John R. Work was born in Rushville in 1907. After his graduation from the Chicago Art Institute, he came to Springfield where he resided off and on for the rest of his life. In Springfield he began his career as a commercial artist at Hartman-Jefferson Company, and later moved on to become advertising manager at SA Barker and eventually Weaver Manufacturing Company. John Work enlisted in the United States Army in 1944 as a private and was soon transferred to the Office of Strategic Services. Most of his military career he spent in London. After the war, he returned to Springfield and resumed his career as an advertising artist and founded the Springfield Advertising Club. In 1962 he moved with his wife Lee to the Florida Keys. His wife Lee died in 1981. He returned to Springfield and married Betty Madden in 1982. John Work died in 1997.
The items in the collection come from a scrapbook compiled by John R. Work. It is a reorganization of photographs and memoirs mainly related to Mr. Work’s World War II work in the Office of Strategic Services, but also touching on his art and personal life.