Esther Sparks papers

Inclusive Dates: 
1969–1972

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

2 linear feet (6 boxes) of material consisting of research notes, photographs, correspondence, a typescript draft, and miscellaneous papers compiled by art historian Esther Sparks in conjunction with research for her dissertation “A Biographical Dictionary of Painters and Sculptors in Illinois, 1808-1945” (Northwestern University, 1971).

Biographical Historical Note

Born in Washington, D.C., Esther Sparks received her B.A. (1951) from the University of Chicago, and her M.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1971) from Northwestern University in Evanston. From 1970 to 1984, she worked as a curator in the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Prints and Drawings.  She taught at the School of The Art Institute from 1977 to 1983. Currently, she teaches and lectures throughout the Chicago area, including Northwestern University and the Art Institute, as well as at the University of Mississippi, Oxford. She is the author of numerous exhibition catalogues.