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

Atlanta businessman and civil servant Chip Robert Jr. on the steps of a Pan-Am World Airways plane (date unknown). Credit: Chip Robert Jr. papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library will mark the opening of its newest collection, items from Atlantan Chip Robert Jr., with an exhibition drawn from his papers and a reception on Sept. 19, from 6:30 until 8 p.m. 

“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 in the Rose Library on Level 10 of the Woodruff Library. Both the reception and the exhibition are open to the public at no charge. Attendees are asked to register for the reception at

An alumnus of Georgia Tech, Robert enrolled there 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.

Robert was appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (1933-1936) by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After World War II, he served as envoy and special delegate under President Truman and traveled the world assessing conditions. He was one of the first American businessmen to travel to the Soviet Union and also was instrumental in bringing Northern businesses into partnerships with Southern industries. 

“Chip Robert: Life as Art” 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 Robert’s biography, “The Man Who Loved Georgia Tech,” which will be available at the reception. 

“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.”

Rose Library intern Rachel Brazeale, who recently completed her master’s degree in archival studies at Clayton State University, curated the exhibition. Project archivist Navosha Copeland processed, arranged and described Robert’s papers.

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

The exhibit will run through Nov. 15.

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