News from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives: Three Collections Open for Research

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives announces the availability for research of three collections of records of 20th century Museum officials and departments. Processing of these materials is funded by a generous grant from the Leon Levy Foundation (, a private, not-for-profit foundation created in 2004 from the estate of Leon Levy, an investor with a longstanding commitment to philanthropy. The Foundation’s overarching goal is to support scholarship at the highest level, ultimately advancing knowledge and improving the lives of individuals and society at large.  Finding aids are now available online for:

James J. Rorimer records: James J. Rorimer (1905-1966) joined The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1927 as Assistant in the Department of Decorative Arts, then rose through the curatorial ranks leading to his 1938 appointment as Curator of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. Rorimer left the Museum in 1943 to join the United States Army, and served in Europe as Lieutenant, Captain, and later as Chief of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section of the Seventh Army. After the war, Rorimer returned to the Metropolitan as Director of The Cloisters and Curator of Medieval Art (1949-1955), and Director of the Museum (1955-1966). The records document mainly his time as Museum Director, and include correspondence with institutions, organizations, donors, and trustees, clippings and documentation of special exhibitions and notable acquisitions, and information on the Museum’s Fifth Avenue and Cloisters buildings.
Theodore Rousseau records: Theodore Rousseau (1912-1973) served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and in the Art Looting Investigation Unit of the Office of Strategic Services before being appointed Associate Curator of Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1947. He was named Curator in 1948 and Chairman of the Department of European Paintings in 1967, and was elected Vice Director of the Museum and appointed as its Curator-in-Chief in 1968. The records include correspondence related to curatorial matters, acquisitions, and deaccessioning, as well as clippings, articles, and photographs of works of art. They also include documents from his long professional involvement with the International Council of Museums, drafts and final versions of his professional writings and lecture presentations.
Office of the Registrar records: The Office of the Registrar was established at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in January 1906. The records document acquisitions and loans of artworks, and related collection management activity, from the late 19th century through 1996, with an emphasis on the years 1906-1969.
For information about access to the physical materials at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives, contact archives@metmuseum.orgor visit our website at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s