Julius Rosenwald 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

35 linear feet (62 boxes, 16 scrapbooks) of material consisting of correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, and other material relating to philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, especially documenting his deep sense of social responsibility and commitment to philanthropic and civic endeavors. Series III, Subseries 1 includes material relating to the Julius Rosenwald Fund, which supported numerous artists as part of its programs.

Biographical Historical Note

Julius Rosenwald was a business executive and philanthropist who played a leading role in many progressive social reform organizations in Chicago. In 1917, he created the Julius Rosenwald Fund to support the “well-being of mankind.” Among its many activities was a fellowship program, which operated between 1928 and 1948 and supported more than 800 African American and white southerners working in numerous fields ranging from education and agriculture to the visual and performing arts. The program had a significant impact on a generation of artists, especially African American artists, who came of age between the Depression and World War II.