H. Harvard Arnason records

H. Harvard Arnason records

Collection Overview

Repository:
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives.
Creator:
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Office of the Vice President for Art Administration.
Title:
H. Harvard Arnason records
Call Number:
A0012
Dates:
1939-1969 (bulk 1960-1969)
Volume:
8.45 cubic ft. (9 boxes)
Historical Abstract:
Hjorvadur Harvard Arnason (HHA) was elected Trustee and Vice President for Art Administration of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (SRGF) on December 6, 1960. HHA's role was to ensure cooperation between trustees, policy makers, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's (SRGM) administration. During his tenure, HHA presided over regular meetings of the Art and Museum Committee, a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees specifically responsible for formulating museum policy. He encouraged the establishment of SRGF's Society of Associates, started auditorium programs in poetry and music, and established the SRGM's lecture series. The retirement of HHA was announced by Harry F. Guggenheim on January 10, 1969. After his retirement, HHA continued to serve as a consultant and a trustee for the SRGF.
Scope and Content Abstract:
The records in this collection document H. Harvard Arnason's (HHA) tenure as the Vice President for Art Administration of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (SRGF). The records include correspondence between HHA and prominent artists, art historians, educators, and museum personnel; memoranda; Board meeting minutes; reports to the president; admissions and sales statistics; financial records; and records relating to the permanent collection and exhibitions. Also included in this collection is documentation of HHA's professional affiliations with regional and national museum councils and organizations.
Location:
OS
Language:
Collection is primarily in English.
Arrangement:
Organized into 4 series: 1. Board of Trustees; 2. Administration; 3. Collection; and 4. Personal and Professional Papers.
Restrictions:
The collection is partially restricted. Please contact the Manager of the Library and Archives for further information.
Publication Rights:
Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Manager of the Library and Archives.
Preferred Citation:
H. Harvard Arnason records. A0012. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, New York, NY.
Subjects:
Art museums.
Art, Modern -- 20th century.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Contributors:
Arnason, H. Harvard.
Finding aid prepared by Archives Staff in 1939-1969.

Historical Note

Noted art historian Hjorvadur Harvard Arnason (HHA) was born on April 24, 1909. HHA's college education began at Northwestern University, where he majored in English and comparative literature and graduated in 1931. As a graduate student at Northwestern University, HHA majored in English literature and minored in art history; his thesis was titled, "The Platonism of Sir Thomas More." Subsequently, HHA received his M.F.A. in medieval art at Princeton University in 1939. From 1939 to 1942 HHA was a lecturer at New York City's Hunter College and served as a research assistant at the Frick Collection. In previous years HHA had taught at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Additionally, HHA served as professor and chairman of the University of Minnesota's Department of Art from 1947 to 1961. Under HHA's administration at the University of Minnesota, the Department of Art became one of the most distinguished in the United States. Prior to his tenure at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (SRGF), HHA acted as director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, 1951-1960. Under his direction, the Walker Center became one of the leading museums of modern art, noted particularly for its original exhibitions, publications, and extensive educational programs. HHA was the author of many monographs and articles on both modern and medieval art and served extensively in professional capacities with the United States Department of State, as well as other government and public agencies.

HHA became Vice President for Art Administration of the SRGF on December 6, 1960. The acclaimed educator and museum administrator brought a new concept of operation to the SRGF and the SRGM, where he was responsible for general policy and development of the museum during his tenure. Appointment of HHA to this newly created position assured an intimate relationship between the SRGF Board of Trustees and museum administration, as Arnason was an active member of both.

At the time of his appointment to the position of Vice President for Art Administration of the SRGF, President of the Foundation, Harry F. Guggenheim (HFG) stated that his goal was "to perfect an organization both to carry out its trust to the benefactor and the public, and also to assure professional excellence in its programs and direction; it is our belief that one of the best ways to achieve this is to include among trustees a number of highly trained professionals in the field of art." As a member of the SRGF Board of Trustees, HHA worked alongside distinguished individuals in the curatorial and art world, including Carl Zigrosser, vice director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a veteran in his field, and Daniel Catton Rich, director of the Worcester Art Museum, among others. Emphasis was placed on appointing those "devoted to, knowledgeable, and experienced in the art world."

HHA's role as part of the Board was to ensure proper understanding between trustees, policy makers, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (SRGM) administration. During his leadership as vice president of art administration, HHA presided over regular meetings of the Art and Museum Committee, a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees specifically responsible for formulating museum policy. He encouraged the establishment of SRGF's Society of Associates, which had membership of almost 500 active supporters of the SRGM at the time of his retirement. He also started auditorium programs in poetry and music, and established the SRGM's lecture series, which by 1969 had been in its ninth year. The contributions made on behalf of HHA's tenure at the SRGF have placed his name among the Foundation's most distinguished pioneers.

The retirement of HHA as vice president for art administration of the SRGF was announced by HFG on January 10, 1969. After his retirement, HHA continued to serve as a consultant and a trustee for the SRGF.

Bibliography

H.H. Arnason's Résumé (1960). Box 101110. H. Harvard Arnason records. A0012. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, New York, NY.
"H. Harvard Arnason Appointment" (1960). Department of Public Affairs Press Releases. A0035. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, New York, NY
"H. Harvard Arnason Retirement" (1960). Department of Public Affairs Press Releases. A0035. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, New York, NY

Scope and Content Note

The records in this collection document H. Harvard Arnason's (HHA) tenure as the Vice President for Art Administration of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (SRGF). The records include correspondence between HHA and prominent artists, art historians, educators, and museum personnel; memoranda; Board meeting minutes; reports to the president; admissions and sales statistics; financial records; and records relating to the permanent collection and exhibitions. Also included in this collection is documentation of HHA's professional affiliations with regional and national museum councils and organizations. The collection is organized into 4 series: 1. Board of Trustees; 2. Administration; 3. Collection; and 4. Personal and Professional Papers.

Series Descriptions

Series 1. Board of Trustees, 1952-1968, 1.45 cubic ft.
Summary: Series 1. Board of Trustees includes H. Harvard Arnason's documents relating to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's Board of Trustees. The series consists of correspondence, meeting agendas, and reports to the Board's president, Harry F. Guggenheim. The bulk of this series is comprised of admissions and sales statistics submitted to the Board by G.H. Easton. Additional museum attendance information and admission policies can be found in Series 2. Administration.
Arrangement: Alphabetical.
Series 2. Administration, 1939-1969, 3.75 cubic ft.
Summary: Series 2. Administration reflects H. Harvard Arnason's (HHA) administrative functions within the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (SRGM). Admission and attendance information, the development of public programs for adults and children, daily administrative activities, and the creation of SRGM's Development Department, and HHA's efforts to professionalize the Curatorial Department are documented here through policies, reports, correspondence, and memoranda.
Arrangement: Alphabetical
Series 3. Exhibitions and Objects, 1945-1971, 2 cubic ft.
Summary: Series 3. Collections contains H. Harvard Arnason's records concerning exhibitions, loans, and the permanent collection
Arrangement: Alphabetical
Series 4. Personal and Professional Papers, 1961-1969, 1.1 cubic ft.
Summary: Series 4. Personal and Professional Papers includes correspondence; meeting minutes and agendas; organizational brochures and reports; and annual reports. Although the date range for this series mirrors H. Harvard Arnason's tenure at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the documents and publications in this series relate his professional career and life outside of the museum.
Arrangement: Alphabetical

