William Edouard Scott papers

Inclusive Dates: 

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

5 linear feet (8 archival boxes) of material documenting the life and career of painter William Edouard Scott, and consisting of biographical documents; program booklets from important exhibitions of African American art from the Harlem Renaissance to the civil rights movement, such as the 1933 Exhibition of the Productions of Negro Artists and the 1940 American Negro Exposition; correspondence (notably a letter from Horace Cayton to Scott detailing Cayton’s plans for the presentation of black art and history at the American Negro Exposition); newspaper and journal clippings; photographs, many of Scott with his paintings and murals and photographs of his paintings by themselves, including most of his paintings for the 1940 American Negro Exposition; and memorabilia.

Biographical Historical Note

William Edouard Scott was an African American muralist, portraitist, and illustrator who spent much of his career in Chicago. Scott was a major figure in the New Negro Movement of the 1920s, painted numerous murals under the sponsorship of the Illinois Federal Art Project in the early 1940s, and promoted educational opportunities for African Americans. He made significant trips to Haiti and Mexico to paint.

Additional Notes

Related collection: Joan S. Wallace Papers, Chicago Public Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection.