The records of the Allen Memorial Art Museum date from 1899 to the present. A significant portion of the collection consists of correspondence files of the directors and curators, spanning the years from 1919 to 1991. The correspondence deals with various issues pertaining to acquiring, lending, and borrowing works of art. Extensive files also document exhibits from 1919 to 1987. These exhibition files often include checklists, catalogs, brochures, photographs, and correspondence. The rest of the collection includes buildings and grounds records (highlighting the 1977 Venturi addition to the Museum), museum publications, files related to professional associations and conferences, scholarly correspondence of Clarence Ward, and a small amount of material regarding Art Department curriculum and programs. The records are arranged in the following sub-groups and series:
Subgroup I. Administration
Series 1. Annual Reports
Series 2. Director's Correspondence
Series 3. Curator's Correspondence
Series 4. Other Correspondence
Series 5. Financial Records
Series 6. Receipts - Returned to AMAM, 12/18/97
Series 7. Graduate Assistants
Series 8. Committees
Series 9. Visitors
Series 10. Auctions
Series 11. Buildings and Grounds Records
Series 12. Files of Membership and Special Events Coordinator
Series 13. Topical Files
Series 14. Art Building Construction Papers
Series 15. Files Relating to External Funding Bodies
Series 16. Personnel Files*
Series 17. Intermuseum Conservation Association
Subgroup II. Exhibit Files - Returned to AMAM, 4/13/12 & 10/2/2012
Series 1. AMAM exhibits
Series 2. Materials Related to Exhibitions
Series 3. Non-Textual Records
Subgroup III. Publications and Publicity
Series 1. Bulletins
Series 2. Exhibit Booklets and Miscellaneous Booklets
Series 3. News Releases
Series 4. Publicity Flyers, Brochures
Series 5. Clippings
Series 6. Allen Memorial Art Museum Newsletter
Series 7. Miscellaneous Publications Files
Series 8. Occasional Papers Series
Series 9. The Living Object: The Art Collection of Ellen Johnson [1996/050]
Subgroup IV. Clarence Ward Records
Series 1. Personal
Series 2. Lecture Correspondence
Series 3. Documents and Late Correspondence
Subgroup V. Associations, Organizations and Conferences
Series 1. National Organizations
Series 2. State Organizations
Series 3. Local Organizations
Series 4. Conferences
Series 5. Symposiums
Subgroup VI. Art Department
Series 1. Art Department Memorandums
Series 2. Budget Matter
Series 3. Classes and Examinations
Series 4. Baldwin Lectures
Series 5. Children's Art Classes
Series 6. Self-Study (National Association of Schools of Art)
Series 7. Miscellaneous Files Relating to the Loans of Student Works
SUBGROUP AND SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
Subgroup I. Administration, 1911-91 (37.85 l.f.)
Consists of reports, correspondence, financial records, and other material documenting the administration of the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Arranged in seventeen series: 1. Annual Reports; 2. Director's Correspondence; 3. Curator's Correspondence; 4. Other Correspondence; 5. Financial Records; 6. Receipts; 7. Graduate Assistants; 8. Committees; 9. Visitors; 10. Auctions; 11. Buildings and Grounds Records; 12. Files of Membership and Special Events Coordinator; 13. Topical Files; 14. Art Building Construction Papers; 15. Files Relating to External Funding Bodies; 16. Personnel Files; and 17. Intermuseum Conservation Association Files.
Series 1. Annual Reports, 1911-34, 1959- (0.4 l.f.)
Early reports are comprised of letters from the Curator to the President of Oberlin College describing the year's exhibitions and accessions. Reports from the 1959/60 academic year through 1987/88, although incomplete, offer a detailed summary of major activities during the year as well as figures on annual visitation. Arranged chronologically.
Series 2. Director's Correspondence, 1919-2004 (15.3 l.f.)
Encompassing the tenures of several different Museum directors, this correspondence series describes arrangements for exhibitions, shipping of art work, dealers' notification of available art work, and donation offers as well as routine administrative matters. Arranged in two subseries: 1. Correspondence and 2. Memorandums. Correspondence is arranged chronologically in three to ten year groups and alphabetically within each group for the early years, with some overlapping of dates. The final segment of William Chiego's correspondence includes a chronological file dating from 1987 to 1991. Sharon Patton’s correspondence covers 1998-2002. The acting director and Stephanie Wiles’ correspondence begins in 2002
Series 3. Curator's Correspondence, 1929-84 (9.2 l.f.)
