Olson, Elizabeth, "Embattled Smithsonian Official Resigns," The New York Times, 3/27/2007.
Trescott, Jacqueline, and James V. Grimaldi, "Smithsonian's Small Quits in Wake of Inquiry," The Washington Post, 3/27/2007, Section A.
Lawrence M. Small, the 11th Smithsonian Secretary, 2000-2007, submits his resignation to the Board of Regents amid questions over management practices at the Institution. The Board of Regent Executive Committee Chair Roger W. Sant announces the resignation on Monday, March 26, 2007. Dr. Cristián Samper, director of the National Museum of Natural History, is named Acting Secretary. Dr. Paul G. Risser, chair of the University of Oklahoma Research Cabinet and chair of the Science Board of the National Museum of Natural History board of directors, is named Acting Director of the National Museum of Natural History and serves until January 25, 2008.
An Evening with Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough
An Evening with Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough
Leading the world's largest museum and research complex comprising 19 museums, nine research centers, the National Zoo, and research activities in more than 90 countries is no small job. But Wayne Clough, the 12th secretary of the Smithsonian, is more than up to it. Since becoming secretary in July 2008, he has overseen several major openings at the Smithsonian, including the Sant Ocean Hall and the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins at the National Museum of Natural History, and the reopening of the National Museum of American History. Secretary Clough, who holds a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and who served for 14 years as president of the Georgia Institute of Technology before coming to the Smithsonian, envisions a new era for the 164-year-old Institution. In this special evening, he shares his vision for expanding the Smithsonian's relevance globally and helping the nation shape its future through cutting-edge research, education, and scientific discovery. He discusses one of his first initiatives, which led to the Smithsonian's new strategic plan. The plan speaks to four grand challenges that will bring together the diverse resources of the Smithsonian's museums and science centers through interdisciplinary approaches and that will help ensure that the Institution's vast collection is accessible to everyone. He also talks about the challenges the Smithsonian faces as it moves forward in the 21st century. Following his talk, Secretary Clough responds to questions from the audience.
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 20.2 x 24.8cm (7 15/16 x 9 3/4 in.)
2-D - Unframed (H x W) (Mounted): 30.5 x 45.4cm (12 in. x 17 7/8 in.)
Country of Origin:
United States of America
The nurse, Dee O'Hara, and the secretary, Lola Marlow, to the astronauts, page 37.
In March 1962, James Webb, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, suggested that artists be enlisted to document the historic effort to send the first human beings to the moon. John Walker, director of the National Gallery of Art, was among those who applauded the idea, urging that artists be encouraged "…not only to record the physical appearance of the strange new world which space technology is creating, but to edit, select and probe for the inner meaning and emotional impact of events which may change the destiny of our race."
Working together, James Dean, a young artist employed by the NASA Public Affairs office, and Dr. H. Lester Cooke, curator of paintings at the National Gallery of Art, created a program that dispatched artists to NASA facilities with an invitation to paint whatever interested them. The result was an extraordinary collection of works of art proving, as one observer noted, "that America produced not only scientists and engineers capable of shaping the destiny of our age, but also artists worthy to keep them company." Transferred to the National Air and Space Museum in 1975, the NASA art collection remains one of the most important elements of what has become perhaps the world's finest collection of aerospace themed art.
The spring of 1962 was a busy time for the men and women of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. On February 20, John H. Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. For the first time since the launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, the U.S. was positioned to match and exceed Soviet achievements in space. NASA was an agency with a mission -- to meet President John F. Kennedy's challenge of sending human beings to the moon and returning them safely to earth by the end of the decade. Within a year, three more Mercury astronauts would fly into orbit. Plans were falling into place for a follow-on series of two-man Gemini missions that would set the stage for the Apollo voyages to the moon.
