Footing the Bill for a Museum Wing
James N. Carder (October 2012)
The Dumbarton Oaks Archives has processed over 100 historic check registers and financial ledgers that were previously housed in a storage facility. Dating to the pre-digital age, ca. 1940–1985, these hand-written and typescript documents offer an informative record of the institute’s daily expenditures for, among other things, staff, fellows, book and art acquisitions, garden improvements, music performances, building maintenance, and capital campaigns. The two detail images above are of (1) the financial ledger book for June 1960 and (2) check stub 12775 for June 13, 1960, both of which record an initial payment of $14,226.05 to Philip Johnson Associates for the design and development stage of the new museum wing to house the Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art. Philip Johnson’s building was completed and opened to the public in 1963, and 2013 marks its fiftieth anniversary.