Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives
Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives

Marketing and Public Relations Department Records Edit

Summary

Identifier
PMA.006

Dates

  • Bulk, 1960-1995 (Creation)
  • 1927-2006 (Creation)

Extents

  • 67.0 linear feet (Whole)
    67 containers

Agent Links

Subjects

Notes

  • Abstract

    The Philadelphia Museum of Art was founded in 1876, just after the close of the United States Centennial Celebration. While a Public Relations office has long been part of its organizational structure, the Museum did not designate a formal office of Marketing until 1994. That year's annual report noted for the first time a joint Marketing and Public Relations department operated by a staff of seven. The Marketing and Public Relations Department records houses photographs and documents created and used by the marketing team at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to promote exhibits, events and other activities of the Museum and its various departments. The records were used for external advertising as well as for publication in the Museum’s internally produced and distributed publications, like the annual report or the Bulletin . The collection dates from 1947 to 1999 (bulk: 1970-1995) and includes a wide array of materials, including photographs of events and featured works of art, press releases, newspaper clippings, biographical inforamation on articsts, correspondence and financial information.

  • Processing Information

    Finding aid prepared by Holly Mengel and Courtney Smerz in 2011. The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.

    This collection was minimally processed in 2009-2011, as part of an experimental project conducted under the auspices of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries to help eliminate processing backlog in Philadelphia repositories. A minimally processed collection is one processed at a less intensive rate than traditionally thought necessary to make a collection ready for use by researchers. When citing sources from this collection, researchers are advised to defer to folder titles provided in the finding aid rather than those provided on the physical folder.

    Employing processing strategies outlined in Mark Greene's and Dennis Meissner's 2005 article, More Product, Less Process: Revamping Traditional Processing Approaches to Deal With Late 20th-Century Collections , the project team tested the limits of minimal processing on collections of all types and ages, in 23 Philadelphia area repositories. A primary goal of the project, the team processed at an average rate of 2-3 hours per linear foot of records, a fraction of the time ordinarily reserved for the arrangement and description of collections. Among other time saving strategies, the project team did not extensively review the content of the collections, replace acidic folders or complete any preservation work.

  • Access Restrictions

    This collection is open for research use.

  • Use Restrictions

    Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Archives with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Item identification and date], Marketing and Public Relations Department records, 1927-2006 (bulk: 1960-1995), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library and Archives.

  • Related Material

    At Philadelphia Museum of Art: Public Relations Department records, Marketing Department records, Communications Department records

  • Acquisition and Custody Information

    Transferred from the Marketing and Public Relations Department.

  • Historical Note

    The Philadelphia Museum of Art was founded in 1876, just after the close of the United States Centennial Celebration. While a Public Relations office has long been part of its organizational structure, the Museum did not designate a formal office of Marketing until 1994. That year's annual report noted for the first time a joint Marketing and Public Relations department operated by a staff of seven. Sandra Horrocks, who joined the Museum as its manager of public relations in 1971, headed the newly formed department. Other staff included Charlotte Biddle as Manager of Special Events, and Kristen B. Batley as Deputy Manager, Group Sales and Tourism. Charles Croce assumed Horrocks's position in 2000.

    As reported in the 2006 Annual Report, the Museum expanded the duties and staff of its Marketing and Public Relations Department. The Department Director Charles Croce oversaw a staff of 16 who service four distinct operations; namely, media relations, marketing communications, special events and web development. These four offices were managed, respectively, by Norman Keyes, Director of Media Relations, Marcia L. Birbilis, Marketing Communications Manager, Camille Focarino, Director of Special Events and Bill Ristine, Webmaster.

  • Scope and Content Note

    The Marketing and Public Relations Department records houses photographs and documents created and used by the marketing team at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to promote exhibits, events and other activities of the Museum and its various departments. The records were used for external advertising as well as for publication in the Museum’s internally produced and distributed publications, like the annual report or The Bulletin . The collection dates from 1947 to 1999, with the bulk of the material dating from 1970 to 1995, and includes a wide variety of materials, including photographs of events and featured works of art, artist information, press releases, newspaper clippings, correspondence and financial information.

    While the collection is large, it does not appear to offer equal or complete documentation of all marketing and public relations efforts. Particularly well documented campaigns include the Constantin Brancusi, John Cage, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Anselm Keifer and Jasper Johns exhibitions. Coverage of these exhibitions includes information on advertising strategy and cost and visitor statistics, as well as the exhibit’s economic impact on the Philadelphia region. There are also photographs of featured works of art and of the gallery installations.

    Other well represented subjects include: PMA Board of Trustees (filed under Trustees), Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum volunteers and guides, and the Gallatin, Johnson and McIlhenny Collections. There are also several files on Wednesday night programming at the Museum. the Philadelphia Craft Show, the Thomas Eakins House, Fairmount Park Historic Houses and the Fleisher Art Memorial.

    The collection also offers documentation of the Museum building, particularly photographs of exhibit installations and building renovations. For example, in the 1970s, the Museum was closed to the public and galleries were emptied to install a new climate control system. There is both photographic and textual documentation related to the publicity and outreach efforts undertaken by the Museum during the year it was closed to complete that project. In the 1990s, the Museum completely reinstalled large portions of its galleries, including the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries. There are records related to those efforts, which are filed under "Reinstallation."

    While the collection was transferred to the archives in several sections, it has been arranged as one, large alphabetical subject file. Researchers should be aware that though processors made every effort to collocate files, there are inconsistencies in filing, and researchers should consider searching for topics under multiple headings. Generally speaking, papers related to exhibitions are filed in two ways. Solo exhibitions are filed under the artist’s last name; all others are filed by the title of the exhibition. Papers pertaining to any of the Museum’s large collections are filed under the donor’s last name. For example, records regarding the Henry P. McIlhenny Collection are filed under M, for McIlhenny. Papers regarding the Museum’s historic park houses, are first filed under F for Fairmount Park. Processors did their best to consistently file topics under one heading, however, there are inconsistencies. Researchers are therefore advised to look for topics under several headings or perform a key word search.

Components