Marcel Breuer Associates/Architects and Planners Search this
37.6 Linear feet
The Marcel Breuer papers, 1920-1986, contain biographical material, correspondence, business and financial records, interviews, notes, writings, sketches, project files, exhibition files, photographs, and printed material that document the career of architect and designer Marcel Breuer.
Scope and Contents note:
The Marcel Breuer papers span the years 1920 to 1986 and measure 37.6 linear feet and 0.14 gigabytes. They consist of biographical material, correspondence, business and financial records, interviews, notes, writings, sketches, project files, exhibition files, photographs, and printed material that document Breuer's career as an architect and designer. This material reflects the prolificacy and diversity of his creations, from tubular steel chairs to private residences, college campuses, factories, department stores, and international, municipal, and corporate headquarters and complexes.
The Biographical Material Series contains documents that list or certify significant events or associations attained by Breuer during his career, such as résumés, licenses, and certificates. The number of awards contained in this series attest to the esteem in which he was held by his colleagues.
Breuer's Correspondence Series illustrates the interaction of his various colleagues and the operation of his architectural offices in the execution of their projects, many of which were in progress simultaneously. This series includes letters from Joseph Albers, Jean Arp, Herbert Bayer, Alexander Calder, Serge Chermayeff, Naum Gabo, Sigfried Giedion, Walter and Ise Gropius, Louis I. Kahn, György Kepes, László Moholy-Nagy, Henry Moore, Eero Saarinen, and José Luis Sert.
The Business and Financial Records Series contains documents which reflect Breuer's commercial transactions that do not directly relate to one specific project. Two project books pertain to 36 architectural projects and record their basic physical and financial details, such as site measurements and cost projections. There are also miscellaneous invoices and receipts, and one of Breuer's personal income tax returns.
The Interviews Series contains typescripts of interviews. Of particular interest is the audiotape interview of Breuer, who discusses his early years as a student and his first impressions of the Bauhaus. There are also untranscribed audiotape interviews of his colleagues György Kepes and Harry Seidler, and his patrons Mr. A. Elzas, and the Koerfers, who discuss their business relationships with Breuer.
There are address lists of colleagues and patrons and résumés from architects contained within the series on Notes, while the Writings Series contains typescripts of lectures and articles written by Breuer concerning architecture and its history. Writings by others are about Breuer and his work, including typescripts, galleys, and photographs of architectural and design projects used in the publication of the book Marcel Breuer Buildings and Projects, 1921-1961 by Cranston Jones.
The Sketches Series consists of 3 small, hand-drawn depictions of unidentified floor plans.
The largest and most comprehensive series houses the Project Files, which consist of approximately 300 project files containing letters, legal documents, and photographs that record the planning and execution of many of Breuer's most important architectural projects. These include the UNESCO Headquarters Building (Paris, France), St. John's Abbey and University (Collegeville, Minnesota), the IBM Corporation Research Center (La Gaude, France), the HUD Headquarters Building (Washington, D.C.), the De Bijenkorf Department Store (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), and the third power plant and forebay dam for the Grand Coulee Dam (Washington state). The file for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York contains an interesting set of photographs of Breuer showing Jacqueline Kennedy through the construction site.
Of equal importance are the additional Project Files for the 100 residences designed by Breuer, including prefabricated houses such as Kleinmetalhaus and Yankee Portables, and commissioned residences such as the two Gagarin Houses (Litchfield, Connecticut), the two Harnischmacher Houses (Wiesbaden, Germany), Koerfer House (Moscia, Switzerland), the Neumann House (Croton-on-Hudson, New York), the Saier House (Glanville-Calvados, France), the Staehelin House (Feldmeilen, Switzerland), the Starkey House (Duluth, Minnesota), and the three Rufus Stillman Houses (Litchfield, Connecticut). There are also files concerning the four houses Breuer designed for himself in Lincoln and Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and in New Canaan, Connecticut.
The Project Files for Breuer's furniture designs are not as comprehensive as those for his architectural creations but contain many photographs of his early conceptions for chairs, tables, desks, cabinets, rugs, and tapestries.
The Exhibition Files Series contains primarily photographs of exhibitions in which Breuer participated. The extent of his participation is sometimes difficult to determine, because it ranged from designing a single chair, designing rooms for an apartment or an entire house specifically to be shown in an exhibition, to designing an exhibition building. Breuer was also the subject of a retrospective exhibition sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This traveling exhibition was seen in New York City, Chicago, Paris, and Berlin.
Images contained in the Photographs Series are of Breuer, including one of him in Philip Johnson's house, Breuer family members, and colleagues, including Herbert Bayer, Alexander Calder, Serge Chermayeff, Walter and Ise Gropius, and Matta. Three photograph albums in this series contain more than 1,000 photographs of 59 architectural projects.
The Printed Material Series houses general clippings that concern groups of projects, rather than one specific project. There is also a scrapbook of tearsheets concerning architectural projects, exhibition announcements, and catalogs for others, and miscellaneous press releases and brochures.
The Marcel Breuer papers are arranged into 11 series, based on type of document. Each series, except Project Files, has been arranged chronologically. The Project Files Series has been divided into 19 subseries of related architectual and design project types. The overall arrangement reflects Breuer's original arrangement. Each subseries or file group within is arranged alphabetically according to the surname of an individual, or a location name of a university. The contents of each project file have been arranged according to material type and a chronology that best reflects the progression of the project toward completion.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1920-1981 (Boxes 1, 36; Reel 5708; 0.4 linear ft.)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1923-1986 (Boxes 1-6, OV 47; Reels 5708-5717; 5.3 linear ft.)
Series 3: Business and Financial Records, 1933-1980 (Box 6; Reels 5717-5718; 0.4 linear ft.)
Series 4: Interviews, 1963-1985 (Boxes 6-7; Reel 5718; 0.4 linear ft., ER01; 0.14 GB)
Series 5: Notes, 1934-1976 (Box 7; Reel 5718; 0.4 linear ft.)
Series 6: Writings, 1923-1981 (Boxes 7-8; Reels 5718-5720; 1.0 linear ft.)
Series 7: Sketches, circa 1920s-circa 1980 (Box 8; Reel 5720; 1 folder)
Series 8: Project Files, 1921-1986 (Boxes 8-23, 36-40, OVs 43-57; Reels 5720-5737; 27.6 linear ft.)