In early March 1962, artist Bruce Stevenson brought his large portrait of Alan Shepard, the first American to fly in space, to NASA headquarters.(1) James E. Webb, the administrator of NASA, assumed that the artist was interested in painting a similar portrait of all seven of the Mercury astronauts. Instead, Webb voiced his preference for a group portrait that would emphasize "…the team effort and the togetherness that has characterized the first group of astronauts to be trained by this nation." More important, the episode convinced the administrator that "…we should consider in a deliberate way just what NASA should do in the field of fine arts to commemorate the …historic events" of the American space program.(2)
In addition to portraits, Webb wanted to encourage artists to capture the excitement and deeper meaning of space flight. He imagined "a nighttime scene showing the great amount of activity involved in the preparation of and countdown for launching," as well as paintings that portrayed activities in space. "The important thing," he concluded, "is to develop a policy on how we intend to treat this matter now and in the next several years and then to get down to the specifics of how we intend to implement this policy…." The first step, he suggested, was to consult with experts in the field, including the director of the National Gallery of Art, and the members of the Fine Arts Commission, the arbiters of architectural and artistic taste who passed judgment on the appearance of official buildings and monuments in the nation's capital.
Webb's memo of March 16, 1962 was the birth certificate of the NASA art program. Shelby Thompson, the director of the agency's Office of Educational Programs and Services, assigned James Dean, a young artist working as a special assistant in his office, to the project. On June 19, 1962 Thompson met with the Fine Arts Commission, requesting advice as to how "…NASA should develop a basis for use of paintings and sculptures to depict significant historical events and other activities in our program."(3)
David E. Finley, the chairman and former director of the National Gallery of Art, applauded the idea, and suggested that the agency should study the experience of the U.S. Air Force, which had amassed some 800 paintings since establishing an art program in 1954. He also introduced Thompson to Hereward Lester Cooke, curator of paintings at the National Gallery of Art.
An imposing bear of a man standing over six feet tall, Lester Cooke was a graduate of Yale and Oxford, with a Princeton PhD. The son of a physics professor and a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Forces, he was both fascinated by science and felt a personal connection to flight. On a professional level, Cooke had directed American participation in international art competitions and produced articles and illustrations for the National Geographic Magazine. He jumped at the chance to advise NASA on its art program.
While initially cautious with regard to the time the project might require of one of his chief curators, John Walker, director of the National Gallery, quickly became one of the most vocal supporters of the NASA art initiative. Certain that "the present space exploration effort by the United States will probably rank among the more important events in the history of mankind," Walker believed that "every possible method of documentation …be used." Artists should be expected "…not only to record the physical appearance of the strange new world which space technology is creating, but to edit, select and probe for the inner meaning and emotional impact of events which may change the destiny of our race." He urged quick action so that "the full flavor of the achievement …not be lost," and hoped that "the past held captive" in any paintings resulting from the effort "will prove to future generations that America produced not only scientists and engineers capable of shaping the destiny of our age, but also artists worthy to keep them company."(4)
Gordon Cooper, the last Mercury astronaut to fly, was scheduled to ride an Atlas rocket into orbit on May 15, 1963. That event would provide the ideal occasion for a test run of the plan Cooke and Dean evolved to launch the art program. In mid-February, Cooke provided Thompson with a list of the artists who should be invited to travel to Cape Canaveral to record their impressions of the event. Andrew Wyeth, whom the curator identified as "the top artist in the U.S. today," headed the list. When the time came, however, Andrew Wyeth did not go to the Cape for the Cooper launch, but his son Jamie would participate in the program during the Gemini and Apollo years.
The list of invited artists also included Peter Hurd, Andrew Wyeth's brother-in-law, who had served as a wartime artist with the Army Air Force; George Weymouth, whom Wyeth regarded as "the best of his pupils"; and John McCoy, another Wyeth associate. Cooke regarded the next man on the list, Robert McCall, who had been running the Air Force art program, as "America's top aero-space illustrator. Paul Calle and Robert Shore had both painted for the Air Force program. Mitchell Jamieson, who had run a unit of the Navy art program during WW II, rounded out the program. Alfred Blaustein was the only artist to turn down the invitation.
The procedures that would remain in place for more than a decade were given a trial run in the spring of 1963. The artists received an $800 commission, which had to cover any expenses incurred while visiting a NASA facility where they could paint whatever interested them. In return, they would present their finished pieces, and all of their sketches, to the space agency. The experiment was a success, and what might have been a one-time effort to dispatch artists to witness and record the Gordon Cooper flight provided the basis for an on-going, if small-scale, program. By the end of 1970, Jim Dean and Lester Cooke had dispatched 38 artists to Mercury, Gemini and Apollo launches and to other NASA facilities.
The art program became everything that Jim Webb had hoped it would be. NASA artists produced stunning works of art that documented the agency's step-by-step progress on the way to the moon. The early fruits of the program were presented in a lavishly illustrated book, Eyewitness to Space (New York: Abrams, 1971). Works from the collection illustrated NASA publications and were the basis for educational film strips aimed at school children. In 1965 and again in 1969 the National Gallery of Art mounted two major exhibitions of work from the NASA collection. The USIA sent a selection of NASA paintings overseas, while the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service created two exhibitions of NASA art that toured the nation.
"Since we …began," Dean noted in a reflection on the tenth anniversary of the program, the art initiative had resulted in a long string of positive "press interviews and reports, congressional inquiries, columns in the Congressional Record, [and] White House reports." The NASA effort, he continued, had directly inspired other government art programs. "The Department of the Interior (at least two programs), the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Army and even the Veterans Administration have, or are starting, art programs." While he could not take all of the credit, Dean insisted that "our success has encouraged other agencies to get involved and they have succeeded, too."(5)
For all of that, he noted, it was still necessary to "defend" the role of art in the space agency. Dean, with the assistance of Lester Cooke, had been a one-man show, handling the complex logistics of the program, receiving and cataloguing works of art, hanging them himself in museums or on office walls, and struggling to find adequate storage space. In January 1976, a NASA supervisor went so far as to comment that: "Mr. Dean is far too valuable in other areas to spend his time on the relatively menial …jobs he is often burdened with in connection with the art program."(6) Dean placed a much higher value on the art collection, and immediately recommended that NASA officials either devote additional resources to the program, or get out of the art business and turn the existing collection over the National Air and Space Museum, "where it can be properly cared for."(7)
In January 1974 a new building for the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) was taking shape right across the street from NASA headquarters. Discussions regarding areas of cooperation were already underway between NASA officials and museum director Michael Collins, who had flown to the moon as a member of the Apollo 11 crew. Before the end of the year, the space agency had transferred its art collection to the NASM. Mike Collins succeeded in luring Jim Dean to the museum, as well.
The museum already maintained a small art collection, including portraits of aerospace heroes, an assortment of 18th and 19th century prints illustrating the early history of the balloon, an eclectic assortment of works portraying aspects of the history of aviation and a few recent prizes, including several Norman Rockwell paintings of NASA activity. With the acquisition of the NASA art, the museum was in possession of one of the world's great collections of art exploring aerospace themes. Jim Dean would continue to build the NASM collection as the museum's first curator of art. Following his retirement in 1980, other curators would follow in his footsteps, continuing to strengthen the role of art at the NASM. Over three decades after its arrival, however, the NASA art accession of 2,091 works still constitutes almost half of the NASM art collection.
(1) Stevenson's portrait is now in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum (1981-627)
(2) James E. Webb to Hiden Cox, March 16, 1962, memorandum in the NASA art historical collection, Aeronautics Division, National air and Space Museum. Webb's preference for a group portrait of the astronauts was apparently not heeded. In the end, Stevenson painted an individual portrait of John Glenn, which is also in the NASM collection (1963-398).
(3) Shelby Thompson, memorandum for the record, July 6, 1962, NASA art historical collection, NASA, Aeronautics Division.
(4) John Walker draft of a talk, March 5, 1965, copy in NASA Art historical collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(5) James Dean, memorandum for the record, August 6, 1973, NASA art history collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(6) Director of Planning and Media Development to Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, January 24, 1974, NASA art history collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(7) James Dean to the Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, January 24, 1974, copy in NASA Art history Collection, Aeronautics Division, NASM.
Tom D. Crouch
Senior Curator, Aeronautics
National Air and Space Museum
July 26, 2007
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
This accession consists of records documenting the administrative activities of Lawrence M. Small during his final months as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (January-March 2007), and the records of Cristián Samper, Acting Secretary (March-December 2007). The records document issues with regard to the Institution's museums, exhibitions, research, fundraising, programs, and special events. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, and notes; budget summaries; agreements; reports; Smithsonian Channel/Showtime controversy information; meeting agendas and minutes; gifts information; policies; invitations; committee and conference information; and articles.
