A symposium, "The International Style in Perspective," sponsored by Harvard University Graduate School of Design and held to commemorate the 1932 exhibit 'The International Style' held at the Museum of Modern Art. Speakers and panelists include architects, architectural historians and critics, among them: Thomas Hall Beeby, Rosemarie Bletter, Henry Cobb, Alan Colquhoun, Arthur Drexler, Peter D. Eisenman, Kurt Forster, David Handlin, William Hewitt, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Philip Cortelyou Johnson, Neil Levine, Gerald Mallon McCue, Richard Alan Meier, Lewis Mumford, Paul Marvin Rudolph, Joseph Rykwert, Helen Searing, Eduard Sekler, Peter Denham Smithson, Robert A. M. Stern and Bruno Zevi.
These papers consist of research materials collected and used by Professor Carol Herselle Krinsky for her book Contemporary Native American Architecture: Cultural Regeneration and Creativity.
Scope and Contents:
These papers consist of research materials collected and used by Professor Carol Herselle Krinsky for her book Contemporary Native American Architecture: Cultural Regeneration and Creativity. This book discusses the connection between trends in modern architecture and native culture, as well as how culture has been revived through architecture, and how existing structures are altered to better reflect the native culture they serve. These materials include correspondence, newspaper clippings, interview transcripts, and photographs. News clippings in this collection include articles in German.
The Carol H. Krinsky Papers are divided into two main series based on the original order established by Dr. Krinsky.
Series 1, Tribes (1964-2004) [Boxes 1-4]
Series 2, Subject Files (1967-2004)
Biographical / Historical:
Carol Herselle Krinsky is a professor of Fine Arts at New York University. She received a BA from Smith College in 1957, a M.A. from the NYU Institute of Fine Arts in 1960, and a PhD from NYU in 1965. Professor Krinsky has received many honors and awards throughout her career including the Miess Publication Award from the College Art Association (1985), the National Jewish Book Award (1986), a Merit of Distinction from the International Center for Holocaust Studies (1987), a Golden Dozen Teaching Award from NYU (1990) and; the Brunner Research Award from the New York City Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. She has also been named a Senior Fulbright Scholar.
Previous publications have included Synagogues of Europe, Rockefeller Center, and Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
The collection was donated by Dr. Carol Herselle Krinsky on March 3, 2004.
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from the NMAI Archivist. The Archives has no information on the status of literary rights for the work of others found in these papers; researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, vol. 32, no. 8, July 1930; vol. 63, no. 7, May 1961; and vol. 64, no. 1, November 1961.
No restrictions on access
Arthur Raymond Brooks Collection, NASM.1989.0104, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
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.
The papers of architect and painter Eric Gugler measure 34.4 linear feet and date from 1889-1977. Found within the papers are biographical materials, including papers relating to the Gugler family, personal and business correspondence, writings, project files for commercial and residential commissions, personal business records, photographic materials, including 180 glass plate slides, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of architect and painter Eric Gugler measure 34.4 linear feet and date from 1889-1977. Found within the papers are biographical materials, including papers relating to the Gugler family, personal and business correspondence, writings, project files for commercial and residential commissions, personal business records, photographic materials, including 180 glass plate slides, and artwork.
Biographical materials include certificates, official documents, curriculum vitae, and histories of the Gugler family. Correspondence consists of professional letters regarding prospective and active projects, and personal correspondence from friends and family, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Katherine Cornell, and Paul Manship. Writings include book proposal drafts, essays, notes, speeches, and writings by others.
Project files consist of correspondence, architectural sketches, blueprints, and photographic and printed materials related to Gugler's work on commercial, residential, governmental, and memorial commissions. Renderings of specific design objects, sculptures, and Gugler's collaborative work on preservation efforts are also included.
Personal business records include correspondence related to Gugler's firm, including office leases, prospective client lists, and service fees. Printed material consists of clippings, exhibition material, postcards, and other miscellaneous items.
Photographic materials are of Eric Gugler and members of the Gugler family. Artwork includes sketches, watercolors, paintings, photographs of artwork, and artwork by Frida Gugler.
