The Art of Henry O. Tanner (Exhibition) (1969: Washington, D.C.) Search this
The Beauty of the Ghetto (Exhibition) (1974: Washington, D.C.) Search this
The Great Beautiful Black Women Collection (Exhibition) (1978: Washington, D.C.) Search this
The Heritage of African Art (Exhibtion) (1967: Washington, D.C.) Search this
The Image of the Black in Western Art (Traveling exhibition) Search this
The Impact of African Sculpture on Modern Art (Exhibition) (1975: Washington, D.C.) Search this
The Language of African Art (Exhibition) (1970: Washington, D.C.) Search this
The Language of Art in Traditional African Life (Traveling exhibition) Search this
The Meaning of African Art (Exhibition) (1967: Washington, D.C.) Search this
The Sculptor's Eye: The African Art Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Chaim Gross (Traveling exhibition) Search this
The Stranger Among Us (Exhibition) (1982: Washington, D.C.) Search this
The Useful Arts of Kenya (Exhibition) (1979: Washington, D.C.) Search this
Traditional African Art from the Peabody Museum, Harvard University (Exhibition) (1966: Washington, D.C.) Search this
Traditional African Sculpture (Exhibition) (1964: Washington, D.C.) Search this
Traditional Costumes and Jewelry in Africa (Exhibition) (1981: Washington, D.C.) Search this
Traditional Costumes and Jewelry in Egypt (Exhibition) (1981: Washington, D.C.) Search this
Traditional Sculpture from Upper Volta (Exhibition) (1979: Washington, D.C.) Search this
Traditonal Art of the Nigerian Peoples (Exhibition) (1977: Washington, D.C.) Search this
Traditonal and Contemporary Crafts from Botswana (Exhibition) (1978: Washington, D.C.) Search this
Treasures of Ancient Nigeria: Legacy of 2000 Years (Exhibition) (1980-1981: Washington, D.C.) Search this
Tribute to Africa: The Photography and the Collection of Eliot Elisofon (Exhibition) (1974: Washington, D.C.) Search this
Weaving Magic: Traditional African Textiles (Exhibition) (1998: Savannah, G.A.) Search this
83.1 cu. ft. (80 record storage boxes) (4 12x17 boxes) (2 16x20 boxes)
A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, BA, 1945 and the University of Michigan, MA, 1949, Warren Murray Robbins started his career as a secondary school teacher. He later served in the United States Foreign Service, holding a variety of educational and curatorial posts in Germany and Austria. After returning to the United States, Robbins established the Center for Cross Cultural Communication (CCCC) in 1962 to serve as an educational institute integrating, popularizing and utilizing the insights and perspectives of the social sciences and the arts to foster international and interracial understanding as well as communication between the academic world and a broader public audience. Once of first major projects of the CCCC was the creation in 1964 of the Museum of African Art (MAA). The museum was the extension of an interest in African art that Robbins developed while in Europe. The museum was originally located in the Washington, DC residence of Frederick Douglass and became part of the Smithsonian Institution in 1979 and was later renamed the National Museum of African Art (NMAfA) in 1981. During the 15 years that the MAA was in operation, the CCCC operated under the Museum's name. Following the Museum's inclusion as part of the Smithsonian it reverted back to its original corporate name with the inclusion of Robbins' name in the title to become the Robbins Center for Cross-Cultural Communication. From 1964 to 1982, Robbins was the Director of the MAA, later becoming the Founding Director Emeritus and Senior Scholar from 1982-1995. In June of 1995, the Smithsonian eliminated Robbins position as Founding Director Emeritus/Senior Scholar because of budgetary reasons. Subsequently Robbins sued the Smithsonian, but ultimately lost and was not able to be reinstated. After leaving the Smithsonian, Robbins continued his work at the Robbins Center for Cross Cultural Communications to apply the perspectives and insights of the social sciences and the arts in public education with particular emphasis on interracial understanding. Robbins passed away on December 4, 2008.
Electronic List in accession file.
Folder List in accession file.
Organized into subseries: 1) Biographical, 1941-2009; 2) Foreign Service, 1947-1966; 3) Correspondence, 1951-2009; 4) Chronological Files, 1956-1992; 5) Subject and Information Files, 1927-2005; 6) Center for Cross Cultural Communications, 1951-2003; 7) Museum of African Art, 1961-1981; 8) National Museum of African Art, 1968-2004; 9) Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002; 10) Afo-A-Kom and Cameroon, 1964-1998; 11) Publications, Writings, Lectures, Introductions and Remarks, 1951-2002; 12) Audio Recordings, 1959-1973; 13) Photographs, 1933-2001; 14) Newsletters, Brochures, and Clippings, 1962-2002; 15) Calendars and Addresses, 1947-1992; 16) Awards, Photographs, Publications, and Scrapbooks, 1944-2001
These papers document the life and work of Warren M. Robbins, covering a wide swath of his life, from his early career in the Foreign Service to his work in cross cultural communications and African art. A prolific writer, Robbins correspondence with such people as Maya Angelou, Ernie Barnes, Saul Bellow, Eliot Elisofon, Otto Fried, Buckminster Fuller, Francoise Gilot, Chaim Gross, S. I. Hayakawa, Harry Holtzman, Frances Humphrey Howard, Herbert H. Humphrey, Margaret Mead and Ben Shahn, document the close relationships he had with a wide range of people as well as reveal his personality and character. The papers also include Robbins subject files and reveal his interests in African art, Piet Mondrian, and semantics among other things. Also included are records related to the creation and administration of the Museum of African Art, the work it took to get it included as part of the Smithsonian, its transfer, and the difficulties and conflicts Robbins experienced as a result. The records provide extensive coverage of the work involved in keeping the MAA a vibrant center of education, as well as documents the acquisition of collection material and the production of exhibitions. The papers also contain materials related to publications, including Robbins' African Art in American Collections, both the 1966 and 1989 editions. Also included are materials related to his writings, lectures, and introductions of which he was known for. Of interest are the materials prepared by Roulhac Toledano in preparation for an unpublished work: Before and After the Smithsonian, The Legacy of Warren Robbins, Founder, National Museum of African Art: A Biography of Letters and Essays. Other highlights include audio recordings from the dedication of the Museum of African Art on September 21, 1966, as well as recordings of lectures and interviews; records regarding the return of the Afo-A-Kom to the Kom people of Cameroon; records related to the acquisition of the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives; transcripts of oral history interviews; and the numerous awards and honors received by Robbins including the Joseph Henry Medal. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, invitations, publications, articles, reports, images, sound recordings, transcripts, awards, clippings, newsletters, brochures, scrapbooks, pamphlets, mailings, maps, and floor plans. Some materials are in German and French.
Smithsonian Institution Archives Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520