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Eric Gugler papers, 1889-1977

Eric Gugler papers, 1889-1977

Gugler, Eric, 1889-1974

Painter, Architect

Collection Information

Size: 34.2 linear feet

Summary: The papers of architect and painter Eric Gugler measure 34.2 linear feet and date from 1889-1977. Found within the papers are biographical materials, including papers relating to the Gugler family, personal and business correspondence, writings, project files for commercial and residential commissions, personal business records, photographic materials, including 180 glass plate slides, and artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

Architect and painter Eric Gugler (1889-1974) lived and worked in New York City, New York.

Provenance

The papers were donated in 1977 by Gugler's wife, Anne Tonetti Gugler. Additional materials were donated between 1979 and 1980 by Gugler's business associate, Ferdinand Eiseman.

Related Materials

Funding

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

A Finding Aid to the Eric Gugler Papers, 1889-1977, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.gugleric
Author
Finding aid prepared by Judy Ng
Biographical/Historical note
Architect and painter Eric Gugler (1889-1974) lived and worked in New York City, New York. Known for his work on monuments and memorials, Gugler was selected by President Roosevelt to head the redesign and building of the White House’s West Wing in 1934.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to lithographer Julius Gugler and his wife, Bertha Bremer, Gugler attended Columbia University and received a three year scholarship to continue his studies at the American Academy in Rome. In 1919, he opened his architectural firm on Park Avenue in New York City and began accepting residential and commercial commissions. In addition to designing buildings and houses for clients, Gugler also completed smaller design objects for ceiling details, sculptures, murals, and decorative structures. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, his firm won commissions to complete World War I Memorials in New York and Chicago, Illinois, and also received a major commission to design the Educational Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Around this time, Gugler married Broadway actress and dancer Anne Tonetti and designed a second residence in the artist’s community of Sneden’s Landing, New York.
Gugler’s interest and willingness to work on large scale memorials and institutional buildings aided in his appointment to a number of prominent commissions in the 1930s to the 1950s. These include the design of the White House’s West Wing and the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial in Italy, new construction and renovations to the Forman School (Conn.) and Wabash College (Ind.), and the building of residential houses for Katherine Cornell, Barry Faukner, and Paul Manship. In the 1960s, he was selected to head memorial designs for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt Memorials in Washington, D.C., and also spent considerable time and energy developing the “Hall of Our History" project. Gugler remained active designing and working on projects until his death in 1974.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 8 series. Glass plate slides are housed separately and closed to researchers, but listed where they fall intellectually within the collection.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1898-1975 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1, OV 33)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1906-1974 (4 linear feet; Boxes 1-5, 20, OV 33)
Series 3: Writings, 1932-1973 (16 folders; Box 5)
Series 4: Project Files, 1889-1977 (28.2 linear feet; Boxes 5-18, 20-24, 70-72, OV 25-31, OV 33-49, RD 50-69)
Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1928-1972 (0.3 linear feet; Box 18)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1923-1977 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 19, 24)
Series 7: Photographic Materials, 1890-1966 (9 folders; Box 19)
Series 8: Artwork, 1895-1970 (0.4 linear feet; Box 19, OV 32)
Scope and Contents note
The papers of architect and painter Eric Gugler measure 34.2 linear feet and date from 1889-1977. Found within the papers are biographical materials, including papers relating to the Gugler family, personal and business correspondence, writings, project files for commercial and residential commissions, personal business records, photographic materials, including 180 glass plate slides, and artwork.
Biographical materials include certificates, official documents, curriculum vitae, and histories of the Gugler family. Correspondence consists of professional letters regarding prospective and active projects, and personal correspondence from friends and family, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Katherine Cornell, and Paul Manship. Writings include book proposal drafts, essays, notes, speeches, and writings by others.
Project files consist of correspondence, architectural sketches, blueprints, and photographic and printed materials related to Gugler’s work on commercial, residential, governmental, and memorial commissions. Renderings of specific design objects, sculptures, and Gugler's collaborative work on preservation efforts are also included.
Personal business records include correspondence related to Gugler's firm, including office leases, prospective client lists, and service fees. Printed material consists of clippings, exhibition material, postcards, and other miscellaneous items.
Photographic materials are of Eric Gugler and members of the Gugler family. Artwork includes sketches, watercolors, paintings, photographs of artwork, and artwork by Frida Gugler.
Provenance
The papers were donated in 1977 by Gugler's wife, Anne Tonetti Gugler. Additional materials were donated between 1979 and 1980 by Gugler's business associate, Ferdinand Eiseman.
Related Archival Materials note
The White House Historical Association’s Office of the Curator holds additional Eric Gugler Papers related to the expansion and redesign of the West Wing in 1934.
Processing Information note
Materials received a preliminary level of arrangement at some point after donation. The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Judy Ng in 2014, with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase information about and access to more of our collections.
Minimal processing included arrangement to the series and folder level of related project files received in separate accretions. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles and the collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Glass plate slides are housed separately and closed to researchers. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Eric Gugler papers, 1889-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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