Guide to the Neutra Notebook Collection, c. 1950 (bulk circa 1950)

Special Collections
Robert E. Kennedy Library
1 Grand Avenue
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Phone: (805) 756-2305
Fax: (805) 756-5770
URL: http://www.lib.calpoly.edu/specialcollections/
Email: archives@lib.calpoly.edu
© 2008
Trustees of the California State University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Neutra Notebook Collection, c. 1950 (bulk circa 1950)

Special Collections Department



Robert E. Kennedy Library

1 Grand Avenue

California Polytechnic State University

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

Contact Information

  • Special Collections Department
  • Robert E. Kennedy Library
  • 1 Grand Avenue
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
  • Phone: 805/756-2305
  • Fax: 805/756-5770
  • Email: archives@lib.calpoly.edu
  • URL: http://www.lib.calpoly.edu/departments/special_collections/index.html
Processed by:
Nancy E. Loe
Date Completed:
2008
Encoded by:
Byte Managers, 2008; Marisa L. Ramirez, 2009.
© 2008 Trustees of the California State University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Neutra Notebook Collection,
Date (inclusive): circa 1950 (bulk circa 1950)
Collection number: MS 140
Creator: Neutra, Dion, 1926—

Neutra, Dione Niedermann, 1901-1990

Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970
Extent: 1 letter and 8 holographic leaves in buckram notebook, 8"x 5.25"
Language:

English
Repository: Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, California 93407
Abstract: Collection contains a bound volume with holographic notes, probably in the hand of noted architect Richard Neutra's son, Dion, relating to the proposed relocation of the family's architectural practice to Glendale, California, circa 1950. Neutra is referred to in the third person throughout (generally as "RJN"), and his wife, Dione, is referred to as "Mother" at least once in the text, which comprises the first 6 remaining leaves of the notebook (chiefly rectos only, in pencil; with a pencil sketch on verso of second leaf). The remainder of notebook is blank except for the last 5 leaves, which contain sketches of televisions and radios. Also included in the collection is a typescript of the last letter Dione Niedermann wrote to Richard Neutra before their wedding, dated December 16, 1922.

Provenance

Purchased from dealer, 2005

Access

Collection is open to qualified researchers by appointment only. For more information on access policies and to obtain a copy of the Researcher Registration form, please visit the Special Collections Access page.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

In order to reproduce, publish, broadcast, exhibit, and/or quote from this material, researchers must submit a written request and obtain formal permission from Special Collections, Cal Poly, as the owner of the physical collection.
Photocopying of material is permitted at staff discretion and provided on a fee basis. Photocopies are not to be used for any purpose other than for private study, scholarship, or research. Special Collections staff reserves the right to limit photocopying and deny access or reproduction in cases when, in the opinion of staff, the original materials would be harmed.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item]. Neutra Notebook Collection, Special Collections, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Abbreviations Used:
c.: circa

Biography

Influential architect Richard Neutra was born in Vienna, Austria, on April 8, 1892, the youngest of four children. In 1917, he graduated from the Technische Hochschule in Vienna. In 1922, he married Dione Niedermann, who was born on April 14, 1901. With his bride, Neutra moved to the U.S. in 1923, eventually joining his college friend, noted architect Rudolf Schindler, in southern California. Neutra's most important early work, the "Health House," was built in Los Angeles for Dr. P.M. Lovell in 1927-29. Neutra's work through the 1930s and 1940s advanced the International style, leading to the creation of his masterwork, the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, in 1946-47. He died on April 16, 1970, in Wuppertal, Germany. Dione Neutra died in Los Angeles on September 1, 1990.
Dion Neutra is the second son of Richard and Dione Niedermann Neutra, born in California on October 8, 1926. He began work at the age of 11 in his father's office, eventually graduating cum laude from the University of Southern California. After graduation, he went to work full-time at the family firm, Richard and Dion Neutra Architecture, where he continues to practice as of this writing (August 2008). Neutra states that his "current interest, and principal focus, is to work on the preservation and adaptation of Neutra projects with a view to conserving as many of these icons as possible in the face of their attrition in the name of progress and change."
Sources
"Dion Neutra, Architect," http://neutra.org/consultingcont.html
California Birth Index, 1905-1995, Ancestry.com

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains a bound volume with holographic notes, probably in the hand of noted architect Richard Neutra's son, Dion, relating to the proposed move of the family's architectural practice to Glendale, California, circa 1950. Neutra is referred to in the third person throughout (generally as "RJN"), and his wife, Dione, is referred to as "Mother" at least once in the text, which comprises the first 6 remaining leaves of the notebook (chiefly rectos only, in pencil; with a pencil sketch on verso of second leaf). The remainder of notebook is blank except for the last 5 leaves, which contain sketches of televisions and radios.
Pro/con arguments for the move are listed in two sections — one headed "Possibility I if office must move to Glendale" and the other "Possibility II if office is moved to Glendale." There are references to "VDL," the Neutra VDL Research House I, designed and built in 1932 on Silver Lake Boulevard. The house is named after Cornelius H. van de Leeuw, a Dutch industrialist who met Neutra in Europe and offered to make him a loan so that the young architect could build an experimental house for himself and his family. An electrical fire destroyed the house in 1963, and the Neutra VDL Research House II, now owned by Cal Poly Pomona, replaced it.
Also included in the collection is a typescript of the last letter Dione Niedermann wrote to Richard Neutra before their wedding, dated December 16, 1922.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970 -- Career in Architecture
Neutra, Dion, 1926- -- Career in Architecture
Architecture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States
Architecture -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century
Architects -- United States -- Biography
Architects -- United States -- Correspondence
International style (Architecture) -- California -- Los Angeles
International style (Architecture) -- United States

Genre and Forms of Materials

Bound notebook
Correspondence

Related Material

Related Collections:
University of California, Los Angeles
Finding Aid for the Richard and Dion[e] Neutra Papers, 1925-1970

Container List

Box 1, Folder 1

Neutra Notebook, circa 1950

Box 1, Folder 2

Transcript, Letter from Dione Niedermann to Richard Neutra, 16 December 1922