Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives
Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives

Board of Trustees Records Edit

Summary

Identifier
BT

Dates

  • 1875-1998 (Creation)

Extents

  • 20 linear feet (Whole)

Agent Links

Notes

  • Abstract

    These records consist primarily of meeting minutes of the Museum's Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, from the time of the institution's incorporation to the 1990s. Reports presented at Trustee meetings, resolutions and minutes of meetings of a few of the earliest Standing Committees are also included. Gifts, loans, membership and finances are the most frequently discussed topics. Other material pertains to the exhibitions of 1888 and 1889, held to promote American industrial arts, and the Museum Fund, a fundraising and publicity campaign introduced in the late 1920s. Indexed correspondence from exhibitors documents the former. The latter consists primarily of correspondence, proposal and summary reports, and ephemera.

  • Processing Information

    These materials were arranged and described by Bertha Adams in 2009. Funded by a grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services.

  • Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research. Access to institutional records less than 10 years old is at the discretion of the Archivist.

  • Use Restrictions

    The Board of Trustees Records are the physical property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. The Museum holds literary rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and for other purposes where stated.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Item identification and date], [Series info.], Board of Trustees Records, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives.

  • Related Material

    Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. Julius Zieget Records.

    Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. Includes additional information on the Cloisters, specifically, Series 1, correspondence of Taylor and Fiske Kimball, and Series 4. Bernice McIlheney Wintersteen Records

    Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. Evan H. Turner Records.

    Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. Arnold H. Jolles Records.

    Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. Fiske Kimball Records.

    Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. George M. Cheston Records

  • Historical Note

    A committee of concerned Philadelphians gathered in 1875 with the purpose of creating a permanent art museum in Philadelphia. They petitioned the Centennial Board for use of Memorial Hall as a Museum. Following acceptance of their organization plans, the Corporation of the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Arts received its charter on February 25, 1876.

    Initially, the Corporation was managed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees of twenty-two members (membership numbers have been enlarged several times since 1876). Trustees made up the entire Executive Committee and chaired each of the Standing Committees. The seven original standing committees were those on "Instruction," "Ornamental art," "Mechanical art," "Art library," "Finance," "Building," and "Law." The Committee on Museum Collections became a standing committee in 1882. Corporate officers included a president, two vice presidents, a treasurer, a curator, and a secretary. Through the years, new officers and committees have been added, but the basic structure of the corporate governance has remained consistent.

  • Scope and Content Note

    These records consist primarily of meeting minutes of the Museum's Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, from the time of the institution's incorporation to the 1990s. There are also minutes pertaining to a few of the earliest Standing Committees; namely, the Committee on Museum, which later operated as the Board of Governors (1885-1964); the Committee on Instruction (1888-1943); the Finance and Administration Committee (1968-1974); and the Committee on the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial (1945-1964). Resolutions formally adopted over a 40-year period by the Trustees and Executive Committee members are also included as are many of the reports presented at Trustee meetings. Gifts, loans, membership and finances are the most frequently discussed topics. Other material pertains to two of the Museum's earliest and most significant initiatives that the Trustees approved and oversaw. These are the exhibitions of 1888 and 1889, held to promote American industrial arts, and the Museum Fund, the professionally-directed campaign introduced in the late 1920s to raise public awareness of the institution and to raise funds primarily for the purchase of objects, including the Edmund Foulc collection of Medieval and Renaissance art. Indexed correspondence from exhibitors documents the first initiative. The latter consists primarily of correspondence, proposal and summary reports, and ephemera. The final "unprocessed material" series is temporary and consists of approximately 4 linear feet of material.

  • Arrangement

    Records are organized basically by material pertaining to the meetings of the Board of Trustees and of the various committees and by material regarding early Trustee initiatives. Meeting documentation consists of a series of minutes, and a second series of reports, resolutions and related correspondence. "Exhibitions" and "Fundraising" are the respective subjects and series groups that pertain to initiatives. A final "Miscellany" series pertains to other material formats and subjects.

Components