Folder List

Series 1. Board of Trustees, 1952-1968, 1.45 cubic ft.
BoxFolderTitleDate
691765Appointment of H. H. Arnason: Correspondence with Jean Xceron1952-1960
709878Applicants for Director: Correspondence (2 folders) (restricted)1960-1961
691765,
709878,
510126
Art and Museum Committee (6 folders) (restricted)undated, 1961-1968
709878Budget (restricted)1962
Correspondence
709878Bullis, Ralph (2 folders) (1 restricted)1962-1963
510126Newlin, A.C. (restricted)1961-1967
510126Whelpley, G.B. (regarding) (restricted)1968
510126Zigrosser, Carl (restricted)1961-1964
510126Finance Committee: Minutes and Correspondence (restricted)1961-1968
510126Meeting Minutes (General Board) (restricted)1963
510128Mr. Guggenheim's Dinner (Harry Guggenheim)1965
510126Museum Policies and Position Paper on Policies (restricted)1959-1962
691765Publicity Report to the President1960, 1967-1968
691765,
709878
Report of Admissions and Sales Statistics (25 folders) (restricted)1959-1968
691765,
510126
Report to the President (5 folders) (restricted)1961-1968
Series 2. Administration, 1939-1969, 3.75 cubic ft.
BoxFolderTitleDate
691765Admission Policies1960-1961
691763Assistant Curator: Daniel Robbins (2 folders) (restricted)undated, 1961-1964
691765,
709878
Attendance (4 folders)1953-1963
Auditorium
691763Photographcirca 1965
691763Policies1962-1965
691763Projectors1960-1966
691763,
709878
Use Requests (9 folders)1958-1965
Building
691763General1962-1965
510126Century Ornamental Iron Works: Correspondence1962
709878Furnishings1961-1963
709893Construction: Proposed Annexundated, 1966
691763Landscape Architecture: Charles Middeleer1961-1962
691763Lighting1961-1964
510126Manhattan Warehouse (restricted)1964
709893Space Planningcirca 1960
691763Computer Network Project: Museum Consortium1967
Conservation Department
510126Correspondence (restricted)1962-1964
510126Forms (Blank) (restricted)undated
Correspondence
691763,
709878,
510126
General (62 folders) (1 restricted)undated, 1955-1969
709878,
709877
Channel 13 (2 folders)1962-1963
709878Columbia University: Proposed Exhibition1960-1961
709878Cummings, Nathan1964
691763Detroit Institute of Arts1965-1968
691763,
709878
Easton, G.H. (Business Administrator) (2 folders)1967-1968
691763Elsen, Al1963-1965
691763Evans, Clifford1962-1965
709878Ford Foundation Theatre Project (restricted)1961-1962
691763Greenberg, Clement1964
691763Guston, Philip1962-1964
691763Hirshhorn Collection1965
691763Hurschler, J.L.1967
691763Institute of Fine Arts (NYU)1962-1966
691763Insular Arts Councils1967
691763International Council of Museums1961-1964
709878Ivy Lee and T.J. Ross (Publicity Firm) (2 folders)1961-1962
691763Jaffé, H.L.C.1964-1965
691763John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation1967
691755Kashdin, Gladys Shafran1965
510126Mayor's Cultural Committee1966-1967
691755Metropolitan Museum of Art1961-1967
691755Michener, James1961-1965
691755Moholy-Nagy, Sibylcirca 1962
691755Morley, Graceundated
691755Mount Sinai Hospital1963-1965
691755Museum of Modern Art1960-1967
691755National Gallery of Art1966-1968
709878Port Authority of New York1961
691755School Art League of NYC1967
691755Travel1962-1966
691755United States Department of the Interior1965
691755University of Hawaii1965
510126Wadsworth Atheneum (restricted)1961-1962
510126Washington Gallery of Modern Art1962-1964
691755Whitechapel Art Gallery1965
510126Wright, Mrs. Frank Lloyd
Curatorial Department
510126General1961-1969
691755,
510126
Alloway, Lawrence (3 folders) (1 restricted)1962-1966
691755Robbins , Daniel (2 folders) (1 restricted)undated, 1961-1964
510126Svendsen, Louise (2 folders) (1 restricted)1960-1966
510126Tuchman, Maurice 1962-1964
510126Washton, Rose-Carolundated, 1964
510126Custodian: Jean Xceron (2 folders) (1 restricted)1939-1967
Development
691755Associates (9 folders)1962-1968
510126Charitable Gifts Policies (Includes Income Tax Status Documents) 1966-1967
691755,
709878
Membership Program (4 folders)1961-1968
691755Director: Thomas, Messer (2 folders)1961-1967
Education Program
709877General1961
691755,
709878
Annual Report: Groups Visiting the Museum (7 folders)1961-1968
510126Attendance Ledgers1959-1966
691755,
709878
School Groups (5 folders)undated, 1960-1963
691755Thrall, Donald: Files1964-1966
Events
510126Academy of American Poets: "Ten Poetry Readings, VI: 1968-1969": Calendar1968
691755Film Program1964
709878International Congress of the History of Art Reception1961
691755Music (2 folders)1964-1966
510126"On The Future of Art" Lecture Series: Brochure1968
510126Oskar Kokoschka's "Sphinx and Strawman" and "Dreaming Boys": Presentation1965
691755Poetry Readings (2 folders)1962-1965
691755Exhibition Openings: Policies1961-1965
Film Department
510126General1959-1967
510126Inventory and Programming Notes1945-1952
691755,
709878,
709877,
510126
Finance (18 folders) (restricted)undated, 1961-1967
691755Fire1967
Human Resources
510126Administrative Floor Plan (proposed)undated
510126Employment Applications (restricted)1963-1967
510126General Correspondence and Memoranda1961-1967
510128Organizational Charts1960-1966
709878Pollack, Peter: Resignation1962
510126Staff Lists and Position Descriptions1960-1964
691755Intern: William Stevens (restricted)1965-1966
691755Lease: National Academy of Design1961
Legal
510126Albert Gleizes (restricted)undated
510126Lindt v. Henshel (restricted)1964
691755,
709878,
709877
Lecture Series (9 folders)undated, 1961-1967
510126Library: General 1961-1967
Memoranda
101110,
709878
General (3 folders) (1 restricted)1961
510126Messer, Thomas1965-1967
Museum Passes
101110Photographers1961-1966
101110Policies1961-1964
101110Special Groups1961-1967
510126Notes undated
101110Photographs (Unidentified)undated
510126Photography Department
510126General1961-1968
510126Beckmann, Hannes1948-1954
Public Affairs Department
101110,
709877
General (2 folders) (1 restricted)1961-1963
101110Arnason: Biographical and Photograph (2 folders)undated, 1960
510126Correspondence: General1963-1966
510126Job Descriptions (Head of Publicity)1970
709877Newspaper and Magazine Clippings1962
709877Press Releases1958-1960, 1962
709878Press Releases and Drafts1961
101110,
709877
Publicity (3 folders)1961-1965
Publications
101110General (2 folders)1960-1968
101110,
709877
Catalogue Bids (2 folders) (1 restricted)1961-1965
101110Collaborations with Outside Firms1960-1963
101110,
510126
Policies and Funding Sources (2 folders)1940-1967
101110Postcards1960-1965
101110Sales of Museum Catalogs1962-1964
101110Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Catalogues1964-1968
709877Subject Files: Winnipeg Art Gallery Catalogues1955-1960
510126Report to the President (restricted)1968
Retail Department
510126General (restricted)1962-1967
510126Catalogues: Sales, Inventory, and Description1962-1964
510126Security (restricted)1962-1963
101110Viewing Program1963
Series 3. Exhibitions and Objects, 1945-1971, 2 cubic ft.
BoxFolderTitleDate
Exhibitions
101110General1962-1964
51012620th Century Master Drawings (#156) (restricted)1963
101110Acoustiguide1961-1966
510128Acquisitions 1961 (#137): Wall List1962
510128Amerikanische Maler der Gegenwart1961
101110Edvard Munch1965
709877Fernand Leger: 5 Themes and Variations: Brochures (#139)1962
709877Guggenheim International Awards, 1964: Revised Rules1958-1962
510128Masterpieces of Modern Art, Courtesy of the Thannhauser Foundation: Events (#174)1965
709877Openings1963-1964
709878Philip Guston: Brochure (#142)1962
101110Press Preview1963-1964
709877Proposed Exhibition1961-1964
510128Works From the Collection of the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation: Events (#211)1969
101110,
709877,
510128
Loans (8 folders) (7 Restricted)undated, 1961-1971
Permanent Collection
101110,
709893,
510128
Acquisitions (7 folders) (restricted)undated, 1947-1973
101110Brancusi, Constantin (restricted)1963-1964
101110,
709877
Films (3 folders)1961-1965
101110Gift Offers (restricted)1965
510128Hilla Rebay Collection (restricted)1949-1967
101110,
709877,
510128
Insurance (12 folders) (restricted)1961-1973
510128Inventories (restricted)1945-1950
510128Klee, Paul (restricted)1966
101110Peggy Guggenheim1961
709877,
510128
Registrar Reports (3 folders) (restricted)1961-1968
709877Rights and Reproduction: Requests (restricted)1961-1962
101110Slides of Artwork: Correspondence and Inventory1960-1965
101110,
709877
Sotheby's Appraisal (2 folders) (restricted) 1963-1967
Thannhauser Collection Bequest
510128Checklists and Photographs (restricted)undated
510128Press (2 folders) (1 restricted)1963-1965
Series 4. Personal and Professional Papers, 1961-1969, 1.1 cubic ft.
BoxFolderTitleDate
101110,
709877
American Association of Museums (2 folders)1961-1964
101110American Federation of Arts (5 folders)1963-1966
101110Architectural Science Committee1964
101110Art in America1963
101110Art Now: New York, Vol 2, No 2undated
101110Ben and Abby Grey Foundation1961-1964
101110Carpenter Center, Harvard University1964
709893Cinema 16, Inc.1962
101110College Art Association (5 folders)1958-1967
101110Ford Foundation: Museum Training Advisory Committee (2 folders)1963-1966
101110Fulbright Advisory Committee1963-1965
709893International Association of Plastic Arts1961-1963
International Council of Museums
709893General (4 folders)1963-1968
709893Museum of Modern Art1962-1968
709893United States National Committee1964-1968
709893Municipal Art Society of New York1961-1966
709893Museum Computer Network1967
709893Museums Council of New York City (12 folders)undated, 1961-1968
709893New York Cultural Showcase Foundation1967-1969
709893New York University: Art Education Seminar1964-1965
510128Regional Plan Association1967
510128Smithsonian Council1967-1969
709893Report of the Commissioner's Committee on Museum Resources (University of the State of New York)1963
709893Report of the Mayor's Cultural Committee1966
709877Unpublished Manuscript of American Paintingundated