Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Hoving, Thomas, 1931-2009
Thomas Hoving Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
44 boxes and 45.5 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Boxes 1-22; 24; 40-42; 44-61


Consists of material relating to the career of Thomas Hoving, who was director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City from 1967 to 1977, author, consultant, and the editor-in-chief of Connoisseur magazine from 1981 to 1991.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, manuscript drafts of published and unpublished books and articles, lectures, diaries, administrative files, and other personal and professional papers documenting Hoving's career as art historian, museum administrator, author, editor, and consultant. Included are files relating to Hoving Associates and Connoisseur magazine.

Collection Creator Biography:

Hoving, Thomas, 1931-2009

Thomas Pearsall Field Hoving (born January 15, 1931) was the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA) in New York City from 1967 to 1977 and author of Making the Mummies Dance (1993), a memoir of his experience as MMA director, King of the Confessors (1981), and other books on art-related topics. He graduated from Princeton University in 1953 with an A.B. in Art and Archeology and received a M.F.A in 1958 and Ph.D. in 1960, both also from Princeton. He started his museum career in 1959 as a curatorial assistant at The Cloisters, the medieval European branch of the MMA, and rose to the post of curator there. In 1965, Hoving was appointed the Commissioner of Parks by the Mayor of New York City, John V. Lindsay, and he had served just over one year in the position when he was appointed MMA director in 1967. Some of his main accomplishments as director included the implementation and overseeing of a master plan of renovation that encompassed the museum's facade, main entrance, and expansion into Central Park; high-profile acquisitions such as the Temple of Dendur from Egypt, the controversial Euphronios krater (repatriated to Italy in 2008 under a legal agreement negotiated between MMA and the Italian government), and paintings by Diego Velázquez ("Juan de Pareja") and Claude Monet ("Garden at Sainte-Adresse"); and the organizing and popularization of blockbuster exhibitions, best exemplified by "Treasures of Tutankhamun." In 1977, Hoving founded his own consulting firm, Hoving Associates, and he was the editor-in-chief of Connoisseur magazine from 1981 to 1991. Hoving also was a correspondent for the ABC television newsmagazine 20/20 from 1978 to 1984. Hoving died of lung cancer on December 10, 2009, at his home in New York City.

Collection History


Gift of Thomas Hoving in March 2009 (AM 2009-103).


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Sylvia Yu in August - October 2009. Finding aid written by Sylvia Yu in October 2009.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Thomas Hoving Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Boxes 1-22; 24; 40-42; 44-61