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Oral history interview with Winslow Ames, 1987 April 29-June 2

Interviewee:
Ames, Winslow, 1907-1990  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Forbes, Edward Waldo  Search this
Kirstein, Lincoln  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph)  Search this
Warburg, Edward M. M.  Search this
Lyman Allyn Museum  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Winslow Ames, 1987 April 29-June 2. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Museum directors -- Connecticut -- Interviews  Search this
Museum directors -- Missouri -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12047
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212300
AAA_collcode_ames87
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212300
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Winslow Ames

Interviewee:
Ames, Winslow  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Lyman Allyn Museum  Search this
Forbes, Edward Waldo, 1873-1969  Search this
Kirstein, Lincoln, 1907-  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965  Search this
Warburg, Edward M. M.  Search this
Extent:
77 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1987 April 29-June 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Winslow Ames conducted 1987 April 29-June 2, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Ames speaks of his childhood in New York, his family's early New England and New York antecedents, his education at Columbia College, and studying fine arts at Harvard under Paul Sachs and Edward Waldo Forbes. He reminisces about his friendship with Edward M.M. Warburg and Lincoln Kirstein and their involvement in his purchase of Gaston Lachaise's "Standing Woman"; his work as the first director of the Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, Connecticut; service as a conscientious objector with the Civilian Public Service Corps during World War II; and assisting in the resettlement of European refugees with the American Friends Service Committee. He discusses directing a museum in Springfield, Missouri, researching and writing his, "Prince Albert and Public Taste," and teaching connoisseurship and museum practices at the University of Rhode Island and Brown University.
Biographical / Historical:
Winslow Ames (1907-1990) was a museum director, art historian, collector, conoisseur of drawings, and authority on Victorian art.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 18 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Art teachers -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Museum directors -- Connecticut -- Interviews  Search this
Museum directors -- Missouri -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Art museums -- Connecticut -- New London
Art museums -- Missouri -- Springfield
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.ames87
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw945e6f8b5-646b-497b-b675-17fcd1a8a1f6
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ames87
Online Media:

Oral history interview with William N. Eisendrath, 1975 December 3-December 10

Interviewee:
Eisendrath, William N., 1903-1983  Search this
Interviewer:
Gaugert, Richard  Search this
Subject:
City Art Museum of St. Louis  Search this
Washington University (Saint Louis, Mo.).. Gallery of Art  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with William N. Eisendrath, 1975 December 3-December 10. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Museum directors -- Missouri -- St. Louis -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12695
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212655
AAA_collcode_eisend75
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212655

The Ohio and Mississippi Joining

Artist:
Theodore Hancock  Search this
Medium:
Painting, Watercolor and Ink on Paper
Dimensions:
2-D - Unframed (H x W) (Painting): 27.8 × 21.3cm (10 15/16 × 8 3/8 in.)
3-D (Sketchbook): 27.9 × 23.8 × 2.2cm (11 × 9 3/8 × 7/8 in.)
Type:
ART-Paintings
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Inventory Number:
A19780796000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv997088784-bae8-46ed-8bf5-f05f8d06099c
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19780796000
Online Media:

Perry Townsend Rathbone papers

Creator:
Rathbone, Perry Townsend, 1911-2000  Search this
Names:
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc.  Search this
City Art Museum of St. Louis  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
Beckmann, Max, 1884-1950  Search this
Faison, S. Lane (Samson Lane), 1907-2006  Search this
Gonzalez, Xavier, 1898-1993  Search this
Howe, Thomas Carr, 1904-1994  Search this
Moore, Lamont  Search this
Parkhurst, Charles  Search this
Ritchie, Andrew Carnduff  Search this
Sabersky, Jane, 1911-1983  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Swarzenski, Hanns, 1903-1985  Search this
Valentin, Curt, 1902-1954  Search this
Valentiner, Wilhelm Reinhold, 1880-1958  Search this
Willard, Marian, 1904-  Search this
Wittmann, Otto, 1911-2001  Search this
Extent:
4.3 Linear feet (5 boxes, 1 OV)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Date:
1929-1985
Summary:
The papers of museum director Perry Townsend Rathbone measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1929 to 1985. The papers document Rathbone's career as museum director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and his later work with Christie's New York office. Found within the papers are biographical materials, correspondence with friends and colleagues, writings, professional and project files, printed materials, and photographs, mostly of exhibitions.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of museum director Perry Townsend Rathbone measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1929 to 1985. The papers document Rathbone's career as museum director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and his later work with Christie's New York office. Found within the papers are biographical materials, correspondence with friends and colleagues, writings, professional and project files, printed materials, and photographs, mostly of exhibitions.

