Records of the University Guild

Inclusive Dates: 
1892–2004
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

38 boxes of material consisting of correspondence; agendas and minutes; officer and committee reports; financial records; press releases; publications; records of the Women’s Building Association; materials pertaining to the Guild’s art collection (including histories, appraisals, catalogues and inventories, and receipts for art objects purchased at the close of the 1893 Columbian Exposition), and art seminar committee; and clippings and scrapbooks. The collection also contains a group of letters written in 1905 by various Chicago area artists to Guild president Martha Foote Crowe, in response to an inquiry about their willingness to receive Guild visitors in their studios. Addition 1 to the collection includes a 1905 letter from artist Lorado Taft concerning a visit to Taft's studio by Guild members and a 1940 letter concerning a portrait of Scott made by artist Anna Lynch.

Biographical Historical Note

The University Guild was founded in 1892 by a group of Northwestern University and Evanston women “To bring to the membership the intellectual resources of the University. To promote the interests of the University. To work for the collection and exhibition of objects of art. To advance the development and appreciation of the fine arts in the University and in Evanston.” One of its principal endeavors was the building of an art collection, beginning with purchases of items exhibited at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The Guild was also instrumental in the appointment of the university’s first instructor of art, Stella Skinner, in 1908, and it sponsored scholarships for female art students.