Skip to main content

Esther McCoy papers, circa 1876-1990, bulk 1938-1989

McCoy, Esther, 1904-1989

Photographer, Architectural historian

This site provides access to the papers of Esther McCoy in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2010. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 75,513 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 44.4 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of Southern California architectural historian, critic, and writer Esther McCoy measure 44.4 linear feet and date from 1876 to 1990 (bulk 1938-1989). The collection documents McCoy's career, as well as her family and personal life through biographical material, extensive correspondence, personal and professional writings, project files, Southern California architects' files, clippings and other printed material, a large collection of photographs and slides, and taped interviews of Southern California modern architects.

Biographical/Historical Note

Esther McCoy (1904-1989) is remembered best for her pioneering work as an architectural historian, critic, and proponent of Southern California modern architecture of the early to mid-twentieth century. Although her professional interests ranged from writing fiction to studying the folk architecture and crafts of Mexico, McCoy achieved her most notable success for her numerous articles, books, and exhibitions about Southern California architecture and the architects associated with the modernist movement.

Provenance

The collection was given to the Archives of American Art by Esther McCoy in 1986. Before her death in 1989, McCoy assisted in the organization and identification of the papers. Original pre-print film elements for Dodge House 1916 were donated to the Archives of American Art by the Academy Film Archive in 2018.

Related Materials

Funding

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.