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Digital Art History
February 15, 2017

The Smithsonian Archives of American Art has digitized and made available online the papers of art historian and museum curator W.G. (William George) Constable (1887-1976).

Born in Derby, England, Constable joined the National Gallery in London in 1929 as Assistant Director.  The following year he became the first Director of the Courtauld Institute.  In 1938 he accepted a position as Curator of Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston where he remained until his retirement in 1957.  During World War II he was involved in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section of the the U.S. Army which worked to protect European cultural sites from bombing and recovered art looted by the Nazis.

The digitization of W.G. Constable’s papers, which includes lectures, writings, and notes; exhibition and book research files; photographs, glass plate negatives, and slides; and personal and professional correspondence, allow scholars around the world to access materials that contribute to the understanding of Constable's significance to museology and connoisseurship as well as the role he played in World War II history.

To explore the W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, visit the Archives of American Art: