OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION
Title: J. Walter Wilkinson Papers
Collection Date(s): circa 1932-1935, 1940-1964, 1985-1987
Extent and Forms of Material: 1 cubic foot, (2 boxes and 2 oversize folders)
Creator: J. Walter Wilkinson
Abstract: The collection contains originals and copy photographs of advertisements and other commercial art work; original sketches; materials documenting a mechanical drafting instrument patented by Wilkinson and his son, Walter G. Wilkinson; a scrapbook of clippings; photographs; awards; oral history interviews; and other materials documenting Wilkinson’s' career.
Collection Number: AC0116
Processing Note: Processed by Robert S. Harding, archivist, 1986; revised by Catherine Keen, archivist, June 2010.
INFORMATION FOR USERS OF THE COLLECTION
Conditions Governing Access: The collection is open for research use.
Physical Access : Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use: Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
Preferred Citation: [Title and date of item], J. Walter Wilkinson Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number X, folder number XX, digital file number XXXXXXXX
IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLECTION
Administrative/Biographical History: J. Walter Wilkinson (1892-1988) was an award-winning commercial artist, perhaps best known for a series of six war bond posters he and his son Walter G. Wilkinson (1917-1971) created for the United States Treasury Department. J.
Walter Wilkinson was born on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, received formal academic training in art, and worked on newspapers and at an advertising agency before becoming a free lance artist. Wilkinson worked on outdoor magazine advertisements and magazine covers. Major products for which Wilkinson did advertising art work included Ivory Soap, Pabst Beer, and Ballantine Ale.
Scope and Content: The collection includes a scrapbook and scrapbook materials, correspondence relating to advertising awards, proof sheets for advertisements, original sketches, a mock-up of a Saturday Evening Post cover, “stand-alone” beer advertisements, a painting of a cabin cruiser, materials documenting a mechanical drafting instrument patented by the Wilkinsons, a poster advertising Arrow Beer and another promoting war bonds, an advertisement for Landsdowner Whiskey, photographs of both men’s work, oral history interviews of J. Walter Wilkinson, and miscellany. The oral history interviews were conducted by National Museum of American History curator, Larry Bird.
System of Arrangement: The collection is arranged into seven series.
Series 1, Original artwork. undated
Acquisition Information: The collection was donated to the Museum in 1984 by J. Walter Wilkinson.
Custodial History: Transferred to the Archives Center in 1986.
Related Archival Materials: Wilkinson donated 6 oil paintings, 8 posters, and other miscellaneous materials promoting the sale of war bonds and stamps, to the Division of Political History in 1984. See Accession #1984.0653.