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James Johnson Sweeney records

Identifier: A0001


  • 1929-1988 (bulk 1952-1960)


36.5 cubic feet (108 boxes)

Language of Materials


Historical Abstract

James Johnson Sweeney was Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from 1952-1960. He expanded the scope of the collection, emphasized the museum's public role, and was involved in the construction of the Frank Lloyd Wright building.

Scope and Content Abstract

The James Johnson Sweeney records document the activities of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's (SRGM) second director, James Johnson Sweeney (JJS). JJS was named the Director of the SRGM on October 15, 1952 and oversaw its operation until his resignation in 1960. This collection contains correspondence, reports, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, reproductions of artwork, loan forms, architectural plans, public affairs materials, memoranda, departmental records, exhibition information, and legal documents. The records document JJS's administration of the SRGM as he expanded its scope and oversaw the move into the newly constructed Frank Lloyd Wright building. The bulk of the collection is comprised of correspondence including feedback from SRGM visitors, letters and invitations from other museums, request for loans, acquisition of new artwork, and communications between JJS and artists, scholars, collectors, and the administrations of other institutions.

James Johnson Sweeney records
Finding aid prepared by NHPRC grant project staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.
The processing and select digitization of this collection was generously funded in part by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

Part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives Repository

One Liberty Plaza
24th floor
New York NY 10006