Biographical materials contain curriculum vitae, biographical sketches, citations for honorary degrees and for Rathbone's appointment as Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, a passport, a transcript of an interview with Rathbone and articles written by others about Rathbone, including one by S. Lane Faison.

Correspondence is with Rathbone's friends and colleagues. Notable correspondents include Max Beckmann, Xavier Gonzalez, Hanns Swarzenski, Curt Valentin, Jane Sabersky, William R. Valentiner, and Marian Willard, among others. Rathbone knew several art historians and conservators who served in the U.S. Army as members of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section, also known as the Monuments Men. Correspondence with these colleagues is arranged together as a subseries and includes correspondence with S. Lane Faison, Thomas Carr Howe, Lamont Moore, Charles Parkhurst, Andrew Ritchie, George Leslie Stout, and Otto Wittman. Most of the correspondence with other Monuments Men is post World War II.

Writings by Rathbone consist of student papers, typescript drafts of articles and entries for exhibition catalogs, notes and notebooks from European trips, and lectures.

Professional files encompass a range of documents related to Rathbone's museum directorships, projects, travels and professional affiliations. The folders about his work at the City Art Museum of St. Louis and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston include correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, press releases and notes. There are also folders on specific projects such as the renovation of the historic Dederer-Blodgett House and Rathbone's membership on various art commissions and committees. Also found within this series are correspondence, notebooks, receipts, itineraries and vouchers for Rathbone's business trips to Europe and other locations while working for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Printed materials include news clippings, articles, press releases, a few art magazines and exhibition catalogues, and invitations to events. There are also black and white photographs of exhibitions, including a Max Beckmann exhibit, and a few images of Rathbone.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1930-1982 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1940-1985 (1.1 linear feet; Box 1-2)

Series 3: Writings, 1929-1967 (0.8 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 4: Professional Files, 1938-1984 (2 linear feet; Box 2-4, OV 6)

Series 5: Printed Materials, 1954-1975 (0.2 linear feet; Box 4-5, OV 6)

Series 6: Photographs, 1936-1972 (0.1 linear feet; Box 5)
Biographical / Historical:
Perry Townsend Rathbone (1911-2000) was a prominent museum director who worked primarily in Boston and New York City. He was an early supporter of German Expressionism in America.

Rathbone was director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis from 1940-1955, moving on to direct the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from 1954-1972, where he led a period of extensive reform. After retiring from the museum, he worked for one year for the Chase Manhattan Bank as an art consultant. Rathbone worked as director and senior vice president of Christies USA auction house from 1973-1987. After 1987, he continued working at Christies as a consultant.

Rathbone was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1911 and grew up in New Rochelle, New York. He attended Harvard College, majoring in Art History and graduating in 1933. He then completed the graduate "museum course" taught by Professor Paul Sachs in 1934. The Paul Sachs museum course was famous for cultivating future directors at some of this country's most prestigious museums. After Harvard, Rathbone was appointed as curator of Alger House (later renamed the Grosse Pointe War Memorial), a branch of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Rathbone directed the ''Masterpieces of Art'' exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The success of the exhibit led to his appointment as director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis, Missouri in 1940 at the age of 29, making him the youngest American museum director at the time.

During World War II, Rathbone served in the U.S. Navy from late 1942-1945. He was a commissioned officer in charge of the Navy Art and Poster Section, Office of Public Relations in Washington, D.C. He supervised five Navy "combat artists," who painted naval battles and depicted the daily lives of soldiers. He also served as an officer in New Calcedonia. He separated from service as a Lieutenant Commander in late 1945. This collection does not contain records directly related to his military service. In 1945 Rathbone married Euretta de Cosson while on leave in Washington, D.C. They had three children together: Peter, Eliza, and Belinda.

Rathbone resumed his position as the director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis after the war. The Detroit Institute of Arts director William R. Valentiner introduced Rathbone to German Expressionism. Rathbone helped the German Expressionist painter Max Beckmann, labeled a ''degenerate artist'' by Hitler, and his wife immigrate to America and then arranged a teaching position for Beckmann at Washington University. Rathbone and Beckmann became close, and in 1948, Rathbone organized a Beckmann retrospective at the City Art Museum. Beckmann made a portrait of Rathbone and one of his wife Euretta. Rathbone gave the eulogy at Beckmann's funeral in 1950.

In 1955 Rathbone became the director of the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. During his tenure there he expanded the museum by 80,000 square feet, doubled the staff, and oversaw the renovations of 57 of the Museum's 189 galleries. He mounted exhibitions of Rembrandt, Matisse, Modigliani, Cezanne, van Gogh and Courbet. The Boston Museum's first acquisitions of Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Constantine Brancusi, Paul Klee, Alberto Giacometti and other works by 20th-century artists occurred under Rathbone's directorship. Rathbone also served as curator of paintings and wrote the catalog essays for many of the museum's exhibitions. Working with Frances Weeks Hallowell, he established the first "Ladies Committee" for the museum, which substantially increased membership. He was appointed as Chevalier de Légion d'Honneur by the French government in 1964.

In 1969, the Museum of Fine Arts purchased what was believed to be a Raphael portrait of Eleonora Gonzaga, 1505, from a Genoa art dealer. The work was meant to be the highlight of the museum's centennial celebration. However controversy arose when the Italian government alleged that the work was smuggled out of the country and the museum was forced to return the painting to the Italian government. The situation caused Rathbone to resign in 1972.

At the request of David Rockefeller, Rathbone became an art consultant to Chase Manhattan Bank for one year. In 1973, he became director of Christie's auction house in New York and senior vice president in 1977, working there until 1987, when he retired but still worked as a consultant.

Perry Townsend Rathbone died on January 22, 2000 at the age of 88.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds an oral history interview of Perry Townsend Rathbone conducted in 1975-1976 by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art's oral history program.
Provenance:
Perry Townsend Rathbone donated his paper to the Archives of American Art in 1977 and 1988.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Museum directors -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Citation:
Perry Townsend Rathbone papers, 1929-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.rathperr
See more items in:
Perry Townsend Rathbone papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw99ceffd13-4519-4277-b68d-2369944ef893
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rathperr
Online Media:

Gabriella De Ferrari papers

Creator:
De Ferrari, Gabriella  Search this
Names:
Busch-Reisinger Museum  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Pan-American Society of New England  Search this
Wadsworth Atheneum  Search this
Brenson, Michael  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Cuno, James B.  Search this
Gray, Francine du Plessix  Search this
Gund, Agnes  Search this
Katz, Ada, 1928-  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
LeWitt, Carol  Search this
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Seator, Glen  Search this
Segal, Martin  Search this
Sischy, Ingrid  Search this
Former owner:
New School University  Search this
Extent:
7.7 Linear feet
0.012 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Illustrated letters
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1931-2011
bulk 1975-2011
Summary:
The papers of art historian Gabriella De Ferrari measure 7.7 linear feet and 0.012 GB and date from 1931-2011, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1975-2011. The collection provides an overview of her activities as an arts administrator, writer, and philanthropist through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, extensive writings and notes, subject files, printed and digital material, scrapbooks, and photographs.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of art historian Gabriella De Ferrari measure 7.7 linear feet and 0.012 GB and date from 1931-2011, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1975-2011. The collection provides an overview of her activities as an arts administrator, writer, and a philanthropist through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, extensive writings and notes, subject files, printed and digital material, scrapbooks, and photographs.

