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William F. Conger (1937- ) Papers

Identifier: 11/3/3/5

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

William F. Conger’s papers are arranged in six boxes and span the years from 1971 to 2010.  The papers consist largely of correspondence and teaching materials but also include biographical materials, administrative records, materials pertaining to talks and lectures, and examples of Conger’s writing.


  • 1971-2010
  • Other: Date acquired: 08/09/2008


Conditions Governing Access

Administrative materials, teaching materials, files relating to DePaul University (box 3, folder 3), and letters of recommendation (box 3, folders 6-7) may contain sensitive materials; consultation with University Archivist required prior to use.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored at a remote campus location and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


6.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



Abstract painter William Conger has had many solo and group exhibitions, has placed works in significant public, corporate, and private collections, and has taught in college art programs for 40 years, including teaching at Northwestern from 1985-2006. The Papers include correspondence, teaching materials, biographical materials, administrative records, and materials pertaining to talks and lectures.

Arrangement Note

Several folders of biographical materials include general items, curriculum vitae, and press clippings.  The general biographical materials folder contains profiles of Conger, brochures pertaining to art-related activities and entities with which he was involved, images of his studio and work, and family-related documents. One folder contains materials pertaining to Northwestern University's use of Conger's artwork on the cover of a 1986 financial report and on a library bookplate. Additional materials document Conger’s 1992 nomination for an outstanding educator award from the Illinois Academy of Fine Arts.

Correspondence and Related Materials consist of general, subject, and personal correspondence, as well as miscellaneous items.  General correspondence includes all letters, invitations, and e-mails that generally relate to professional concerns but not to Conger's work for the Department of Art Theory and Practice.  Subject correspondence consists of letters and related materials (including brochures, programs, catalogues, invitations, etc.) that concern a specific matter, such as art shows, the memorials for Conger’s former colleague Ed Paschke, and Conger’s appointment to Northwestern.  Personal correspondence consists of cards, letters, notes, and postcards, typically from friends and family.

Administrative Materials consist of materials related to the Northwestern Department of Art Theory and Practice; the department's Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program; Conger's service on the University Faculty Reappointment, Promotion, Tenure, and Dismissal Appeals Panel (UFRPTDAP); and an external review that Conger conducted for the Rockford College Art Department.  The department and MFA materials include correspondence, articles, brochures, program reviews, and related materials.  The UFRPTDAP materials include correspondence, committee reports, and recommendations.  The Rockford College review materials include correspondence, notes, and Conger's review of the program.

Teaching Materials consist of course materials such as syllabi, class lectures, class proposals, course packets and other readings for his courses.  They also include student grades (grade sheets and e-mails to students) and course evaluations (CTECs).  Aside from one DePaul course syllabus, all of these materials pertain to Conger’s career at Northwestern.

Talks and Lectures consist of materials relating to gallery talks, panel discussions and presentations, firesides, introductions of other speakers, and lectures given by William Conger on art, artists, and art issues. These materials include announcements of the talks or lectures, preparatory notes, the lecture texts, correspondence concerning the talks and lectures, student evaluations of one lecture, and brochures and programs from the events.

Writings consist of publications such as articles, letters to the editor, an essay published in the book Psychoanalytic Studies of Biography, and contributions to Mary Gedo’s book Looking at Art from the Inside Out.  The category also includes non-published writing in the form of Internet blog entries and responses on a website called SharkForum.

Shows files consist of a large amount of announcements of and invitations to William Conger's work, typically at the Roy Boyd Gallery. Several books resulting his own galleries (or galleries he has shared with other artists) are also contained here.

Source of Acquisition

William Conger

Method of Acquisition

The bulk of the Papers were donated to the University Archives by William Conger on September 20, 2007, as Accession #07-126. Other materials have been added from the University Archives' biographical files.

Related Materials

A collection of papers relating to Conger's work as an artist is currently held by the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution

Separated Materials

Three photographs, one slide, one copy of the Ed Paschke memorial program, and a videotape of William Conger and Ed Paschke have been separated to appropriate collections within the Northwestern University Archives.

Processing Information

Processor: Katharine Kosin; May 15, 2008. Tim Garrett; June 25, 2009.

Guide to the William F. Conger (1937- ) Papers
Katharine Kosin; May 15, 2008. Tim Garrett; June 25, 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US