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Robert Montgomery Scott 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

Declared the "quintessential Philadelphian" in 1993 by Philadelphia Magazine, Robert Montgomery Scott gave forty years of service as an arts and civic leader, and was best known for his long association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Scott became a Trustee of the Museum in 1965. In 1977 he was appointed Vice-President of the Corporation and then President in 1980. Two years later, the President's position became a full-time salaried one, with Scott assuming the role of President and CEO. During Scott's stewardship, the Museum's annual attendance reached a high of 950,000 visitors and its endowment grew almost six-fold. Scott retired as President in 1996, but continued to serve as Honorary Chairman of the Board of Trustees until his death in 2005.

Born May 22, 1929, Scott grew up on Ardrossan, his maternal grandfather's 650-acre estate located in the affluent western suburbs of Philadelphia known as the Main Line. (The area was named after the Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line, which still operates today.) The estate remained Scott's lifelong home. His father, Edgar Scott, was an investment banker, whose family fortune came from the Pennsylvania Railroad. His mother was Hope Montgomery Scott, daughter of Col. Robert Leaming Montgomery, a financier and founder of the investment firm Janney Montgomery Scott. Scott's mother was also the well-known socialite who, it has been said, served as the model for Katharine Hepburn's character, Tracy Lord, in the Broadway and 1940 movie versions of "The Philadelphia Story."

Upon graduating in 1952 from Harvard University, Scott attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School, earning his degree in 1954. The next year he joined the firm of Montgomery McCracken Walker Rhoads, which was founded by his great-uncle. He later became a partner there. In 1969 Scott went to Great Britain and for four years worked as special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador Walter Annenberg. In his commitment to the city of Philadelphia, Scott served on 17 civic and cultural boards. In addition to his work with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Scott served as president of the Academy of Music and served on the boards of the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Independence Foundation, the William Penn Foundation and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Scott had two daughters and one son with his former wife, Gay. He died October 13, 2005.

    Works Consulted
  1. Originally published in the 20 Oct. 2005 issue of Suburban and Wayne Times. Richards, Ryan "Main Line remembers Robert Montgomery Scott."
  2. Originally published in the 16 Oct. 2005 issue of The New York Times. Paid notice: Deaths. Scott, Robert Montgomery.
  3. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Date of last revision: 13 April 2007. "Pennsylvania Main Line."
  4. Originally published in the 14 Oct. 2005 issue of The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Robert Montgomery Scott, prominent art leader, dies at 76."

The records consist of correspondence and Executive Committee material, as well as documentation of the Bicentennial and Centennial (PMA's).

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 (12/31/87). Revised by Bertha Adams (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 Robert Montgomery Scott 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

A variety of topics, Museum departments, and other institutions and individuals are documented in this series. The first subseries, which dates from 1973 to 1981, pertains primarily to Scott's work before his appointment as President of the Museum. More in-depth are the remaining subseries. Each reflects his activities approximately throughout a particular fiscal year.

Folder-level inventories are available in the Archives.

Physical Description

21 linear feet

FY 1973-1981.
FY 1981-1982.
FY 1982-1983.
FY 1982-1983.
FY 1983-1984, FY 1984-1985.
FY 1985-1986.
FY 1987-1988.
FY 1989-1991.
FY 1991-1992.
FY 1992-1993.
Minutes, 1974-1981. 1 linear foot.
Scope and Content Note

Series consists of minutes of Executive Committee meetings held from 1975 through 1977 and Board of Trustees meetings held October 1974 until June 1981. Material pertaining to the Museum's annual meetings held from 1973 to 1976 is also included.

Physical Description

1 linear foot

Special programs. .5 linear feet.
Scope and Content Note

Documented in this series are events pertaining to the Museum's centennial program and the City's celebration of the country's bicentennial.

Physical Description

.5 linear feet

Unprocessed material, 1981-1997. 2.5 linear feet.
Scope and Content Note

The first set of files comprise Scott's outgoing correspondence generated during his final year as Museum President. Dating from December 1995 to December 1996, Scott maintained the correspondence in chronological order. There is also some documentation on a few of the Museum's special events held that year, namely the gala and preview of the Cezanne exhibition. The bulk of this material consists of later accessioned records, and that span Scott's entire tenure as President. Files appear to be identified by subjects, such as Management Group meetings, investment guidelines and Museum Presidents' conference.

Physical Description

2.5 linear feet

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