Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
The exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art measure 20.9 linear feet and date from 1943 to 1975, with the bulk of records dating from the period its galleries were in operation, from 1964 to 1975. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of exhibition files, which contain a wide range of documentation including artist files, checklists, correspondence, writings, photographs, interviews, numerous films and videos, artist statements, printed materials, and other records. Also found within the collection are administrative records of the museum, artist files, and papers of the Contemporary Wing's director and curator, Elayne Varian, which were produced outside of her work at Finch College.
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, 1943-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
All of the sound and video recordings in this collection, and two of the motion picture films, were digitized for research access in 2013 and are available at the Archives of American Art offices. The rest of the collection was digitized in 2018 and is available on the Archives of American Art's website. Materials which have not been digitized include blank pages, blank versos of photographs, and duplicates. In some cases, exhibition catalogs and other publications have had their covers, title pages, and relevant pages digitized.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' Hidden Collections grant program. Funding for the digitization of two motion picture films was provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee, and for the remaining sound and video recordings from the Smithsonian's Collection Care Pool Fund. Funding for the digitization of the collection, not including audiovisual materials, was provided by The Walton Family Foundation.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with curator Elayne Varian conducted by Paul Cummings, May 2, 1975.
The Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, later called simply the "Contemporary Wing," was established in 1964 by the president of Finch College, Roland De Marco, as an extension the Finch College Museum of Art in New York City. It operated until 1975, when increased costs and a lack of an endowment forced the entire institution to close permanently.
The Archives of American Art acquired these records after the Finch College Museum of Art closed permanently in June 1975.
This site provides access to the papers of Finch College. Museum of Art in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2018, and total 31,303 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001