As evidenced in the records of the previous subseries, the Landmark Renewal campaign afforded the Museum the opportunity to enhance nearly every aspect of its art collection, from display to scholarship. This subseries documents another ambitious program to improve the 24-acre grounds surrounding the "temple on the hill." The Landscape Rehabilitation Project was initiated by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), another venerable Philadelphia institution, as part of its Philadelphia Green program. With funding from the City, which owns the Museum property, a collaborative committee consisting of representatives from PMA, PHS, the Fairmount Park Commission, the landscape architects Wallace Roberts & Todd, and the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, was charged with developing a plan that addressed not only plants, trees and outdoor benches, but also roads, which required a temporary rerouting of traffic, walkways, terraces, and outdoor signage. While the project was launched in 1991, detailed planning did not begin until 1992. Identified as a subset of "Pennsylvania Horticultural Society" files, the records in this subseries consist of numerous meeting minutes that detail each project suggestion and implementation, as well as correspondence, notes, drawings and a few clippings. Memos between d'Harnoncourt and Museum staff document internal reactions and recommendations. As Alice Beamesderfer, then Special Assistant to the Director for Projects, was often the Museum's representative at these meetings, some of her papers are included here. Several studies and reports, including the initial feasibility study, are filed individually, following the chronologically arranged folders. Project documentation in this subseries concludes with the first of three phases receiving approval with preparations set for the ground-breaking. Project records continue through the 1997-1999 subseries, and end in 2001, which is processed in the 2000-2003 subseries.
As this subseries also makes evident, the challenge of balancing budgets, especially for an institution dependent in part upon municipal government support, was particularly challenging for d'Harnoncourt and other Museum executives in 1995. That January, the city announced that its FY 1996 budget would include funding cuts to various programs. For the Museum, this initially meant a loss of more than $2 million, which the city felt would be offset if PMA increased its earned income and improved its operation. To determine how to achieve these goals, the Museum, at the city's request, sought outside consultants to conduct a study of its earned income performance and an assessment of the cost efficiency of its operation. With financial support from the William Penn Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts, the Museum hired the firm of Lord Cultural Resources Planning and Management to prepare a Management and Marketing Study. The study would include an assessment of the "best practices" of other museums that were successful in attaining the types of results for which PMA hoped. The development of the study and funding requirements as well as the Museum's selection process for the appropriate firm are documented in the several "Lord Cultural Resources" and "Lord report" files. Papers consist of correspondence with Museum staff and funders, requests for proposals, and a draft of the 1996 study, annotated by d'Harnoncourt. Related material includes correspondence from d'Harnoncourt and Museum President Bob Scott, which provides the Museum's response to the city's proposed cuts and negotiations with the Mayor's office, as well as the Museum's work with its two funders. Cross references to this documentation are given at the folder level. According to the Museum's 1996 annual report, the consultants concluded that given economic and other factors, the Museum's marketing programs and operating cost structure were more than satisfactory in supporting its earned income potential. In the end and after lengthy negotiations, the city awarded PMA $4.3 million. The amount, while not an increase in the Museum's annual appropriations, included $2.6 million, as reimbursement of private funds the Museum spent on capital expenses, and $1.7 million in low-interest loans.
While overhauling budgets and landscapes requires the work of many, the life and work of one diminutive woman had an equally significant impact on the Museum. As a teacher, lecturer, curator and writer, Stella Kramrisch devoted nearly 70 years to the study and appreciation of Indian art. She joined the Museum as its curator of Indian art in 1954, and upon her retirement in 1972 continued as Curator Emeritus until her death in 1993. The records in this subseries, filed by her surname, pertain to the generous bequests she made to PMA as well as the way in which the Museum and other colleagues remembered her. Kramrisch left the Museum her art collection as well as funds to endow a curatorship in Indian and Himalayan art and to support ongoing acquisitions and care of the collection. Related documentation consists of inventories, and subfiled as "Estate," legal papers, appraisals and correspondence. Writings published about the bequest as well as correspondence pertaining to related exhibitions are in a separate folder. In honoring Kramrisch's wish that there be no funeral or memorial service for her, the Museum held a concert celebrating her life. The related file consists of d'Harnoncourt's correspondence to plan and announce the event and the program distributed during the concert. Condolences from artists, scholars, and museum professionals in the U.S. and India are in separate folder as is d'Harnoncourt's acknowledgements. Writings about Kramrisch, including obituaries, comprise the last folder. A few of the writings worth noting are those the photographer and writer Dorothy Norman sent to d'Harnoncourt, along with her letter of condolence. One, a short unpublished typescript, is Norman's recollection of her visits with Kramrisch, including their first meeting in Calcutta and later visits in New York and at Kramrisch's home in the Philadelphia suburbs. The other is a photocopy of two published works. In the excerpt from "Encounters," Norman's memoir, she elaborates on her first meeting with Kramrisch in Calcutta. She also makes reference to an article she would later write about Kramrisch for "Marg," an Indian magazine of the arts. A photocopy of that article, which was based on Norman's interview of Kramrisch and her interpretation of Indian art, is also included.