Series 9: Exhibition files, 1922-1974 (Box 34, OV 49; Reels 5737-5738; 0.8 linear ft.)
Series 10: Photographs, 1928-1979 (Boxes 34, 41-42; Reel 5738; 0.3 linear ft.)
Series 11: Printed Material, 1925-1984 (Boxes 35, 42; Reels 5738-5739; 1.0 linear ft.)
Marcel Lajos Breuer was born on May 21, 1902, in the Danube valley town of Pécs, Hungary, to Jacques Breuer, a physician, and Franciska (Kan) Breuer. His siblings were Hermina and Alexander. Throughout his life, Breuer used his first name only on official documents and preferred that his friends use his middle name, the Hungarian form of "Louis." The diminutive form of this name was usually spelled "Lajkó" and pronounced "Lye-ko."
In 1920, Breuer graduated from the Magyar Királyi Föreáliskola in Pécs. He had received a scholarship to study art in Vienna but took an immediate dislike to the Art Academy there, so searched elsewhere for training. He started working in the studio of a Viennese architect and soon became interested in training in the cabinetmaking shop of the architect's brother. Breuer was not satisfied with this arrangement either, and, upon hearing about the year-old Bauhaus school in Germany, he departed for Weimar in 1921.
Founded and directed by Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus combined the teaching of the pure arts with training in functional technology. Breuer received a master's degree from the Bauhaus in 1924, then studied architecture in Paris, where he first met Le Corbusier.
In 1925, Gropius enticed Breuer to return to the Bauhaus, now relocated in Dessau, by offering him a post as master of the carpentry workshop and a commission to design the interiors of the new Bauhaus buildings. Inspired by his new bicycle's handlebars, Breuer designed his first tubular steel chair, the Wassily chair, named for his friend Wassily Kandinsky. This chair and dozens of other Breuer designs for furnishings were mass-produced by the Thonet Brothers in Germany.
Two years later, in 1928, Breuer left the Bauhaus to begin a private architecture practice in Berlin, emphasizing prefabricated housing and the use of concrete in building. During this time Breuer worked on a designs for the Potsdamer Platz, Spandau-Haselhorst Housing, and a hospital in Elberfeld, and he completed work on the Lewin House and the Harnischmacher Apartment. Due to the deteriorating economic and political conditions in Germany, Breuer closed his Berlin office in 1931 and traveled to Budapest, Zurich, Morocco, Greece, and Spain. Returning to Germany in the following year, he began designing furniture in aluminum. Breuer established his reputation as an architect upon completion of the Harnischmacher House in Wiesbaden, a house notable for the use of contrasting materials and distinctive interiors.
The Nazis closed the Bauhaus in 1933. The following year, Breuer designed the Dolderthal Apartments in Zurich for the Swiss architectural historian Sigfried Giedion. From 1935 to 1937, Breuer settled in London, and became partners with F. R. S. Yorke. During this time he designed for the Isokon ("isometric unit construction") Control Company laminated plywood furniture that became widely imitated.
In 1937, Breuer accepted an invitation from Walter Gropius to join the faculty of the School of Design at Harvard University to teach architecture, and he moved to the United States. Among his students were Edward Larrabee Barnes, Ulrich Franzen, Philip Johnson, I. M. Pei, and Paul Rudolph. Breuer formed a partnership with Gropius in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1937 to 1941. Their firm was engaged primarily in the design of private homes.
In 1946, Breuer moved to New York City, where he established an office in an East 88th Street townhouse. The number of his commissions began to grow slowly, and it was during this time he constructed his own notable residence in New Canaan, Connecticut. He developed the bi-nuclear, or "two-center" house, which was designed to meet the living requirements of modern families by creating functional areas for separate activities.
Breuer's architectural reputation was greatly enhanced when, in 1953, he was commissioned to design, in collaboration with Pier Luigi Nervi and Bernard Zehrfuss, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Headquarters in Paris. During this year, he also began work on a series of innovative buildings for St. John's Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota.
Between 1963 and 1964, Breuer began work on what is perhaps his best-known project, the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York City. He also established an office with the name Marcel Breuer Architecte, in Paris, to better orchestrate his European projects. Also during this time, Herbert Beckhard, Murray Emslie, Hamilton Smith, and Robert F. Gatje became partners in Marcel Breuer and Associates. When Murray Emslie left a year later, he was replaced by Tician Papachristou, who had been recommended by Breuer's former student, I. M. Pei.
After several moves to increasingly larger office space in New York, Breuer established his largest office at 635 Madison Avenue and 59th Street in 1965. After suffering the first of a series of heart attacks, Breuer reduced his travel to Europe, eventually leaving the management of the Paris office in the hands of Mario Jossa.
Between 1965 and 1973, Marcel Breuer and Associates continued to receive many diverse and important commissions, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development Headquarters Building (Washington, D.C.), showrooms for Scarves by Vera (New York City), the IBM Corporation (La Gaude, France), the Baldegg Convent (Lucerne, Switzerland), Bryn Mawr School for Girls (Baltimore, Maryland), a third power plant for the Grand Coulee Dam, the Australian Embassy (Paris, France), the Armstrong Rubber Company (New Haven, Connecticut), and the State University of New York Engineering Complex (Buffalo). Breuer also designed residences including a second Gagarin House (Litchfield, Connecticut), the Saier House (Glanville-Calvados, France), the Soriano House (Greenwich, Connecticut), and a third Rufus Stillman House (Litchfield, Connecticut).
Due to failing health in 1972, Breuer sold his New Canaan house and moved into Manhattan so he could more easily commute to the office. By 1976, Breuer's health had declined further, and he retired from practice. The name of his firm was subtly changed from Marcel Breuer and Associates to Marcel Breuer Associates, and later to MBA/Architects and Planners.
Marcel Breuer died on July 1, 1981, in New York City.
This chronology below is based on evidence found within the Marcel Breuer Papers. The dating of projects reflects the range of dates encompassed by the files for each project, not the project's actual construction time. Most architectural projects have several equally significant dates from which it is difficult to assign a single date. Significant dates for a building may include the date of groundbreaking, the laying of the cornerstone, or the first opening day. When a project's dates are unknown or uncertain, a question mark in brackets appears at the end of the entry.
