Corcoran Gallery of Art and Corcoran College of Art + Design, Corcoran Gallery of Art special events records
Scope and Contents
The records of the Special Events office trace the growth of the office's activities and responsibilities and witness the maturation of the Special Events office into an autonomous department of the CGA. The creation of the SED reflects a gradual increase in Gallery staff as well as an increased professionalization of administrative tasks and responsibilities, and therefore since 1979, the records are more cohesive and complete. Types of material in this records group includes brochures, calendars, planning files, correspondence, publicity material, memoranda, invitations, programs, announcements pre- and post-event reports, and menus -- and span the years circa 1891 to 2010.
- Corcoran Gallery of Art (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open to research.
When conducting research within The Corcoran Archives collections, please be advised of the following restrictions:
Records of the Board of Trustees (RG 1.0) and records of the Office of the Director (RG 2.0) are closed to research for 25 years from the date of creation.
Development records are closed to research (RG 3.2).
Access to student records is governed by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of student education records. Student records are closed for the lifetime of the student, and are presumed to be open 75 years after the date of record creation (RG 9.0 Series 4).
Personnel and financial records are closed for 50 years from date of record creation (RG 4.0).
Please see the Public Services and Instruction Librarian for assistance.
Conditions Governing Use
To the extent that the institution owns copyright, the donor has assigned the copyright in its works to The George Washington University; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For activities that the researcher determines fall under fair use as defined under U.S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Please contact Special Collections if the copyright status of the materials you wish to reuse is unclear. Staff will provide additional information. For re-use of materials in the collection not created by the donor, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights, determining if the intended re-use falls under fair use, and obtaining approval from the copyright holder if the intended use does not fall under fair use. For such materials, researchers do not need anything further from The George Washington University’s Special Collections Research Center.
This history was originally prepared by Corcoran Archivist Katherine M. Kovocs for publication in 1985 with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and was edited and updated in 2019 by George Washington University SCRC staff with the support of the Luce Foundation.
Although the Corcoran had no formal Special Events Office until 1979, the Gallery had a tradition of special events designed to cater to the CGA membership and to draw the Washington area public into the gallery. Prior to 1979, special events, encompassing the Corcoran Lecture Group and the WAG, were coordinated between the Director's office, the Public Relations office, and the Education Curator. The Corcoran put on Gala Openings, members previews, and the Annual Ball, and offered membership concerts, the Sunday Afternoon Free Concerts, Thursday Evening Concerts, and a variety of other musical concerts ranging from rather avant-garde experimental music and multimedia shows to the music of string quartets and madrigal singers.
In addition to musical programs, the Corcoran offered the public dance events, films, mime, video, and dramatic presentations. The Corcoran present a wide variety of interesting and informative events to its members and patrons, and the Gallery also acted as host for dinners for its corporate members. The use of the Corcoran facilities host for dinners promoted goodwill between local and national corporations and the CGA.
The Special Events Office coordinated these various events assuring the Gallery and its members of a smooth event. Depending on the nature of the event they could be responsible for invitations, flowers, caterers, security, sound systems, and performers.
The Special Events office continued its functions until the dissolution of the Gallery in 2014.
Names that are prominent in the Special Events records are: Sherry Ellman; Inga W. Wall Heck; Donalson F. Hoopes; Marilyn Montgomery; Melinda Moses ; Elizabeth Punsalan; Judy Riley; Roger Selby; Roy Slade; Lorna Tilley; Gudmund Vigtel.
175.5 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Although the Corcoran had no formal Special Events Office until 1979, the Gallery had a tradition of special events designed to cater to the CGA membership and to draw the Washington area public into the gallery. Prior 1979, special events which encompassed the Corcoran Lecture Group and the WAG were coordinated, at times, out of the Director's office, and at other times, were the responsibility of the Education Curator or the Public Relations office. As well as Gala Openings, members previews, and the annual Ball, the Corcoran offered membership concerts, the Sunday Afternoon Free Concerts, Thursday Evening Concerts and a variety of other musical concerts ranging from rather avant-garde experimental music and multi-media shows to the music of string quartets and madrigal singers. The records of the Special Events office trace the growth of the office's activities and responsibilities and witness the maturation of the Special Events office into an autonomous department of the CGA. These records date from 1891 to 2010.
Organized into 17 series: Calendars, General events, Corporate and annual events, Musical events, Lectures, Washington Art Group, Administration, Invitations, Programs, Ephemera/publicity, Administration reords, Budget and financial records, Dailies, Events: openings and balls, Facilities use records, invitations, and Musical Evening Series (MES) records.
Please note that there are two processing projects for this record group. One undertaken in 1984 (Series 1-10) and the other in 2017 (Series 11-17). Several of the series titles are the same from the different projects. For ease of browsing, identical series titles have been sorted to appear adjacent to each other in the series list. This results in the series #s not always being in numerical order.
Materials are stored off-site, and will require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.
The records of the Special Events Office comprising Series 1-10 were transferred to the Corcoran Archives from the Special Events Office between January 1980 and 1984.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Corcoran Institution Board of Trustees donated these records to The George Washington University in 2016.
During processing in 1984 the following records were removed to another location:
Photographs moved to Archives audio-visual records Catalogs moved to Curatorial publications News clippings moved to Artist vertical files or History clipping files [handwritten note reads "many have been left in Events files] News Releases moved to Public Relations -- Press Release series
The following records were discarded: various unrelated correspondence; duplicates of correspondence (Xerox and carbon); duplicates of artists' publicity materials; purchase orders; film catalogs; and publicity on artists who did not perform.
Series 1-10 were processed by Sandra C. Emmerson, September 1984. Series 11-17 were part of a 2017 SCRC processing project to capture folder titles. No effort was made in 2017 to combined these later records with the records from the 1984 project. There are duplicate series titles within the two projects. To make more clear which processing project each series belongs to we added a bracketed note following each series title to indicate when the series was processed.
- Art Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Artists Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Museums Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Washington (D.C.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Guide to Corcoran Gallery of Art and Corcoran College of Art + Design, Corcoran Gallery of Art special events records, 1891-2010
- Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository
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