Records of the Art History Department
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Scope and Contents
The Department of Art History records, comprising three boxes, are arranged in five subseries: personnel files, administrative files, student records, examination files and departmental financial records. The bulk of these records are from the years 1973-1977.
The personnel files, comprising nearly one box, are arranged alphabetically by surname at the folder level and within folders by date. They chiefly contain letters, inter-office memos, vitae and bibliographic material relating to faculty, a few students, and visiting artists and lecturers. There are, in addition, newspaper clippings, guest lists, printed materials including brochures, exhibition catalogues and journal articles. The bulk of the outgoing letters in these files was written by Elizabeth Monroe, chairwoman from 1974-1975 - 1976-1977. There is considerable biographical material on several specialists in African art, Rene Bravmann, Zdenka Volavka and Phillip Dark, as well as files concerned with art of the American Indian, Joel Bernstein's lecture in 1972 (Box 1 Folder 4) and records on an Indian Art Exhibition in 1974 (the T.W. Van Zelst Box 1, Folder 43). Other files include records on distinguished individuals in art and art history. Agnes Mongan, Curator of Drawings at the Fogg Museum, Harvard University, and Kress Professor at the National Gallery of Art (Box 1, Folder 29) and Phoebe Stanton, architectural historian and authority on the Gothic Revival (Box 1, Folder 39) were both recipients of the Edith Kreeger-Wolf Distinguished Lectureship. The art critics, Lawrence Alloway and Alfred Frankenstein and author-scholar on Cubism, Robert Rosenblum, are included among the lecturers sponsored by the Friends of Art. Architectural history is represented by records on the English architect Alfred J. Rowe and architectural historians Allen Brooks and David Gebhard, specialists in twentieth century American architecture, and Phoebe Stanton and Marilyn Stokstad, historians of the architecture of the Medieval period. There is also a large folder on the work, exhibition and reception at Northwestern in 1973 of Un'ichi Hiratsuka, the Japanese printmaker.
The administrative files, arranged alphabetically by subject at the folder level and by date within the folder, comprise approximately one-half box. They include correspondence, inter-office memos, reports as well as bills, lists and minutes of meetings. The bulk of the outgoing correspondence was written by the chairmen of the period, James D. Breckenridge and Elizabeth Monroe. Of particular note is the file on cross-listing art history and art courses (Box 2, Folder 7). The records in this file continue the discussion of philosophical and practical issues that brought about the separation of these two disciplines at Northwestern. (See the typescript written by James D. Breckenridge, Department of Art records, Box 2, Folder 8).
Graduate student records, comprising approximately three-quarters of a box, are arranged by record type and date. The bulk of these records which include assistantship applications and awards, admission records, and correspondence with students in respect to admission and financial aid are largely from the period 1972 - 1977. The bulk of the records of graduate school admissions and rejections span the period 1974 - 1977. For records on art history students prior to September 1972, see the Department of Art records.
Examination files comprise about one box, and are arranged by date with bluebooks arranged alphabetically by surname within the folders. The bulk of the examinations and bluebooks date from 1973 through 1977. There are also two folders of examination records that date before the establishment of the Department of Art History. One contains examinations (scattered) for the period 1952 - 1971, and the second has records on the revision of the master's and doctoral qualifying examination from 1969 - 1971.
The financial records comprise only three small folders, containing an office machine inventory for 1972 - 1973, records of purchasing stores for 1977 - 1978, and one sheet concerning Leland Roth's ORSP Grant.
Addition, Boxes 4-11 The additions to the Department of Art History records, comprising eight boxes, are arranged in four subseries: personnel files, administrative files, graduate student files, and financial records and span the period 1953-1980. Some of the files predate the separation of the Art and Art History departments in 1972 but the files in this addition pertain to members of the faculty and departmental affairs in Art History. The files principally document the chairmanship of James D. Breckenridge from whose papers they were separated after his death.
The personnel files, including faculty and job applicants, comprise three full boxes and are arranged alphabetically by surname at the folder level. They include letters, curriculum vitae, biographical material, and references. General personnel search files and interviews for available positions are also included. The files span the period 1953-1981. Materials dating from before the departmental division pertain to individuals who were associated with the art history faculty after the separation.
The administrative files, arranged alphabetically by subject, include correspondence, inter-office memos, department plans, minutes of meetings, general student and faculty information, and reports pertaining to art history, spanning 1960-1981.
The graduate student files, comprising one half box, are arranged alphabetically by surname on the folder level. They contain the applications, curriculum vitae, correspondence of art history students, spanning 1962-1980.
The budget files comprising one half box include proposed budgets, annual budget records, and previews. The dates span 1958-1974.
Glass lantern slides are 5 boxes in extent and document various examples of art movements and styles in Europe during the early 20th century. These photographs were taken by Northwestern faculty during travel in Europe.
