John Walley collection

Inclusive Dates: 
1937–circa 1964,
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

John Walley collection, 1937-circa 1964 (287 photographic print, 739 negatives, 3 ink drawings, 1 portfolio) includes art work and photographs of art and design projects documenting the career of artist and designer John Walley. Photographs show sketches, paintings, cartoons, sculpture, and display pieces. A large group of snapshots show life, scenery, and industry in Alaska during 1937 when Walley was assigned there as part of the Federal Art Project. Original 2-dimensional art work includes items in pen and ink, pastel, charcoal, watercolor, and color photography; also, prints and watercolors by Walley's students at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Design works include original art work for a book, Basic Design, designs for furniture, plans for the layout of studio/living quarters, and curriculum plans for UIC College of Architecture and Art. A portfolio, Display Systems, contains mounted photoprints and reproduced design drawings for display devices designed by John and Jano Walley.

Biographical Historical Note

John Edwin Walley was born in Wyoming and studied in Chicago at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Hubert Ropp School of Art. He worked as a newspaper cartoonist, designed theater sets and displays, and was employed both as a mural artist and as an administrator in the WPA’s Illinois Art Project. Walley taught at the Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.) and University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and was the author of New Bauhaus in Chicago(1938).

Additional Notes

Related collections: John Walley Collection of Visual Materials, Connie Moran Collection of Visual Materials, Jano Walley Collection of Visual Materials, and Visual Materials from the Institute of Design, Franz Lipp Collection of Visual Materials, Chicago History Museum; Franz Lipp Papers, Art Institute of Chicago, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries; John E. Walley Papers, University of Illinois at Chicago, Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives.