Lyle Mayer photograph collection

Inclusive Dates: 
1947–1967
Creator: 
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

More than 2,600 negatives, 74 photographic prints, and 1 folder of non-graphic material reflecting Lyle Mayer’s studies in photography at the Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.) in 1948-1949. Subjects include a variety of scenes in Chicago as well as design studies with a variety of objects, backgrounds and lighting; distorted images; and close-up views of foliage. One short series may be of photographs by Aaron Siskind against a white background with some random retouching. Included is work for Mayer's M.A. thesis work (1966-1967), consisting of images of antique stores and theaters.

Biographical Historical Note

Advertising and illustration photographer Lyle R. Mayer studied at the Institute of Design in Chicago and became president of the firm Rose & Mayer Photography, Inc. He also taught at Columbia College in Chicago.

The Institute of Design was founded under the name The New Bauhaus: Chicago School of Design in 1937 by László Moholy-Nagy, a Hungarian professor of the Bauhaus school. It was the immediate successor to the German Bauhaus, dissolved in 1933 under National Socialist pressure, and continued its philosophy of modernist, human-centered design. In 1939 the school changed location and was renamed the School of Design. It later merged with the Illinois Institute of Technology's College of Architecture, led by Bauhaus alumnus Mies van der Rohe, and in 1944 the School of Design was renamed the Institute of Design in Chicago. Aaron Siskind was an influential teacher at the Institute of Design.

Additional Notes

Related collections:

Institute of Design Collection, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago; Visual materials from the Institute of Design, Larry Janiak teaching at the Institute of Design and Larry Janiak papers, Arthur Siegel photograph collection and supplements, Eugene Dana collection of visual materials, Gordon Coster photograph collection, Chicago School of Design film out-takes, Eugene Dana collection of visual materials, Ray Pearson collection of visual materials, Ray Pearson papers, and Ray Pearson's Institute of Design collection of visual materials, Chicago History Museum; Institute of Design Records, Institute of Design Photography Oral History Project, Institute of Design Records, Institute of Design Photography Oral History Project, Janet Nickle Collection, William Kessler Papers, Alain Findeli Papers, Allen Porter Collection, Roundtable discussion “Crombie Taylor, Aaron Siskind, and the Adler and Sullivan Project” and Crombie Taylor, Aaron Siskind, and the Adler & Sullivan Project Collection, F. Peter Weil Photographs, Beatrice Takeuchi Papers, Illinois Institute of Technology; Elizabeth H. Paepcke Papers, University of Chicago Library; Institute of Design collection, John E. Walley Papers, Leonard S. Rubenstein Design collection, Myron Kozman papers, Larry Janiak papers, Jack Weiss Associates collection, Lillian E. Hall papers, Robert Delson Papers,University of Illinois at Chicago, Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago.