Main content

Prints Department 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

The Department was initiated in 1923 under Arthur Edwin Bye, curator of Paintings. In 1930 Boies Penrose became the first curator of Prints, and in 1941 Carl Zigrosser succeeded him. Kneeland McNulty took over in 1963 after Zigrosser retired. McNulty served as assistant curator from 1952 until 1961, and associate curator from 1961 to 1964. He retired in 1980. The files from 1952 through 1963 were a combined effort upon the parts of these two curators, hence almost impossible to separate.

Material consists of Bye's correspondence from 1922 to 1928 in forming the Print Room, which was the forerunner of the Department; and that of Elizabeth Pearson who was an Assistant in the Prints Department from 1927 to 1932. Correspondence of Penrose and Zigrosser, as well as of McNulty, is also included.

These materials were arranged and described by Alice Lefton. Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation.

Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Alice Lefton
Finding Aid Date
Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The Prints Department 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

Print room correspondence, 1922-1928. 3 folders.
Scope and Content Note

Arthur Edwin Bye's correspondence concerning prints is here.

Physical Description

3 folders

Pearson correspondence, 1933-1939. 4 folders.
Scope and Content Note

Two alphabetical sets of Print Department correspondence, primarily to and from Elizabeth Pearson, but also including some correspondence of Penrose.

Physical Description

4 folders

Penrose correspondence, 1933-1939. 3 folders.
Scope and Content Note

Material consists of the correspondence of the Print Department.

Physical Description

3 folders

Zigrosser and McNulty correspondence, 1940-1970. 7 feet.
Scope and Content Note

The records of thirty years of the Print Department, having been interfiled as General Correspondence, were not separated but are kept together alphabetically. Some folders deal with individual artists, others with dealers, the Print Council, etc. Some are just identified by the letter of the alphabet.

Physical Description

7 feet

Zigrosser and McNulty subjects, 1940-1970. 3 feet.
Scope and Content Note

Subjects documented include PMA materials related to acquisitions, administration, budgets, installation schedules, public relations, publications, and seminars. Also included are Printing House samples, conservation information, and a matting questionnaire.

Physical Description

3 feet

Print, Suggest