Guide to the Papers of Walter Chrysler, Jr., circa 1900 - 1990Manuscript MS-957

Full Finding Aid

Title:

Guide to the Papers of Walter Chrysler, Jr., circa 1900 - 1990

Call Number:

Manuscript MS-957

Collection Dates:

circa 1900 - 1990

Size of Collection:

11 boxes (13 linear feet)

Abstract:

William P. Chrysler, Jr. (1909-1988). Automobile executive and art collector. Contains papers related to the personal life of Chrysler, Jr. including family, academic, and his interest in art collecting.

Access to Collection:

Unrestricted.

Use & Access

The materials represented in this guide may be accessed through the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College. Rauner Library is located in Webster Hall. The materials must be used on-site and may not leave Rauner Library.

Rauner Special Collections Library is open to the public and in most cases no appointment is necessary. The exception is in the case of materials stored off site for which there may be a delay of up to 48 hours in retrieval. Please consult the Access to Collection statement below or contact Rauner Reference.

Access to Collection

Unrestricted.

Publication & Use

Permission from Dartmouth College required for publication or reproduction.

Introduction to the Collection

Contains photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, telegrams, cards, books, notes, and notebooks pertaining to Chrysler's personal life. Included is the funeral of his parents, his wedding, his wife's funeral, academic life at Hotchkiss, Roxbury and Dartmouth College, social life, business issues, and his interests in publishing and arts (the foundation and operation of Cheshire House and information on the Chrysler Museum).

Biography

Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. (May 27, 1909 - Sep.17, 1988) Automobile executive and art collector. Born in Oelwein, Iowa he was the son of famed automobile executive, Walter P. Chrysler. Chrysler was a non-graduate of Dartmouth College, Class 1933. While studying at Dartmouth College, he founded 'Cheshire House', a publisher of fine books with Nelson A. Rockefeller - several winning "Best Book of the Year" awards from the Grolier Club. In 1934, Chrysler founded the Air-Temp division of the Chrysler Corporation, which developed the first air-conditioning system in an automobile. At the outbreak of World War II, he volunteered for service in the Navy and became a member of the third officer training class in Naval Avionics at Quonset Point, Long Island. In the public realm, Mr. Chrysler worked under Nelson Rockefeller as coordinator of Inter-American affairs in Washington, D.C., in 1940. Chrysler retired as President of the Chrysler automotive company in 1953.

Chrysler was heavily involved in the arts as a collector and benefactor. He was the first chairman of MoMa's Library committee and was involved in establishing that institution. In 1958 he founded the Chrysler Art Museum in Provincetown, Ma., relocating his collection to Norfolk, Virginia, in 1971. Many art critics consider him to have owned not only the largest, but also the most diverse collection of art in the world at that time. He lived between his homes in New York and Norfolk for the remaining decades of his life, during which he remained an active art collector as well as a patron of the arts. He died in Norfolk on September 17, 1988, from cancer.

Box & Folder List

Box: 1, Dates: circa 1929-1982

Contains sympathy cards, telegrams, letters and a memorial book concerning the death of Chrysler's mother. Also contains original art work for Chrysler's book plate, family photographs and two letter boxes containing personal correspondence.

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2, Dates: circa 1923-1989

Contains correspondence, postcards, telegrams, drawings, auction catalogues of Chysler's books, biographical information, a Chrysler Building employees Bulletin for 1939, newspaper clippings on Mrs. Chrysler's death, business cards, church service cards, and other ephemera.

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 3, Dates: circa 1925-1982

Contains photographs, including family portraits, real-estate, vacation photos, and of Chrysler's wine cellar. Also contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, four canisters of 16mm film of family and parties, slides, a rubber stamp, and fragments of notes and letters.

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 4, Dates: circa 1925 -1976

Contains type and handwritten notes from John Ball ‘29 and George McLachlan ‘29 of Dartmouth College; congressional corresondence concerning the proposed Cape Cod National Seashore; telegrams; brochures; a catalogue of American Naive painting; calling cards and address lists; inventories of Chrysler's silver; a photo album; telegrams; poetry; newspaper clippings; loose photographs and a folder containing ephemera.

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 5, Dates: circa 1917-1959

Contains photographs, a yearbook from the Roxbury School, newspaper clippings, correspondence, notes, photographic negatives, Congressional correspondence concerning Cape Cod, the Congressional Record on Cape Cod National Seashore Park, and an Act providing for the establishment of Cape Code National Seashore.

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 6, Dates: circa 1900-1988

Contains hand-written notes, newspaper and magazine clippings, a landscape blueprint for Chrysler's property in Great Neck, L.I., telegrams, cards, correspondence, army vouchers, a Dartmouth College admissions handbook, opera brochures, luncheon programs, photographs, address books, 1933 Dartmouth College Freshman Green Book, a Roxbury School yearbook, a catalogue of Chrysler's furniture and a notebook.

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 7, Dates: circa 1924-1982

Contains correspondence, telegrams, cards, hand-written notes, jewelry appraisal information, real estate documents, brochures and pamphles, estate inventories, magazine and newspaper clippings, photocopies of certificates, funeral memorial books, a scrapbook, photographs, and negatives.

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 8, Dates: circa 1919 - 1982

Contains newspapers, newspaper clippings, editorials, and a comic.

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 9, Dates: circa 1975-1990

Contains notes, estate executors inventory, and ephemeral items.

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 10, Dates: circa 1920-1960

Contains photographs of Chrysler's homes and landscapes, including gardens and interiors shots, architecture, people, and travels. Also contains a large caricature/marker drawing of a group of people; the back reads "DINNER, Finance Committee, Pierce Room." Also contains several large portrait photographs (approximately two feet by one foot in size), copies of a chart of familial descent from William the Conqueror (tying the Chrysler family as direct descendants), and a large colored pencil drawing given to Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. in 1936.

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 11, Dates: circa 1900-1960

Contains a large portfolio of portrait photographs; loose photographs of houses and landscapes; a 1929 photograph of Mrs. W. P. Chrysler and children at a dinner in Hong Kong; copies of old photographs from the late nineteenth century; copies of a 1981 article about Mrs. Chrysler's large collections of books and artwork; newspaper clippings; a portfolio of photographer Bert Clark Thayer's work; an oversize unbound Chesire House issue of "The Inferno - from La Divina Commedia of Dante Alighieri; translated by Rev. Henry Francis Cary and illustrated with seven engravings by William Blake", 1931; and miscellaneous periodicals. Also contains two oversized photographs of Chrysler's class at Hotchkiss and his football team at Roxbury.

Access Restrictions

unrestricted

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Finding Aids