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Architecture & Design Collections Research Guide

An introduction to the Getty's substantial architecture and design archival holdings, secondary research materials, and online resources, including strategies for researching the built environment.

Other Collections

Architectural proposals for the Urban Library and Museum Complex, Metropolitan Dade County, Florida, 1976-1978. (Accession # 920066)

  • Summary:15 notebooks containing architectural firms' proposals. The following firms are represented: Bouterse, Perez and Fabregas; Harry Weese and Associates; Sert, Jackson and Associates; Pancoast, Borrelli, Albaisa; Watson, Deutschman, Krusé and Lyon; Marcel Breuer and Associates; Yaros Associates; Carl J. Weinhardt; Ferendino, Grafton, Spillis, Candela; Alfred Browning Parker Architects; Skidmore, Owings and Merrill; Edward Durell Stone and Associates Inc.; Raymond Moriyama and Associates; Smith, Korach, Hayet, Haynie Partnership; Architects Collaborative Inc.; Paul Rudolph; Leff and Alexander; Edward, Larrabee, Barnes; Severud, Knight, Boerema, Buff; Connell, Metcalf & Eddy; Philip Johnson, John Burgee.

L'Architecture Lettriste collection, 1968-1988. (Accession # 880210)

  • Summary: A collection assembled for a sale exhibition at the Paris gallery of Ozanne & Lecointre featuring maquettes, projects, plans and writings of Isidore Isou, Roland Sabatier, Alain Satie, Francois Poyet, Gerard-Philippe Broutin, Albert DuPont, and Micheline Hachette. Included are manifestos and bulletins; proposals for playgrounds and housing; designs for towns of the future; and decorative designs.

Class notes from Black Mountain College, 1942-1945 (Accession # # 960052)

  • Summary: Seventy leaves contain class notes hand written by Katherine Frankforter while attending the second summer session at Black Mountain College in 1944. The notes quote directly from lectures given on aspects of art, architecture and psychology by the following instructors: Josef Albers, Victor d'Amico, Jean Charlot, Walter Gropius, Ernst Krenek, Barbara Morgan, J. B. (Jsrael Ber) Neumann, Amedee Ozenfant, Bernard Rudofsky, and Erwin Straus. Frankforter's illustrated notes convey Albers' lectures on color theory, perception, optics, color as psychological problem, and design. Other class notes cover the following topics: Charlot (on composition); d'Amico (on art education); Krenek (on tempo); Gropius (on the importance of community and on the acceptance of the machine as a vehicle of form); Morgan (on vision in photography); Neumann (the director of the New Art Circle gallery; on art appreciation); Ozenfant (on purism and minimal means), illustrated with a portrait sketch of Ozenfant in blue ink; Rudofsky (on clothing, its purpose and significance); and Straus (on perception).Also included are 23 leaves of handwritten and typescript lecture notes, and related documents, mostly taken or collected in 1945 in New York, including the bibliography and typescript notes for a lecture by Rudolf Arnheim titled "The Psychology of Art" given at the New School for Social Research; notes from a lecture given by Arnheim (on positive and negative views of the role of conscious intellect in creative activity) dated 3/5/45 and including a pencil drawing of a man walking a dog; a typescript outline for a class on psychoanalysis taught by Erich Fromm at the New School dated 2/8/45 and titled "Toward Knowing Oneself and Others: The Contribution of Psychoanalysis / Constructive Re-interpretation"; a note pertaining to the class taught by José Lopez Rey at N.Y.U. titled "Spanish Painting from Goya to Miro"; and notes from a lecture by G. Munson on 2/6/45 on the theme of writing. The earliest document is a 4 page mimeographed essay titled "What is Art" by F. S., Jr., Toledo, dated 11/4/42.

Bund das Neue Frankfurt letters received, 1932. (accession # 860971)

  • Summary: Architectural group and magazine associated with the emergence of the International style. Collection includes one letter from Ernst Kallai to Josef Ganter, the editor-in-chief of Das neue Frankfurt, discussing the title and date of Kallai's lecture on visionary and constructivist positions in modern art. A postcard from Walter Dexel to Ganter inquires about participation in an exhibition of abstract graphics. A letter addressed to Dr. Dorner, the director of the Provinzial Museum Hannover, confirms the price of two paintings and mentions the reception of a current exhibition of abstract art. With a fragmentary letter from Willi Baumeister commenting on a dispute with the "Kölner Gruppe" about the removal of paintings by Oskar Schlemmer and Willi Baumeister from an exhibition in Cologne. A poster announces a lecture by Moholy-Nagy and others on the subject of modern film.

California Design, 1930-1965 Living in a Modern Way oral history interviews, 2010-2011 / [sponsored in part by the Getty Foundation]. (Accession # 2011.IA.69)

  • Summary: The material comprises largely unedited oral history interviews conducted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) circa 2011 as a component of the exhibition "California Design, 1930-1965: 'Living in a modern Way.'" According to a press release from LACMA, "The exhibition, the first major study of modern California design, examines the state's key role in shaping the material culture of the country at mid-century. California Design features . . . furniture, textiles, fashion, graphic and industrial design, ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, architectural drawings, and film . . ." The exhibition was part of the Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. research project, which focused on postwar art (1945-1980) in Los Angeles. Project organizers conducted a series of oral histories with many of Los Angeles' key artists, filmmakers, curators, collectors, and critics. The interviews were conducted by different arts organizations in various audio or audiovisual formats. Many of the participating organizations received funding from the Getty Foundation, which collected the resulting interviews as part of the grant requirement. [Digitized]

Records of the CIAM Belgian section, 1928-1958 (bulk 1934-1958). (Accession # 850865)

  • Summary: Records of the CIAM Belgian section comprise the records of Paul Fitschy, Liège-based secretary of the Belgian section of CIAM, as well as some CIAM-related documents obtained in separate acquisitions. Included are correspondence and documents generated by Belgian section itself, the central CIAM secretariat in Switzerland, and associated CIAM national sections.The records reflect CIAM's development as an international organism, devoted to discussion and promotion of modern architecture and city planning. The CIAM congresses, particularly those from 1937 to 1956 (CIAM V through CIAM X), are well-documented, as are the day-to-day operations of the Belgian section. Of special interest are the documents of the planned CIAM VI in Liège, cancelled in 1939 at the onset of World War II. Principal correspondents include Victor Bourgeois, Sigfried Giedion, L. H. de Koninck, Huib Hoste, Gaston Eysselinck, Cornelis van Eesteren, and J. B. Bakema; some items from Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier are also preserved.The collection contains ca. 1250 items, among them approximately 810 letters, 375 documents, 36 handwritten notes (predominantly by Fitschy), and 29 oversized items. Included are meeting minutes, memoranda, programs, reports, questionnaires, book proposals, brochures and other ephemera, rosters, and exhibition materials. Of note are the several examples of CIAM grids or "grilles", developed by Le Corbusier in 1948 and promoted extensively by CIAM as a chart-based city planning tool, as well as accompanying documents and handouts.

Records of the Equerre group, 1928-1960. (accession # 850864)

  • Summary: Collection comprises correspondence, clippings and other printed materials, 1928-1960.Series I includes correspondence, 1928-1960: Circulars, studies, lectures, bulletins and other papers received from organizations in Belgium and elsewhere with copies of some outgoing letters of the Equerre group. The bulk of the papers (except where indicated) are post-war. Arranged alphabetically by the name of the organization and chronologically within each file: Les Amis du Musee Leon Fredericq; Amities Belgo-Sovietiques; Amities Francaises; "Ardenne et Gaume" (from 1936); Association des architectes de Liege (from 1928); Association Belge pour l'urbanisme et l'habitation (from 1939); Association des diplomes de l'Ecole Industrielle Superieure; Association for Planning and Regional Reconstruction; Association pour le progres intellectuel et artistique de la Wallonie (general correspondence of its "commission pour la protection de la nature"); 2nd Biennale of Sao Paulo; 7th, 9th, 10th, Congres national d'habitation de d'urbanisme; miscellaneous associations.Notes and documents, 1948-1951: A short file of lectures, essays and handwritten notes by members of "L'Equerre" primarily related to its conferences.Press clippings, 1939-1940: Newspaper articles regarding the group's activities.Series II includes correspondence (chronological), 1935-1940: Editorial and business correspondence, primarily concerning publication of articles, subscription, accounting and exchanges with other professional journals.Twenty-nine articles written by several contributors for the review. Nine are marked "Published," seven marked "On Reserve" and thirteen labeled "To Appear." "Urbanisme Totale," "Une nouvelle forme de maison ouvriere?" and "Habitation Populaire en Italie."Press clippings, 1938-1939: Reviewing articles published in L'Equerre.Publicity materials, 1936-1942: Chronologically ordered correspondence.

Correspondence related to L'Equerre, 1932-1940., 146 items (w/ Huib Hoste, 1936-1940; Andre Lurcat, 1939; Paul-Amaury Michel, 1936-1940; Alberto Sartoris, 1938-1939 among others) (Accession # 880418)

  • Summary: Documents from the archives of the Belgian architectural periodical "L'Equerre". Primarily consisting of correspondence between the editors and various architects regarding business and articles for the magazine, participation at various expositions and information on the Exposition National 1939. Correspondents include Huib Hoste, 1936-1940; Andre Lurcat, 1939; Victor Bourgeois, 1936-1939; Paul-Amaury Michel, 1936-1940; Alberto Sartoris, 1938-1939 among others. With a 3 p. typewritten history of the movement.

International Design Conference in Aspen records, 1949-2006. (Accession # 2007.M.7)

  • Summary: Consisting of office files and correspondence, printed conference materials, photographs, posters, and audio and video recordings, the archive illustrates the governing ideas and themes addressed each year and provides information about the individuals who participated in and planned each conference. While the majority of documentation pertains to the IDCA itself, the archive also includes materials about other organizations with which the IDCA was affiliated such as the Aspen Institute of Humanistic Studies.Records of the individual annual conferences comprise Series I. Documentation is present for each conference, but the amount and type of material preserved varies from year to year. Overall, there is abundant documentation of the planning and execution of each conference, including materials relating to administration and finances, matters relating to the board, correspondence, the development of the program and the attendees and speakers. The archive also contains the annual press releases and press coverage for the conference. The development of graphic design is documented in the printed material produced for the conference (posters, programs, flyers, abstracts), which each year featured work by a well-known designer. Most significant, however, is the documentation of the actual conference sessions. Over the life of the conference, the initially printed conference papers develop into audio recordings of sessions, first with sporadic reel-to-reel recordings in the 1950s and early 1960s and then more consistently with audiocassettes starting in 1974, and videotapes starting in 1986. Films, photographs, slides and digital files further document the conferences.Series II is comprised of cumulative files and miscellaneous material. These files are cumulative in that they do not pertain to one annual conference. They range from office files, especially vendor billing and receipt files, to attempts by IDCA to collect and preserve its history. The material in many respects mirrors Series I, with groupings of administrative and financial records, lists of attendees and speakers, board records, programs and graphics. Of particular interest are the interviews with board members and the inventory project.

Pacific Standard Time: Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990 exhibition oral history interviews (Accession # 2013.IA.39)

  • Summary: The resource comprises eight unedited videorecordings (with corresponding transcripts) of oral history interviews conducted with prominent Los Angeles architects from 2011 to 2012 as part of the Getty Research Institute's exhibition Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990. The exhibition examined the development of Los Angeles during the postwar years; the interviewees discuss this and related topics. [Digitized]

VKhUTEMAS collection, 1920-1929 (Accession # 950052)

  • Summary: The collection consists of documents and artwork from VKhUTEMAS. Artwork includes students pieces produced for assignments in color theory, portraiture, still life, printmaking, ceramics, and textile design, along with some work by faculty members. Documentation includes three published fliers, a student grade-book, a published book, and 71 documentary photographs.