The collection is arranged as 8 series. Glass plate slides are housed separately and closed to researchers, but listed where they fall intellectually within the collection.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1898-1975 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1, OV 33)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1906-1974 (4 linear feet; Boxes 1-5, 20, OV 33)
Series 3: Writings, 1932-1973 (16 folders; Box 5)
Series 4: Project Files, 1889-1977 (28.2 linear feet; Boxes 5-18, 20-24, 70-72, OV 25-31, OV 33-49, RD 50-69)
Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1928-1972 (0.3 linear feet; Box 18)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1923-1977 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 19, 24)
Series 7: Photographic Materials, 1890-1966 (9 folders; Box 19)
Series 8: Artwork, 1895-1970 (0.4 linear feet; Box 19, OV 32)
Biographical / Historical:
Architect and painter Eric Gugler (1889-1974) lived and worked in New York City, New York. Known for his work on monuments and memorials, Gugler was selected by President Roosevelt to head the redesign and building of the White House's West Wing in 1934.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to lithographer Julius Gugler and his wife, Bertha Bremer, Gugler attended Columbia University and received a three year scholarship to continue his studies at the American Academy in Rome. In 1919, he opened his architectural firm on Park Avenue in New York City and began accepting residential and commercial commissions. In addition to designing buildings and houses for clients, Gugler also completed smaller design objects for ceiling details, sculptures, murals, and decorative structures. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, his firm won commissions to complete World War I Memorials in New York and Chicago, Illinois, and also received a major commission to design the Educational Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Around this time, Gugler married Broadway actress and dancer Anne Tonetti and designed a second residence in the artist's community of Sneden's Landing, New York.
Gugler's interest and willingness to work on large scale memorials and institutional buildings aided in his appointment to a number of prominent commissions in the 1930s to the 1950s. These include the design of the White House's West Wing and the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial in Italy, new construction and renovations to the Forman School (Conn.) and Wabash College (Ind.), and the building of residential houses for Katherine Cornell, Barry Faukner, and Paul Manship. In the 1960s, he was selected to head memorial designs for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt Memorials in Washington, D.C., and also spent considerable time and energy developing the "Hall of Our History" project. Gugler remained active designing and working on projects until his death in 1974.
The White House Historical Association's Office of the Curator holds additional Eric Gugler Papers related to the expansion and redesign of the West Wing in 1934.
The papers were donated in 1977 by Gugler's wife, Anne Tonetti Gugler. Additional materials were donated between 1979 and 1980 by Gugler's business associate, Ferdinand Eiseman.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
The Eric Gugler 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.
Architects as artists -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Eric Gugler papers, 1889-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Both Henry John Drewal and Margaret Drewal traveled to Nigeria, Ghana and Togo (West Africa) for extended periods from 1967-1986. During their trips to Nigeria they conducted research into the ritual performance, masking traditions, and traditional sacred rites of the Yoruba people as well as Mami Wata devotes of Togo, Ghana, and Nigeria. They are the co-authors of Gelede: Art and Female Power among the Yoruba (1993).Both Henry John Drewal and Margaret Drewal traveled to Nigeria, Ghana and Togo (West Africa) for extended periods from 1967-1986. During their trips to Nigeria they conducted research into the ritual performance, masking traditions, and traditional sacred rites of the Yoruba people as well as Mami Wata devotes of Togo, Ghana, and Nigeria. They are the co-authors of Gelede: Art and Female Power among the Yoruba (1993).
Photographs taken by Henry John and Margaret Thompson Drewal during the 1970s and 1980s of Yoruba and Ewe art and culture.
Scope and Contents:
The Drewal collection is a photographic documentation of several trips made to the West African countries of Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo to conduct field research. This collection, which consists of over 10,000 color slides (35mm), represents a major portion of the photographs taken by the Drewals during their visits to West Africa from 1967-1986 to conduct field work.
There are several subjects present in this collection. The most prominent being the Egúngún and Gelede rituals and festivals of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Other subjects found in the collection are Ifá initiation, Òrìsà and Mami Wata festivals, Òrìsà shrines, sacred arts, beading techniques, and traditional and modern architecture. There is a large selection of images specifically of shrines and festivals for Òrìsà such as Sango, Ògún, Agemo, Eyinle and others. Details of implements like the ose Sango, opa Osanyin, and opa Osun can also be seen in the collection.