Correspondence with artists, academic administrators, museum directors, curators, literary agents, editors, and publishers is primarily of a social nature, e.g., thank you notes, invitations, and congratulatory letters. Letters include references to De Ferrari's professional activities from circa 1975-circa 2006. There are illustrated letters and handmade birthday cards by De Ferrari, family, and friends. Among the correspondents are Michael Brenson, James Cuno, Francine Du Plessix Gray, Agnes Gund, Alex and Ada Katz, Sol and Carol Lewitt, and Glen Seator.

Writings and notes primarily document Gabriella De Ferrari's career as an author and include numerous drafts and annotated versions of her novels, short stories, memoir, and articles. Subject files include materials chronicling De Ferrari's activities at the Busch-Reisinger Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Pan-American Society of New England. Also documented is her service as a Board of Trustees member, consultant, and advisor to major educational, corporate, and cultural institutions, including the New School University, United Technologies, Inc., and the Wadsworth Atheneum, among others. Interviews of De Ferrari are found on six sound cassettes. Additional audio cassettes and one videocassette are found within her writings.

Photographs are of Gabriella De Ferrari, family members, friends, and colleagues, including Michael Brenson, Leo Castelli, Agnes Gund, Martin Segal, Ingrid Sischy, Sol Lewitt, among others.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1947-2003 (Boxes 1, 9; 0.3 linear feet, ER01; 0.001 GB)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1964-2011 (Boxes 1-2; 1.3 linear feet, ER02; 0.001 GB)

Series 3: Interviews, 1990-1996 (Box 2; 3 folders)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1950-2010 (Boxes 3-6; 3.6 linear feet, ER03-ER10; 0.011 GB)

Series 5: Subject Files, 1953-2008 (Boxes 6-7; 1 linear feet, ER11; 0.001 GB)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1961-2011 (Box 7; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1974-1981 (Box 9; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1931-circa 2010 (Box 8, 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Art historian Gabriella De Ferrari (1941-) has lived and worked in Boston, Massachusetts and New York City.

Born in Tacna, Peru to Italian parents, De Ferrari graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Louis University in Missouri in 1963. She went on to receive a Master of Arts from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in 1966, and in 1981, she earned a Masters of Art in Fine Arts from Harvard University. De Ferrari has held administrative and curatorial positions at major museums and art organizations. At the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, she was curator of exhibitions before becoming the Director of the Institute in 1975. From 1978-1982, De Ferrari was Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs and Programs at the Fogg Museum and the Busch-Reisinger Museum, where her responsibilities included exhibition programs for twentieth century art and coordinating programs for corporate and public fundraising. In 1989, De Ferrari moved to New York City, where she established herself as a freelance writer. In 1990, her novel, A Cloud on Sand received a Barnes and Noble Discover Award. Gringa Latina, De Ferrari's memoir about her experience living in two cultures was published in 1994.

She has served on the Boards of Trustees and on the advisory committees of many leading institutions, including Colby College, City University Graduate Center Foundation, Harvard University Museum, the New School, and the Wadsworth Atheneum. From 2000-2006, she was the philanthropic advisor to the chairman and CEO of United Technologies Corporation. In 1996, De Ferrari was awarded the New School Medal for Distinguished Service, and in 2008, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Letters from Colby College.

Gabriella De Ferrari continues to reside in New York City.
Provenance:
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Gabriella De Ferrari, in 2011.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art historians -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Museum curators -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Museum directors -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Authors -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Philanthropists -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Topic:
Women art historians  Search this
Women museum curators  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Illustrated letters
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Gabriella De Ferrari papers, 1931-2011, bulk 1975-2011. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.defemari
See more items in:
Gabriella De Ferrari papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9501df49d-35e2-4d3a-8c62-f0f164d8bd36
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-defemari

Eleven museums, eleven directors : conversations on art & leadership / Michael E. Shapiro ; [Edited by Heather Medlock]

Title:
11 museums, 11 directors
Conversations on art & leadership
Conversations on art and leadership
Contributor:
Shapiro, Michael E.  Search this
Anderson, Maxwell Lincoln  Search this
Feldman, Kaywin  Search this
Golden, Thelma  Search this
Govan, Michael  Search this
Lowry, Glenn D.  Search this
Philbin, Ann  Search this
Rub, Timothy  Search this
Teitelbaum, Matthew  Search this
Tinterow, Gary  Search this
Zugazagoitia, Julián  Search this
Editor:
Medlock, Heather  Search this
Publisher:
High Museum of Art  Search this
Subject:
Shapiro, Michael E  Search this
Anderson, Maxwell Lincoln  Search this
Feldman, Kaywin  Search this
Golden, Thelma  Search this
Govan, Michael  Search this
Lowry, Glenn D  Search this
Philbin, Ann  Search this
Rub, Timothy  Search this
Teitelbaum, Matthew  Search this
Tinterow, Gary  Search this
Zugazagoitia, Julián  Search this
Physical description:
175 pages : illustrations (some color), portraits (chiefly color) ; 21 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
2015
Topic:
Museum directors  Search this
Museum directors--Training of  Search this
Leadership  Search this
Museums--Vocational guidance  Search this
Museums--Employees  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1056346

Otto Wittmann papers

Creator:
Wittmann, Otto, 1911-2001  Search this
Names:
Hyde Collection  Search this
J. Paul Getty Museum  Search this
National Endowment for the Arts  Search this
Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation  Search this
Skidmore College  Search this
Toledo Museum of Art  Search this
United States. Army Air Forces  Search this
United States. Office of Strategic Services  Search this
Extent:
10.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Date:
1932-1996
Summary:
The papers of museum director, art consultant and curator Otto Wittmann (1911-2001)date from 1932 to 1996 and measure 10.1 linear feet. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence and other files concerning Wittmann's career as Director of the Toledo Museum of Art and as trustee and acting chief curator of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Eleven scrapbooks contain materials primarily relating to the activities of the Toledo Museum of Art, but also contain documentation of Wittmann's World War II service in the Art Looting Investigation Unit (ALIU) of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the present day CIA. Also found within the papers are files relating to his work with the National Endownment of the Arts, Arts and Artifacts Indemnification Committee, scattered biographical information, and personal correspondence.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of museum director, art consultant and curator Otto Wittmannn (1911-2001)date from 1932 to 1996 and measure 10.1 linear feet. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence and other files concerning Wittmannn's career as Director of the Toledo Museum of Art and as trustee and acting chief curator of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Eleven scrapbooks contain materials primarily relating to the activities of the Toledo Museum of Art, but also contain documentation of Wittmannn's World War II service in the Art Looting Investigation Unit (ALIU) of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the present day CIA. Also found within the papers are files relating to his work with the National Endownment of the Arts, Arts and Artifacts Indemnification Committee, scattered biographical information, and personal correspondence.

Biographical information includes a biographical sketch and an index of an interview of Wittmannn by Richard Candida Smith. Correspondence is mostly personal and with family, friends, and colleagues.

Professional files include Wittmann's files from the Toledo Museum of Art that consist of general operations and administrative files from the director's office. Wittmann's role as an art consultant and advisor to the Owens Corning Fiberglass Corporation is documented, as well as his many affliations with professional arts associations, arts organizations, and other museums and institutions.

Files documenting Wittmann's consulting and curatorial work for the Getty Museum are arranged in a separate series and consist of chronological correspondence and scattered expense reports. Correpondence concerns the development of the Getty Museum's early art collecting policy and the general formation of the museum.

There seven files relating to Wittmann's work for the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts and Artifacts Indemnification Committee.

Eleven scrapbooks dating from 1932 to 1977 focus on a variety of subjects, including the Hyde Collection, Skidmore College, the U.S. Army Air Force, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Getty Museum. Found within the scrapbooks are mixed formats, such as correspondence, biographical information, clippings, brochures, and photographs. The scrapbook dating from 1932 to April 1959 contains scattered photographs from Wittmannn's service in the Art Looting Investigation Unit (ALIU) of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1995-1996 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1959-1990 (Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Professional Files, 1947-1986 (Boxes 1-6, OV18; 5.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Getty Museum Files, 1978-1991 (Boxes 6-9; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 5: National Endowment for the Arts, Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Files, 1976 (Box 9; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1932-1977 (Boxes 10-17; 2.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Otto Wittmann (1911-2001) was director of the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo Ohio from 1959-1976. He left Toledo to work as an arts consultant, trustee, and acting chief curator for the Getty Museum in Los Angeles from 1978 though 1989. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Force and as a special intelligence officer assigned to locate and return works of art looted by the Nazis.

