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Warren M. Robbins Papers

Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Extent:
83.1 cu. ft. (80 record storage boxes) (4 12x17 boxes) (2 16x20 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Brochures
Clippings
Newsletters
Floor plans
Maps
Color photographs
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Black-and-white transparencies
Color transparencies
Color negatives
Glass negatives
Audiotapes
Artifacts
Date:
circa 1927-2009
Descriptive Entry:
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, Ben Shahn, and Margaret Mead 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 Of interest are the materials prepared by Roulhac Toledano in preparation for an unpublished work: Before and After the Smithsonian, The Legacy of Warren Robbins, Founder, National Museum of African Art: A Biography of Letters and Essays.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.
Historical Note:
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 in1979 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.
Chronology:
September 4, 1923 -- Born - Worcester, Massachusetts

1928-1937 -- Midland Street Elementary School

1938-1941 -- Classical High School

1941-1945 -- University of New Hampshire, Durham - BA English

1945-1949 -- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - MA History

August 1949-September 1950 -- Teacher, High School, Department of the Army, Dependent School System - Bremerhaven, Germany

September-December 1950 -- Teacher, High School, Department of the Army, Dependent School System - Nurnberg, Germany

January 1951-November 1951 -- Visiting Expert, Public Affairs Program, Department of State - Hicog, Germany

1951-1955 -- Education Officer, American Embassy, Department of State -Vienna, Austria

1955-1957 -- Cultural Affairs Officer, American Consulate General, United States Information Agency - Stuttgart, Germany

1957-1958 -- Public Affairs Officer, American Consulate General, United States Information Agency - Stuttgart, Germany

1958-1960 -- Deputy Chief, Cultural Centers and Program Unit, American Embassy - Bonn, Germany

1960-1961 -- Staff, U. S. Advisory Commission on Educational and Cultural Relations

1961-1962 -- Assistant to Deputy Assistant of State for Educational and Cultural Relations, Department of State

1962-1963 -- Course Chairman, Foreign Service Institute, Department of State

1962-2010 -- Founder and Director, Center for Cross Cultural Communications (CCCC) and later the Robbins Center for Cross Cultural Communications

1964 -- Museum of African Art founded as a part of CCCC

1964-1982 -- Founder and Director, Museum of African Art/National Museum of African Art

1966 -- Establishment of the Frederick Douglass Institute for Intercultural Understanding

1978 -- President Carter signs bill authorizing the transfer of MAA to the Smithsonian

1979, August 13 -- Museum of African Art officially becomes part of the Smithsonian

1981 -- Museum of African Art changed names to the National Museum of African Art

1982 -- Sabbatical to Africa

1982-1995 -- Founding Director Emeritus and Senior Scholar, National Museum of African Art

1987 -- National Museum of African Art building opens in the Quadrangle on the National Mall

1995, June -- Terminated from National Museum of African Art

2008, December 4 -- Warren M. Robbins passes away
Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Topic:
African Art in American Collections (Monograph) 1966.  Search this
African Art in American Collections (Monograph) 1989.  Search this
Art, African  Search this
Communication  Search this
Cultural relations  Search this
Kom (African people)  Search this
Museum attendance  Search this
Museum directors.  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Museum finance.  Search this
Museum publications.  Search this
Museum techniques  Search this
Museums -- Acquisitions  Search this
Museums -- Collection management.  Search this
Museums -- Educational aspects.  Search this
Museums -- Management  Search this
Museums -- Public relations.  Search this
Museums and community  Search this
Semantics  Search this
Afo-A-Kom (Statue)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Brochures
Clippings
Newsletters
Floor plans
Maps
Color photographs
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Black-and-white transparencies
Color transparencies
Color negatives
Glass negatives
Audiotapes
Artifacts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
Identifier:
Accession 11-001
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa11-001

Correspondence - Annenberg Center for Communication Arts and Sciences, 1964-1965, 1977

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10001

Correspondence - Arnold, Emil, 1964-1980 (2 folders)

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10007

Correspondence - Art in Embassies Program, 1965-1972

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10013

Correspondence - Arts in Society, 1969

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10019

Correspondence - B, 1974

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10025

Correspondence - Bolton, Frances, 1964-1972

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10031

Correspondence - Capitol Hill Restoration Society, 1965-1976

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10037

Teaching English, 1952-1962 (Folders 1-3 of 7)

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e1004

Correspondence - Cosmos Club, 1965-1980

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10043

Correspondence - Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, 1977-1979

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10049

Correspondence - D, 1970-1979

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10056

Correspondence - E, 1972-1977

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10062

Correspondence - F, 1973-1975

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10068

Correspondence - Fox, Thomas H., 1972

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10074

Box 42

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10080

Correspondence - General, 1966-1976

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10084

Correspondence - Goldman, Phaon, 1967-1976

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10090

Correspondence - Goodell, Robert, 1967-1979

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e10096

Box 4

Collection Creator:
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Series 9 - Smithsonian Conflict, 1982-2002 restricted for 5 years from the date of transfer, until Jan-01-2016; Transferring office; 09/13/2010 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Robbins, Warren M, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refd1e1010

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