The largest art library of the Smithsonian Institution hits a major milestone on July 1, 2020: the American Art & Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library celebrates its centennial. And in that 100 years, the Library has changed its name more times than its staff would care to admit (ok, we will admit it—six times.) The Smithsonian was founded in 1846 and held a nascent collection of art and art publications. According to an early staff person, “It has always been a matter of sentiment…that the Institution should have an Art Room, and that there should be in this Art Room a collection of books relating to the fine arts.” In fact, it was the Smithsonian’s first librarian who cared for the paintings and sculpture, so naturally the Smithsonian collected books on the aesthetic qualities of the fine arts from its earliest days.
Milestones: “Celebrating a Centennial: 100 Years at the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library”
Filed by July 1, 2020on