1902 -- Marcel Lajos Breuer is born on May 21 in Pécs, Hungary.
1920 -- Breuer graduates from Magyar Királyi Föreáliskola (high school) in Pécs. Breuer travels to Vienna to study art.
1921 -- Breuer enrolls at the Bauhaus, Wiemar, Germany. Furniture designs: tea table; wooden cabinet.
1923 -- Architectural project: apartment house (multistory duplex with continuous terrace gardens). Furniture designs: miscellaneous bureaus.
1924 -- Breuer earns a master's degree from the Bauhaus. Breuer studies architecture in Paris, where he meets Le Corbusier. Furniture designs: desk and bookcase.
1925 -- Breuer returns to the Bauhaus, now located in Dessau, and takes post of master of the carpentry workshop. Architectural projects: Canteen, Bauhaus-Dessau, Germany; Kleinmetallhaus (prefabricated house in steel); Gropius House, Dessau, Germany; Wissinger Apartment, Berlin, Germany [1925?]. Furniture designs: Wassily chair; Rückenlehnstuhl ("back-leaning chair"); tubular steel stool; modular system for cabinets.
1926 -- Breuer marries Martha Erps. Architectural projects: Gröte Residence, Dessau, Germany; Moholy-Nagy Apartment and Studio, Berlin, Germany; Muche House, Dessau, Germany; Piscator Apartment, Berlin, Germany; Thost House, Hamburg, Germany. Furniture designs:(modular) system for unit furniture; dining room chair; tubular steel chair; office chair; storage wall unit. Exhibition: Bauhaus Exhibition, Dessau, Germany; table for Kandinsky's Master's Studio.
1930 -- Breuer meets György Kepes in Berlin. Architectural project: Boroschek Apartment, Berlin, Germany. Exhibitions: Bauhaus Exhibition, Berlin-Germany, House for a Sportsman, Cork Industry Display; Paris Werkbund Exhibition, Paris, France, Wohn Hotel, Vitrine and Cabinets, and Klubraum Gropius.
1931 -- Breuer closes the Berlin office and travels in Europe and North Africa. Architectural project: Reidemeister Residence, Berlin, Germany. Furniture design: bookcase. Exhibition: Bauausstellung Exhibition, Berlin, Germany, Mitarbeiter Hassenpflug Apartment.
1932 -- Breuer returns to Germany.
1933 -- Nazis close the Bauhaus. Architectural project: Harnischmacher House I, Wiesbaden, Germany. Furniture designs: aluminum chairs; aluminum tables.
1934 -- Breuer divorces Martha Erps. Architectural project: Dolderthal Apartments, Zurich, Switzerland. Exhibition Building Competition, Budapest Spring Fair, Budapest, Hungary.
1935 -- Breuer moves to London and forms partnership with F. R. S. Yorke. Furniture designs: Isokon chairs; plywood nesting tables; plywood dining table. Exhibition: Heal's "Seven Architects" Exhibition, London, England; Designs for two chairs.
1936 -- Architectural projects: Motley Fashion Shop, London, England; London Theatre Studio, London, England; Clifton House (Crofton Gane House), Bristol, England; Sea Lane House, Angmering-on-Sea, Sussex, England; Ventris Apartment, London, England. Exhibitions: Royal Show, Bristol, England, Gane's Pavilion; British Cement and Concrete Association Exhibition, London, England, Garden City of the Future (civic center).
1937 -- Breuer and Yorke dissolve their partnership. Breuer moves to the United States to teach at Harvard. Breuer and Walter Gropius establish Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, Associated Architects. Architectural project: Obergurgl Ski Lodge, Obergurgl, Austria.
1938 -- Architectural projects: Wheaton College Competition, Art Center, Norton, Massachusetts; Fischer House and Studio, Newtown, Pennsylvania; Gropius House, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Haggerty House, Cohasset, Massachusetts; Margolius House, Palm Springs, California. Furniture design: cabinet with hinged drawers. Exhibition: "Marcel Breuer and the American Tradition in Architecture," Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1939 -- Architectural projects: Black Mountain College, Black Mountain, North Carolina; Breuer House, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Ford House, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Frank House, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Exhibition: New York World's Fair, Flushing Meadows, New York; Pennsylvania Pavilion.
1943 -- Architectural projects: South Boston Redevelopment Project, Boston, Massachusetts; Stuyvesant Six (housing development), New York, New York; Wellfleet Housing Development, Bi-Nuclear "H" House, Wellfleet, Massachusetts.
1944 -- Architectural projects: Van Leer Vatenfabrieken N.V., Office Building, Amstelveen, The Netherlands; 1200 Square Foot House, Florida; Geller House I, Lawrence, Long Island, New York; East River Apartments, New York, New York; Long Beach Nurses' Residence, Long Beach, Long Island, New York.
1945 -- Architectural projects: Eastern Airlines Ticket Office, Boston, Massachusetts; Smith College Competition, Dormitories, Northampton, Massachusetts; Unidentified Memorial, [location unknown]; Cambridge War Memorial, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Florida House, Miami Heights, Florida; Tompkins House, Hewlett Harbor Village, Long Island, New York.
1946 -- Breuer and family move to New York City. Breuer establishes an office on East 88th Street. Architectural projects: Small House Competition; Martine House, Stamford, Connecticut; Preston Robinson House, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
1947 -- Architectural projects: Breuer House I, New Canaan, Connecticut; Scott House, Dennis, Massachusetts; Thompson House, Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
1948 -- Architectural projects: Ariston Club, Mar del Plata, Argentina; Breuer Cottage, Wellfleet, Massachusetts; Kniffin House, New Canaan, Connecticut; Witalis House, Saddle Rock, Kings Point, New York; Wise Cottage, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Exhibition: Low Cost Furniture Competition, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Cutout plywood chair.
1949 -- Publication of book, Marcel Breuer: Architect and Designer, by Peter Blake. Architectural projects: United States Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Headquarters, Paris, France; Clark House, Orange, Connecticut; Herrick House, Canajoharie, New York; Hooper Residence Additions, Baltimore, Maryland; Marshad House, Croton-on-Hudson, New York; Smith House, Aspen, Colorado; Tilley House, Middletown, New Jersey; Wolfson Trailer House, Pleasant Valley, New York. Exhibition: Museum of Modern Art Exhibition, New York, New York, House in museum garden.
1950 -- Breuer moves his office to East 37th Street, New York. Architectural projects: Alaska Air Terminal, Anchorage, Alaska [1950?]; Sarah Lawrence College, Arts Center, Bronxville, New York; Vassar College, Dwight Ferry House (a cooperative dormitory), Poughkeepsie, New York; Aspen House, Aspen, Colorado; Englund House, Pleasantville, New York; Hanson House, Lloyd Harbor, Huntington, Long Island, New York; Lauck House, Princeton, New Jersey; McComb House, Poughkeepsie, New York; Mills House, New Canaan, Connecticut; Pack House, Scarsdale, New York; Rufus Stillman House I, Litchfield, Connecticut.
1951 -- Architectural projects: Grosse Pointe Public Library, Grosse Pointe, Michigan; Aufricht House Addition, Mamaroneck, New York; Breuer House II, New Canaan, Connecticut; Caesar House, Lakeville, Connecticut. Furniture design: Canaan desk.
1952 -- Architectural projects: Scarves by Vera, Showroom, New York, New York; Levy House, Princeton, New Jersey; George Robinson House, Redding Ridge, Connecticut; Tibby House, Port Washington, New York.
1953 -- Architectural projects: Bantam Elementary School, Litchfield, Connecticut; Litchfield High School, Litchfield, Connecticut; Northfield Elementary School, Litchfield, Connecticut; St. John's Abbey and University, Monastery Wing, Abbey Church and Bell Banner, Collegeville, Minnesota; Torrington Manufacturing Company, Oakville, Ontario, Canada; De Bijenkorf Department Store and Garage, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Calabi House, Lagrangeville, New York; Crall House, Gates Mills, Ohio; Gagarin House I, Litchfield, Connecticut; Neumann House, Croton-on-Hudson, New York; Snower House, Kansas City, Missouri; Edgar Stillman House, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Exhibition: Tile Council of America Exhibition, New York, New York, Patio-Bathroom.
1954 -- Architectural projects: New London Railroad Station, New London, Connecticut; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey; Grieco House, Andover, Massachusetts; Harnischmacher House II, Wiesbaden, Germany; Karsten House, Owings Mills, Maryland; Starkey House (formerly Alworth House), Duluth, Minnesota.
1955 -- Publication of book, Sun and Shadow: The Philosophy of an Architect, edited by Peter Blake. Architectural projects: New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad, Train "X," Budd "Hot Rod," Budd "Flying Cloud," and ACF Talgo Locomotives and Passenger Cars, Rye Railroad Station, Rye, New York [1955?]; Connecticut Junior Republic Association Dormitory, Litchfield, Connecticut; Torrington High School, Torrington, Connecticut; Hunter College, Library, Classrooms, and Administration Building, Bronx, New York; Annunciation Priory, Bismarck, North Dakota; O. E. McIntyre, Inc. Plant, Westbury, Long Island, New York; Laaff House, Andover, Massachusetts; McGinnis Apartment, Biltmore, New York, New York; McGinnis House, Charlmont, Massachusetts. Exhibition: Good Design Exhibition, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, Hyperbolic Paraboloid.
1956 -- Breuer moves his office to Third Avenue and 57th Street, New York. Breuer is the first recipient of La Rinascente's Compasso d'Oro Prize. Architectural projects: U.S. Embassy, The Hague, The Netherlands; Boston and Maine Railroad, North Station Industrial Building; Boston and Maine Railroad, Fairbanks Morse Locomotive and Passenger Cars; New Haven Railroad Station, New Haven, Connecticut; New York University, University Heights Campus, Bronx, New York; Torrington Manufacturing Company, Van Nuys, California; Wohnbedarf Furniture Showroom, Zurich, Switzerland; Hooper House, Baltimore, Maryland; Krieger House, Bethesda, Maryland; Staehelin House, Feldmeilen, Switzerland.
1957 -- Breuer receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Budapest. Architectural project: Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, New York. Exhibitions: International Autumn Fair, Vienna, Austria, U.S. Pavilion; "Amerika Baut" ("America Builds"), Marshall House, Berlin, Germany.
1958 -- Breuer becomes a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Architectural projects: El Recreo Urban Center, Caracas, Venezuela; St. John's Abbey and University, St. Thomas Aquinas Residence Hall, Collegeville, Minnesota; Halvorson House, Dryberry Lake Area, Kenora, Ontario, Canada; Recreational Apartments, Tanaguarena, Venezuela. Exhibitions: "Ars Sacra" Exhibition, Louvain, France; Concrete Industries Exposition, Cleveland, Ohio, The Pavilion.
1959 -- Architectural projects: Whitby Elementary School, Greenwich, Connecticut; Ustinov House, Vevey, Switzerland. Exhibitions: "U.S. Architecture in Moscow," Moscow, U.S.S.R.; "1960 National Gold Medal Exhibition of the Building Arts," Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York, New York, Photographic Displays of Various Breuer Projects; "Form Givers at Mid-Century" (traveling exhibition), Photographic Displays of Various Breuer Projects.
1960 -- Architectural projects: Flaine Ski Resort Town, Haute-Savoie, France; St. John's Abbey and University, Library, Collegeville, Minnesota; Brookhaven National Laboratory (for Nuclear Research), Upton, Long Island, New York; Torrington Manufacturing Company, Rochester, Indiana; Abraham & Straus Department Store, Facade, Hempstead, Long Island, New York; McMullen Beach House, Mantoloking, New Jersey.
1961 -- Architectural projects: St. Francis de Sales Church, Church and Rectory, Muskegon, Michigan; Temple B'Nai Jeshurun, Short Hills, Millburn Township, New Jersey; One Charles Center, Baltimore, Maryland; International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Research Center, La Gaude, France; Fairview Heights Apartments, Ithaca, New York. Exhibitions: "Bauhaus" [location unknown]; "New Forms in Concrete," American Federation of Arts (traveling exhibition).
