Information for Researchers
Scope and Content
Collection Title: Lilian Bridgman Photograph Collection,
Date: ca. 1881-1940
Collection Number: BANC PIC 1985.033--PIC
212 photographic prints; 2 photograph albums; 10 negatives; 1 color transparency; 1 map (transferred to the map division)
125 digital objects
The Bancroft Library. University of California, Berkeley.
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Information for Researchers
Portions of the collection are stored off-campus and require advance notice for use.
Copyright has been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted
in writing to the Curator of Pictorial Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library
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 by the reader.
Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted
to research and educational purposes.
[Identification of item],
Lilian Bridgman photograph collection, ca. 1881-1940, BANC PIC 1985.033--PIC, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Digital Representations Available
Materials Cataloged Separately
Title: Lilian Bridgman Papers:
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 85/102 c
Title: [Map of Daley Scenic Park Tract, Berkeley, Calif.] :
Identifier/Call Number: G4364.B5:2N7 1900.M3 Case D
The Lilian Bridgman Photographs were given to The Bancroft Library by Elton Davies in 1985 (the photographs were removed from
the manuscript collection).
Lilian Bridgman was born in eastern Kansas in 1866 to Israel Noble Bridgman and Sarah Ezilda. She attended the Kansas State
Agricultural College, graduating in 1888 with a degree in science. Her transcripts also reveal an interest in drawing, literature
and music. In 1891, she came to the University of California, Berkeley where she studied with Professor Joseph LeConte. Her
The Origin of Sex in Fresh-Water Algae, earned her a master's degree in science in 1893.
From 1893 to 1912, Bridgman taught physics and chemistry at various high schools and junior colleges in California, including
the California School of Mechanical Arts in San Francisco. During this time she also wrote short stories and poetry which
were published in magazines such as
Century Magazine. In 1899, drawing upon her natural artistic abilities and advice from friend Bernard Maybeck, she designed her first Berkeley
residence near Blackberry Canyon.
In 1912, Bridgman again enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, this time to study drawing and architecture. In
1915, she was licensed as an architect by the State of California. While not as well-known as architects like Julia Morgan,
Bridgman worked steadily, designing more than fifteen homes during her career. After the Berkeley fire of 1923, which devastated
much of North Berkeley, Bridgman, along with other local architects, was instrumental in rebuilding the area. Her work was
influenced by her mentor Bernard Maybeck and other creative architects in the Bay Area who embraced the writings of the English
philosophers John Ruskin and William Morris. Ruskin and Morris believed that the simple, vital features of the medieval cottage
design represented a return to life before the Industrial Revolution. These ideas became the foundation for the Arts and Crafts
style, which was embraced by artists, architects and designers throughout the Bay Area. In a departure from the vertical,
ornate styles of the day, architects began to design simple houses emphasizing horizontal lines. They also used natural materials,
fitting the houses into the landscape, harmonizing with the contours of the hills. Structural elements stood forth as ornament
and the redwood houses took on a rustic quality. The architects built around trees rather than remove them, and instead of
allowing city engineers to impose a rigid grid-iron pattern to the streets, they laid out new streets to wind through the
It was during the peak of the Arts and Crafts movement that Lilian Bridgman launched her career as an architect and designer.
She may not have been as well-known as her colleagues, but her beautiful houses are still standing today as monuments to Berkeley's
architectural heritage. In 1939, at the age of 73, Lilian designed her last structure--a small duplex just north of the U.C.
campus. Lilian Bridgman died at her Berkeley home in 1948 at the age of 82.
Scope and Content
The Lilian Bridgman Photograph Collection (ca. 1881-1940) contains primarily photographs of homes she designed while living
in Berkeley, California. The collection also includes personal photographs of Lilian and her family, as well as photographs
of classmates, students and professors she knew throughout her academic career.