Administrative Information

Custodial History

This material was placed in Storage A sometime after 1989.

Preferred Citation

[Cite the item (as appropriate)], Records of the Curator of Paintings, 1957-1989, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Records, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Acquisition Information

The Cass and Murphy material was accessioned from Storage A in June 2007. The second group of material was accessioned from Storage A in August 2007 and was originally housed with material that was added to the Curatorial Records of the Prints and Drawings Department CAI ARC 2007.44.

Processing Information

These records were processed in June and August 2007. Staples were removed, materials were re-housed in acid free folders and boxes, and related materials were grouped together.


Related Material

Related or similar material can be found in the following series in the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Records, Williamstown, Massachusetts: Curatorial Office Records of Jennifer Lovett; Curatorial Office Records of Lisa A. Jolin; Curatorial Office Records of Steven Kern; Curatorial Office Records of the American Paintings Catalogue; Curatorial Office Records of Charles Cunningham; Curatorial Photographic Services Orders; Records and Papers of David Brooke; Curatorial Office Records of Prints and Drawings Department; and Curatorial Records of Exhibition Planning.


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