David Donald Delafield Papers

Archives Record Series: 14/02/14

David Donald Delafield (April 7, 1920-December 26, 2003). Papers, 1942-2003. 3 linear feet.


David Donald Delafield

David Donald Delafield was born April 7, 1920, in East Aurora, New York, son of Edgar Trevor and Maude S. Stotts Delafield. He married Mary Perdue. He later married Marianna Cryberg.

Professor Delafield received his B. F. A. (1945), M. F. A. (1946), and Ph. D. (1952) degrees from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He taught at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, from 1946 through 1949. He joined the faculty of the Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) on a temporary basis in 1951 and on a regular basis in 1952. He was among the first art faculty to join the staff with a liberal arts background and without grade or high school teaching experience. He advanced through the professorial ranks and taught until 1983, when he assumed emeritus status. He was a World War II veteran of the US Army Air Corps.

He died December 26, 2003, at the Cedar Falls Lutheran Home.


After Professor Delafield's death, his widow, Marianna Cryberg Delafield, gave a collection of his material to the University Museum.  Staff from the Museum, the UNI Gallery of Art, and the Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives inspected the collection.  After discussion, the representatives from each area decided that, in order to provide the best care for the material, the collection would be divided.  Material would go to the area that would be best suited to preserve it and make it available for research.

The portion that was to come to the University Archives arrived in December 2007.  This material consists primarily of biographical information; notes taken by Professor Delafield while he was studying at Ohio State University; sketchbooks; sketches; and correspondence from Professor Delafield to his first wife, Mary Perdue.

Container Inventory

Box 1

  • Biographical and personnel file information, including: autobiographical notes; statements on Professor Delafield's views of his art; exhibition catalogues; and newsclippings
  • Correspondence received by the Delafields
  • Photographs
  • Essay on art and society
  • Notes on sculpture
  • Essay on movement
  • Notes on an elementary art program, circa 1952
  • Figure composition, abstract of M. A. thesis, 1946
  • University examination booklets
  • Ohio State University Commencement booklets, 1946, 1952
  • Notes taken in university classes

Box 2

  • Notes taken in university classes
  • Sketchbooks

Box 3

  • Sketchbooks
  • Sketches

Box 4

  • Correspondence from Professor Delafield to his first wife, Mary Perdue.  These letters are undated but were likely written when Professor Delafield was studying for his doctoral degree at Ohio State University.  This correspondence provides a good look at both his daily student life as well as at his concerns for his family, who stayed at home while he was on campus.  Some letters are incomplete.

Box 5

  • Sketches

Papers processed and finding aid prepared by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson, January 2008; last modified: November 10, 2014 (GP).

Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675
Telephone: (319)-273-6307
Fax: (319)-273-2913
Email: Gerald.Peterson@uni.edu