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Alma Thomas DC Heritage Tour
Item 13 of 15
This is a contributing entry for Alma Thomas DC Heritage Tour and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

The Archives of American Art is the largest collection of primary resources documenting the history of visual arts and artists in the United States. Housed in the Victor Building in Washington, DC, The Archives of American Art is home to a number of magnificent ephemeral and archival material about Alma Thomas.

Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Photo of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art Logo, featuring a Yellow abstract sun incased in a light blue circle.

Alma Thomas Ephemera

Photo of a collage of various artists ephemeral materials, including a card of Alma Thomas's, The Eclipse, 1970.

The Archives of American Art houses a selection of over 6000 of Thomas' personal papers and ephemeral materials. The collection is a fascinating look at her inner world and includes:

  • photographs of Thomas and her friends, family, and colleagues throughout her life
  • scrapbooks from her time teaching at Shaw Junior High
  • personal letters and notes
  • exhibition catalogs and business documents
  • newspaper clippings
  • autobiographical material and more

Accessing these additional materials allows us a closer look into her psyche and a better understanding of her life and creative process.

A finding aid for these is available here. Much of the 5.5 linear feet of Thomas' papers housed at the archives have been digitized and can be accessed and explored freely online. If you would like to visit the archives in person to view Thomas' original papers, an appointment is required. Before visiting any Smithsonian Institution, be sure to check the current operation status and hours at

Alma Thomas. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2021, from

Alma Thomas papers, circa 1894-2001, Archives of American Art. Accessed April 24th 2021.

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