Main content

Financial Records


Held at: Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives [Contact Us]Philadelphia Museum of Art, PO Box 7646, Philadelphia, PA 19101-7646

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

This group of financial records was collected from various sources. The first series, "Accounting records," probably originated in the Corporate Treasurer and Secretary's offices and consists of several ledgers, journals and registers. It offers the earliest documentation, beginning in 1875 and 1876, when the Museum's original site, Memorial Hall, housed the major art exhibition to the Centennial. While general bookkeeping records track transactions up until the early 1920s, most of the investment and funding material pertains to later years. In particular are the individual investment records maintained on index cards, which date from the mid-1950s to late 1960s. The Assistant Treasurer appears to have generated most of the material in the second series, "Budgets, proposed and operating." Documentation includes operating expense reports, budget estimates, income forecasts and other reports related to the City's operating budget since the Museum is partially funded through municipal appropriations. Most reports date from the 1960s and 1970s. The final series, "City Planning Commission capital projects," focuses on the Museum's funding through the City of Philadelphia. Much of the material dating approximately from 1940 to 1960 originated in the Director's office, specifically during the tenures of Fiske Kimball and Henri Marceau. There is also documentation of specific capital improvement projects at the Museum that were inititated during the first half of the 1960s.

These materials were arranged and described by Merle Chamberlain and Louise F. Rossmassler in 1987. Revised by Bertha Adams in 2007. Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation.

Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Merle Chamberlain and Louise F. Rossmassler (12/31/1987). Revised by Bertha Adams (6/15/2007).
Finding Aid Date
Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The Financial Records are the physical property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. The Museum holds literary rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Collection Inventory

Scope and Content Note

Most of this financial information is recorded in bound volumes. General bookkeeping accounts are recorded in a journal and two ledgers, documenting transactions between 1875 and 1921. While similar as well as more detailed information for these and later dates can be found in the Museum's annual reports and Board of Trustees Records, these volumes represent the Museum's earliest form of accounting and record keeping.

Investments and funds, many of which were established to purchase objects, are recorded in various registers. Certain accounts pertain to the acquisition of specifically identified objects.

Physical Description

4 linear feet

General bookkeeping, 1876-1921.
Scope and Content Note

The journal, 1876-1921, details many of the initial expenses, including incorporation costs, itemized purchases and operating expenses. The earliest entries appear to relate to the Centennial operations. The combined date span of the two ledgers approximately covers the same years. The index to each volume gives an alphabetical list of accounts necessary to the Museum's operations at that particular time, such as "Engraving and photographs," "Model Plaster Cast," and "Maintenance of Memorial Hall." While the monthly entries for these accounts offer little detail, the "Donations for purchase of property at Pine and Broad" account is more informative, listing individuals and their contributions.

Investments and funds, 1875-1876, 1929-1967.
Scope and Content Note

The two Registers of Stock Certificates appear to be a record of the initial investors in Memorial Hall as the site of the Centennial art exhibition. The Centennial Board of Finance issued memorial certificates for shares of stock. The name of each recipient is recorded here along with their certificate number, number of shares, issue dates and note of receipt. This information is not published in any of the Museum's earliest annual reports, and the small list of "centennial stock" purchasers noted in the first annual report is not the same.

The other two volumes in this subseries are identified here as registers because of their format and captured information. The creator of the 1929-1935 register assigned the volume its "Underwriting" title. Periodic "calls" with each underwriter are noted and pertain to various collection purchase funds. Object purchases are also included, noting donor names and dollar amounts. The register of Accounts, Nos. 1-184, tracks investments, ca. 1939-1958, made within various funds and investment accounts. For each account, stocks and purchase prices are listed. Interest earned in various income funds is also recorded as well as other income sources, such as dues, museum publication subscriptions and photographs. Some object purchase information is also included.

The "Secretary of the Corporation Records" include additional documentation of the Museum's investment practices, primarily after the years documented here. The "Investment and endowment records" series consists of reports issued from 1944 through the 1970s by various investment institutions, as well as the minutes and other papers of the Museum's Investment Committee from 1955 to 1976. A set of index cards tracks the performance of individual stocks purchased or sold between 1954 and 1967.

See Also:
  1. Secretary of the Corporation Records / IV. Investment and endowment records
Budgets, proposed and operating, 1958-1975. 3 linear feet.
Scope and Content Note

Includes PMA proposed and operating budgets with monthly reports, 1963-1975, City budgets 1966-1975, and financial reports from the Treasurers and Controllers, 1958-1974. Arranged chronologically within subseries.

Physical Description

3 linear feet

Citiy Planning Commission capital projects, 1941-1967. 2 linear feet.
Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, reports, plans of the City Planning Commission regarding capital improvements to the building, 1941-1967. Projects included the completion of the Great Stair Hall, Armory construction, and climate control for the Johnson Collection Galleries.

Physical Description

2 linear feet

Print, Suggest