The Drewals also photographed and documented Yoruba sacred art (i.e. shrine objects; masks) in a number of international museums in Africa, Europe and the United States. Their collection contains images of Yoruba art in the British Museum, London; Nigeria National Museum, Lagos; National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C.; Everton Museum, New York; and Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. For a complete listing of slides depicting museum collections see pages 28-33. These images are restricted and can not be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder.
Organization of the Finding Aid:
Drewal, Margaret Thompson. "Symbols of Possession: A Study of Movement and Regalia in an Anago-Yoruba Ceremony." -- Dance Research Journal -- 7, no. 2 (1975).
Drewal, Margaret Thompson and Henry John Drewal. "Gelede: Dance of the Western Yoruba," -- African Arts -- 8, no. 2 (Winter 1975).
Drewal, Henry John. "Efe: Voiced Power and Pagenatry." -- African Arts -- 7, no. 1 (Autumn 1973).
Drewal, Margaret Thompson and Henry John Drewal. "More Powerful than Each Other: An Egbado Classification of Egungun." -- African Arts -- 11, no. 3 (April 1978).
Drewal, Margaret Thompson. "Projections from the Top in Yoruba Art." -- African Arts -- 11, no. 1 (October 1977).
Drewal, Henry John. "Gelede Masquerade: Imagery and Motif." -- African Arts -- 7, no. 4 (Summer 1974).
Drewal, Henry John. "Pageantry and Power in Yoruba Costuming." Justine M. Cordwell and Ronald M. Schwarz, ed. -- The Fabrics of Culture -- . Hauge: Mouton, 1979.
Drewal, Margaret Thompson. "Art and Trance Among Yoruba Sango Devotees." -- African Arts -- 20, no. 1 (November 1986).
Drewal, Henry John. "Flaming Crowns, Cooling Waters: Masquerades of the Ijebu Yoruba" -- African Arts -- 20, no. 1 (November 1986).
Drewal, Henry John. "Mermaids, Mirrors, and Snake Charmers: Igbo Mami Wata Shrines" -- African Arts -- 21, no. 2 (February 1988).
Drewal, Henry John. "Performing the Other: Mami Wata Worship in Africa" -- TDR -- 32, no. 2 (Summer 1988).
Drewal, Henry John. "Beauty and Being: Aesthetics and Ontology in Yoruba Body Art." Arnold Rubin, ed. -- Marks of Civilization: Artistic Transformation of the Human Body -- . Los Angeles, CA, 1988.
Drewal, Henry John, John Pemberton III, Rowland Abiodun. -- Yoruba: Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought -- . NY: Center for African Art in Association with H.N. Abrams, 1989.
Homberger, Lorenz ed. -- Yoruba Art and Aesthetics -- . Zurich: Museum Rietberg; New York: Center for African Art, 1991.
Drewal, Margaret Thompson. -- Yoruba Ritual: Performers, Play, Agency -- . Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 1992.
Drewal, Henry John and Margaret Thompson Drewal. -- Gelede: Art and Female Power among the Yoruba -- . Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993.
Abiodun, Rowland, Henry J. Drewal, and John Pemberton III, editors. -- The Yoruba Artist: New Theoretical Perspectives on African Arts -- . Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994.
This finding aid was organized according to the inherent value of the Drewal collection to art historians, ethnographers, anthropologists, and cultural historians. It has been kept simple but made as detailed as possible while still providing the researcher with references to the images and other valuable research information. The finding aid has been organized into three principal sections:
A. Bibliography of Drewal publications with image numbers;
B. Primary keyword subjects: Field images;
C. Primary keyword subjects: Art images; and
D. Restricted images: B/W copy slides and non-Drewal color slides
A. Bibliography of Drewal publications:
The first section contains a bibliography of primary Drewal publications and lists the image numbers for reproductions that appear in either black-and-white or color. These publications are listed chronologically with a corresponding list of image numbers. For the researcher's convenience, all images from the Drewal collection that have been published are listed in a separate column beside the publication in which the picture appears. Due to space restrictions, only the last five digits of the accession numbers are listed in the Image # column.
