Smithsonian Institution. Assistant Secretary for the Arts and Humanities Search this
25.89 cu. ft. (23 record storage boxes) (1 16x20 box) (5 blueprint storage boxes)
These records consist of correspondence and memoranda pertaining to Experimental Gallery proposals, installation of exhibitions, gallery activities with the public,
and research; administrative files concerning financial reports, funding (through the Cafritz and Rockefeller foundations, as well as the Pew Charitable Trusts), contracts,
exhibit management, and personnel; minutes of meetings; articles and newspaper clippings; blueprints and floor plans for the Experimental Gallery space; special events information;
Advisory Committee reports; artist proposals; video and exhibition scripts; exhibition photographs, slides, videotapes, and cassettes; fellowship information; and exhibition
concept drawings and transparencies. Also includes records from exhibitions such as Etiquette of the Undercaste, World Wall: A Vision of the Future Without Fear,
and Powers of Ten.
On February 2, 1991, the Experimental Gallery was established in the Arts and Industries Building, and for the next three years reported to the Office of Assistant
Secretary for the Arts and Humanities before becoming defunct on May 2, 1994. During its years of operation, the Experimental Gallery functioned as an "exhibition laboratory"
in which museum professionals from within and outside the Smithsonian explored the exhibition development process by offering an exhibit workshop setting to the public. Study
focused on understanding audience interactive techniques, interpretation, learning styles, and design critiques of exhibition components before they were installed in fully
realized exhibitions. Also of interest were public programs, evaluation strategies, marketing plans, and printed materials. Although the Gallery covered many subjects, its
initial emphasis was multicultural exhibitions in the arts, humanities, and physical/natural sciences. Staff included Kimberly Camp, Director, 1989-1994; Freida D. Austin,
Assistant Director, 1990-1994; Roger Magazine, Administrative Assistant, 1990-1992; Michael C. Reese, A/V Equipment Operator, 1991-1993; Norman Andersen, Exhibition Designer,
1992-1994; and Bruce Underwood, Education Specialist, 1992-1994.