Descriptive inventory for the William Frederick collection of visual materials, approximately 1959-1995

William Frederick collection of visual materials

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Descriptive inventory for the William Frederick collection of visual materials, approximately 1959-1995

Prepared by Elise Zerega.
Processing of the William Frederick collection of visual materials was funded by the estate of William N. Frederick.
Please address questions to:
Chicago History Museum, Research Center
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
Instructions for accessing this collection

Collection Overview +/-

Title: William Frederick collection of visual materials, approximately 1959-1995 (inclusive)
Creator: William Frederick
Dates: approximately 1959-1995 (inclusive)
Accession number: 2012.0065.164
Bib number: 00078605
Call numbers: 2012.0065.164 PPL
2012.0065.164 PCP-0251
2012.0065.164 PPN-0400
2012.0065.164 PCN-0032
2012.0065.164 PCT-0249
Size: 10 linear feet, including approximately 5,300 images (20 boxes)
Language of material:Collection is written in English.

Provenance statement:

Most materials were a gift of the estate of William N. Frederick (accession #: 2012.0065.164).

Terms governing use:

Credit photographer or photography studio where identified. The donor deeded all rights owned by the donor to this material, including copyright, to Chicago Historical Society. Other copyrights may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


Advance appointment needed to view color material in cold storage.

Please cite this collection as:

William Frederick collection of visual materials (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and series/box/folder/call number of a specific item.

Additional Materials +/-

Related material:

Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include the William N. Frederick papers; a small, earlier donation by Frederick entitled: William Frederick collection of drawings (G.1982.0066); and photographs by Vasile Bouleanu entitled: Photograph collection related to William Frederick (2013.0027.1-20). William Frederick material also is included in the Kalo Shop collection of visual materials (1979.0034).

Collection Summary +/-

Visual material related to works created by Chicago-based silversmith William N. Frederick, including black and white and color photographs of his metalwork--most undated, as well as some images related to personal or family subjects and exhibits and lectures that William Frederick gave or that featured his works. Collection includes photographs showing ecclesiastic commissions, personal jewelry, and various other silver items such as vases, boxes, and chains of office for various universities. Color photographs of chalices and wedding bands make up the bulk of this collection, and there are color slides of a large selection of William Frederick's work.

Photographers whose works are included in the collection include William N. Frederick, Tim Schulz Photography, Robert Hurling, Dick Arling, Evanston Photographic Studios, Oscar and Associates, Inc., Blair Jensen, Regina Kuehn, Suzanne Seed, Robert Nowell Ward, Lawrence Phillip Studios, Terry's Photography, Stephen Bogaerts Photography, Allen I. Stessman, and unidentified photographers.

Biographical/Historical Note +/-

William Nicholas Frederick (1921-2012), noted Chicago silversmith, was born in Sycamore, Illinois, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Gallagher School of Business in Kankakee, Illinois. He was also known as Bill Frederick. With the outbreak of World War II, Frederick joined the Navy in May 1942 and was appointed an ensign. During his training as an officer, Frederick attended classes at Harvard University, 1942-1943, and took classes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1946. At the end of the war, Frederick was honorably discharged and moved to Chicago to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1953 and a Master of Fine Arts in 1959 before becoming a professional silversmith.

His first commission was a chalice for Father John Smith of the Mundelein Seminary in 1959. Frederick set up his first workshop in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood before moving in the late 1960s to Old Town, where his workshop remained for the rest of his life. Throughout his career, Frederick focused on religious commissions and made approximately 500 chalices and patens, never repeating a design. Frederick also made a number of rings, especially wedding rings, primarily for friends and family.

In addition to his ecclesiastic commissions, Frederick created pieces for McDonald's, First Bank of Chicago, Chicago Heart Association, and the American College of Surgeons. He taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for six years following his graduation and gave lectures throughout his career. His work was widely exhibited throughout the Middle West and won numerous awards.

Catalog Subject Headings +/-

Art metal-workers--Illinois--Chicago
Art metal-work--Study and teaching--Illinois--Chicago
Bowls (Tableware)--Illinois--Chicago
Drinking vessels--Illinois--Chicago
Jewelry making--Illinois--Chicago
Arling, Dick, photographer
Frederick, William N., 1921-2012
Frederick, William N., 1921-2012--Archives
Frederick, William N., 1921-2012--Exhibitions
Frederick, William N., 1921-2012--Portraits
Hurling, Robert, photographer
Jensen, Blair, photographer
Kuehn, Regina, photographer
Seed, Suzanne, photographer
Stessman, Allen I., photographer
Ward, Robert Nowell, photographer
Catholic Church--Liturgical objects
Chicago Historical Society. Chicago Metalsmiths (Exhibition)
Evanston Photographic Studios, photographer
Lawrence Phillip Studios, photographer
Oscar & Associates (Chicago, Ill.), photographer
Stephen Bogaerts Photography, photographer
Terry's Photography, photographer
Tim Schulz Photography, photographer
Film negatives
Film negatives--Color
Film transparencies
Film transparencies--Color
Gelatin silver prints
Photographic prints
Photographic prints--Color
Chicago (Ill.)--Commerce
Chicago (Ill.)--Intellectual life
United States--Illinois--Cook County--Chicago

Organization and Arrangement of Collection +/-

The collection is arranged physically by media, and the major topical areas are described in the following archival series.

Click on heading to view series description.

Series 1. Biographical visual material (items found in 6 boxes)
Series 2. Commissioned designs (items found in 10 boxes)
Subseries 1. Religious (items found in 7 boxes)
Subseries 2. Jewelry (items found in 4 boxes)
Subseries 3. Various silverwork (items found in 7 boxes)
Subseries 4. Universities (items found in 3 boxes)
Series 3. Exhibits and lectures (items found in 4 boxes)

About This Finding Aid +/-

Creation: Finding aid partially encoded by Brenda Lozano using Oxygen XML editor, 2014. Revised by Jill Wiercioch, 2015.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Other Finding Aids: Finding aid also submitted to Explore Chicago Collections portal.
Processing Note:The William Frederick collection of visual materials was processed by Elise Zerega through a grant funded by the estate of William N. Frederick.
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