Addition, Box 12 This one box addition to the records of the Department of Art History includes seven folders arranged alphabetically by folder title, spanning the period 1970-1980. Four of the seven folders contain general correspondence of the department chairs on a variety of subjects, including the establishment of the Department of Art History and its subsequent relations with the Department of Art; research progress of doctoral candidates in the department; teaching positions for doctoral graduates; fellowship and grant support for faculty members; and staffing of courses in the department. The addition also includes copies of the department's annual reports (1971-73) and minutes of faculty meetings (1974-80).
Addition, Box 13 This one box addition to the Art History Department records is comprised of personnel files of the department's faculty. The files are arranged alphabetically by surname of the faculty member.
Addition, Boxes 14-22 This addition to the records of the Art History Department, filling nine boxes, is arranged in four subseries: correspondence, faculty files, graduate student files, and administrative records.
The correspondence is divided into two categories: general correspondence, arranged chronologically by date, and departmental chairs' correspondence, also arranged chronologically by date. The general correspondence deals with a variety of routine subjects including student applications for graduate study and class schedule changes. The departmental chair's correspondence typically concerns applications for faculty positions in the department, recommendations for graduate students, requests for leave of absences, and inter-office memos.
The faculty personnel files include curriculum vitae, other biographical material and letters of reference relating to other members of the department. These files are arranged alphabetically by member's surname.
The graduate student files contain applications of admission, curriculum vitae, writing samples, grade reports, and transcripts. Files are maintained on individual students and are arranged alphabetically by surname.
The administrative files, arranged alphabetically by file heading, include quarterly reports of classes taught, departmental meeting minutes, budget documents, class lists, and course schedules. Of particular note is the file on department restructuring (Box 21, folder 3). The correspondence in this file discusses the problems that occurred when the Art History Department was separated from the Art Department.
Addition, Boxes 23-53 These additions to the records of the Art History Department, dating between 1968 and 2000 and filling thirty-one boxes, are arranged in six subseries: general administrative records, faculty files, graduate program records, doctoral qualifying examinations, student papers and graduate student files.
The general administrative records are arranged alphabetically by folder heading and comprise approximately three and one-half boxes. Included are files pertaining to faculty searches and appointments, leaves of absence, and departmental meetings as well as routine administrative affairs. Found here are significant bodies of correspondence pertaining to Northwestern's Block Gallery, the university's Integrated Arts Program, the department's undergraduate program, and to the department's Program Review Report of 1989.
The faculty files, relating to individual members of the department, are arranged alphabetically by surname and fill approximately four boxes. These files consist of curriculum vitae, applications for employment with the department; correspondence, publications from professional journals, and letters of reference.
The graduate program files are arranged alphabetically by folder heading and comprise approximately two boxes. They contain correspondence with prospective degree candidates, correspondence with the administrators of the Northwestern University Graduate School, completed examinations by candidates for the M.A. degree, and faculty evaluations of graduate program students. There are also files pertaining to the department's relationship with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The doctoral qualifying examination files are arranged first alphabetically by the title of the subject area tested, i.e., Ancient, Baroque, Medieval, et cetera. For the period 1979-1991 doctoral qualifying examinations are arranged chronologically and thereafter by major, major subfield, and minor. Qualifying examination files include both the questions presented to students and the essays written in reply.
Student papers are arranged alphabetically by the surnames of student authors. The files may contain dissertation proposals and abstracts, master of arts degree theses, and writing samples from previous graduate or undergraduate programs. They fill approximately three boxes.
The graduate student files, maintained on students admitted to the department, contain applications, curriculum vitae, correspondence, writing samples, Graduate Record Examination score reports, grade reports, and transcripts. The files are arranged alphabetically by student surname and compromise approximately 14 boxes.
- c. 1920s-2000
Conditions Governing Access
This series may be used only with permission of the chairperson of the Department of Art History.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is stored at a remote campus location and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.
Language of Materials
The Department of Art History records chiefly contain letters, inter-office memos, vitae and bibliographic material relating to faculty, a few students, and visiting artists and lecturers. There is considerable biographical material on several specialists in African art, Rene Bravmann, Zdenka Volavka and Phillip Dark, as well as files concerned with art of the American Indian, Joel Bernstein's lecture in 1972 (Box 1 Folder 4) and records on an Indian Art Exhibition in 1974 (the T.W. Van Zelst Box 1, Folder 43). Other files include records on distinguished individuals in art and art history.
The Department of Art History records, comprising three boxes, are arranged in five subseries: personnel files, administrative files, student records, examination files and departmental financial records. The personnel files are arranged alphabetically by surname at the folder level and within folders by date. The administrative files are arranged alphabetically by subject at the folder level and by date within the folder. Graduate student records are arranged by record type and date. Examination files are arranged by date with bluebooks arranged alphabetically by surname within the folders.
Method of Acquisition
The records of the Department of Art History (Accession #82-29) were transferred to the University Archives by the directive of David Van Zanten, Chairman of the Department of Art History.
The Department of Art History records were originally accessioned as the Department of Art records. See the separation record for the Department of Art
Alice O'Mara Piron; December, 1982.
- Guide to the Records of the Art History Department
- Alice O'Mara Piron
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US