1962 -- Publication of book, Marcel Breuer Buildings and Projects, 1921-1961, by Cranston Jones. Architectural projects: Torrington Manufacturing Company, Machine Division, Torrington, Connecticut; Scarves by Vera, Showroom, Los Angeles, California; Kacmarcik House, St. Paul, Minnesota. Exhibition: "Fourth Biennale of Present-Day Christian Art," Salzburg Dome, Salzburg, Austria.
1963 -- Herbert Beckhard, Murray Emslie, and Hamilton Smith become partners in Marcel Breuer and Associates. Architectural projects: Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Headquarters Building, Washington, D.C.; Hoboken Terminal Building, Hoboken, New Jersey; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York; Grand Central Air Rights Building, 175 Park Avenue, New York, New York; Torrington Manufacturing Company, Nivelles, Belgium; Koerfer House, Moscia, Tessin, Switzerland; Van der Wal House, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Exhibitions: "Recent American Synagogue Architecture," The Jewish Museum, New York, New York; "Churches and Temples: Postwar Architecture," American Institute of Architects, Pepsi Cola Gallery, New York, New York; "On Campus: Recent Buildings," American Federation of Arts (traveling exhibition).
1964 -- Breuer establishes an office near the Parc des Expositions, Paris, France. Robert F. Gatje becomes a partner in Marcel Breuer and Associates. Murray Emslie leaves, and Tician Papachristou joins Marcel Breuer and Associates. Architectural projects: Boston Redevelopment Parcel 8 Competition, Boston, Massachusetts; ZUP (Zone à Urbaniser par Priorité/"Zone Designated for Priority Urbanization") Community, Bayonne, France; New York University, University Heights Campus, Technology Building II, Bronx, New York; St. John's Abbey and University, Science Hall, and Auditorium, Collegeville, Minnesota; Yale University, Becton Center for Engineering and Applied Science, New Haven, Connecticut; St. Luke's Church, Fairport, New York; Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Washington, D.C.; Scarves by Vera, Showroom and Offices, 417 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York; De Gunzburg Houses, Megève, Haute-Savoie, France; Rufus Stillman House II, Litchfield, Connecticut. Exhibition: "Art in the United States" Part III, ("Architecture in the U.S.A."), Brearley School, New York, New York.
1965 -- Breuer's Paris office (Marcel Breuer Architecte) moves to 48 rue Chapon in the third arrondissement. Breuer's New York office moves to 635 Madison Avenue and 59th Street. Breuer suffers the first of a series of heart attacks while in New York in August. Architectural projects: Interama (Community for Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay), Miami, Fla.; Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) Headquarters, Washington, D.C.; State School for the Mentally Retarded, Nassau County, New York; Cardinal Stritch College (Tri-Arts Center), Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Mary College, Bismarck, North Dakota; University of Massachusetts, Murray Lincoln Campus Center and Parking Structure, Amherst, Massachusetts; Laboratoires Sarget, Corporate Headquarters and Pharmaceutical Plant, Bordeaux, France; Purdue Frederick Company, Corporate Headquarters, Bordeaux, France; Torrington Manufacturing Company, Swindon, England; Torrington Manufacturing Company, Administration Building, Torrington, Connecticut. Exhibition: "Architecture of Industry," Architectural League of New York, (traveling exhibition).
1966 -- Breuer and Robert F. Gatje move back to the New York office. Eric Cercler and Mario Jossa are left in charge of the Paris office. Architectural projects: Sports Park, Corona-Flushing Meadow Park, Queens, New York; Charlotte Hungersford Hospital, Torrington, Connecticut; Stables Competition, Central Park, New York, New York; St. John's Abbey and University, Student Residence Hall II and Student Center and Swimming Pavilion, Collegeville, Minnesota. Furniture design: Tapestries. Exhibitions: Svoboda & Company Furniture Exhibition," Selection 66," Vienna, Austria; School of Architecture Exhibition, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma; "Rugs," Stephen Radich Gallery, New York, New York; "Bauhaus: A Teaching Idea," Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1967 -- Architectural projects: Campus High School, Secondary Education Complex, Madison Park Urban Renewal Area, Boston, Massachusetts; Kent School, Girls' Chapel, Kent, Connecticut; St. John's Abbey and University, Ecumenical and Cultural Research Center, Collegeville, Minnesota; Cleveland Museum of Art, Education Wing, Cleveland, Ohio; Baldegg Convent, Mother House Institute, near Lucerne, Switzerland; Cleveland Trust Company, Bank and Office Building, Cleveland, Ohio; Grand Coulee Dam, Columbia Basin Project Third Power Plant and Forebay Dam, Douglas County, Washington; Geller House II, Lawrence, Long Island, New York; Kreizel House Addition, [location unknown]; Soriano House, Greenwich, Connecticut.
1968 -- Breuer is awarded the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects. Breuer is awarded the Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture from the University of Virginia. Architectural projects: Olgiata Parish Church, Rome, Italy; Harrison-State Development Corporation, Office Building, Bristol Center, Syracuse, New York; Armstrong Rubber Company, New Haven, Connecticut; International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Expansion of Headquarters Facility, Armonk, New York; International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Offices, Laboratories, and Manufacturing Facility, Boca Raton, Florida; Scarves by Vera, Showroom, 1411 Broadway, New York, New York; Rosenberg House, [location unknown].
1969 -- Mario Jossa is made sole director of the Paris office. Architectural projects: West Queens High School, Long Island City, Queens, New York; Harvard University, Bio-Chemistry Building, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Boston Office Building, 60 State Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Exhibition: "Le Bauhaus: 1919-1969," Musée National d'Art Moderne et Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France.
1970 -- Breuer receives an honorary doctorate from Harvard University. Publication of book, Marcel Breuer New Buildings and Projects, by Tician Papachristou. Architectural projects: Australian Embassy, Paris, France; Bryn Mawr School for Girls, Baltimore, Maryland; State University of New York at Buffalo, Engineering and Applied Science Complex, Buffalo, New York; University of Virginia, Physics Building, Charlottesville, Virginia. Exhibition: ["Marcel Breuer"?], Szépmuvészeti Múzeum (Museum of Fine Arts), Budapest, Hungary.
1971 -- Architectural projects: Acquitaine Coast Resort, Port Contis, France; Atlanta Central Library, Atlanta, Georgia; Pine Ridge High School, Pine Ridge, South Dakota; Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, New York, New York; European Investment Bank, Kirchberg Plateau, Luxembourg; Torin Corporation, Tech Center, Building 1, Torrington, Connecticut.
