William McBride, Jr. 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

45 linear feet (46 archival boxes, many of them oversize) of material relating to and collected by William McBride, including biographical documents; writings, particularly McBride’s early poems; correspondence, much of it from McBride’s friends affiliated with the South Side Community Art Center, including Margaret Burroughs, William S. Carter, and Fitzhugh Dinkins; material relating to the South Side Community Art Center, including official documents, writings and publicity materials depicting the center’s establishment, and programs and fliers for exhibitions several of William McBride’s Artists and Models Ball souvenir books; documents of other organizations, such as the Illinois Art Project and National Conference of Artists, as well as the McBride-designed production report books of the Federal Theater Project’s Little Black Sambo and promotional material of the Art Crafts Guild’s 1933 Artist’s Ball; programs and promotional materials of various art exhibitions collected by McBride, including several documents from the 1963 Century of Negro Progress fair; posters created and collected by William McBride; his files on Africa, the arts, business, Chicago, education and politics; magazines, booklets, and newspapers related to the study of art and to art, politics and the African diaspora, including the Black Power movement and the Black Arts movement; clippings; photographs; and memorabilia.

Biographical Historical Note

From the 1930s through the 1980s, William McBride was an artist, political activist, and collector of Bronzeville cultural memorabilia. During the early 1940s, he served as the publicity director of the South Side Community Art Center.

Additional Notes

Related collections: Oral history interview with William McBride, 1988, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; U.S. Work Projects Administration, Illinois, poster collection, ca. 1930s-1940s, Chicago History Museum; Archives of the South Side Community Art Center, South Side Community Art Center.