|POLICY COMMITTEE FOR THE MUSEUM'S PERMANENT COLLECTION OF MASTERWORKS: William A. M. Burden, Chairman; Stephen C. Clark, Philip L. Goodwin, A. Conger Goodyear, Mrs. Simon Guggenheim, Mrs. David M. Levy, Nelson A. Rockefeller, James Thrall Soby, John Hay Whitney|
|COMMITTEE ON THE MUSEUM COLLECTIONS: James Thrall Soby, Chairman; Philip L. Goodwin, Vice-Chairman; Mrs. Simon Guggenheim, Mrs. Sam A. Lewisohn, Mrs. Gertrud A. Mellon, Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, 3rd, John L. Senior, Jr.; ex officio: William A. M. Burden, John Hay Whitney. Advisers: René d'Harnoncourt, Director of the Museum; Andrew C. Ritchie, Director of Painting and Sculpture|
|COMMITTEE ON GIFTS AND BEQUESTS, 1929-33: A. Conger Goodyear, Chairman; Paul J. Sachs; ex officio: Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Director of the Museum|
|ADVISORY COMMITTEE'S SUB-COMMITTEE ON THE MUSEUM COLLECTION, 1940-41: William A. M. Burden, Chairman; Lincoln Kirstein, Mrs. Duncan H. Read, James Thrall Soby, Monroe Wheeler|
|ACQUISITIONS COMMITTEE, 1934-44|
| COMMITTEE ON THE MUSEUM COLLECTIONS, 1944-53|
(The Acquisitions Committee was superseded in 1944 by the Committee on the Museum Collections, which has similar but somewhat broader responsibilities.)
THE MUSEUM COLLECTIONS (TO JANUARY 1954)
Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Director; Dorothy C. Miller, Curator; Betsy Jones, Secretary; Sara Mazo, Letitia T. Howe, Curatorial Assistants; Marie Alexander, Secretary to the Director.
William S. Lieberman, Curator of Prints; Dorothy L. Lytle, Assistant Curator of Prints.
The Museum Collections, one of Museum's five administrative divisions, established in 1947, embraces all works of art in Museum's possession. Director of the Museum Collections is responsible to Committee on the Museum Collections, Chairman of which reports to Board of Trustees.
Curatorially, staff of Museum Collections directly concerned only with painting, sculpture, drawings and prints; curatorial responsibility for other collections divided among Departments of Photography, Architecture and Design, and Film Library. (Separate Department of Painting and Sculpture has to do only with temporary exhibitions but its director, Andrew Carnduff Ritchie, is also Adviser to Committee on the Museum Collections.)
Proposed before Museum opened in 1929, curatorial departments and their collections took form gradually. In 1945 galleries first set aside for museum collection. Today for lack of space only film and sculpture collections adequately shown, paintings, drawings, prints less so. Photograph and design collections not regularly exhibited but may be studied on request.
SECTION OF PAINTING, SCULPTURE AND DRAWING: Collection, begun in 1929, by 1932 numbered 6 paintings, 8 sculptures, 2 drawings, all gifts. Lillie P. Bliss Collection (bibl. 75) conditionally bequeathed 1931, accessioned 1934, gave Museum collection importance. Advisory Committee purchased its first gifts, 1935. Between 1935-37 Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. gave her collections of painting and sculpture, mostly American. Among early donors of important works were Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., Stephen C. Clark, A. Conger Goodyear, Aristide Maillol, and Edward M. M. Warburg. Director of the Museum, A. H. Barr, Jr., served as Curator of Painting and Sculpture, 1929-43; assisted by Jere Abbott, Associate Director, 1929-32, and Dorothy C. Miller, Assistant Curator, 1935-43.
In 1938 Mrs. Simon Guggenheim made first gift to magnificent collection purchased with her frequently replenished fund (bibl. 101d); Mrs. Rockefeller, aided by Nelson A. Rockefeller, established Museum's first large purchase fund.
First catalog, 1942, listed 693 paintings and sculptures. InterAmerican Fund donated, 1942, (bibl. 97).
In 1943, James Thrall Soby became Director of Painting and Sculpture, Miss Miller, Curator. Soby succeeded in 1945 by James Johnson Sweeney who resigned in 1946. In 1947 painting and sculpture collections placed in charge of present Director of newly formed Division of the Museum Collections.
October, 1947, under terms of formal agreement (bibl. 101) Museum sold to Metropolitan Museum of Art a number of works already deemed 'classical,' proceeds to be used for purchase of more 'modern' works. New catalog, 1948 (bibl. 101) listed 797 paintings and sculptures.