• Identification00004587
  • TitleDescriptive inventory for the John Walley visual materials, 1937-1974
  • PublisherChicago Historical Society
  • Language
    • English.
    • English
  • RepositoryChicago History Museum Research Center 1601 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614-6038
  • OriginationJohn Walley
  • Date1937-1974
  • Physical Description8.5 linear feet, including approximately 1800 images (10 boxes, 4 folders)
  • Location
    • 1985.0708 PPL
    • 1985.0708 PCLF
    • 1985.0708 PPN-0024-0025
    • 1985.0708 PNN
    • 1985.0708 PCT-0020

Digitization and preservation of the nitrate negatives was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Advance appointment required to view color material in cold storage or negatives in cool storage; please email research@chicagohistory.org.

Nitrate negatives restricted from access, see reference copies instead.

Credit photographer, some restrictions may apply.

Gift of Mrs. Jano Walley (accession #: 1985.0708, 1986.0105, 1986.0206).

Nitrate reference copies available online http://digitalcollection.chicagohistory.org/cdm/ref/collection/p16029coll5/id/1439.

John Walley visual materials (Chicago History Museum), with a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of the specific item(s).

Black-and-white photographic prints (approximately 950), negatives (approximately 700), color photographic prints (13), art work and design projects documenting the career of John Walley, including materials and images from his work at the Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC, then University of Illinois at Navy Pier), as well as images from Walley’s 1937 Federal Art Project assignment to document life and industry in Alaska. Original 2-dimensional artwork includes items in pen and ink, pastel, charcoal, watercolor, and color photography, as well as prints and watercolors by Walley's students at UIC. Design works include original art work for a book, Basic Design, designs for furniture, plans for the layout of studio/living quarters, and curriculum plans for UIC College of Architecture and Art. A portfolio, Display Systems, contains mounted photoprints and reproduced design drawings for racks and display devices designed by John and John’s wife, Jano Walley. This collection forms part of the Institute of Design holdings at Chicago History Museum, Research Center. Alaska-related images in the collection include black-and-white photographic prints and nitrate negatives as well as building construction and agricultural activities, landscapes, views of natural features, such as the Mendenhall Glacier (near Juneau), and pictures of towns and structures.

John Walley (1910-1974) was an artist, designer and faculty member at the Institute of Design and UIC. John met his wife, artist Jane “Jano” Walley in art school in Chicago; the couple spent much of their careers working together. In 1937, Walley was sent to Alaska by the Federal Art Project to document life and industry in the territory, accompanied by Jano. He later served as State Director of the Federal Art-Craft Project in Illinois. Following service in the Army during World War II, John joined the faculty at the Institute of Design in 1945, which became affiliated with the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1949. In 1952, he moved to University of Illinois at Chicago, then located at Navy Pier. Walley argued effective teachers needed to be practitioners, and remained active in the art and design world throughout his career. John and Jano Walley also received media attention for architectural transformations of their living spaces, including a remodeled building in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. A more complete biography, written by John Walley, is included in the John Walley papers [manuscript].

Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include Selected Papers by John Walley (call #: N85 .W25 1975 OVERSIZE).

  • Subject
    • Agriculture--Alaska. snapshots
    • Art--Illinois--Chicago
    • Art education--Illinois--Chicago
    • Artists--Illinois--Chicago
    • Artists studios--Illinois--Chicago
    • Dwellings--Illinois--Chicago
    • Exhibitions--Illinois--Chicago
    • Furniture--Illinois--Chicago
    • Sculpture--Illinois--Chicago
    • Popular culture--Illinois--Chicago
    • Totem poles--Alaska. snapshots
    • Fishing industry--Alaska. snapshots
  • Names
    • Walley, Jano
    • Federal Art Project
    • Illinois Institute of Technology. Institute of Design.
    • Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Alaska--Pictorial works
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Streets--Erie--East--6
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Streets--Halsted Street--North--2117

Minimally reprocessed into series in August 2016 to unify the collection and add biographical note. Some box numbers may have changed; folder contents, order, and titles have not been changed. Non-graphic materials originally included in the collection have been transferred to the John Walley papers (Bib# 66132); this material includes a long-form biography for the Walleys and a curriculum vitae for John Walley. Eliminated call number 1985.0708 PNN-0008 during nitrate digitization project 2017/03/08.

The collection is arranged in two series.

Series 1. Art and Design, ca. 1938-1974 (boxes 1-8, folders 1-3)

This series consists of a combination of original and photographic reproductions of art and design materials by John Walley, sometimes in conjunction with his wife, Jano Walley. The watercolor paintings, cartoons, collages, drawings, and books, black-and-white and color photographic prints, black-and-white negatives, and color transparencies of artworks, architecture, furniture and rugs, photograms, advertisements, etc. represent Walley’s personal work, as well as work produced during his time on the faculty of the Institute of Design and UIC. Also included are images of Walley’s UIC curriculum plans and his students’ work.

Series 2. Alaska, 1937, undated (boxes 9-10, folder 4)

This series consists of black-and-white nitrate negatives (620), photographic prints (258) and color photographic postcards (9) from Walley's work for the Federal Art Project in 1937. Images depict Alaskan fishing and cannery industries, as well as building construction and agricultural activities, landscapes, views of natural features, such as the Mendenhall Glacier (near Juneau), and pictures of towns and structures. The series also includes color postcards of Alaskan people believed to have been collected by Walley, images of his artwork from the period, and a small number of images from other travels.