Skip to main content

Clifford, Henry, 1934-1947, undated

 File — Box: 140, Folder: 3

Scope and Contents

From the Sub-Series:

The bulk of material in this subseries is internal correspondence, most often between Kimball and the particular staff member. Advisers are also represented. Additional correspondence between curatorial personnel and individuals or organizations outside the museum remains in the "General correspondence and related material" series. The "Administrative issues" series, "Personnel" subseries contains Kimball's correspondence with curator/assistant director Henri Marceau as well as any directives he sent to multiple staff or all, incluing curatorial members.

Although there is not substantial internal correspondence for any one staff member, there are three files of material each for Henry McIlhenny and Henry Clifford. McIlhenny joined the Decorative Arts curatorial staff in 1935, becoming Curator in 1939. As his 1945-1946 correspondence particularly exemplifies, McIlhenny was a generous donor to the museum, and in 1947 he took a one-year leave of absence to be Resident Art Historian at the American Academy in Rome. Henry Clifford came to the museum in late October 1930 and by January of 1932 was appointed assistant and then associate curator of paintings. He remained in his curatorial position throughout Kimball's directorship. Other curatorial members include: W. Norman Brown, curator of Indian Art from 1931 to 1954; Arthur Edwin Bye, curator of Paintings, 1922 to 1928; Joseph Downs, assistant and later curator of Decorative Arts, 1925-1932; and Horace H. Furness Jayne, assistant and later curator of Chinese Art and Chief of the Division of Eastern Art. During Kimball's travels, particularly in 1929, Jayne also served as Acting Director. Although his association with the University of Pennsylvania's University Museum apparently began in the early 1930s, Jayne formally left PMA in 1941 and returned in 1954, becoming Vice Director the following year. Any correspondence with Jayne at the University Museum after 1941 is in the "General correspondence and related material" series. Jean Gordon Lee joined the Division of Eastern Art in 1939, becoming curator of Chinese Art in 1947; Joan Prentice was assistant and later curator of Ceramics and metalwork, 1940-1947, and continued to advise the museum after her resignation. Those later papers are in the "General correspondence and related material" series. Nancy Reath came to PMA in 1921 as Cataloguer and Acting Registrar and by 1927 had moved to the textiles department, where she served until her death in 1936. Francis Henry Taylor was assistant and later curator of Medieval Art, 1927-1931. Upon leaving PMA, Taylor first went to Worcester Art Museum, and from 1940 to 1955 he served as Director to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Any correspondence with Taylor at the latter institutions is in the 'General correspondence and related material" series for those institutions. Carl Zigrosser began in 1940 as curator of prints, and in 1955 served with Jayne as Vice Director. His earliest correspondence with Kimball documents his recruitment to PMA. During the late 1940s, Zigrosser initiated and served as curator of the museum's own Archives of American Art. Curatorial staff members with little documentation are in the "Other" file.

By 1929, Kimball began offering formal appointments to several scholars, experts and artists as advisers to the museum. In addition to offering their expert opinions in the purchase of objects, these advisers were often called upon to lecture at the museum on their area of expertise. The files of Thomas T. Hoopes and Arthur Upham Pope make up the bulk of material documenting advisers. The other advisers included here are Marcel Aubert; Ananda Coomaresway; Nicola D'Ascenzo, Marion Hague, Alfred E. Jones, Richard Offner; R. Meyer Riefstahl; Michael Ivanovitch Rostovtzeff and Samuel Yellin. The "Objects and related topics" series contains additional materials pertaining to the advisers, namely Hoopes, Offner and Yellin in various folders documenting, respectively, arms and armor, European painting and ironwork.


  • 1934-1947, 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: 2 linear feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English