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Catalog Data

National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.) Division of Graphic Arts and Photography  Search this
Wedderburn, Alexander J  Search this
Brockett, Paul 1872-1946  Search this
Harris, Elizabeth M  Search this
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Koehler, S. R (Sylvester Rosa) 1837-1900  Search this
Morse, Peter  Search this
Ostroff, Eugene  Search this
Smith, Ralph Clifton 1898-  Search this
Tolman, Ruel P (Ruel Pardee) 1878-1954  Search this
Olmsted, Arthur J  Search this
Beeson, Loring W  Search this
Sherwin, C. Allen  Search this
Fite, Eugene J  Search this
Griffith, Fuller  Search this
Smillie, T. W (Thomas William) 1843-1917  Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.) Division of Graphic Arts  Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.) Division of Photographic History  Search this
United States National Museum Section of Graphic Arts  Search this
United States National Museum Section of Photography  Search this
United States National Museum Division of Graphic Arts  Search this
United States National Museum Department of Arts and Industries  Search this
Museum of History and Technology (U.S.) Department of Arts and Manufactures  Search this
Museum of History and Technology (U.S.) Division of Graphic Arts  Search this
Mixed archival materials
Agency History
This is an agency history. It does not describe actual records. The Smithsonian Institution Archives uses these histories as brief accounts of the origin, development, and functions of an office or administrative unit to set that unit in its historical context. To find information on record holdings, please double-click the highlighted field "Creator/Author", which will open on a brief view of relevant records.
Guide to the Smithsonian Archives 1996
G.A. 100: The Centenary of the Division of Graphic Arts, Smithsonian Institution, 1986
Abstracts of the History of Photography Group Symposium, Manhattanville College, June 6-7, 1997,, August 11, 2000
The Division of Graphic Arts and Photography began when, in 1886 a Section of Graphic Arts was created in the United States National Museum, with S. R. Koehler as Acting Curator. In 1896 a Section of Photography was also created, with Thomas William Smillie, Smithsonian photographer, as Honorary Custodian. In 1897 the Section was attached to the Section of Graphic Arts, and a new Division of Graphic Arts was created.
From 1897 to 1919 the various non-scientific units of the National Museum reported to a Department of Anthropology. After a 1919 revival of the Department of Arts and Industries, the Division of Graphic Arts reported to that unit. It remained within this Department and its successors until 1957.
In 1957, the Division was located in the Department of Arts and Manufactures, Museum of History and Technology. From 1896, the Division had contained a Section of Photography; and in the 1969 reorganization of the Museum, the Section was abolished and the Division was renamed Graphic Arts and Photography. In 1972 the photographic and graphic arts collections were divided, and new divisions of Graphic Arts and Photographic History were formed.
Staff have included S. R. Kohler, Curator, 1886-1900; Thomas William Smillie, Custodian, 1896-1917; Paul Brockett, Custodian, 1904-1920; Alexander J. Wedderburn, Associate Curator, 1947-1960; Ruel P. Tolman, Aide, 1912-1919, Assistant Curator, 1920-1931, Curator, 1932-1946; Loring W. Beeson, Custodian, 1917-1920; Ralph Clifton Smith, Aide, 1921-1926; Arthur J. Olmsted, Custodian, 1920-1930, Assistant Curator, 1931-1941, Associate Curator, 1941-1946; C. Allen Sherwin, Aide, 1935-1937; Jacob Kainen, Aide, 1942-1945, Curator, 1946-1966; Eugene J. Fite, 1947-1950, Assistant Curator, 1951; Fuller Griffith, III, Aide, 1955-1957, Assistant Curator, 1958-1960, Associate Curator, 1961-1964; Peter Morse, Associate Curator, 1965-1967; Eugene Ostroff, Associate Curator, 1960-1966, Curator, 1966-1972; and Elizabeth M. Harris, Assistant Curator, 1965-1972.
For a history of the larger creating unit, refer to "Forms part of" above.
Repository Loc.:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520
Photography  Search this
Graphic arts  Search this
Historical museums  Search this
Museum curators  Search this
Local number:
SIA AH00085
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives