Story of Atlanta businessman Chip Robert told with exhibit, reception on Sept. 19

Published 08-16-2019

Chip Robert Jr., on the steps of a Pan Am airplane during his "Around the World Tour" in 1947. Image from the Chip Robert Jr. papers, Rose Library at Emory University.

The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library will mark the opening of the Chip Robert Jr. papers with an exhibition that debuts with a public reception on Sept. 19.

“Chip Robert: Life as Art” celebrates the life of Lawrence Wood “Chip” Robert Jr. (1887-1976), an Atlanta businessman, civil servant, and world traveler. The Rose Library recently acquired and processed his papers, which are now open to the public.

The reception will be held Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, 6:30-8 p.m. (remarks at 7 p.m.) in the Rose Library. Attendees are asked to register at http://emorylib.info/chip. Both the reception and the exhibition are open to the public at no charge.

“It is an honor to announce the Robert papers as part of the Rose Library,” says Rose Library director Jennifer King. “The papers reveal the impact and influence of this Atlanta businessman during a significant period of growth in Atlanta. The Robert papers complement the many archives that comprise the modern southern and political collections in the Rose Library and will be of great value for future generations exploring Atlanta history.”

An alumnus of Georgia Tech, Robert enrolled at the age of 16 as a sub-freshman. He earned degrees in civil engineering in 1908 and electrical engineering in 1909. He founded Robert and Company, an architectural and engineering firm, in 1917. Politically active, Robert was appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (1933-1936) by President Franklin Roosevelt. After World War II, he served as envoy and special delegate under President Truman and traveled the world assessing conditions. An avid traveler, he was one of the first American businessmen to travel to the Soviet Union. He was instrumental in bringing Northern businesses into partnerships with Southern industries.

The exhibition will feature photos, letters and other items from the Rose collection. Robert’s granddaughter-in-law, Susan S. Robert, an alumna of Emory University, was instrumental in bringing the archive to Emory. She is the author of “The Man Who Loved Georgia Tech,” and the book will be available at the reception. The exhibition, which will run through Nov. 15, 2019, was curated by Rose Library intern Rachel Brazeale, who recently completed her master’s degree in archival studies at Clayton State University. Robert’s papers were processed, arranged and described by project archivist Navosha Copeland.

The Rose Library is located on Level 10 of the Woodruff Library, 540 Asbury Cir. on the Emory University campus in Atlanta, 30322. Parking is available in the Fishburne deck. For disability-related accommodations, please contact Emory Libraries events manager Maya Cody in advance at 404-727-7620 or maya.cody@emory.edu.

Those wishing to view the Chip Robert Jr. papers can make arrangements via the Rose Library materials request webpage.

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