**Please note that some of the color slides in the collection have been reproduced as black-and-white images in several Drewal publications. A separate column in the bibliographic section indicates whether the image was reproduced in black-and-white or color in the publication. The Elisofon Archives does not currently possess any of the Drewal's black-and-white negatives. For additional information on these images, please contact Drs. Henry John Drewal and Margaret Thompson Drewal.
Publication Title Image #
Gelede: Art and Female Power among the Yoruba, 1993
To further assist researchers, two additional columns have been created to indicate if the image is published in color or black/white.
Publication Title Image # Color
Gelede: Art and Female Power among the Yoruba, 1993 • 00000
B & C. Primary keyword: Field and Art images
The second section contains a complete list of images available in the collection, subdivided by field and art images. Field images refer to cultural or natural landscapes shot in Africa and Art images refer to images of objects in museums (or photographed in the field as an object by itself). These images have been categorized by primary keywords (i.e. artisan; leadership; masquerade) and subdivided into subcategories or type within these general keyword subjects (i.e. carvers; chiefs; Egungun).
Primary Keyword Subcategory Image #
Architecture • Modern • 00000
D. Restricted images:
The final section lists restricted images in the collection: b/w copy slides from publications and color slides not produced by the Drewals. These images are for study purposes only and not for reproduction.
The slides were sent to the Elisofon Archives in several batches. They were arranged according to the Drewals' own system of classification and field notes (see below). This arrangement is roughly by subject and further subdivided by subcategory or type. Slides of museum objects are grouped with field images of similar subject matter. For instance, museum object related to Sango worship can be found with the field images of Sango devotees and shrines.
The Drewals donated copies of their field notes (Red and Blue Books) which correspond to most of the slides found in the collection. The Red and Blue books are arranged in reverse chronological order starting with Blue Book 1977-78.1. Reference numbers to these books appear on the upper left hand corner of the slide (e.g. 78.34.6; 28-11). The majority of the field notes give the date and place where the photos were taken as well as a brief descriptive of the subject of the image related to the note. In some cases, the Òrìsà of a particular town was recorded in addition to how many Òrìsà are worshipped. The Drewals attended several private ceremonies and there are some descriptions of their experiences, however, in most cases not in extensive detail.
There is an additional notebook containing more field notes for years prior to 1975. This notebook has information about the images of museum objects and is a collection of Xeroxed copies of notes on index cards. There are no dates on the copies, but there are reference numbers as with the Red and Blue Books.
Images indexed by negative number.
Biographical / Historical:
Art historian Henry John Drewal received his BA from Hamilton College and two Masters' degrees and a PhD from Columbia University (1973). In between college and graduate school, Drewal served in the Peace Corps, where he taught French and English, organized arts camps in Nigeria, and apprenticed himself to a Yoruba sculptor.
He taught at Cleveland State University (Chair of the Art Department), and was a Visiting Professor at UC-Santa Barbara and SUNY-Purchase. Since 1991 he has been the Evjue-Bascom Professor of Art History and Afro-American Studies at UW-Madison. He has published several books, edited volumes, exhibition catalogues, and many articles and produced a number of films documenting African and African Diaspora arts, and lectured widely on these topics. He has received several NEH and NEA grants, three Fulbright Research Awards (Brazil, Benin, Morocco), a Metropolitan Museum of Art Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Dr. Margaret Thompson Drewal is an ethnographer, performance theorist, and dance historian. She has conducted extensive research on Yoruba and Afro-Brazilian ritual dance with a special interest in the poetics and politics of performance discourse. She is the author of Performers, Play, and Agency: Yoruba Ritual Process (1989). She has also authored numerous articles that have appeared in such journals as TDR: A Journal of Performance Studies, African Arts, and The Journal Ritual Studies. She is also a trained dancer and choreographer. At present, Dr. Drewal is the Chair of the Department of Performance Studies at North Western University.
There are also video productions by Henry John Drewal and Margaret Thompson Drewal available in the Warren M. Robbins Library. The videos available are "Ẹfẹ/Gẹlẹdẹ Ceremonies among the Western Yoruba," by Henry John Drewal; "Yoruba Performance," by Henry John Drewal; and "Yoruba Ritual: A Companion Video," by Margaret Thompson Drewal.
Cultural Information and Background:
The information found here goes slightly beyond the notes of the Red/Blue Books and index card that accompany the images. Because the Drewal Collection primarily centers on the Yoruba and Mami Wata spiritual traditions and material cultures, the focus of images are of specific implements of the deities and priests, such as staffs, pots, stools, thrones, statues, and bells. Also included in the collection are images of divination, sacrifice, and other important rituals, festivals and ceremonies. What is given here is pertinent background information on the cosmology of the Yoruba and Mami Wata spiritual traditions as it relates to the iconographical focus of the slides.
In Yoruba cosmology, there is a supreme being commonly referred to as Ọlọdumare. Ọlọdumare is essentially understood as being genderless or androgynous. There are no shrines or spiritual implements dedicated to Ọlọdumare. The Yoruba believe that Ọlọdumare is too vast and its power too strong to be channeled into one building or space. Everything is a part of or expresses an aspect of Ọlọdumare. Through the appeasement of the Òrìsà Ọlọdumare is served. The Òrìsà are the emissaries of Ọlọdumare sent to the world to assist their devotees in every day life. There are hundreds of Òrìsà within the Yoruba pantheon. Deities such as Ọbatala, Ifá, Èshù, Ọshún, Shango, Ọsanyin, Yemọja and Oya are worshipped throughout Yorubaland; there are also deities that are specific to particular locations and are not as popular as the aforementioned eight.
Implements of the priests are classified as sacred art. These spiritual tools are not only instruments of the priests, but ultimately, they are tools for the Òrìsà. It is important to understand that the shrines are not the Òrìsà. This very prominent misconception has plagued traditional practitioners both in and out of Yorubaland for centuries. The emphasis of reverence is placed on the spirit associated with the materials used to construct a shrine or ceremonial item and not the item itself. The shrine and other sacred tools serve as vortices to channel the ashe or power of the Òrìsà into the physical world.
Ifá is a term that has been used to refer to the Yoruba traditional spiritual system. However, Ifá also refers to the Òrìsà of divination, Ọrunmila, as well as the system of divination used by the priests of Ọrunmila. Ifá's role as a diviner is so important in Yoruba cosmology that he is referred to as Ẹlẹri ipin, ibikéjì Ọlọdumare (witness to all destinies, second only to Ọlọdumare). The Drewals were allowed to follow the process of three initiations and other sacred rituals performed by priests. Certain rituals cannot be witnessed by non-initiates; however the Drewals were able to photograph many of the sacred rites of the initiation process. The roles of the Ifá priest vary. Divining is a very important role of the Ifá priest, and the tools used to divine are also sacred. There is a section of the collection dedicated to images of divination tools and the Ifá shrine.
Èshù is another one of the most important deities within Yoruba cosmology. Èshù is the keeper of ashe and the inspector of all sacrifices. His image is carved into the top of the Ifá divination tray (ọpọn Ifá) because he is a witness to all actions, thoughts, and events. According to Yoruba cosmology, he is an unbiased observer who will convey only the truth of any subject. Both Ifá and Èshù assist devotees in overcoming unsavory circumstances and bad luck, according to the Yoruba. There are many roads (aspects) of Èshù, each performing a specific duty in a devotee's life. Shigidi is one of the more powerful aspects of Èshù. One can see the noticeable differences between the Shigidi and the yangi (laterite or sculpted clay used to create an Èshù shrine).
The implements that are found on traditional Òrìsà shrines are based on Yoruba mythology. For instance, the odo Shango, ritual mortar, is found on almost all shrines dedicated to this particular Òrìsà. The legend goes that he used an inverted mortar to kill a leopard that was terrorizing the people of Enpe. The odo Shango is sometimes used to support the container that holds the "thunderstones" (lightning struck stones) of Shango's shrine. The inverted mortar is also used as a stool for priests or initiates to sit. Shango's priests usually keep their hair braided, even if the priest is male. Equestrian figures are utilized in both Shango and Oya sacred art. Oya is the only female deity in the Yoruba pantheon that has ever been depicted riding a horse. Yoruba mythology states that Oya is a warrior goddess who accompanies her husband, Shango into battle and fights by his side. Together the husband and wife team is associated with thunderstorms. Oya is mythically related to the winds that precede the thunder and lightning that are both said to be associated with Shango.
There are several types of staffs or dance wands seen in the Drewal collection. In the case of dance wands, they are often times utilized during spirit possession. In some instances, the shrine of the Òrìsà is only the staff of that particular deity. Such is the case with the ọpa Osun, a deity associated with Ifá and his devotees and the ọpa Òrìsà Oko, the deity of agriculture.
The Ogboni society (also known as Osugbo) possesses a mixture of spiritual and governmental power within the traditional Yoruba community. It was the foundation of order in traditional Yoruba society. The focus of worship and veneration amongst Ogboni members is Onilẹh, the Owner of the land or Earth. Sometimes one may hear the term Onileh, Owner of the house, instead. Both pronunciations can be used and carry significant meaning in either case. However, the consensus of scholarly research associates Ogboni with the Earth. In that case the term Onilẹh is more suitable.
Egúngún and Gelede festivals are of significant importance amongst the Yoruba. The Egúngún society is dedicated to the veneration and appeasement of honorable ancestors. This can take place in private or public. Families celebrate their deceased relatives' lives and accomplishments privately through sacrifice, prayer and celebration. In a public arena ancestors from the community are given recognition. The Yoruba have long believed that community solidarity and welfare begins with the family. In honoring one's personal ancestors as well as benevolent community ancestors, the family receives the blessings of those that reside in the spiritual realm—those who have become ara ọrun, or the people of heaven. Because the Yoruba believe in reincarnation, it is thought that the ancestors will one day return to the material world in a future lifetime. If proper rituals and prayers are performed, the spirits returning will have a better chance of being assets to society by hopefully making positive contributions to the elevation of the Yoruba people.
Gelede is always a public event. The time of year which the festival will take place is dependent on the locality in which the festival is being held. Gelede focuses mainly on the feminine and the role of women in society. Female deities such as Yemọja, Olókun, and Ilẹh are associated with Gelede. Another aspect of major importance to Gelede is the inclusion of Ìyánla, the Great Mother, which is a reference to Onilè. This reference is but one facet that connects Gelede to the Ogboni society. It is also during the Gelede festival that Awọn Ìyá Wa, Our Mothers or the Mothers, are petitioned and appeased so that they may not interfere with the positive efforts of the community.
Both the Egúngún and Gelede festivals help to ensure prosperity, abundance, and fertility of the people. It is through these festivals that indecent conduct is addressed in hopes of exorcising the root of such behavior. It is believed that bringing any disgraceful and inhumane acts to the forefront encourages individuals to act responsibly in all matters.
The final subject presented in the Drewal Collection is of the Mami Wata traditions in West Africa. Representations of Mami Wata often include foreign images, usually of Indian gods, to describe the attributes of Mami Wata as a deity. The term Mami Wata refers to a water spirit or a collective of water spirits. The names associated with the original African water spirit(s) have long been forgotten in some regions of West Africa where Mami Wata is worshipped. However, in other areas, the term Mami Wata is interchangeable with the indigenous name used to identify the water spirit(s). There are variations to the worship of Mami Wata throughout West Africa, yet similarities prevail. Togo is most popularly associated with the Mami Wata tradition. Most of the slides featuring Mami Wata devotees in the Drewal Collection were taken in Togo.
Additional photographs by Henry John Drewal held at the EEPA are located within the collection: Henry John Drewal Collection, EEPA 2010-010.
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Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. Copyright held by John and Margaret Drewal. To publish images from this collection, permission must be given by Henry and Margaret Drewal. Contact Archives staff for further information. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Henry and Margaret Drewal Photographs, EEPA 1992-028, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution.