McCoy, Esther, b. 1904 d. 1989
Photographer, Architectural historian
Active in New York, N.Y.; Los Angeles, Calif.
Collection size: 42.6 linear feet.
Format: Architect files and Taped interviews have each been cataloged separately.
Collection Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, writings, files on architects, writings, and projects, interviews, lectures, notebooks, art works, photographs and personal and family papers relating mainly to McCoy's career as an architectural historian, and to a lesser degree, as a fiction writer.
Included are: diaries (intermittent, 1919-1951), memoirs, resumes, awards, biographies, bibliographies and a family genealogy; family correspondence, 1889-1963; personal correspondence, 1923-1989, with friends and colleagues Dorothy Babb, John Collier, Theodore and Helen Dreiser, Geoffrey Eaton, Dorothy Grotz (Rogers), Noyla Hunt, husband Berkley Tobey, and others; general correspondence, 1924-1989, regarding McCoy's work as a fiction writer and an architectural historian with many people, publishers and organizations, among them Architectural Record, Graham Foundation, Houghton Mifflin Co., The New Yorker, Society of Architectural Historians, and the Women's Architectural League; and files on McCoy's fiction writing, containing correspondence, drafts, notes, source material, and printed stories.
Also found are files on McCoy's architectural writings, 1940-1989, containing correspondence, drafts, notes, printed material, publicity, financial records and photographs on her books Five California Architects (1960), Richard Neutra (1960), Modern California Houses: Case Study Houses (1962), Craig Ellwood (1969), Vienna to Los Angeles: Two Journeys (1974), and Second Generation (1984); on exhibitions curated by McCoy or for which she wrote the catalog, including R.M. Schindler Retrospective (Landau Gallery, L.A., 1954), Irving Gill (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1958), Juan O'Gorman (Northridge State University, 1964), Ten Italian Architects (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1967), A.Q. Jones (California State University, 1980), Case Study Houses (MOCA, 1989), and others; and on articles for Arts & Architecture, Progressive Architecture, Lotus, the L.A. Times, and other publications; files on architects , containing correspondence, photographs, writings, interviews, blueprints, and printed material; 38 taped interviews conducted by McCoy, with architects and others; files on projects, including McCoy's work cataloging and transcribing Richard Nuetra's papers at UCLA, the UCLA slide library, films, the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), juries, grants, tours, and preservation projects, including correspondence, clippings, photographs, and a motion picture film created in a campaign to save the architect Irving Gill's Dodge House in Los Angeles, Calif., and McCoy's files on lectures, 1954-1985, containing many of the lectures delivered by McCoy and for classes she taught at the University of California, 1965-1975.
Also include are notebooks, ca. 1950s-1980s, containing travel itineraries and notes, notes on architecture, architects, notes for articles, and various jottings and writings; photographs of McCoy, her family, including a family album, friends, and travels; 7 ft. of photographs and ca. 4000 slides of architects, houses, buildings and furniture collected or taken by McCoy for her books, exhibitions, catalogs, and lectures; travel photographs taken by McCoy; and photographs collected by John Entenza, editor of Arts & Architecture; printed materials, including articles, clippings, books and literary magazines; and art work, presumably collected by McCoy or her family, including 5 prints by Thomas Worlidge, 1754, a drawing by James House, 1924, and unsigned prints and drawings. Three VHS videos are of McCoy's 80th birthday party.
Biographical/Historical Note: Architectural historian, writer; New York, N.Y. and Los Angeles, Calif.; b. 1904; d. 1989.
Donated by Esther McCoy, 1986.
Funding for the preservation of the motion picture film "Dodge House" was provided by the Women's Film Preservation Fund of the New York Women in Film and Television.
How to Use this Collection
- Access copies of the film "Dodge House" (1965) include a 16 mm projection print, as well as digital video copies.
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