Archibald J. Motley, Jr., papers and photographs collection

Inclusive Dates: 
1894–2004, bulk 1920–1990
Survey Repository: 

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

7.5 linear feet (18 boxes), 17 sound cassettes, and 1 VHS cassette of material consisting of correspondence, publications, manuscripts, photocopies of sketches and sketchbooks, photographs, sound recordings, and a videocassette related to the life and work of Archibald J. Motley, Jr. Included are his handwritten manuscript "The Negro in Art," documentation of his numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Foundation grant, items related to exhibitions in which he participated, and photographs.

Biographical Historical Note

Archibald John Motley Jr. was a Chicago painter notable for his portraits of African American sitters and his images of life in Chicago’s southside African American neighborhoods created from the 1920s through the 1970s.

Additional Notes

Related collections: Motley Family Photograph Collection, Chicago History Museum; The Illinois Writers Project “Negro in Illinois” Papers, Chicago Public Library, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection; George Cleveland Hall Branch Archives, Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections and Preservation Division.