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Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum institutional records

Inclusive Dates: 
1912–2008

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

70 linear feet (100 boxes including 10 oversize boxes and 1 large document drawer) of material comprising the institutional records of the Adler Planetarium. Series relating to founder Max Adler, first director Philip Fox, and Buildings and Grounds include correspondence (1929-1931) with designer Alfonso Iannelli and architect Ernest Grunsfeld Jr. regarding designs for exterior reliefs showing the signs of the zodiac and for the dedicatory plaque, including allegorical representations of the planets.  The records also include brochures, pamphlets, clippings, six line drawings, and a terrazzo model for the terrazzo esplanade installed just west of the Adler Planetarium in 1933 (removed circa 1968), designed by John Warner Norton and Tom Lea.

Biographical Historical Note

Alfonso Iannelli was an Italian-American sculptor, artist, and industrial designer who began working in Chicago in 1914, establishing the Iannelli Studios in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Tom Lea was an American mural painter, illustrator, war correspondent, novelist, and historian.

John Warner Norton was a Chicago easel and mural painter and an influential teacher at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Additional Notes

Related collections for Alfonso Iannelli: Iannelli Papers, Kalo Foundation of Park Ridge; Architectural Records for Buildings by Francis Barry Byrne, Alice Fordyce Photograph Collection, Chicago History Museum; Architects' and Designers' Papers, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago.