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Guggenheim Museum Expands Public Access to Archives with Support of Four Recent Grants
Installation view of The Great Utopia, 1992. Photo: David M. Heald, © SRGF, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building this year, has expanded the public and private access to its archival materials with the support of four recent grants totaling more than $200,000. The grants have been awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the Documentary Heritage Program of the New York State Archives, the Hilla von Rebay Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts to preserve archives that document the museum’s founding history and select areas of exhibition and educational programming.

National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)
Most recently, on June 9, 2009, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) approved $140,400 over two years for the purpose of arranging, describing, digitizing, and making more accessible five key archives collections that address the administrative and exhibition history of the first 50 years of the Museum, specifically, Hilla Rebay records (1939-1952), from the first director of the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, which became the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1952; James Johnson Sweeney records (1952-1960), from the second director of the Museum and first director to work in the completed Wright building at 1071 Fifth Avenue; Thomas M. Messer records (1961-1987), from the third Guggenheim Director; Exhibition records (1939-1987); and the Reel to Reel collection, a compilation of 675 audiotapes, dating from 1952-1990, which document lectures, symposia and radio shows produced at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The Guggenheim is one of only six organizations nationwide in 2009 to receive an NHPRC grant specifically for the detailed processing of archives.

Documentary Heritage Program of the New York State Archives
The Documentary Heritage Program of the New York State Archives, administered by the State Education Department, awarded a $9,842 grant in 2008-2009 for a project archivist dedicated to the processing of the Learning Through Art records. Learning Through Art (LTA) is a 39 year-old program administered by the Guggenheim that places professional teaching artists into New York City public elementary schools, where they collaborate with classroom teachers to develop art projects that allow students to learn art skills and techniques and explore ideas and themes related to the school curriculum. The LTA records span the years 1970-2008, with most of the materials dating from 1990-2005, and they serve to document the creation and existence of LTA as a vital and pioneering arts education system both within New York as well as in LTA affiliate past programs expanded to national and international locations such as Italy, Mexico, and Spain. The collection catalogues the administration of in-school residencies developed with the Guggenheim, the annual LTA exhibitions at the museum, and LTA programs, which includes workshops and tours, publications, research, and audio-visual materials. Highlights from the LTA records, such as press releases, event invitations, and images of student artwork, can be accessed on the Guggenheim’s website at The arrangement and description of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives' Learning Through Art records was made possible in part by a grant from the Documentary Heritage Program of the New York State Archives, a program of the State Education Department.

Guggenheim Museum | National Historical Publications and Records Commission | New York State Archives | Hilla Rebay |

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