Correspondence concerning exhibits, shipping of art, solicitation by dealers, and donation offers and responses. Arranged chronologically in groups of three to ten years and alphabetically within each group through 1969. Later additions are less well organized.
Series 4. Other Correspondence, 1926, 1927-34, 1936-37, 1941-53, 1960-62, 1968-85 (1.4 l.f.)
Correspondence including the Miller Gift Fund files containing photographs and correspondence between dealers and the museum; the Kenwood file containing correspondence regarding a show of 80 Oberlin works at the Kenwood House in Hampstead, London, England; the Samuel H. Kress correspondence concerning the donation of ten major works of Italian artists; and correspondence between dealers and the museum regarding purchase shows, shipping of art, and buying decisions of the purchase committee. Arranged by topic.
Series 5. Financial Records, 1943-85 (4.45 l.f.)
Organized in two subseries: 1. Ledgers and 2. Budget Records. Subseries one contains ledgers recording accounts of both the Art Department and Museum. Arranged chronologically. The second subseries contains budgetary records starting in 1985.
Series 6. Receipts, 1950-67 (1.6 l.f.)
Returned to AMAM, 12/18/97
Receipts document the coming and going of artwork to and from the museum. Divided into incoming and outgoing receipts. Arranged chronologically in 3 to 10 year groups and alphabetically within each group.
Series 7. Graduate Assistants Applications, 1951-57 (0.2 l.f.)
Essays by applicants, general information, letters of recommendation, transcripts and decision letters. Divided into two groups chronologically and alphabetized within each group. *Restricted*
Series 8. Committees, 1928-53, 1987 (0.4 l.f.)
Records of the Acquisitions Committee, Centennial Committee, College Curriculum Committee, Prudential Committee, Committee on Photography, the Faculty Committee on Location, Plans and Construction of College Buildings and the Committee on Purchase and Sale of Art Objects. Arranged by committee.
Series 9. Visitors, 1949-55 (0.2 l.f.)
A single bound volume listing number of visitors each day; gives names of special visiting groups from 1949 to 1955.
Series 10. Auctions, 1974-78 (0.4 l.f.)
Consists of documents relating to the auction and fundraising exhibition held to raise money for the construction of the Ellen Johnson Gallery of Modern Art. Records include correspondence with artists and donors, a catalog, and photographs of the auctioned artwork and photographs from the exhibition.
Series 11. Buildings and Grounds Records, 1936-37, 1964-88 (1.9 l.f.)
Includes daily construction reports (1937) from the building of the Centennial Memorial and the Auditorium. The bulk of the records consist of specifications and planning for the 1977 Venturi addition to the Art Museum. Contains numerous articles on the architects as well as the building addition. Also includes records related to the Bandstand Project. See also the Architectural Records Collection (RG 53).
Series 12. Files of Membership and Special Events Coordinator, 1986-89, 1997 (0.2 l.f.)
Files document the activities of this administrative support position which was responsible for coordinating the Museum's membership program, promoting the Museum, and arranging for special events and publications. These files were created by Susan Harvith who held the position from 1987 to 1989. Also includes membership brochure (Friends of Art), 1997.
Series 13. Topical Files, 1955-91 (1.0 l.f.)
Topical files, arranged alphabetically, contain information on specific issues facing the Museum, primarily during the period from 1970 to 1988. Notable files include handicapped access, development of the Docent program, and funds to honor former faculty members Wolfgang Stechow and Clarence Ward.
Series 14. Art Building Construction Papers, 1915-16 (0.8 l.f.)
Papers reporting on the work of Cass Gilbert and George Richardson Harlow, who supervised the construction of the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Harlow’s correspondence and memoranda provide a first-hand glimpse into every minute detail of the construction process.
Series 15. Files Relating to External Funding Bodies, 1972-92 (1.6 l.f.)
Series consists of grant applications, budgetary files, correspondence, and other printed material which documents the Allen Memorial Art Museum’s receipt of grants from such bodies as the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), the Ohio Humanities Council (OHC), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Series is organized into five subseries: 1. OAC/OHC Files; 2. NEA Files; 3. NEH Files; 4. IMS Files; and 5. Other Foundations. Arrangement thereunder is chronological.
Series 16. Personnel Files, 1974-85* (1.25 l.f.)
Employee files and search files make up this series. Of note are files on the AMAM director search of 1982-83, and 1985. Series is organized into two subseries: 1. Employee Files and 2. Searches. Arrangement thereunder is chronological. Series is RESTRICTED.
Series 17. Intermuseum Conservation Association Files, 1951-87 (1.45 l.f.)
Subgroup II. Exhibition Files, 1919-2000 (14.2 l.f.)
Returned to AMAM, 4/13/12 & 10/2/2012
Records related to the development, organization, and implementation of exhibits. Arranged in two series: 1. Allen Memorial Art Museum Exhibitions; 2. Materials Related to Exhibits.
Series 1. AMAM Exhibitions, 1919-2000 (13.6 l.f.)
Photographs, correspondence, post cards, brochures, checklists, catalogs, and news releases filed by exhibit. Arranged chronologically.
Series 2. Materials Related to Exhibits, 1945-61 (0.4 l.f.)
Documents related to faculty and student shows at AMAM and a file of catalogs selling traveling exhibits. Arranged chronologically within each topic.
Series 3. Non-Textual Records, 1964-83 (0.2 l.f.)
Subseries 1. Slides, 1964-83 (0.2 l.f.)
Slides taken of AMAM exhibits. Includes the “Young Americans” exhibits, the N. E. Wall Installation (1973), and Cynthia Carlson’s “New Voices” exhibit (1980). Subseries is arranged chronologically by exhibit.
Subseries 2. Melvin Gatman Collection of Ancient and Medieval Gold Exhibit, 1961
This subseries includes negatives, prints, slides and color transparencies. See also Subgroup II. Exhibition Files, Series 1. AMAM Exhibition Files, box 7.
Subgroup III. Publications and Publicity, 1907-2005 (4.35 l.f.)
This subgroup contains six series: 1. Bulletins; 2. Exhibit Booklets and Miscellaneous Booklets; 3. News Releases; 4. Publicity Flyers and Brochures; 5. Clippings; and 6. AMAM Newsletter.
Series 1. Bulletins, 1944- (2.50 l.f.)
Published three times a year, the Bulletin contains articles on current exhibits, works in the Allen Memorial Art Museum, and museum news. Subseries 1 consists of published bulletins, arranged chronologically. Subseries 2 holds manuscript and research files.
Series 2. Exhibit and Miscellaneous Booklets, 1912-90 (0.8 l.f.)
Includes exhibit booklets, a catalog of AMAM's drawings, and a 1976 issue of Apollo magazine featuring the Museum. Correspondence and related material on several of the major catalog publication projects is located here although copies of the actual catalogs are not filed herewith. Arranged chronologically.
Series 3. News Releases, 1950-65, 1985-88 (0.4 l.f.)
Publicity notices and news releases concerning Art Museum exhibits and activities. Arranged chronologically.
Series 4. Publicity Flyers and Brochures, 1907-92 (1.0 l.f.)
Publicity flyers and brochures on museum exhibits and programs and a scrapbook of flyers and brochures. Arranged chronologically.
Series 5. Clippings, 1917-2005 (0.4 l.f.)
Clippings regarding exhibits and activities at the Art Museum. Included is the Kenwood Exhibit in London. Arranged chronologically. Additions are arrange chronologically by folder.
Series 6. AMAM Newsletter, 1989- (0.4 l.f.)
Allen Memorial Art Museum Newsletter. Arranged chronologically beginning with volume 1, number 1, Fall 1989.
Series 7. Miscellaneous Publications Files, 1987-91 (0.1 l.f.)
Series consists of copies of AMAM News, 1989-90, and planning files for the AMAM Bulletin, 1987-91. Arrangement is alphabetical by folder title and chronological thereunder.
Series 8. Occasional Papers Series (0.1 l.f.)
Series consists of writings focusing on Oberlin College faculty scholarship and collections of the Museum.
Series 9. The Living Object (2.5 l.f.)
Series consists of files relating to the 1992 AMAM Bulletin, The Living Object: The Art Collection of Ellen Johnson.
Subgroup IV. Clarence Ward, 1923-85 (2.4 l.f.)
Subgroup consists of the papers of the first Director of the Allen Art Museum, which are divided into 3 series: 1. Personal; 2. Lecture Correspondence; 3. Late Correspondence and Writings.
Series 1. Personal, 1923-1942 (1.2 l.f.)
Personal letters, photographs, lecture notes, and family records. Arranged chronologically within each document type.
Series 2. Lecture Correspondence, 1931-1944 (0.8 l.f.)
Letters concerning lectures given by Ward and colleagues. Arranged chronologically.
Series 3. Late Correspondence and Writings, 1965, 1971-85 (0.4 l.f.)
Correspondence concerns donation of Ward's architectural negatives to the National Gallery of Art, photographs to Berea College, and an exhibit by the Smithsonian. Documents are rough draft, carbon copy and "original Copy" of a 1965 lengthy manuscript concerning "the evolution and decoration in the buildings of France from the twelfth century emergence of Gothic architecture to its submergence in sixteenth century architecture of the Renaissance." Arranged by topic.
Subgroup V. Associations, Organizations and Conferences, 1899-1989 (2.0 l.f.)
Records concerning the Art Museum's dealings with various organizations and participation in conferences and symposiums. Arranged in five series: 1. National Organizations; 2. State Organizations; 3. Local Organizations; 4. Conferences; and 5. Symposiums. Included among the local organizations are files of the Oberlin Friends of Art.
Series 1. National Organizations, 1928-39, 1943-46, 1966, 1977,
1981-89 (1.0 l.f.)
Consists of files relating to Oberlin's involvement in national organizations as well as comparative material from Oberlin's peer programs. Arranged alphabetically by organization title.
Series 2. State Organizations, 1977-90 (0.2 l.f.)
Includes records of Oberlin's participation in activity within Ohio designed to bolster and promote arts and the interchange of museum information. Arranged alphabetically by organization title.
Series 3. Local Organizations, 1899-1928 (0.4 l.f.)
Contains records of the Oberlin Art Association and the Oberlin Friends of Art. Art Association material includes catalogs for exhibitions at Warner Gymnasium (pre-AMAM), correspondence, financial records, and minutes of meetings. Friends of Art material contains membership and programming information. Arranged chronologically.
Series 4. Conferences, 1935-39 (0.2 l.f.)
Correspondence concerns planning conferences of various college art departments and art historians to be held at Oberlin. Arranged chronologically.
Series 5. Symposia, 1937-38, 1986 (0.2 l.f.)
Letters concern a symposium on fine arts at the 1938 dedication of the Clarence Ward addition to the Allen Art Museum. Also includes a 1986 seminar of Japanese prints given by Roger Keyes. Arranged chronologically.
Subgroup VI. Art Department, 1924-40, 1974 (0.8 l.f.)
Correspondence, reports, financial records, and curricular material concerning Art Department courses and programs. Arranged in six series: 1. Memoranda; 2. Budget Matters; 3. Classes and Exams; 4. Baldwin Lectures; 5. Children's Art Classes; 6. Self-Study.
Series 1. Memorandums, 1924-38 (0.1 l.f.)
Memorandums notifying faculty and students of Art Department policies. Arranged chronologically.
Series 2. Budget Matters, 1926-34 (0.1 l.f.)
Correspondence of the Committee on Budget and Appointment. Arranged chronologically.
Series 3. Classes and Exams, 1920-36 (0.2 l.f.)
Class outlines, enrollment lists, and master copies of exams. Arranged by topic.
Series 4. Baldwin Lectures, 1935-39 (0.1 l.f.)
Correspondence concerning the Baldwin Lectures. Arranged chronologically.
Series 5. Children's Art Classes, "1930's" (0.2 l.f.)
Correspondence and reports on art instruction in China and Mexico, with samples of children's drawings. No particular order.
Series 6. Self-Study, 1978 (0.1 l.f.)
Self-study report prepared for the National Association of Schools of Art.
Series 7. Miscellaneous Files Relating to the Loans of Student Works, 1971 (0.1 l.f.)
Includes records on loans of student works.