Shedd Aquarium archives

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

Partially processed. Undetermined volume of materials documenting the history of John G. Shedd Aquarium, including the design and construction of its original building. Included are some early photographs (1927–early 1930s) of decorative details and of models for same, such as terra cotta ornament and the bronze front doors of the original building, as well as early photographs of a 1930 bust of John G. Shedd by sculptor Malvina Hoffman and 2 items of correspondence between Melvin A. Traylor, the aquarium’s first president, and painter H. H. Betts regarding a painted portrait of Shedd.

Biographical Historical Note

The Shedd Aquarium (formerly John G. Shedd Aquarium) opened in Chicago in 1930 in a lavishly decorated building designed by the Chicago firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst and White.

Malvina Hoffman was an American figural sculptor who worked in bronze, marble, and plaster.

Harold Harrington Betts was a landscape, figure, and portrait painter and illustrator who lived and exhibited mainly in Chicago.

Additional Notes

Related collection for Malvina Hoffman: Malvina Hoffman Papers, The Field Museum