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Walter Chappell collection

Identifier: AG 118

Scope and Contents

The Walter Chappell collection contains biographical information, study prints, and a selected negative inventory pertaining to the work of Ray Jerome Baker (1880-1972), photographer. Material was gathered by Chappell in Hawaii while doing research on Baker. The study prints were made by Chappell from original negatives housed at the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Folder one contains the original, handwritten inventory of select Baker negatives. Folder 2 has a biography of Baker’s life and bibliography of materials written by Baker. Folders three through five contain a total of sixteen study prints printed by Chappell from Baker’s original negatives. The final folder houses a large envelope once used to mail photographs from the Bishop Museum to Chappell.


  • 1970-1979


Language of Materials

Material in English

Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact

Conditions Governing Use

Some restrictions may apply. See the Archivist for information.

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission from the copyright owner (which could be the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates or literary executors) prior to any copyright-protected uses of the collection.

The user agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona, Center of Creative Photography, including its officers, employees, and agents, from and against all claims made relating to copyright or other intellectual property infringement

Biographical Note

Walter Chappell (1925-2000) was a photographer and poet. He was born in Portland, Oregon in 1925 and served in World War II as a paratrooper. Chappell had met and befriended the photographer Minor White as a 17-year-old and went on to study photography and printmaking under him; he was later affiliated with White’s publication, Aperture magazine. Between 1957 and 1961 Chappell worked as the curator of prints and exhibitions at George Eastman House. In the early 1960s he co-founded the Association of Heliographers, a group of photographers which ran the Gallery Archive of Heliography in New York City between 1963 and 1965. In addition to his photographs of landscapes and the human body, he was also known for his electron photography of plants, also known as Kirlian photography. Chappell died in New Mexico in 2000.

Ray Jerome Baker (1880-1972) was born in Rockford, Illinois, where he studied photography at the Mechanic Arts High School. He spent one semester at the University of Minnesota before moving first to Portland, Oregon in 1903 and then to Eureka, California a year later. While in Humboldt County California Baker worked as a freelance photographer. He met his wife, Edith Mary Frost, in 1906 at a Socialist Party meeting. The Bakers first went to Hawaii on a wedding trip in 1908 and moved there permanently in 1910. Baker continued his photographic practice in Hawaii until retiring in 1960. He published several books, including two memoirs and several more on Hawaii. Baker’s photographs are included in the Special Collections of Humboldt State University and the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii.


0.25 Linear Feet

Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


This collection contains information found by Walter Chappell (1925-2000), photographer, during his research into the work of photographer Ray Jerome Baker (1880-1972). Included are study prints, biographical information, and selected negative lists. The collection is active.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Series 1: Research materials, 1970-1979, 1 box

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Walter Chappell, 1984.


  • Biography. Swanlund-Baker Photograph Collection, Humboldt State University Library.
  • Smith, Roberta. Walter Chappell, Photographer of Nature, Is Dead at 75. The New York Times, The New York Times Company, 12 August 2000, Section C, page 16, Accessed 18 November 2020.
  • Walter Chappell., Joseph Bellows Gallery. Accessed 18 November 2020.


  1. Baker, Ray Jerome, 1880-1972
  2. Chappell, Walter, 1925-2000
  3. Photography

Processing Information

The materials in Subgroup 1 were withdrawn from MISCELLANEOUS SMALL COLLECTIONS (AG 8, Subgroup 27) by Kristi Bradford, May 1990.

Finding aid updated by Meghan Jordan in May 2016 and by Tai Huesgen in November 2020.

Walter Chappell collection 1970-1979
Finding aid created by CCP Archives Staff
© 2020
Description rules
Finding Aid Based On Dacs (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid encoded in English

Repository Details

Part of the Center for Creative Photography Archives Repository

1030 N. Olive RD
Tucson Arizona 85721 United States