Collection Summary

Title:Fiske Kimball Records

Date:1908-1955, n.d. (bulk 1925-1954)

Creator(s):Kimball, Fiske, 1888-1955

Extent:94.5 linear feet


Repository:Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Abstract:From 1925 to 1955, Fiske Kimball served as director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, steering the institution from what he described as "a minor provincial position to become one of the leading museums of America." The Fiske Kimball Records document Kimball's efforts in achieving this transformation in collaboration with the Museum's officers, staff, and the Fairmount Park Commission, and with the assistance of private benefactors and City funding. Comprised primarily of correspondence, these records also include ephemera, clippings, notes, legal documents, reports, minutes, press releases, publications, floor plans, installation drawings, and photographs, mostly of objects, rooms and architectural elements offered for purchase. Kimball's correspondents include preeminent leaders of art museums, universities, auction houses and professional affiliations, as well as government representatives, private collectors, scholars, and artists. Kimball's often successful courting of potential donors of objects and contributors of funds is well represented, as well as his efforts to secure labor funded by the Works Progress Administration. In addition to the refinement and expansion of the Museum's holdings, the development of various departments and offices is also documented, and to a lesser extent other related facilities.