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The Special Collections is located on the east side of the Library at the front of the 3rd floor.

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Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
telephone (757) 683-5350
fax (757) 683-5954


The Papers of Wallace Dreyer


Biographical Sketch

Wallace Earl Dreyer was born March 5, 1923 and raised in Marlin, Texas, where he participated in the photography club at his high school.  Dreyer’s parents were Bruno G. Dreyer (1898-1975) and Louise Bertha Hoting Dreyer (1877-1971), who married in 1921 in Giddings, Texas.  Dreyer had two siblings, a brother, James Lee Dreyer (1926-1932) and a half-sister, Virginia Hoting (b. 1924), who was his father’s illegitimate daughter from an affair with Bertha Hoting Dreyer’s sister.  Dreyer attended the University of Texas and graduated in 1943, and also served in the Armed Forces Infantry from 1941 to 1942.  During his military service, Dreyer fought in the Battle of Bastogne in Europe during World War II and also participated in the liberation of camps in Germany.  He obtained his x-ray technician certification at Torbett Clinic and Hospital in 1951.  In 1960, while he was an Associate Professor at Student Memorial Union at Texas A&M College, he married Evelyn Gay Turner (b. July 31, 1915), a teacher at Baylor University, who was a fellow artist.  The Dreyers moved to New York, where they operated an art gallery and sold their paintings.  Dreyer was a contemporary photographer as well as a painter; he favored discarded items as his subjects.  His wife was a sculptor as well as a painter.  Both taught in the Art Department of Old Dominion University beginning in 1966.  Wallace was an adjunct assistant professor and director of the photography program.  Evelyn Gay was an Assistant Professor of Art.  Both retired in 1980.  Wallace Dreyer died in Norfolk, Virginia on March 13, 1993 and his wife, Evelyn Gay Dreyer died in Waco, Texas on February 26, 1995.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Wallace Dreyer date from 1907 through 1992.  The collection contains professional as well as personal photographs, professional and personal correspondence, a high school year book, newspapers clippings, newspaper advertisements for his art gallery business, certificates pertaining to his elementary school education and x-ray technician certification, x-ray technician employment, and his capture of enemy photographic equipment that he was allowed to keep.

Organization of the Collection

The collection is organized into professional and personal correspondence.  The photographs are further organized by alphabetized subject, while any correspondence is organized in chronological order.

Series Descriptions

Series I. Professional: This series relates to the professional achievements and correspondence of Wallace Dreyer.  Items in this series include his professional photographs, letters from art galleries in which he had his work exhibited, newspaper articles on awards received, and sketchbooks. Date range: 1907 - 1993.               

Sub-series A: Correspondence, agreements and notes: This series includes letters from art galleries and members of the arts community, loan agreements, and undated notes on a planned “Art in the Family” exhibit.  This series is arranged alphabetically. Date range: 1963-1993.

Sub-series B: Media: This series includes newspaper articles on Dreyer’s work, his achievements, awards and marriage announcement as well as a 1990 broadcast of WHRO’s “Our Place, Our Time.” Date range: 1960-1990.

Sub-series C: Photographs:
This series includes professional photographs that Dreyer took and are categorized by subject.  Other photographs include his ancestors and family.  This sub-series is in alphabetical order. Date range: 1907-1992.

Sub-series D: Sketchbooks and other works:
 This series includes five sketchbooks, two undated pieces of Dreyer’s work that are not photographs, as well as a mold he used for works similar to these.  Date range: 1959-1980.

Series II. Personal:  This series relates to the personal life of Wallace Dreyer.  Items in this series include correspondence, holiday cards, sympathy cards, and an obituary.  Date range: 1962-1992.

Series III. Certificates, Awards and Yearbook:
This series includes various certificates of family members, as well as items pertaining to Dreyer’s education, military and career fields. Date range: 1928 - 1961.


Gift of Melanie Mathewes, Executive Director of the Hermitage Museum & Gardens, 2009.


Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.


9 Hollinger Document Cases

Collection Number

RG 17-2B4

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], Box [number], Folder [number and title],The Papers of Wallace Dreyer, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, Virginia 23529.

Container Listing

Box 1

Series I. Professional

Sub-series A: Correspondence, agreements and notes

Folder 1: Inventory/Price Lists, 1962, 1964
Folder 2: Letters, notes and plans, 1961 – 1993
Folder 3: Pamphlets/Programs, 1951 - 1993

Sub-series B: Media

Folder 4: Newspaper articles, 1960 – 1984
Folder 5: WHRO broadcast of “Our Place, Our Time”, 1990

Sub-series C: Photographs

Folder 6: Animals, n.d.
Folder 7: Buildings/Houses, n.d.

Box 2

Folder 1: Contemporary, n.d.
Folder 2: Contemporary II, n.d.
Folder 3: Dreyer with his drawings, n.d.

Box 3

Folder 1: Nature, n.d.
Folder 2: Objects, n.d.

Box 4

Folder 1: People, n.d.
Folder 2: Photographs of the drawing process, n.d.

Box 5

Folder 1: Photographs of wife and family, 1907 - 1992
Folder 2: Places, n.d.

Box 6

Folder 1: Prints, n.d.
Folder 2: Sculptures, n.d.
Folder 3: Water, n.d.

Box 7

Sub-series D: Sketchbooks and other works

Folder 1: Drawing and mold art, n.d.
Folder 2: Mold, n.d.
Folder 3: Sketchbooks, 1959-1980
Folder 4: X-rays and negatives, n.d.

Series II. Personal

Folder 5: Contacts, 1962-1981
Folder 6: Letters, cards and notes, 1962 – 1992

Box 8

Series III: Certificates, Awards and Yearbook

Folder 1: Certificates and Awards, 1928-1961
Folder 2: Marlin High School Yearbook, 1940

Series IV: Miscellaneous

Folder 3: Letters from senators to Harold C. Bullard, Life Insurance Co., 1985, 1986

Box 9

Oversized mold art, drawing and picture, n.d.


Revised 12/01/09