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  • Collection ID ARCHIVES 2004/11
  • Creator Names Logan, Arthur S.
  • Title Papers, 1887-1999.
  • Physical description 17.5 linear feet
  • Collection arrangement Materials are arranged into thirteen series, Biographical, Correspondence, Manuscripts, Designs, and Drawings, Organizations, Wendell Phillips High School Yearbooks (Red and Black), Music, General Organizations and Programs, Booklets and Pamphlets, Serials, Clippings, Subject Research Files Audio Recordings, Photographs, and Memorabilia. Researchers should also note that shelved with the Arthur Logan Papers are 63 published works donated from his personal library. The works reflect Logan's studies in African American music, literature, art, and history.
  • Access and usage restrictions Available for research in the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, Chicago Public Library.
  • Collection summary The Arthur Logan Papers include materials from Arthur Logan's lifelong career as gospel choir director of the Goodwill Spiritual Singers at Monumental Baptist Church and the Arthur Logan Singers, along with choirs he directed in other churches (1930s-1970s). There is also material from the years Logan sang bass with the Chicago Umbrian Glee Club, after 1987. Logan's collection of printed music (songs and compilations) constitutes a major part of the collection. This includes some 250 items, primarily jubilee spirituals, gospel, classical works, and traditional men's group repertoire, from the 1890s through the 1970s. Items relating to the various choirs Logan directed or sang with include a large number of concert programs (1960s-1990s). Some of these detail themed choral programming written by Logan himself, such as "The Birth of Negro Gospel Music." Other programs and some organizational material from gospel or choral music organizations, such as the Chicago Music Association and the National Association of Negro Musicians, reflect Logan's advocacy and outreach activity, as he strove to educate audiences about the history of gospel and its relationship to the folk music that became popular in the 1960s.
  • Biographical or Historical Note
    • Arthur S. Logan (1909-2000) pursued his life work through both musical and visual arts. Arthur Logan as choirmaster and singer was an active member of Chicago's gospel music community from the 1930s through the 1990s. Logan founded a number of gospel singing groups that performed in churches, auditoriums, and on recordings. Logan's music programs and recordings educated audiences about gospel's roots in spirituals and other African American folk music. His work encompassed church music from traditional hymns and spirituals, turn-of-the-century classical pieces, and gospel choir singing as it flowered from the 1930s through the 1960s. As a young commercial artist during the Chicago Black Renaissance, "Art" Logan joined the artistic team that created The Negro in Chicago 1779-1927 and 1779-1929, also known as the Intercollegiate Wonder Books Volume 1 and 2 (1927-1929), under the direction of Frederic H. Robb, These works definitively portrayed cultural and socioeconomic achievements in the African American community during the 1920s Chicago Black Renaissance, while elevating the study of African American history. His family moved from Greenwood, Mississippi to Chicago around 1915. Arthur attended Raymond Elementary and Wendell Phillips High Schools, Crane Junior College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Ramon Girvin School of Music. In 1933 Arthur Logan married Minnie Earlene Jemison, who would later establish her own "Chez Pompadour" beauty salon with Logan as her manager. Having joined the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, Logan also pursued his commercial art career during the Depression. He also appeared as vocal soloist at social events, such as sorority pledge installations, and joined famed choral director Dr. J. Wesley Jones and the "Bandanna Sketches" on WGN Radio in 1935. Logan began work with the choirs at Monumental Baptist Church, and a group named "Goodwill Male Chorus" recorded several spirituals under his direction in 1937. Logan also appeared in several operas such as the 1939 National Negro Opera Company production in Chicago of La Traviata. In 1939 Logan appeared with the Clef Barons in concert with Dr. Jones' Metropolitan Church Choir for the annual Chicago Tribune Chicagoland Music Festival, and Logan continued to work with Dr. Jones at these events during the 1940s and 1950s. In 1942 Logan assumed the directorship of the Goodwill Spiritual Choir, one of several choirs at Monumental Baptist Church. Logan established a new choral group, the Arthur Logan Singers, in 1949 after participating in a variety of civic programs presented to improve race relations in Chicago. Logan recorded the Goodwill Spiritual Choir on Folkways Records with folk singer Ella Jenkins in 1957. Logan continued to direct and record with choirs through the 1970s. He also worked at the Goldblatt Brothers Department Store, creating all of the hand-lettered calligraphic signage in display windows and within the store itself. He retired from Goldblatt's in 1976. He continued to be active in professional organizations until his death.
    • Frederic H.H. Robb (1900-1978) was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He attended Howard University and earned his B.A. in 1924. In 1927 he received his J.D. degree at Northwestern University, where he pursued activist work through the debate team, membership on the Chicago YMCA executive board, and presidency of the Washington Intercollegiate Club of Chicago. He became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and worked summers for the Chicago Board of Education as playground instructor. Under Robb's leadership, and with office space provided by the YMCA, the Intercollegiate Club undertook publication of the 1927 Intercollegian Wonder Book, or, The Negro in Chicago, 1779-1927, and The Wonder Book: The Negro in Chicago, 1779 to 1929, also known as the Intercollegiate Wonder Books Volumes 1 and 2 (1927-1929). The books depicted members of Chicago's growing black middle classes as both educated and activist. In the mid-1930s, Robb changed his name to Fidepe H. Hammurabi and decided to remain in Chicago. He became a prominent speaker at the renowned Washington Park outdoor forum, continuing his outreach there for several decades. He took up the cause of Ethiopia after the Italian invasion, and became a leader in Chicago's huge movement to defend Ethiopia. As an objector to America's participation in World War II he was arrested in 1942 with Elijah Muhammad and other Chicago protesters, and charged with promoting draft evasion. He was vindicated when the charges were dropped. By now he had traveled and studied widely and had amassed an extensive collection of materials rich in African history and culture. He organized the [World Wide] Friends of Africa, and in 1950 he founded the House of Knowledge (first known as Century Service Exchange), a bookstore and meeting place for Afrocentric study with its adjoining Ethiopian Research Library. There he continued until his death in 1978 to publish, lecture, and organize in order to promote international knowledge and understanding of African Americans' history.
  • Finding Aids Note Finding aid available in the Harsh Research Collection, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, Chicago Public Library and on the library's web site.
  • Acquisition information Donated by Sylvia C. Logan, niece of Arthur Logan, deed of gift March 10, 2004
  • Names
    • Logan, Arthur S. Archives.
    • Robb, F. H. Hammurabi (Frederic H. Hammurabi) Archives.
    • Monumental Baptist Church (Chicago, Ill.)
    • Goodwill Spiritual Choir.
    • Chicago Umbrian Glee Club.
  • Subjects
    • African American gospel singers Illinois Chicago.
    • African American artists Illinois Chicago.
    • Gospel music Illinois Chicago.
    • African Americans Illinois Chicago Music.
    • Sheet music Illinois Chicago.
  • Finding aid URL http://www.chipublib.org/fa-arthur-logan-papers/