Chicago Public Art Group archive

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

Approximately 35 linear feet of material documenting the activities of the Chicago Public Art Group from its founding in 1971 to about 2005. (Post-2005 records are digital.) The paper files are organized by project, arranged chronologically, and consist largely of contracts, materials lists, budgets, and reports. The photograph files, similarly arranged, consist of slides and photo prints of CPAG projects, including in-process, detail, and final project shots. Other files contain administrative materials such as financial documents and copies of CPAG newsletters. In addition, 5 binders contain data sheets for a comprehensive survey of outdoor murals in Chicago, conducted in 2007. The collection also includes significant materials, including sketchbooks, drawings, prints, photographs, and audiotapes, relating to William (Bill) Walker, one of the founders of CPAG and a leader in the creation of the Wall of Respect mural (1967) on Chicago’s South Side.

Biographical Historical Note

Chicago Public Art Group was founded in 1971 as the Chicago Mural Group by a group of artists concerned with the relationship of art to society. CPAG’s founding mission was to establish creative partnerships between artists and communities in an effort to transform and enhance the lives of residents in urban Chicago neighborhoods. Over three decades, what began as a mural-based cooperative broadened to include mosaics, sculpture, landscape design, and sponsorship of workshops and symposia.

Additional Notes

Related collection: Chicago Mural Group Records, Chicago History Museum; William Walker Collection, Northwestern Memorial Hospital Archives.