Scope and Content Note


The first series, "Chief, Division of Education Records" refers to the title given to the staff member who headed the Museum's educational programs during the 1940s and 1950s. The series consists of subject and correspondence files generated by E.M. Benson and his successor John M. Canaday. A draft folder-level inventory is available in the Archives. The "Photographs" that comprise the second series primarily depict children in a variety of art studio classes. Most appear to date from the 1940s. There are also some photographs of special exhibitions, particularly the puppet program, of works of art produced in the classes, and of lecture groups in various galleries. Some of the photographs are captioned or identified on the verso. While the photographs of Series 2 document some of the department's programs and activities, the photographs in the next series, "Teaching Materials," were compiled, as the title suggests, as visual aids in classes and lectures featuring works of art. The photographs, which are mounted, primarily depict paintings, and are grouped by collection name or general genres, such as "sculpture" and "Persian miniatures." Each has an identifying caption. The series also includes oversized reproduction prints of paintings, prints and drawings. The original folder titles identify the prints by artist or by a more general description, such as "Drawings by Old Masters" or "German schools, 15th and 16th century." Some of the folders appear to be misidentified. Series 4, "Miscellaneous printed material," consists of a sampling of brochures and other mailers produced by the department that describe the Museum's public programs from approximately 1940 to 1980. The material comprising Series 5 pertains to the Museum's "Annual Reports" issued from 1985 to 1995. The Education department's program for guide training is one of the subjects documented.

The four remaining series focus on the special programs and exhibitions produced by the Education staff. To compliment and expand upon many of the Museum's special exhibitions, the Education department would concurrently run related school and public programs. These efforts are the subject of Series 6, "Special Exhibitions," which consists of 7.5 linear feet of material. The programs documented in this series were held from 1939 to 1988, and cover a wide range of arts, from Pennsylvania folk to African art. "Film" (1962-1982), "Family" (1987-1999), and "Distance Learning" (1999-2004, n.d.) are the other programs documented in this record group.

For documentation of the Museum's education programs and operations from approximately 1925 to 1955, including WPA projects, see the Fiske Kimball Records.