Scope and Content Note


In the collection, the minute books of the monthly and annual meetings dating from 1883 to 1970 document the direction the Committee took on major concerns and issues. It is possible to trace the evolution of an agenda item to special committees being appointed by their area of expertise. The members addressed such needs as starting the volunteer programs to entertaining the most prominent families of Philadelphia.

With special event planning, the strategies unfold to reveal the expertise of the Women's Committee to meet the necessary funding needs. One of the first events documented in the records is the "The World of Porcelain," in 1969, which raised funds to support the Volunteer guides and Park House tour guides. The van Gogh Dinner plans in 1970, include facsimile correspondence from Dr. V.W. van Gogh, Vincent's nephew, which displays his enthusiasm in being invited to the festivities at the Museum.

In 1974, the success of the first national craft show, "A Touch of Gold" proved to be an important precedent for the annual Philadelphia Craft Show. The Women's Committee's ongoing dedication in promoting American artistic talent is evident by records of the process for this prestigious event. This theme is also used in the widely successful Art Sales and Rental Gallery at the Museum. Starting in 1965, local artisans have displayed a diverse selection of creations in the shop for sale. The Gallery also runs a profitable corporate rental service.

The Women's Committee sponsored special projects. In 1989, the Women's Committee proposed the idea to publish a unique cookbook, one that displayed the artwork of the museum with the recipes. The fundraising project demonstrated effective planning and marketing abilities, and received favorable sales of one hundred thousand dollars in 1990 one year after the cookbook was published. The records show the many resources that were used in the marketing of the cookbook.

Other projects include volunteer and docent programs needed for Museum and Park House tours that have become popular over the years. The records show how the Women's Committee teamed with other museums at local and national conferences and learned how to better support and promote the Museum. Ledgers, cashbooks, and audits show attention to details as the organization recorded its monetary history according to best business practice.