Finding Aid for the Esther McCoy research papers, circa 1940-1989 0000103

Finding aid prepared by Melinda Gandara, Jocelyn Gibbs, Jillian O'Connor, and Chris Marino
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.
Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum
Arts Building Room 1434
University of California
Santa Barbara, California, 93106-7130
805-893-2724
adc@museum.ucsb.edu


Title: Esther McCoy research papers
Identifier/Call Number: 0000103
Contributing Institution: Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 4.0 Linear feet (2 boxes, 1 flat file drawer)
Date (inclusive): circa 1940-circa 1984
Location note: Boxes 1-2/ADC - regular Box 3/ADC - oversize** 1 Flat File Drawer/ADC - flat files
creator: McCoy, Esther, 1920-1989

Access

Partially processed collection, open for use by qualified researchers.

Custodial History note

Gift of Esther McCoy, 1984.

Preferred Citation note

Esther McCoy research papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.

Biographical/Historical note

Esther McCoy was born in Arkansas in 1904 but spent the majority of her childhood in Kansas. She attended college in Missouri, Kansas, St. Louis, and Michigan. In 1925 Esther left the University of Michigan to launch her writing career in New York City. Her architectural career began when she entered a training program for engineering draftsmen at Douglas Aircraft. Then in 1944 she began to work as a draftsperson at the office of acclaimed architect Rudolph Schindler in Los Angeles, CA. Her prominence as an architectural historian flourished at this time, as she began disseminating concepts of modern architecture to large audiences through her writing.
From the year 1950 to 1989, the year she died, Ester McCoy was a frequent contributor the Arts & Architecture, Architectural Form, Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, L’Architectura, Lotus, The Los Angeles Times and The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. In 1960 she published her first architecture book entitled Five California Architects. Three years later she published Modern California Houses: Case Study Houses 1945-1962. Later in her life she wrote catalogues for gallery and museum exhibits devoted to modern California architecture. She lectured at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. Esther McCoy also catalogued the Richard Neutra papers at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her last work, however, was an essay for the catalog of an exhibition on the Case Study Houses at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. McCoy died on December 30, 1989.

Scope and Content note

The Esther McCoy research papers span four linear feet and date from circa 1940 to 1989. The collection consists primarily of documents relating to Esther McCoy’s research regarding the Case Study House Program and Richard Neutra. Box one houses Esther McCoy’s inventory of Richard Neutra’s collection of microfilmed architectural drawings and reprographic copies, box two houses a VHS tape of Esther McCoy’s 80th birthday party, and one flat file drawer houses architectural reprographic copies of Case Study House numbers: 1 (Julius Ralph Davidson), 2 (Summer Spaulding and John Rex), 3 (William W. Wurster and Theodore Bernardi), 4 (Ralph Rapson), 5 (Whitney R. Smith), 7 (Thornton Abell), 13 (Richard Neutra), 16 (Rodney Walker), 17 (Rodney Walker), 18 (Rodney Walker), 21 (Richard Neutra), 26 ( Killingsworth, Brady, Smith & Associates), and 1950 (Raphael Soriano).

Related Archival Materials note

Esther McCoy papers, 1920-1989, bulk 1920-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
ADC Study collection, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Abell, Thornton M., (Thornton Montaigne), 1906-1984
Bernardi, Theodore C., 1903-
Davidson, Julius Ralph, 1889-1977
Killingsworth, Brady, Smith and Associates.
McCoy, Esther, 1920-1989
Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970
Rapson, Ralph, 1914-2008
Rex, John L.
Schindler, R. M., (Rudolph M. ), 1887-1953
Smith, Whitney Rowland, 1911-2002
Soriano, Raphael, 1904-1988
Spaulding, Sumner Maurice, 1892-1952
Walker, Rodney
Wurster, William Wilson
Architectural drawings
Architecture -- California -- 20th century
Architecture -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th Century
Case Study House 1950 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 1 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 13 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 16 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 17 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 18 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 2 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 21 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 26 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 3 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 4 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 5 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 7 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Reprographic copies