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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Donald B. Croly Boeing Concept Art Collection

Identifier: 2011-03-14
The Donald B. Croly Boeing Concept Art Collection holds 39 pieces of concept art created by Croly, circa 1940s-1970s, during his time as an artist at the Boeing Company. Most are original gouache paintings, although there are three pen and ink and graphite drawings and two photographic reproduction posters. Scenes primarily depict aircraft in a variety of settings, including in flight, parked at terminals and engaged in U.S. Air Force military operations. A small number feature loading/unloading of passengers, cargo or military equipment and passenger seating. Most are unsigned but a number do have Croly's name evident on the front. Very few have contextual information, such as the date or aircraft model.

Identified aircraft include the Boeing CIM-10 Bomarc, Boeing Model 247, Boeing Model 733 SST, Boeing 7X7 series, Boeing Model 2707 SST, and the Ryan M-1. Many are unidentified due to their conceptual nature. There is one non-aircraft painting that features the 1919 Boeing "Sea Sled" boat. An undated booklet of Boeing artist biography briefs is also present.


  • circa 1940s-1970s


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


1.6 Cubic Feet (1 full-width legal document box, 1 20x24" flat box, and 2 30x40" folders)

Biographical Note: Donald B. Croly

Donald Benjamin Croly (1913-2012) was a Boeing illustrator for at least 18 years, circa 1940s-1970s.

Donald B. Croly was born on September 26, 1913 to Benjamin and Viola Croly in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. By 1930, he was residing in Detroit, Michigan. He attended the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, Meinzeinger School and Detroit School of Art. Croly joined Sears' advertising department and worked as an advertising artist in Detroit, Michigan. He also worked as a layout draftsman at Ford's Willow Run manufacturing plant that made bombers. Croly likely started working for the Boeing Company in the late 1940s and was an illustrator there for at least 18 years. His art also was on display in San Francisco, California and Seattle, Washington galleries.

Croly married his first wife, Helene P. Hoffman (1917-1971), on July 5, 1938. He married his second wife, Elizabeth Harisberger (1912-) on March 27, 1972. Croly married his third wife, Blanche Maizie Rathke (1915-2008), on August 14, 1977. He died on January 12, 2012 in Washington state.

Biography derived from collection materials and records on

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by family members.


No further accruals are expected.

Processing Information

The images have mostly been individually foldered for preservation reasons. Three folders include 2-3 like or related images and are interleaved. Two pieces were removed from matboard due to failing adhesive backing. Three images arrived taped and encapsulated within a Mylar cover and remain as is.
Guide to the Donald B. Croly Boeing Concept Art Collection
Completed - Level 3
Jenn Parent
2022 September
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
1st edition

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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