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Board of Trustees Records

 Collection
Identifier: BT
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.

Dates

  • 1875-1998

Creator

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.

Extent

20 linear feet

Overview

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.

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.

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.

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.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Board of Trustees Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Bertha Adams
Date
©2009
Language of description
English
Sponsor
Funded by a grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services
Edition statement
03/20/2009

Revision Statements

  • 1/20/2006: Susie Anderson: New nodes and citation
  • 2/27/2007: Bertha Adams: Draft for K Hiessinger ref. Only
  • 6/12/2007: Bertha Adams: June 12, 2007
  • 9/28/2007: Bertha Adams: 9/28/07

Repository Details

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

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