1972 -- Breuer suffers another heart attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Breuer sells his house in New Canaan and moves to 63rd Street, New York. Architectural projects: Clarksburg Public Library, Clarksburg, West Virginia; Southern New England Telephone Company (SNET), Traffic Service Position; Systems Building, Torrington, Connecticut; American Press Institute, Conference Center, Reston, Virginia; Afghanistan Hotels, Kabul and Bamyan, Afghanistan; Picker House, Lake Carmel, New York; Saier House, Glanville-Calvados, France. Exhibitions: "Breuer en France," Knoll International, Paris, France; "Marcel Breuer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art" (traveling exhibition), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York.
1973 -- Architectural projects: Heckscher Museum, Expansion Project, Huntington, New York; Defendon Pharma, Limburg an der Lahn, Germany; Torin Corporation, Sculpture, Torrington, Connecticut; Torin Corporation, Assembly Plant, Lawton, Oklahoma; Gagarin House II, Litchfield, Connecticut; Rufus Stillman House III, Litchfield, Connecticut. Exhibition: "Marcel Breuer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art" (traveling exhibition), Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois.
1974 -- Architectural projects: Strom Thurmond Courthouse and Federal Office Building, Columbia, South Carolina; Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, Red Line Subway Expansion, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Exhibitions: "The Flowering of American Folk Art," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York, Installation designed by Breuer and Hamilton Smith; "Marcel Breuer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art" (traveling exhibition), Centre de Création Industrielle, Pavillon de Marsan, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France.
1975 -- Architectural projects: Lawton Community, Lawton, Oklahoma; Mundipharma, Limburg, Germany; Andrew Geller Shoes, Inc., Showroom, New York, New York; Mt. Tochal Hotel, Tehran, Iran. Exhibition: "Marcel Breuer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art" (traveling exhibition), Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Germany.
1976 -- Breuer retires from practice. Marcel Breuer and Associates becomes Marcel Breuer Associates and later MBA/Architects and Planners. Architectural projects: Sadat City Ministries Complex, Cairo, Egypt; National Museum of American Amusement, [location unknown]; Torin Corporation, Penrith, Australia; Mideast Market (fish, meat, and vegetable market), Kuwait; Cairo Airport Hotel, Cairo, Egypt; Bratti House, New Canaan, Connecticut.
1977 -- Mario Jossa becomes a partner in MBA/Architects and Planners. Architectural projects: BAFO Warehouse, Springfield, Virginia; ITT Palm Coast Condominiums, Flagler Beach, Florida. Exhibition: "Art and Contemporary Architecture," David Findlay Galleries, New York, New York.
1978 -- Breuer receives the Grand Médaille d'Or from the Academy of Architecture, France. Architectural projects: Litchfield County Courthouse, Litchfield, Connecticut; Grand Coulee Dam, Columbia River Basin Project, Visitors Arrival Center, Douglas County, Washington.
1979 -- Architectural project: Boyarsky House, Lawrence, New York.
1980 -- Breuer receives an honorary doctorate from the Parsons School of Design. MBA/Architects and Planners moves to 26th Street, New York. MBA/Architects and Planners sells the Paris practice to Mario Jossa. Architectural projects: Pall Corporation, Headquarters and Parking Structure, Glen Cove, New York; Philip Morris, Inc., Manufacturing Facility, Cabarrus County, North Carolina; Pittsburgh Convention Center Hotel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1981 -- Marcel Breuer dies on July 1 in New York City. Architectural projects: N F & M Corporation, Jericho, New York; Garces House, Cali, Colombia.
1982 -- Herbert Beckhard leaves the partnership in November. Architectural projects: Xerox Corporation, [location unknown]; General Electric Company, Waldorf Towers Apartment, New York, New York; General Electric Company, Chairman's Office Competition, New York, New York; General Electric Company, Corporate Guest Facility and Helipad, Lewisboro, New York.
1983 -- Partnership now called Gatje Papachristou Smith, and is located in offices on lower Fifth Avenue, New York. Architectural project: 44th Street Precinct House, Bronx, New York.
1986 -- Partnership of Gatje Papachristou Smith dissolved.
Related Archival Materials note:
Additional blueprints and drawings by Breuer are located at Syracuse University.
A presentation book for the IBM Research Center in La Gaude, France, is located in the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in five installments, 1985-1999, by Constance Breuer, widow of Marcel Breuer.
The microfilm for this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
The Marcel Breuer papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
These records (0.66 linear feet, reel 5795) were donated to the American Academy in Rome from various sources or otherwise left on its premises. None are official records generated by the institution and some predate the institution. Included are: Ernest Lewis' photograph album/scrapbook; Allan Marquand's papers; Charles F. McKim's memorabilia, photographs, printed matter, and artifacts; Charles R. Morey's correspondence; and Elihu Vedder's Bible.
Ernest Lewis, fellow in architecture, was at the American Academy in Rome, circa 1908-1911. Little is known of him other than that he practiced architecture in New York. The Ernest Lewis scrapbook, included in this subseries, includes photographs of Lewis and his fellow students (many identified, most likely at a later date), circa 1908-1911; interior views of Mirafiore and Lewis in Egypt; photographs of architectural renderings and drawings of architectural details (some by Lewis, others unsigned); clippings and printed matter about architecture, including illustrations of a prize-winning work, and articles about French architects Constant Désiré Despradelle and Jean Louis Pascal; photographs and reproductions of architectural renderings of Roman buildings and entries in various architectural competitions; a McKim, Mead & White label [possibly a bookplate]; a reprint from The Technology Review, November 1912, of an article about Constant Désiré Despradelle; "Rome Letter," 1913 and undated, by George S, Koyle, Fellow in Architecture, American Academy in Rome; and an article about Jean Louis Pascal from Journal of the American Institute of Architects, circa 1913.
Allan Marquand (1853-1924) was professor of art history and archaeology at Princeton University, from 1883 until his death in 1924. Between 1896 and 1897 he served as a professor in the School of Classical Studies in Rome. From approximately 1909 to 1923, he chaired the annual meeting of the Committee on Medieval and Renaissance Studies of the Archaeological Institute of America, a committee which originated in the School of Classical Studies. Papers relating to Marquand and included in this subseries were given to the American Academy in Rome by Miss Lucy Shoe, who had received the materials from the Marquand family.
