In 1930, Stanley Field, the nephew of Museum Founder Marshall Field I, commissioned artist Malvina Hoffman to sculpt and cast bronze figures depicting the peoples of the world. "The Races of Mankind" is the largest singly-commissioned body of her work and consists of 104 busts, heads, and life-sized figures. In preparation for the exhibit, Hoffman and her husband, Samuel B. Grimson, traveled throughout the world to find authentic models for the sculptures. The resulting photographs from the trip appear in her two autobiographies, as well as in several publications about Hoffman. The original negatives housed in the Photo Archives (over 2,000) represent one of the most complete photographic records of her travels.
Holdings in the Archives contains correspondence between Malvina Hoffman and Stanley Field from 1930-1935, including a chronological index.