Fay Chong papers and oral history interview, approximately 1933-1976

Overview of the Collection

Creator, interviewee
Chong, Fay
Fay Chong papers and oral history interview
approximately 1933-1976 (inclusive)
.25 cubic foot plus 1 reel-to-reel tape and 1 transcript
Collection Number
Tape-recorded interview and other papers of a printmaker and watercolor painter discussing his art, his associations with the other artists in the area, the WPA program, regionalism and his own artistic philosophy.
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Fay Chong was born in Canton, China in 1912 and moved to Seattle in 1920. Chong began studying art with Hannah Jones at Seattle's Broadway High School along with classmates George Tsutakawa and Morris Graves. He studied informally with Mark Tobey off and on from 1939 through the 1950s. He also studied traditional calligraphy techniques during return visits to China in 1929 and 1935. In 1933, Chong and his associates formed the Chinese Arts Club, which began as an informal co-op holding shows in Seattle's International District, and eventually exhibited as an arts collective at the New York Chinese School.

In 1938, during the Great Depression, Chong worked as an artist with the Federal Art Project of the Works Project Administration, with whom he worked on and off until 1942. He mainly created linocut prints of federal buildings and public places, and also became interested in watercolor at this time. He earned a B.A. from the University of Washington in 1968, while already well-known as a nationally exhibited WPA artist, and went on to earn an M.A. in arts education in 1971. He taught at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle Central College, Washington Senior High School, and Ingraham High School.

His painting fuses traditional Chinese painting style with American regionalism and other modern developments. He exhibited his art work in Philadelphia, Oakland, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Northwest Printmakers beginning in 1940. He was an artist with the Washington Art Project of the Works Project Administration. Chong was a member of the Chinese Art Club, Northwest Printmakers (served as treasurer and president), Northwest Watercolor Society (served as president), Puget Sound Group of Painters, and Washington Art Association. Chong was married to fellow artist Priscilla Hwang, and the paint exhibited together at the annual Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair for many years. Chong died of a stroke in 1973.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fay_Chong

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Consult the scope and content information for each of the accessions listed below.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Organized into 3 accessions.

  • Accession No. 2574-001, Oral history interview with Fay Chong, 1972
  • Accession No. 2574-002, Fay Chong papers, approximately 1933-1958
  • Accession No. 2574-003, Fay Chong papers, 1958-1976

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Accession No. 2574-001: Oral history interview with Fay Chong, 1972Return to Top

1 reel-to-reel tape (3 3/4; 1 hr)
1 transcript (17 p.)

Scope and Content: Tape recorded interview conducted by William Hoppe.

Mr. Chong discusses his beginnings in art in Seattle in the 1930s, his associations with the other artists in the area, the WPA program, regionalism and his own artistic philosophy.

Restrictions on Access: The transcript is open to all users. No user access copy exists for the original analog tape. Users may obtain a reproduction of the tape for a fee by contacting Special Collections.

Acquisition Info: Received 7/17/1972.

Accession No. 2574-002: Fay Chong papers, circa 1933-1958Return to Top

.11 cubic foot

Scope and Content: Correspondence and exhibition catalogs, WPA photograph.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Acquisition Info: Donated by Priscilla Chong, 5/6/1976.

Container(s) Description Dates
Series 1: Incoming Letters
Box/Folder Accession
1/1 2574-002
Bok, Hannes
1939, 1955
1/2 2574-002
Cayuga Museum of History and Art
1/3 2574-002
Miscellaneous A-R
1/4 2574-002
Seattle Art Museum
1942-1948, undated
1/5 2574-002
Miscellaneous S-Y, Unidentified
Series 2: Exhibition Catalogs
Box/Folder Accession
1/6 2574-002
Northwest Printmakers
1/7 2574-002
Northwest Watercolor Society of Seattle
1947-1952, undated
1/8 2574-002
Seattle Art Museum, Northwest Artist Annual Exhibit
1/9 2574-002
Series 3: Catalogs
Box/Folder Accession
1/10 2574-002
YMCA Adult Hobby School
Series 4: Miscellany
Box/Folder Accession
1/11 2574-002
Miscellany, Including Photographs

Accession No. 2574-003: Fay Chong papers, 1958-1976Return to Top

.14 cubic foot

Scope and Content: Biographical features, Christmas card, gallery notices, list of exhibits, photographs, clippings. The Christmas card is an original work of art by Fay Chong. Many photographs are of his work, one is a portrait of him.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Acquisition Info: Received 1/1/1983.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Chinese American artists--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
  • Printmakers--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Watercolorists--Washington (State)--Seattle

Personal Names

  • Chong, Fay--Archives
  • Chong, Fay--Interviews
  • Chong, Fay--Photographs

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Bok, Hannes (creator)
    • Hoppe, Bill (interviewer)
    Corporate Names
    • Northwest Printmakers (creator)
    • Northwest Watercolor Society (creator)
    • Seattle Art Museum (creator)