Finding Aid for Richard Brooks Papers and Chief Illiniwek Triptych Panel Mural, 1977-2007 | The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

[Printer Friendly] | [ Email us about these papers]

Collection Overview

Title: Richard Brooks Papers and Chief Illiniwek Triptych Panel Mural, 1977-2007Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 26/20/204

Primary Creator: Richard E. Brooks

Extent: 15.25 cubic feet

Arrangement: Unarranged

Date Acquired: 07/12/2016. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Photographs, Photography

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Consists of Chief Illiniwek triptych panel mural (84 x 120 x 2.5 inches), production notes, photograph of retired Chiefs group 80th anniversary, and Chief Illiniwek: A Tribute to an Illinois Edition commemorative edition.

Biographical Note

Richard E. Brooks is a Chicago, Illinois fine art photographer, designer, and marketing consultant. A native of Jerseyville, Illinois, Brooks graduated with a B.S. in Agricultural Communications from the University of Illinois, Urbana campus, in 1967 as a member of the Centennial Class.  He joined the University's Agricultural Communications staff as the first-appointed Teaching Assistant to Dr. James F. Evans in 1967 while taking graduate level coursework in advertising. Dr. Evans was his 1964 student adviser.  In 1968, Brooks began a career in photography as Communications Specialist in Photography and Instructor of Agricultural Communications where he taught photography classes for Agricultural Journalism, and conducted photo seminars and workshops for the Cooperative Extension agents. He also mentored the Illinois 4-H Photography Program for many years by providing photography workshops and serving as Judge at the Illinois State Fair.  In 1971, Brooks launched the Richard E. Brooks Co. in Champaign, Illinois and specialized in editorial and product photography. Eight years later, he designed and created Cyclorama Studios in Urbana, Illinois, a 5,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art photo facility which was destroyed by a tornado in 1980.

Throughout his career, Brooks has received numerous prestigious photo commissions from the University of Illinois Foundation including the iconic image of Chief Illiniwek featured in former President John Corball's 1977 coffee-table book.  His ten-foot Chief Illiniwek photographic mural was unveiled at the 80th Chief Illiniwek Banquet in 2006.  In addtion on October 1, 1988 Brooks was the creative force and Executive Producer of the "Country/USA" project which documented through photography rural America on a single day using one hundred and two professional photographers and hundreds of 4-H and FFA members in all 50 states. This project generated 127,000 photographic prints which were later used to create the Country/USA coffee-table book that was published in 1989. The book was recognized by the National Agricultural Marketing Association (NAMA) with prestigious awards, and sold 11,000 copies.

Brooks moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1990. He continued his editorial and product photography while using his marketing skills to advance a second parallel career in commercial property management. In recent years, his focus has been on fine art photography, especially landscape scenic marketed through his Studio R company.

Subject/Index Terms


Administrative Information

Repository: The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Accruals: Chief Illiniwek poster and photos accessioned on April 16, 2019.

Acquisition Source: Richard E. Brooks

Acquisition Method: Gift

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Item:

[Item 1: Chief Illiniwek Triptych Panel Mural],
[Item 2: Richard Brooks 50 Years and 50 Prints Exhibit Gallery Presentation, November 4, 2016],
[Box 1],
[Oversize Portfolio Box 3],

Item 1: Chief Illiniwek Triptych Panel MuralAdd to your cart.
Color die transfer photograph prints wet-mounted to MDF boards that are glued onto 2.25 x 1/2 inch white pine frames. Total height is 84 inches x width 120 inches x depth 2.5 inches, with each panel measuring 84 x 40 x 2.5 inches that are mounted together using eight 3/8th inch aluminum bolts [each measuring 4 inches in length], 16 aluminum washers, and eight sheet metal wing nuts).  The mural is housed in a simple plywood and pine fur strip crate. Accession number: 2016.2620204.001.
Item 2: Richard Brooks 50 Years and 50 Prints Exhibit Gallery Presentation, November 4, 2016Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Richard Brooks 50 Years and 50 Photographic Prints Exhibit was held between November 2 and 28, 2016 to highlight his professional photography career as an alum of the University of Illinois. The exhibit was part of the Sousa Archives 2016 American Music Month Celebration.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Chief Illiniwek: A Tribute to an Illinois Tradition commemorative edition, 2007Add to your cart.
Published by the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette.
Folder 2: Photograph of Retired Chiefs Group 80th anniversary, 2006Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Chief Illiniwek mural production notes brochure, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Richard Brooks promotional materials, ca. 2015Add to your cart.
Oversize Portfolio Box 3Add to your cart.
Oversize Portfolio Case 1: Chief Illiniwek Poster and Photos, 1983Add to your cart.