10.43 cu. ft. (10 record storage boxes) (1 12x17 box)
This accession includes records documenting the administrative activities of Sidney Dillon Ripley, Robert McCormick Adams, Ira Michael Heyman, Lawrence M. Small, and G. Wayne Clough as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and Cristián Samper as Acting Secretary. The records document issues with regard to museums and buildings; strategic planning, budget, and fundraising; exhibitions; collection policies and loans; Board of Regents' meetings and committees; management policies and accountability; special events; employment compensation and retirement benefits; awards; research; and Institution history. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, and notes; reports; meeting agendas and minutes; budget summaries; policies and bylaws; articles and news releases; agreements; speech papers; biographical information; research papers; and photographs. Some materials are in electronic format.
SIA Acc. 10-126
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2025; Transferring office; 3/19/1970 memorandum, Lytle to Ripley; Contact reference staff for details
A Renaissance Man: From Finance to Feathers, Secretary Lawrence M. Small Brings Diverse Talents to the Smithsonian
Small, Lawrence M
Small, Sandra Roche
Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Number of pages : 3 ; Page numbers : 22-24
Amazon River Region
Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography
Two photographs accompany the article.
Article concerns the background, interests and talents of Lawrence M. Small, who became the eleventh Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in January 2000. Small was educated at Brown University and, before his recent position as president and chief operating officer at Fannie Mae, had been posted in various places around the world during twenty-seven years with the financial firm Citicorp/Citibank. During that time he collected art from travels to Africa, New Guinea and the Amazon area; he gave the author a guided tour of his private collection of Amazonian tribal art, displayed as a gallery within an apartment complex near his Washington, D.C. residence.
During his conversation with the author, Small spoke of his wife, Sandra Roche Small, and other family members, and described his 40-year quest to become an accomplished flamenco guitar player. Fluent in a number of languages and a member of more than a dozen boards, committees and organizations, Small was planning to retire from Fannie Mae in two years to devote his life to music, art and languages; however, he readily accepted appointment as Smithsonian Secretary instead, telling the author he regarded it as an assignment of total enjoyment, not work. Small shared with the author his vision of creating greater accessibility to the Smithsonian's treasures for millions more people, and praised the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service program and work performed by the Smithsonian's Astrophysical Observatory.
Rose wood, other veneers on oak; marble top; gilt bronze
late 18th century
Research in Progress
a) upright, rectangular secretary wtih (b) gray marble top. Secretary has shallow, horizontal drawer above drop-front double doors; three-quarter round colonettes at front corners; narrow half-round molding on front and sides between drawer and drop front; four round tapered feet with gilt bronze collars and tips. Drawer veneered outline band forming Greek key pattern at each corner. Interior has six small drawers and two shelves in upper section; one shelf below. Gilt bronze mounts. Key.
Article appeared in the newspaper's Style section.
Newspaper article announces the selection of Lawrence M. Small, president of Fannie Mae and former vice-chairman of Citicorp/Citibank, as the new Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Small has served on the boards of the Marriott Corporation, Morehouse College, Chubb Insurance, the National Building Museum, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Msueum, Joffrey Ballet and Brown University. Small was selected by the Smithsonian's Board of Regents to succeed I. Michael Heyman as head of the world's largest museum complex. A regent is quoted as saying that "Larry is considered one of the best managers in America." The author notes the job requires a deft political touch, as Heyman's tenure was marked by a number of controversies, such as the Enola Gay exhibition.
Color: Black and White; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Landscape; Medium: Photographic print
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
There are many photos of this area taken by Abbot in SIA RU7005 B187 F8.
Photograph taken by Astrophysicist and Fifth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Charles Greeley Abbot of Keetmanshoop, Southwest Africa. Abbot titled the picture "Hunting an Observatory." The image shows a small town with scattered sparse trees and small hills in the background.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7005, Box 187, Folder 8
Color: Black and White; Size: 2.5w x 4h; Type of Image: Portrait; Medium: Card photograph
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
There are two small card photographs of this image at this location (each 2.5w x 4h). There is also a small print of this image mounted on a card (total size 4.25w x 6.5h) at this location. Two prints of this image are located in SIA RU95 B11 F3. One image also has negative #10603 (size 5.75w x 7.5h), but the image is reversed (Henry is facing left). The other is negative #75630 and is a cleaned image of the original print (size 6.75w x 8h).
