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Corporate author Brooklyn Museum. Office of the Director.
Title Isabel Spaulding Roberts records, 1943-46.
Found In Brooklyn Museum. Office of the Director. Records, 1896-[ongoing]
Description 2.5 linear ft. plus
.5 linear ft. oversize materials and photos
Arrangement Arranged alphabetically within fiscal years.
Location Call Number Vol./Copy Status Information
 Brooklyn Archives  DIR: ISR    AVAILABLE
Access restrictions Some folders may be restricted. See archivist for details.
Cite as Records of the Office of the Director, Isabel Spaulding Roberts, 1943-46, The Brooklyn Museum Archives.
Biographical/historical note Isabel Spaulding Roberts was born in 1911 in San Francisco, the daughter of Morrill B. Spaulding. She attended Vassar College, receiving a B.A. degree in 1933. From 1933-37, she was a member of the staff of the Education Division at The Brooklyn Museum, resigning after her marriage to Laurance Page Roberts in September 1937.
In January 1943, when Museum Director Laurance Roberts went on military leave, Isabel S. Roberts was appointed Acting Director/Curator in Chief, in conjunction with Superintendent Albert N. Henricksen, who was Acting Director responsible for Museum operations. In October of that year, she was appointed Director and Henricksen became Assistant Director. During the duration of World War II, Laurance Roberts also retained the title of Director. Isabel Roberts resigned in January 1946, at which time Charles Nagel was appointed Acting Director. Laurance Roberts resigned in April 1946.
The Isabel Roberts administration, carried on during wartime, forwarded the programs of her husband's administration. The exhibition schedule included shows on war-related topics and on the cultures of various countries involved in the war. Several major exhibitions were organized, often in cooperation with other museums or government agencies. Work with the Coordinator for Inter-American Affairs, Nelson Rockefeller, continued. Some new installations were opened, among them European paintings, and the Latin American Colonial and ceramics galleries.
Because of wartime restrictions, alterations and renovations of the building came to a halt. Planning did begin, however, for a post-war construction program. Staff and material shortages affected, but did not halt, Museum programs. The first talk of labor organization appears during this period.
Summary The Isabel Spaulding Roberts records document all activities of the Museum and include correspondence with donors, lenders, and vendors; Board of Trustees and Governing Committee members, especially Edward C. Blum, Robert E. Blum, Arthur W. Clement, Walter H. Crittenden, Sidney W. Davidson, Louis V. LeDoux, Caroline A.L. Pratt, and Adrian Van Sinderen; New York City agencies; and staff of other museums and cultural institutions.
Correspondence with Robert Moses and other Parks Department officials documents the beginnings of the post-war construction program. The effects of World War II continue to be evident in files on defense measures, including the return of evacuated works of art, and the creation of new or installation of loan exhibitions on civil defense, home-front topics, and the cultures of areas involved in the war. Curatorial activities are documented in departmental files and in exhibition files.
Indexes Unpublished finding aid available in repository.
Folder-level descriptions available on-line in repository.
Contemporaneous card index available in repository.
Related collections Records of the Office of the Director, Wills & Estates (1896-ongoing), contains material from Roberts' administration concerning bequests, gifts, legal affairs, and grants.
Records of the Office of the Director, Reports (1935-71), contains monthly reports to the Institute which incorporate the Director's and departmental reports.
Source of acquisition Records of the Office of the Director, Isabel Spaulding Roberts internal transfer
Note The Isabel Spaulding Roberts records form on of 12 series in the Records of the Office of the Director, The Brooklyn Museum.
LC subject Museums -- New York (State) -- New York.
World War, 1939-1945 -- War work.
Blum, Edward C. (Edward Charles), 1863-1946.
Blum, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1899-1999.
Clement, Arthur W. (Arthur Wilfred), 1878-
Crittenden, Walter H. (Walter Hayden), 1859-1947.
Davidson, Sidney Wetmore, 1894-1979.
Henricksen, Albert N., 1890-1970.
Ledoux, Louis V. (Louis Vernon), 1880-1948.
Moses, Robert, 1888-1981.
Nagel, Charles, 1899-1992.
Pratt, Caroline A.L. (Caroline Ames Ladd), -1946.
Roberts, Isabel Spaulding, 1911-
Roberts, Laurance P.
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979.
Van Sinderen, Adrian, 1887-1963.
Museums Council of New York City.
Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (OCIAA)
Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences.
Brooklyn Museum.
Brooklyn Museum. Office of the Director.
Genre/Form Art museum directors.
WorldCat no. 122362161

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