Helen Balfour Morrison collection [manuscripts and artifacts]

Inclusive Dates: 
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

8.5 linear feet (8 boxes) of material consisting of personal and professional papers of photographer Helen Balfour Morrison. Included are personal, professional, and family correspondence, manuscripts, scrapbooks, journals, business records, financial records, legal records, research materials for various photographic projects, an artist’s book containing her portraits of famous subjects (many inscribed by the subjects during their sitting), and a subject file of clippings. Artifacts include family jewelry and photography equipment.

Biographical Historical Note

Helen Balfour Morrison began her photography career by opening her own studio in Evanston, Illinois, with her brother. Once established in the Chicago area’s artist community, she used her experience in portrait photography to make a series of portraits of “Great Americans,” for which she made portraits of numerous artists as well as writers, politicians, doctors, and social workers, first in Chicago in the 1930s, then in New York in the 1940s, and in the 1970s in Chicago.

Additional Notes

Related collection: Helen Balfour Morrison’s Great Americans Collection, The Morrison-Shearer Foundation.