Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding aid for the Ada Louise Huxtable papers, 1859-2013 (bulk 1954-2012)
2013.M.9  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (337.49 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Overview
 
Table of contents What's This?
Description
The Ada Louise Huxtable papers contain the writing and research of the outspoken architecture critic and ardent advocate of the contemporary preservation movement. Huxtable wrote 11 books and worked as a dedicated architecture critic at the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. This collection is comprised of correspondence, typescripts, photographs, awards and research files spanning her career as a writer and one of the most important voices in the field of architectural criticism during the second half of the twentieth century.
Background
Ada Louise Huxtable (née Landman, 1921-2013) was considered the most important voice in architectural criticism over the last 50 years. Born and raised in New York City, she graduated from Hunter College in 1941 and subsequently studied architectural history at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. Ada Louise married the industrial designer L. Garth Huxtable in 1942. Because of their related interests, the couple frequently collaborated throughout their marriage. Together they worked on the design of tableware and serving pieces for New York's Four Seasons restaurant, and Garth's influence was also evident in her sporadic writing about the field of industrial design and through the numerous photographs he took to illustrate her writing. In 1946 Huxtable was hired by Philip Johnson to work as an assistant curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). She left MoMA in 1950 upon receiving a Fulbright Scholarship which provided her the opportunity to travel to Italy and research Italian architecture and engineering. She also received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1958 to support her research on the structural and design advances of American architecture. While Huxtable wrote freelance articles during the 1950s for several journals including Arts Digest, Progressive Architecture and the New York Times Sunday Magazine, her writing career was truly established with the publication of her first book based on her Fulbright research, Pier Luigi Nervi (1960). The New York Times hired Huxtable to write about architecture full time in 1963 when their art critic Aline Bernstein, the wife of Eero Saarinen, felt that she could no longer cover architecture without a conflict of interest. These unique circumstances placed Huxtable as the first ever dedicated architecture critic for an established daily newspaper.
Extent
239.5 linear feet (433 boxes, 27 flatfile folders)
Restrictions
Contact Library Reproductions and Permissions.
Availability
Open for use by qualified researchers. Audio visual materials and data disks are unavailable until reformatted.