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Guide to the Greene and Greene Collection
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Collection Details
 
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administration Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Greene and Greene Collection
    Dates: 1775-2008
    Bulk dates: 1889-1975
    Collection Number: Consult repository.
    Creator: Greene, Charles Sumner, 1868-1957 Greene, Henry Mather, 1870-1954
    Extent: 195 boxes, 46 flat file folders
    Repository: Greene and Greene Archives
    c/o The Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2232
    Fax: (626) 796-6498
    Email: scheid@usc.edu
    URL: http://www.gamblehouse.org
    Abstract: Charles and Henry Greene were brothers and partners in the architectural firm Greene and Greene that flourished in the early twentieth century in Pasadena, California. They created a distinctive residential architecture, now known as California Craftsman, designing houses mostly in Pasadena. In some cases they also designed interior fixtures and furniture to complement the architecture. The firm, founded in 1894, dissolved in 1922. Even before the formal dissolution Charles and Henry each created independent works and also occasionally collaborated after the firm was dissolved. Although celebrated in their own time, the Greenes were largely forgotten after 1920. Their work was re-discovered in the late 1940s by modernist architects and their admirers, and one of their major works, The Gamble House, opened as a museum in 1966. The rediscovery of the Greenes’ work led to a new appreciation of the bungalow and to a national revival of the Arts and Crafts movement.
    Language of Material: The records are in English.

    Administration Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research by appointment. Portions of the collection are available online on the Greene and Greene Virtual Archives Web site: http://www.usc.edu/dept/architecture/greeneandgreene. For more information, please contact scheid@usc.edu.

    Publication Rights

    Requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Greene and Greene Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    Greene and Greene Archives, The Gamble House, University of Southern California.

    Acquisition Information

    Critical to the establishment of the contemporary reputation of Greene and Greene was the generous gift of The Gamble House from the descendants of David and Mary Gamble to the University of Southern California and the City of Pasadena in 1966. Administered by the USC School of Architecture, the house, complete with the furniture and rugs designed for it, has become one of the leading museums of architecture and design in the country. In 1968 the Greene and Greene Library (now the Greene and Greene Archives) was established to bring together drawings, photographs, and other records of the Greenes’ work. The core of the initial collection was the gift by the Gambles of drawings and photographs of The Gamble House. Since then more than 400 donors have contributed to the collection, most importantly the families of Charles and Henry Greene, who have donated personal correspondence, family photographs, drawings and sketches, and numerous other materials. Besides the Greene and Gamble families, other clients and later owners of Greene and Greene buildings have generously given drawings and other records. The Greene and Greene Collection also contains a research collection on Greene and Greene, comprised of copies of original materials from other institutions and other secondary materials.
    Additional collections in the Archives include the Gamble House Collection, which documents the history of the Gamble House as a museum; the Esther McCoy Collection, consisting of the library of architectural writer Esther McCoy; the Alfred and Arthur Heineman Collection of architectural drawings and scrapbooks, and other smaller collections relating to architecture in Southern California. Now housed at the Huntington Library, the Greene and Greene Archives continues to accept gifts of relevant documents and other materials.

    Biography

    Charles Sumner Greene (1868 - 1957) and Henry Mather Greene (1870 – 1954) were born in Cincinnati, Ohio. The family soon moved to St. Louis, where Charles and Henry grew up. In the mid-1880s, they entered the Manual Training School of Washington University. The school stressed work with the hands as a way to train young people to enter the professions and industry. In 1888, the brothers headed east to Boston, where they enrolled in the two-year architecture course for “Special Students” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After apprenticing at various Boston firms, the brothers moved to Pasadena, California, to join their parents; they opened their firm in Pasadena in 1894. The first decade of the twentieth century saw the development of the firm’s distinctive California Craftsman residential architecture, inspired by the theories of the Arts and Crafts movement, as well as New England Shingle Style houses, European and English architecture, and Asian art and design. Houses for James Culbertson (1902 and later), Mary Darling (1903), Theodore Irwin (1906), Robert R. Blacker (1907), David Gamble (1908), William Thorsen (1908), and Charles Pratt (1910) established the firm’s reputation. Charles moved to Carmel in 1916 to pursue the life of an artist and writer, while Henry remained in Pasadena; the firm was officially dissolved in 1922. Each brother produced works independently, Charles designing the D. L. James house (1918 and later) and Henry designing the Thomas Gould, Jr. and Walter Richardson houses (1920, 1929 respectively). Although their work was largely forgotten between the wars, the Greenes lived to see renewed recognition of their achievements after World War II, when they were honored by the American Institute of Architects, Southern California Chapter (1948) and by the national AIA (1952).

    Scope and Content

    The Greene and Greene Collection contains a wide variety of materials, from Greene and Greene ancestor, architect/engineer James Sumner’s “Memo of the Timber wanted for the Steeple in Providence,” dated 1775, and a diary of a European grand tour in 1829-1931 by an English ancestor of Charles Greene’s wife, Alice, to drawings and photographs of Greene and Greene works from the time of construction through the close of the 20th century. The bulk of the collection dates from 1889-1975. Photographs comprise most of the records documenting their architecture. There is a small collection of architectural drawings; most of the firm’s drawings are housed at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University, New York City, with a smaller collection of drawings from the estate of Charles Greene at the Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.
    The collection is organized into four series: I. Personal Papers, II. Office Records, III. Job (Project) Records (including furniture), and IV. Related Research Materials. In general the papers and records of both brothers have been kept together for the periods in which they were living together as students and young men, and for the period when they were partners in the firm of Greene and Greene. Within each series, the organization follows the separate lives and works of each brother from the dates at which they diverge. Although the collection has been assembled from many different sources, most items have a unique accession number identifying the donor, so that the researcher can easily identify the source of most documents. In addition, individual drawings and photographs have been entered in a master database, which allows searching by title, physical description, dimensions and other characteristics.

    Indexing Terms

    Personal Names

    Current, William R., 1923-1986
    Flavin, Martin, 1883-1967
    Garfield, Lucretia Rudolph, 1832-1918
    Gordon, Elizabeth, 1906-2000
    Greene, Charles Sumner, 1868-1957
    Greene, Henry Mather, 1870-1954
    Hagemeyer, Johan, 1884-1962
    Harris, Harwell Hamilton, 1903-1990
    Hulbert, Levo Leroy, 1898-1943
    Jourdan, Erven, 1918-1984
    Lancaster, Clay, 1917-2000
    Newsom, Joseph Cather, 1858-1930
    Parker, Harold A., 1878-1930
    Parker, Maynard, 1900-1976
    Pratt, Charles Millard, 1855-1936
    Prentiss, Elisabeth Severance Allen, 1865-1944
    Rand, Marvin, 1924-2009
    Shulman, Julius, 1910-2009
    Stoller, Ezra, 1915-2004
    Weisshaus, Imre, 1905-1987
    Wemple, Emmet, 1921-1996
    Weston, Cole, 1919-2003
    Weston, Edward, 1886-1958

    Corporate Names

    Greene and Greene

    Subjects

    Architect-designed furniture
    Architecture, Domestic--California

    Geographic Areas

    Boston (Mass.)
    Carmel (Calif.)
    Pasadena (Calif.)

    Genre

    Architectural drawings
    Correspondence
    Periodicals
    Photograph albums
    Photographs
    Scrapbooks