Charles Follen McKim (1847-1909), after studying at Harvard, and the Ecole des Beaux Arts, and working in the offices of H. H. Richardson, in 1879 formed the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White. After meeting other architects and artists at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and discussing with them the advantages of studying art in Europe, McKim proposed the idea for a school in Europe for American artists. From this plan emerged the American School of Architecture in Rome which eventually became the American Academy in Rome. In addition to being a founder, McKim served as trustee, treasurer, and president; in the early days, McKim's determined service and financial help were responsible for the institution's continued existence. Acquisition documents relating to McKim's files are contained in this subseries and include an itemized list of the gift, labeled as follows: "Documents, property of Mr. McKim, which were brought from Mr. Smith's office by Mr. Dolan (21/8/47) to be left with record in A.A.R. office (in small black case in closet)." Items 10, 11, 12 (case of drawing instruments, 18" ruler, and sketch by unknown artist) were not among the materials received from the American Academy in Rome by the Archives of American Art.
Charles R. Morey (1877-1965) was a professor of art and archaeology at Princeton University, a fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Rome in 1903, and professor of classical studies at the American Academy in Rome from 1925 to 1926. From 1945 to 1947, Morey served as Acting Director, and later Director of the American Academy in Rome. Morey's correspondence is included in this subseries.
Mural painter Elihu Vedder (1836-1923), a resident of Rome, was affiliated with the firm of McKim, Mead and White during a stay in America from 1897 to 1898. Nothing is known of the circumstances under which the Elihu Vedder Bible, included in this subseries, became the property of the academy.
This subseries is arranged alphabetically by name of individual to whom the material relates, then by subject.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. research center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The American Academy in Rome records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
American Academy in Rome records, 1855-2012. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
An interview of Massimo Vignelli conducted 2011 June 6-7, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Vignelli's home and office, in New York, New York.
Vignelli speaks of his youth and early start in art design and architecture; his early work at Catiglione architects at the age of 16; his father; his education; meeting his favorite architects; his influences; architecture and design magazines; organic and rationalist architecture in Italy; influence of Ignazio Gardella; Adolf Loos' idea of spoon to the city; European, American, and Italian architecture; education in Milan; his work with Venini Glass; Italian design; his early graphic work; design and vulgarity; marriage and working with Lella Vignelli; graphic design work at the Container Corporation; concept of design as a whole; his work on corporate identities; his establishment of Vignelli Associates; introduction and use of Helvetica in the United States; working with Knoll; choosing clients; design and culture; his work on St. Peter's Lutheran Church; design work for the United States National Parks newspaper design and layout; Unimark; timelessness and design; working with Poltrona Frau, Zero Labor design; major influences; his work for the United States Postal Service; connectivity and context in architecture; his clothing designs and historical perspectives on clothing; postmodernism; his work on the New York Subway; design work before and after computers; Japanese architecture and design; his work as a teacher; Oliviero Toscani and working for Benetton; America and international design; modernism and the office building; modern design and furniture; a timeline of his career; the Vignelli Center at RIT and archiving. Vignelli also recalls, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Giuseppe Terragni, Giuseppe Pagano, Domus, Gió Ponti, Metron, Bruno Zevi, Ignazio Gardella, Ray and Charles Eames, Giancarlo De Carlo, Venini Glass, Carlo Scarpa, Ralph Eckerstrom, Umberto Eco, Sansoni Publishing House, Vignelli Associates, Walter Kacik, Helvetica, Knoll, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, National Parks, New York Herald, Unimark, Lella Vignelli, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Poltrona Frau, Dieter Rams, Louis Kahn, Stendig Calendar, A to Z, Salon de Mobile, Michael Graves, Robert Venturi, Oliviero Toscani, Benetton, Herman Miller, Steelcase, and the Vignelli Center.
Biographical / Historical:
Massimo Vignelli (1931- ) is a designer in New York, New York. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is an independent scholar in San Francisco, California.
Originally recorded as 9 sound files. Duration is 6 hr., 52 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
An interview of S.I. Morris conducted 1981 Mar. 20, by Sandra Curtis Levy, for the Archives of American Art.
Biographical / Historical:
S.I. Morris (1914-2006) was an architect from Houston, Tex.
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 8 min.
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
An interview of Lawrence Anderson conducted 1992 January 30-March 30, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Anderson speaks about: his childhood in rural Minnesota, youth in Minneapolis, education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's School of Architecture and Planning, and at L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris; his studies, teachers and fellow students; teaching at the University of Virginia and MIT; colleagues and students at MIT; partnership with Herbert Beckwith and buildings by their firm; Alvar Aalto, Deans William Emerson, William Wurster and Pietro Belluschi; projects on which he has served as an architectural advisor; and competitions he has juried.
Biographical / Historical:
Lawrence B. Anderson (1906-1994) was an architect and educator from Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Originally recorded on 9 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 17 digital wav files. Duration is 12 hrs., 43 minutes.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, and critics.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Biographical information; writings by Shaw; sketches; etchings; silhouette portraits; photographs; and printed material.
Reel 3989: Biographical account; architect certification documents from 8 states; family correspondence; 5 poems by Shaw, 2 of which are illustrated; notes on Shaw's genealogy; miscellaneous notes; 24 geometrical sketches for school, 55 drawings, and 14 watercolors by Shaw; an etching of Shaw's first wife, Caroline Quinan; an etching by Henry B. Quinan; 2 silhouette portraits of Shaw and an unidentified man; clippings regarding Shaw's work in Williamsburg and at Brown University; brochures and programs; reproductions of art works; course descriptions and assignments from L'Ecole des Beaux Arts; and photographs of Shaw, his family, friends, colleagues, and buildings.
Reel 949: Two sketches, one by Shaw and one by his father George Russell Shaw; 14 photocopies of Shaw's acceptances to Music Houseparties; photographs of Shaw, his family, and houses designed by him.
Biographical / Historical:
Architect; Concord, Mass. Was active in architectural restoration and helped in restoration efforts of buildings in Williamsburg, Va.
