• IdentificationPUBLIC "-//The Art Institute of Chicago::Ryerson and Burnham Archives//TEXT(US::ICA::2006.1::BALDWIN KINGREY COLLECTION, 1939-2004 (BULK 1947-1957)//EN)" "ica200601.xml"
  • TitleBaldwin Kingrey Collection, 1939-2004 (bulk 1947-1957)
  • PublisherRyerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago,
  • Language
    • English
    • English.
  • Date
    • 1939-2004
    • (bulk 1947-1957)
  • Physical Description
    • 1.75 linear feet (4 boxes).
    • Correspondence, printed materials, typescript papers, photocopies, black and white photographs, color laser prints and negatives.
  • RepositoryRyerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago 111 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60603-6110 (312) 443-7292 rbarchives@artic.edu http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchives.html
  • AbstractPhotographs, correspondence, personal papers, printed materials, business papers, book manuscript materials, and negatives documenting the history of Chicago modern furniture retailer Baldwin Kingrey, opened by architect Harry Weese, his wife, Kitty Baldwin Weese, and their partner, interior designer Jody Kingrey.
  • OriginationWeese Family
  • LocationThe collection is housed in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' on-site stacks.

American architect Harry Weese (1915-1998), his wife, Kitty Baldwin Weese (1917-2005), and their partner, interior designer Jody Kingrey (1918-2003), opened the modern furniture retailer Baldwin Kingrey in 1947. Located in Chicago's Diana Court Building at North Michigan Avenue and Ohio Street, it offered affordable functional furniture from European and American designers, including Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen, Bruno Mathsson, Charles and Ray Eames, and Harry Weese, and textiles, glassware, and other accessories by Angelo Testa, Fulvio Bianconi, James Prestini, and Harry Bertoia. The store was a gathering place for students and faculty at the Institute of Design as well as Chicago's modern architects and interior designers who were inspired by its Scandinavian furniture displays and modern art exhibitions. Baldwin Kingrey was sold in 1957 and remained open in its original location through the mid-1960s. A second Baldwin Kingrey store was opened in late 1947 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and closed a year later.

This collection is divided into eight series. Series I, Photographs, consists of photographs of furniture, interior and exterior views of Chicago and Minneapolis stores, and colleagues and relatives. Series II, Business and Professional Papers, includes correspondence, publicity materials and other printed matter. Series III, Artists and Designers, consists of drawings, printed materials and correspondence related to artists and designers. Series IV, Baldwin Kingrey: Midcentury Modern in Chicago, 1947-1957, includes typescript photocopies and galleys of Baldwin Kingrey: Midcentury Modern in Chicago, 1947-1957 and book-related correspondence. Series V, Financial and Legal Papers, includes promissory notes, a contract of sale for Baldwin Kingrey, and an invoice. Series VI, Printed Matter, includes newspaper articles on Chicago design and Jody Kingrey. Series VII, Personal Papers, includes Kitty Weese's mental examiner certificate, diploma, and correspondence. Series VIII, Negatives, consists of negatives primarily of furniture and store interior and exterior views.

SERIES I: PHOTOGRAPHS. Divided into four subseries: Baldwin Kingrey Store, Harry Weese Furniture, Other Designers, and Personal Photographs.

SERIES II: BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL PAPERS. Divided into four subseries: Publicity Materials, Correspondence, Price Lists, and Miscellaneous.

SERIES III: ARTISTS AND DESIGNERS. Arranged alphabetically by last name.

SERIES IV: BALDWIN KINGREY: MIDCENTURY MODERN IN CHICAGO, 1947-1957. Divided into three subseries: Letters, General Correspondence, and Manuscript.


SERIES VI: PRINTED MATTER. Divided into two subseries: Newspaper Articles and Miscellaneous.


SERIES VIII: NEGATIVES. This series is not yet processed and is restricted from use by patrons. Print surrogates may be available in Series I: Photographs.

  • Names
    • Baldwin Kingrey (Firm)
    • Baldwin Kingrey (Firm)--Archives
    • Weese, Kitty Baldwin
    • Weese, Harry, 1915-
    • Kingrey, Jody
    • Aalto, Alvar, 1898-1976
    • Prestini, James, 1908-
    • Artek Oy Ab
    • Brunetti, John
  • Subject
    • Furniture design--History--20th century--Sources
    • Furniture designers--Archives
    • Interior Decorators--United States--Archives
    • Interior decoration--United States--History--20th century




Portions of this collection are restricted; wherever possible, surrogate copies are provided for patron use. The remainder of collection may be used by qualified readers in the Reading Room of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at The Art Institute of Chicago. Collections maintained on-site are available for patron use without prior arrangement or appointment. Collections maintained in off-site storage will be retrieved with advance notification; please consult the Archivist for the current retrieval schedule. For further information, patrons are requested to consult http://www.artic.edu/aic/access/access.html

The Art Institute of Chicago is providing access to the materials in the Libraries' collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of the Art Institute is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Archivist, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to permission from the Art Institute, permission of the copyright owner (if not the Art Institute) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distribution, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. The Art Institute makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

Baldwin Kingrey collection, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.

This collection was donated by Kitty Baldwin Weese's children, Shirley Weese Young, Marcia Weese, and Kate Weese, in 2006. Additional materials were donated by Stanley Allan.

This collection was processed by Stacey Schroeder and Nathaniel Parks in 2006, Nathaniel Parks in 2009 and Jessica Gradolf in 2014.