Otto Wittmann was born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 1, 1911. He graduated from Harvard University with a fine arts degree in 1933 and returned to Kansas City to become the Curator of Prints at the Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, the first art museum in the city. Later, he enrolled at Skidmore College for graduate studies and worked at The Hyde Collection in Glen Falls, New York.

During World War II, Wittmann served as a Major with the Air Force in the Air Transport Command. He was transferred to the Art Looting Investigation Unit (ALIU) in Washington, D.C. under the Office of Strategic Services. He spent long periods in Paris and Munich assisting with looted art recovery, investigating transactions in Sweden and Switzerland, and working with the collection centers set up in France. Years later, at the Toledo Museum of Art, he curated an exhibition of recovered artwork, and invited the U.S. Army members that assisted with protecting the artwork.

After the war, Wittmann accepted a position at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA), working there for thirty years and as director from 1959-1976. During his tenure, he tripled the museum's collection of artwork and expanded its exhibition space. Under his direction, the museum was one of the first American museums to display sculpture, painting, furniture, and decorative arts in one setting.

In 1978, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles hired Wittmann as an acquisitions consultant as the museum began to spend the huge billion dollar trust left behind by J. P. Getty. Many institutions and the art market in general were nervous that the Getty's new and huge purchasing power would drive up prices and shut out other institutions and museums from acquiring works of art. Wittmann, however, steadied the Getty's purchases and kept prices competitive enough so that other museums could outbid him if they desired. Within a year, he was appointed to trustee and, shortly thereafter, as acting chief curator until 1983. The Getty named Wittmann a trustee emeritus in 1989.

Otto Wittmann was among the first museum professionals to encourage the establishment of Federal programs for the arts. He was one of the founding members of the National Council on the Arts and served on the museum advisory panel for the National Endowment for the Arts and on the arts advisory panel for the Internal Revenue Service. He was the first chairman of the Advisory Committee to the Federal Council of Arts and Humanities responsible for implementing the intial programs of the Federal Arts Indemnity Act. He was active in many national professional arts associations.

In 1947, Otto Wittmann married Margaret Hill, with whom he had two sons, John and William. Wittmannn died in 1997 in Montecito, California.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art has an oral history interview with Otto Wittmann conducted by Paul Cummings on August 19-20, 1976, and another conducted by Thomas Carr Howe on October 25, 1976.
Provenance:
Otto Wittmann donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in 1991 and 1995.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art consultants  Search this
Topic:
Art museums -- Ohio -- Toledo  Search this
Art museum directors -- Ohio -- Toledo  Search this
Museum directors -- Ohio-Toledo  Search this
Curators -- Ohio -- Toledo  Search this
Function:
Arts organizations
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Citation:
Otto Wittmann papers, 1932-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.wittotto
See more items in:
Otto Wittmann papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw959a87897-a597-485c-965d-6a45fdcf6e6f
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wittotto

Oral history interview with William N. Eisendrath

Creator:
Eisendrath, William N., 1903-1983  Search this
Interviewer:
Gaugert, Richard  Search this
Names:
City Art Museum of St. Louis  Search this
Washington University (Saint Louis, Mo.).. Gallery of Art  Search this
Extent:
30 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1975 December 3-December 10
Scope and Contents:
Interview of William N. Eisendrath conducted 1975 December 3-December 10, by Richard (Rick) Gaugert, for the Archives of American Art. Eisendrath speaks of his directorship of the City Art Museum of St. Louis and the Washington University Gallery of Art.
Biographical / Historical:
William N. Eisendrath (1903-1983) was a museum director in St. Louis, Missouri.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Museum directors -- Missouri -- St. Louis -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Art museums -- Missouri -- Saint Louis
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.eisend75
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ec3e32de-e166-48d5-9551-9ee7edf91a38
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-eisend75
Online Media:

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