Lent and donated 1975 by Sarah Quinan Shaw Johnson, Shaw's daughter by his first wife.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The papers of architect Albert Kahn date from 1875-1970, bulk 1875-1945, and measure 7.02 linear feet. Found within the papers is biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, nine sketchbooks, art work, notes and writings, two scrapbooks, printed material, photographs and photograph albums, artifacts, and motion picture film.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of architect Albert Kahn date from 1875-1970, bulk 1875-1945, and measure 7.02 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, nine sketchbooks, art work, notes and writings, two scrapbooks, printed material, photographs and photograph albums, artifacts, a sound recording and motion picture film.
Biographical material includes a biographical account, marriage certificate, architect's licenses, calling cards for the Kahns, passports, identification cards, letters of introduction, award certificates and medals, membership cards and certificates, a sound recording concerning Albert Kahn's life, and an address book.
Correspondence consists of letters between Albert Kahn, family members, and colleagues including Myron Barlow, George D. Mason, Carl Milles and Arthur A. Stoughton. There is one letter each from Henry Bacon and Alexander Trowbridge, and condolence letters to Kahn's widow.
Personal business records include records of stocks and income, lists of expenses and receipts for construction, property records, price lists for paintings by others, and miscellaneous receipts.
Art work includes nine sketchbooks and drawings by Albert Kahn, a paper silhouette portrait of Kahn, and drawings, watercolors, etchings, lithographs, and a sketchbook of Cornwall by others.
Notes and writings include Ernestine Kahn's diary, notebooks, guest registers and records concerning Albert Kahn's funeral, and typescripts of speeches and lectures.
Two scrapbooks contain clippings, small drawings, photographs of architecture, and letters of tribute.
Printed material includes clippings, exhibition catalogs for others, programs, booklets, books, reproductions of art work, travel brochures, picture postcards, and miscellaneous printed material.
Photographs are of Albert Kahn, members of his family, and colleagues including Myron Barlow, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Arturo Toscanini, residences, and travel scenes. Moving images include five reels of 16mm motion picture film of the Kahn family at the farm and at various family gatherings.
Artifacts primarily consist of the tools used by Albert Kahn during his career including t-squares and portable tripod supports for drawing boards used on construction sites.
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Glass plate negative housed separately and closed to researchers.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1896-1945 (Box 1, 6, OV 10; 19 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1891-1970 (Box 1-3, 6; 3.3 linear feet)
Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1891-1943 (Box 3; 7 folders)
Series 4: Art Work, 1890-1936 (Box 3, 6, OV 11-12; 20 folders)
Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1899-1943 (Box 3-4; 29 folders)
Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1890-1942 (Box 7; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1897-1968 (Box 4-6, OV 10; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographs and Moving Images, 1875-1944 (Box 5-6, 8, FC 13-17, MGP 2; 1.5 linear feet)
Series 9: Artifacts, circa 1942 (Box 5, 9; 0.4 linear feet)
Albert Kahn (1869-1942) of Detroit, Michigan, was an architect, primarily known for designing industrial buildings with the pioneering use of reinforced concrete that allowed large unobstructed interiors.
Albert Kahn was born on March 21, 1869 in Rhaunen, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, the oldest son of rabbi Joseph Kahn and Rosalie Cohn Kahn. The family immigrated to the United States in 1881 and settled in Detroit, Michigan.
Albert Kahn worked as an office boy in an architect's office and studied drawing in Sunday classes conducted by sculptor Julius Melchers. Melchers found Kahn a position in the architectural offices of Mason and Rice where he worked for several years. In 1890, Kahn won a scholarship to travel in Europe to study architecture and in 1895 he opened his own architectural office, Albert Kahn Associates, hiring his younger brothers, Louis, Moritz, and Felix. In the following year, Kahn married Ernestine Krolik.
In 1903, Kahn was awarded his first two important commissions: to design the University of Michigan's engineering building and the Palm Apartments in Detroit, built with the early use of reinforced concrete. In the following year, he built the first reinforced concrete factory for the Packard Motor Company. Because of the industrial growth in Detroit at that time, Kahn was in demand to design various automobile factories including the General Motors Building, textile, business machine, and chemical plants. He became an authority on concrete construction and by the beginning of the First World War, his firm provided construction for the military aviation section of the Army.
Kahn later moved from using concrete to steel and glass. In 1927, his company finished a large building for the Fisher Brothers of Detroit for which he was awarded a medal by the Architectural League of New York for the year's outstanding contribution to architecture. In the following year his firm was given full charge of the entire heavy industrial building program of Russia's first five-year plan, and they constructed an estimated two billion dollars worth of factories in Russia.
During World War II, Kahn's firm was constantly busy constructing naval air bases, airplane engine plants, tank arsenals including the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant, and other government defense projects. In June 1942 Kahn was given the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts by Syracuse University.
Albert Kahn died on December 8, 1942 in Detroit, Michigan.
The Albert Kahn papers were donated by Kahn's children, Mrs. Lydia Winston Malbin, Mrs. Rosalie Butzel, and Dr. Edgar A. Kahn, in 1974.
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The Albert Kahn papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Two letters from Harris, one describing his book, the other regarding Abner Cook, one of the architects discussed in the book; a note from Grace James regarding Harris' book and Abner Cook; and an inscribed copy of MAJOR AND MINOR MANSIONS IN EARLY AUSTIN, c. 1955.
Biographical / Historical:
Architect; Austin, Texas.
Major and Minor Mansions in Early Austin (microfilm title)
Microfilmed as part of the Archives of American Art's Texas project.
Lent for microfilming 1983 by Terrell James.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Interview of Anthony Candido conducted 1970 October 7, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Biographical / Historical:
Anthony Candido (1924-) is a painter and architect from New York, New York.
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 15 min.
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
For information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.
A panel discussion on the history of City Hall's Government Center in Boston, Mass. Panel members are city administrator Robert J. Kenney and architects James Lawrence, Michael McKinnell, and John Meyer, with Charles Withers as moderator.
Untranscribed; use requires an appointment.
Architecture, American -- Massachusetts -- Boston Search this
An interview of Henry S. Booth conducted 1977 January 13, by Dennis Barrie, for the Archives of American Art.
Biographical / Historical:
Henry S. Booth (1897-1988) was an architect from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 4 min.
This interview is part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.