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Personnel, 1924-1954, undated


Scope and Contents

The bulk of material in this subseries is internal correspondence, most often between Kimball and the particular staff member. As noted previously, additional correspondence between museum personnel and individuals or organizations outside the museum remain in the "General correspondence and related material" series. Except for Henri Marceau, the individuals represented here held non-curatorial positions. In addition to being the museum's curator of the Johnson Collection and Fine Arts/Painting and Sculpture division for a quarter of a century, Marceau served, beginning in 1933, as assistant and later as associate director and in 1955 succeeded Kimball as director. He also acted as curator of the Rodin Museum, which the museum also operated. His correspondence during this time reveals his regular switching of hats, as he signs some letters as curator and others as associate director.

The other individuals documented in this subseries include Samuel W. Woodhouse, Erling H. Pedersen, Paul M. Rea and Calvin S. Hathaway. From 1926 to 1933, Pedersen worked as Kimball's assistant and staff architect, overseeing the restoration of the Fairmount Park Houses and construction of new galleries. He renewed his association with the museum beginning in 1950 when his firm was contracted to complete several gallery construction projects. According to a 1929 memo, Paul Rea was hired to handle many of Pedersen's executive duties. Rea's official title was Executive Officer and Acting Chief of Education, and he worked at the museum for one year. Before becoming a permanent museum employee, Calvin Hathaway assisted the curator of decorative arts during the summer of 1930. He was then hired in 1931 as Secretary to the Director. By the spring of the following year, he was named Editor of the Museum Bulletin and assigned as Assistant in charge of Decorative Arts.

Although there appears to be little documentation of Kimball's first secretary, Henrietta C. Quinn, there are some papers of her successor, Elizabeth B. Kunkel, who worked from 1937 to 1942. During the mid-1940s, Mary A. Givens came to the museum as Kimball's assistant. She participated in the short-lived museum training program and by the early 1950s, Mary Givens Kane was Assistant and then Office Manager.

Those responsible for the maintenance and manning of the museum are also represented in this subseries. As superintendent of the "new" building (on the Parkway), George Barbour oversaw engineers and electricians, and those hired for building repairs and cleaning of the marble and windows. Lewis List, captain of the guards, assisted Barbour and oversaw the uniformed attendants and night watchmen who did the routine cleaning, sweeping and dusting in the galleries.

Administration-related individuals with little documentation are in the folders titled "Other individuals.' Memoranda addressed to more than one staff member or intended for the staff in general are in files marked "Multiple-staff/General memoranda." Documentation for additional non-curatorial staff members can be found in the other series within these records pertaining to specific departments. Most are documented in the "Service departments" series, which consists of the education department, library and registrar. In the "PMA-related facilities" series, the files pertaining to the School of Industrial Art consist primarily of correspondence with the school's principals.


  • 1924-1954, undated

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. Because of its fragile condition, the following item may only be consulted with permission of the Archivist: floor plan with annotations of PMA Gothic installations (in "Objects and related topics" series, "European decorative arts and arms and armor" subseries, "Rooms and architectural elements" sub-subseries, "England. Gothic installations at PMA, incl. Abergavenny, Wales" file).


From the Series: 4.5 linear feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Alphabetically by name of individual; followed by "Other" and "Multiple" folders. Any item of correspondence written from one staff member to another has been filed by recipient. Where there are several items between the two staffers, the set of correspondence is grouped together and filed by the last recipient.


Repository Details

Part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library and Archives Repository

Philadelphia Museum of Art
PO Box 7646
Philadelphia PA 19101-7646 United States