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James Johnson Sweeney

James Johnson Sweeney (1900 - 86) served as Curator for the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1935 to 1946 and as Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York from 1952 to 60. In 1961 he was appointed director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, where he stayed until 1967. After leaving the museum in Houston, he served as an art advisor to such museums as the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Sweeney served as AICA’s President between 1957 and 1963.

Unfolding the Archives of James Johnson Sweeney

A large white envelope addressed to the headquarters of AICA International at 32 rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, stamped “Documents only,” was mailed from New York on April 27, 2010. Last March, during my visit to the French capital to attend our annual administrative meeting, I found that envelope on a bookshelf in our office, stuck between two exhibition catalogues.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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