• IdentificationPUBLIC "-//The Art Institute of Chicago::Ryerson and Burnham Archives//TEXT(US::ICA::1982.4::ARTHUR SIEGEL (1913-1978) PAPERS, 1927-1985)//EN" "ica198204"
  • TitleSiegel, Arthur, (1913-1978) Papers, 1927-1985
  • PublisherRyerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago,
  • Language
    • English
    • English.
  • Date1927-1985
  • Physical Description
    • 20 linear feet, (45 boxes), 5 portfolios 2 oversize portfolios and flatfile materials
    • Printed papers, holograph papers, scrapbooks, black and whiteand color photographic prints, black and whiteand color slides, film, analog audiocassettes, a VHS videocassette and DVDs.
  • 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
  • AbstractA large and comprehensive collection of materials document the career of Chicago photographer and educator Arthur Siegel (1913-1978).
  • OriginationSiegel, Arthur (1913-1978)
  • LocationThe collection is housed in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' on-site stacks.

Arthur Siegel was a prominent photographer and educator who contributed writings and images to many magazines, journals and exhibitions from 1938 to 1978. One of László Moholy-Nagy's first students at the New Bauhaus School in Chicago (1937), Siegel was appointed to head the Department of Photography in 1946, after the school was reorganized as the Institute of Design (later incorporated into the Illinois Institute of Technology). Under Siegel's direction, the Institute, which was already the center of avant-garde photography in the United States, developed one of the most impressive and comprehensive photography programs in the country. Although his accomplishments as a photographer show tremendous versatility and innovation he repeatedly stated throughout his career that he felt his major role was as an educator.

Siegel's long career included work as a photo-journalist, industrial and corporate commissions, editorial photography and work for the Office of War Information and Signal Corps. Siegel was one of the first photographers of his generation to use color photography as a serious artistic medium. Life magazine published seven pages of his color work in 1950. His pictures appeared in group and one-person exhibitions throughout the United States.

In 1963, Siegel began preparing images for Chicago's Famous Buildings (University of Chicago Press, 1965), which was to become a classic guidebook to Chicago architecture and establish his excellence as an architectural photographer. After years of moving between freelance photography work and visiting educator appointments, he returned to teaching full-time at the Illinois Institute of Tecnology in 1967.

The history of photography and the development of photographic education in the United States can be studied in Siegel's papers. The collection includes correspondence, personal papers, and a large collection of publications to which Siegel contributed both writing and photography. Excellent examples of his classroom work and course outlines can be studied in his academic papers. In addition, there are 13,522 color and duo-tone slides that he used to illustrate the History of Photography courses he presented. Most of these lectures are related to audio recordings on cassette tape, also in the collection. Thirty-three films (twenty-eight by Siegel and five by others) are maintained in the collection as well.

SERIES I: PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL PAPERS. Business and personal documents; personal and professional correspondence, organized alphabetically by correspondent name; various articles and documents about Siegel's colleagues.

SERIES II: PHOTOGRAPHS. Personal photographs of Siegel and friends; photographs of exhibition installations; photographs by his colleagues; and examples of Siegel's professional work.

SERIES III: PUBLICATIONS AND EXHIBITIONS. Publications by or about Siegel; exhibition announcements and catalogues; collected publications about colleagues and about other related subjects.

SERIES IV: ACADEMIC PAPERS. Teaching notes, course descriptions and programs, syllabi, arranged alphabetically by institution name; transcripts and notes for several lectures; and lists of slides for lectures.

SERIES V: SLIDES, FILMS AND RECORDINGS. Slides organized by titles of Siegel's lectures (the dates noted are those of the lecture); slide lists or clippings related to the lecture topic may be included; VHS tapes of the films (made 06/2000). Films and audio tapes (recordings) are restricted.

  • NamesSiegel, Arthur (1913-1978)
  • Subject
    • New Bauhaus (Chicago, Ill.)--History--Sources
    • Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.)--History--Sources
    • Illinois Institute of Technology
    • Photography, Artistic--History--Sources
    • Architectural photography--United States--History--Sources
    • Photojournalism--United States--History--Sources
    • Photography--Study and teaching--United States--History--Sources








Portions of this collection are restricted from patron use; patrons are requested to use the surrogates available, as noted in the series inventories. The remainder of this 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 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, consult http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchaccess.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.

Portions of this collection are restricted from patron use; patrons are requested to use the surrogates available, as noted in the series inventories.

The collection came to the library in 1982, partly as a gift and partly as a purchase from Irene Siegel, Arthur Siegel's widow. Additional materials were added in 2014.

This collection was processed by Ryerson and Burnham Archives in 1997; the finding aid was updated and expanded by Amy Babinec in 2002, Annemarie van Roessel in 2003 and Jessica Gradolf in 2014.