Card photograph portrait of Joseph Henry (1797-1878), physicist and first Smithsonian Secretary (1846-1878). Henry is seated, facing right, and wearing glasses in this portrait.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 27-B
Isabel Franco and Alexander Wetmore in Rio Mensabé
Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and white Size: 4.5w x 4.5h Type of Image: Person Medium: Photographic print
March 26, 1948
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
In Río Mensabé, near La Palma, Los Santos, Panama, Alexander Wetmore is squatting in front of Isabel Franco who is holding a bunch of plants and leaves. Wetmore referred to Franco as the expedition members' "small friend." Taken by an unknown photographer during an ornithological field trip to Panama by Alexander Wetmore, ornightologist and sixth Secretary of the Smithsonian
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Alexander Wetmore Papers, Recod Unit 7006, Box 176, Folder Album: Panama 1948
Alexander Wetmore embarks on a trip in El Uracillo, Coclé, Panama, 1952
Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and White; Size: 4.5w x 4.5h; Type of Image: Exterior, Group, Candid; Medium: Photographic print
El Uracillo, Coclé (Panama)
March 6, 1952
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
Image contained in photo album prepared by Alexander Wetmore of his trip to Panama. Wetmore Neg. #4827
Image of Alexander Wetmore, sixth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, standing in a small boat in El Uracillo, Coclé, Panama. Wetmore is surrounded by citizens of El Uracillo, Coclé. The caption for the photo reads, "Wetmore embarks." The image was taken on March 6, 1952, by an unknown photographer, probably Watson M. Perrygo.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Alexander Wetmore Papers, RU 7006, Box 178, Folder: Album 2
Contains one photograph of Small with wife Sandra. Endnotes for the chapter appear on pages 235 & 236.
David Heenan's chapter on Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence M. Small describes Small as a man of many interests who is one of a growing number of private-sector executives finding fulfillment in the non-profit world. The author worked for Small at Citicorp during the early 1970's, and describes Small's background, interests and career in business prior to becoming Secretary in January 2000. While studying at Brown University, Small became intensely interested in learning to play flamenco guitar, a passion that continues, and taking Spanish courses and living in Spain led him to develop his love of languages. Small's overseas work generated his great interest in indigenous tribal art; he and his wife Sandra assembled an extensive collection of folk art, particularly from the Amazon River Basin.
Needing a place to display their acquisitions, they purchased a Washington, D.C., apartment and hired the architectural firm of Adamstein and Demetriou to transform the 2,500 sq-ft area into a private gallery. Small began his 27-year Citicorp career in 1964, rising to vice chairman. When he realized he would not become chairman, he contemplated retirement but instead in 1991 moved to Fannie Mae as president. Working in a more focused, less urbane environment, Small transformed the mortgage entity into a more efficient, "well-oiled" financial machine. By 1998 Small planned to retire in 3 years to devote his time to music, art and literature. However, in 1999 Small was approached by Smithsonian Regent Wesley S. Williams, Jr., regarding Smithsonian Secretary I. Michael Heyman's departure at the end of that year.
Small agreed to be on a panel of management specialists to advise the search committee on what to look for in Heyman's replacement, but in the end, the committee contacted Small himself regarding the position. Even though he would be taking a 90 percent pay cut, Small accepted the offer, saying that during his 35 years in business, he had made a point of getting all his work done during the week so he could enjoy museums on weekends. As Smithsonian Secretary, Small stated that he would be able to enjoy museums during the week, and he was excited that his hobbies of anthropology, art and language were also areas of focus for the Institution.
During his Citicorp years, the author had observed Small's perfunctory management style and passion for accountability. As the first banker to become Secretary, Small carried those traits with him to the Smithsonian. He pledged to pursue greater exposure for the Smithsonian by expanding traveling exhibitions and exploiting the power of the internet, and called for programs to boost attendance and promote research programs. The author states that Small introduced tougher standards for the Institution, and made some decisions viewed unfavorably by Smithsonian employees, such as reallocation of National Portrait Gallery space that prompted the resignation of long-time director Alan Fern.
Small restructured the Smithsonian into five divisions, and established procedures to concentrate on fund raising, which emerged as one of his skills. He tapped individual millionaires to contribute some of their resources to the Smithsonian and lobbied the federal government to increase revenue to the Institution, while developing partnerships with other museums that pay fees to exhibit loaned items. Small views himself as being successful in balancing business with his love of music, art and languages, and encourages others to pursue multiple roles to bring out the best in themselves.
Double Lives: Crafting Your Life of Work and Passion for Untold Success, Chapter 7 (Book.)