The David Gebhard papers span 233 linear feet and date from circa 1949 to 1996. The collection includes correspondence, research
and reference notes organized alphabetically by architect or architectural topic, photographs, newspaper clippings, Gebhard’s
lectures and presentations, and awards.
David Gebhard was born on July 21, 1927 in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. Gebhard received his Bachelor’s degree, Master’s, and
Doctorate degrees from the University of Minnesota in Art and Architectural history. From 1953 to 1955 Gebhard was an Instructor
and Curator of the Art Gallery at the University of New Mexico. Following employment at the University of New Mexico, Gebhard
was from 1955 to 1961, the Director of the Roswell Museum & Art Center. Between 1960 and 1961 Gebhard received a Fulbright
to teach architecture in Istanbul, Turkey. After his Fulbright, in 1961, he moved to Santa Barbara and was hired as the Director
of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) Art Museum, a position that he held until 1981. He was the founder
and first curator of the Architectural and Design Collection at UCSB. Gebhard was a prolific researcher and writer who published
hundreds of articles concerning architects, architecture and design, as well as numerous books and guides on architecture,
particularly that of California. From 1964 to 1968 Gebhard was an Associate Professor and then a full Professor at UCSB from
1968 until 1996. Gebhard was an active architectural historian whose contributions and steadfast determination helped preserve
the unique character of Santa Barbara. David Gebhard died suddenly from a heart attack while cycling near his home in 1996,
at the age of 69.