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William Whitaker sketches of university presidents

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 5751

Scope and Contents

Contains pencil sketches of all of the presidents of Brigham Young Academy and Brigham Young University from Warren N. Dusenberry to Rex E. Lee created by William Whitaker. Each of these are framed for housing purposes. The date of production of materials is 1996.


  • 1996 April


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical History

William Whitaker (1943- ) is a classical-realist figure painter in Utah known for being the owner of the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, the founder of Brigham Young University's Graphic Design department, and worked as the advertising director for Capitol Records.

William Whitaker was born to owner of Whitaker-Gurnsey studio W. Ferrin and Martha Whitaker in Chicago, Illinois in 1943. Although he spent the first few years of his childhood in Chicago, at the age of 6, his family relocated to La Jolla, California. After this, at the age of 9 he then moved to Utah when his father and brothers decided to open up The Homestead Resort in Midway, Utah. Staying in Utah, he then attended the University between 1960-1967, with him taking a two-year mission to Germany in between. While at University, he became acquainted with University of Utah professor Alvin Gittins - whom he took Advanced Drawing with and later took a study abroad to Mexico with in 1967. In 1967, he graduated from the University of Utah with a business degree.

After he finished school, he moved to Los Angeles, where he soon became the owner of the Otis Art Institute and served as an advertising director for Capitol Records. After this, he then was employed at Brigham Young University, where he established the Graphic Design department and taught commercial, advertising, and fine art for 12 years. Between 1985-1990, he then briefly moved to Mesa, focusing his attention on pastel drawings on the female figure and Native Americans. On his spare time, he also painted portraits of Prophets and Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many of which are currently housed in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.


9 oversize boxes (16.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Transferred from University Relations by Blake Fischer in 2017.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred, Blake Fisher; June 2017.


Administration (University Archives Collection Development Policy, October 2015)

Processing Information

Processed; Eric Wolford, student manuscript processor, and Cory Nimer, curator; 2017.

Register of William Whitaker sketches of university presidents
Eric Wolford
2017 July 27
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. University Archives Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo UT 84602 US