Building the Collection

Giving in America exhibit case

Building the National Philanthropy Collection

The National Museum of American History is building a collection of objects that tell stories about American philanthropy in all its diversity and complexity. Learn about how the collection is developing and what objects in it mean to us.

“The objects remind me to live each day with a purpose.”
Katharine Klein, Collections Manager for Giving in America

What’s a philanthropy object? Curator Amanda Moniz gets that question often. Some of the things she’s collected include this portrait, this nesting box, and this banner.

Portrait of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton by Daniel Huntington, mid-1800s
Portrait of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton by Daniel Huntington, mid-1800s
Gift of Graham Windham
Virginia Bluebird Society Nest Box, early 2000s
Virginia Bluebird Society Nest Box, early 2000s
Gift of Cathy Hindman
Bowl of Rice Party Banner, 1940
Bowl of Rice Party Banner, 1940
Gift of Daniel Ostroff

 

5 objects that James Smithson might be surprised to find in the institution he founded – until he learned their philanthropy stories

A white background with a black electric guitar.

Making a place for Eastern Bluebirds—and philanthropy

Wooden box with hole in it for birds and wire mesh around opening. There are lichens growing on the top of it. A nail or screw is visible on one side.

Meet Amanda Moniz, our new curator of philanthropy

Portrait of a woman with short brown/black hair, black glasses, a grey top, a delicate necklace, and a nice smile.

American Philanthropy: A new Smithsonian initiative

Case with objects inside