Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1892-04-08
Death 1970-04-16
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Richard Josef Neutra was born in 1892 in Vienna; immigrated to US, 1923; Frank Lloyd Wright invited him to Taliesin during the fall of 1924; Neutra moved to Los Angeles, CA, 1925; most productive years were during 1930s and 1940s; spent most of his last decade in partnership with his son, Dion; published several books, including Wie baut Amerika? (1927) and Survival through design (1954); died in 1970.

From the description of Papers, 1925-1970. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 38095482

Correspondence to Lewis Mumford from Richard J. Neutra and his wife, Dione Neutra.

From the description of Letters, 1927-1962, n.d., to Lewis Mumford. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155873546

In 1940, Jan De Graaff, founder of Oregon Bulb Farms, commissioned California architect Richard J. Neutra to design a home for his family at 1900 Palatine Road in Portland, Oregon.

From the description of Jan De Graaff residence architectural drawings and photographs, circa 1940s. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 269260683

From the guide to the Jan De Graaff Residence architectural drawings and photographs, circa 1940s, (Columbia University. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Dept. of Drawings & Archives, )

Richard Josef Neutra was born in 1892 in Vienna; immigrated to US, 1923; Frank Lloyd Wright invited him to Taliesin during the fall of 1924; Neutra moved to Los Angeles, CA, 1925; his most productive years were during 1930s and 1940s; he spent most of his last decade in partnership with his son, Dion; published several books, including Wie baut Amerika? (1927) and Survival through design (1954); died in 1970.

From the description of Blueprints and files related to Auerbacher Lodge, 1954. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 38942876

Biography

Richard Josef Neutra was born in 1892 in Vienna; immigrated to US, 1923; Frank Lloyd Wright invited him to Taliesin during the fall of 1924; Neutra moved to Los Angeles, CA, 1925; most productive years were during 1930s and 1940s; spent most of his last decade in partnership with his son, Dion; published several books, including Wie baut Amerika? (1927) and Survival Through Design (1954); died in 1970.

From the guide to the Richard and Dion Neutra Papers, 1925-1970, (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.)

Biography

Influential architect Richard Neutra was born in Vienna, Austria, on April 8, 1892, the youngest of four children. In 1917, he graduated from the Technische Hochschule in Vienna. In 1922, he married Dione Niedermann, who was born on April 14, 1901. With his bride, Neutra moved to the U.S. in 1923, eventually joining his college friend, noted architect Rudolf Schindler, in southern California. Neutra's most important early work, the "Health House," was built in Los Angeles for Dr. P.M. Lovell in 1927-29. Neutra's work through the 1930s and 1940s advanced the International style, leading to the creation of his masterwork, the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, in 1946-47. He died on April 16, 1970, in Wuppertal, Germany. Dione Neutra died in Los Angeles on September 1, 1990.

Dion Neutra is the second son of Richard and Dione Niedermann Neutra, born in California on October 8, 1926. He began work at the age of 11 in his father's office, eventually graduating cum laude from the University of Southern California. After graduation, he went to work full-time at the family firm, Richard and Dion Neutra Architecture, where he continues to practice as of this writing (August 2008). Neutra states that his "current interest, and principal focus, is to work on the preservation and adaptation of Neutra projects with a view to conserving as many of these icons as possible in the face of their attrition in the name of progress and change."

Sources

"Dion Neutra, Architect," http://neutra.org/consultingcont.html

California Birth Index, 1905-1995, Ancestry.com

From the guide to the Neutra Notebook Collection, circa 1950 (bulk circa 1950), (Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library)

Richard J. Neutra (1892- 1970) was an American architect. Born in Vienna, Austria, he studied under Adolf Loos at the Technische Hochschul and was influenced by Otto Wagner. He worked in the studio of Erich Mendelsohn in Germany from 1921-1922, then in 1923 moved to the United States (he became a United States citizen in 1929).

Neutra worked briefly for Frank Lloyd Wright before moving to California, where he opened his own practice in Los Angeles (his son, with whom Neutra worked later in his career, maintains the office today as the Richard and Dion Neutra Architecture / Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design). In addition to numerous private homes in California Neutra's works include the Airman Memorial Chapel at Miramar Naval Air Station, the Hall of Records in Los Angeles, the Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana, the Germological Institute of America in Brentwood, and the Bewobau Housing Colony in Waldorf, Germany.

He was known for taking pains to ascertain the real needs of his clients, no matter the size of the job in question, rather than attempting to impose his own artistic vision on a project. Writing in Sunset magazine in 1943, Neutra explained that the success or "livability" of a house could be measured by how much living could be enjoyed in every part of it each hour of the day.

An experienced and outspoken writer and speaker, Neutra collaborated successfully with a series of partners including his wife, Dione; his protege, Robert Alexander; and his son, Dion. His autobiography, Life and Shape, was published in 1962. Two collections of his essays, letters and diaries were published posthumously, in 1986 and 1989.

From the guide to the Richard J. Neutra Papers, 1940-1966, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Richard Joseph Neutra (April 8, 1892 – April 16, 1970) was an important modernist architect who helped introduce the International Style to the US. Neutra was born in Vienna and graduated from the Technical University of Vienna in 1917 where he studied under the tutelage of Adolf Loos and was influenced by Otto Wagner. He worked with architect Erich Mendelsohn in Berlin before moving to the US in 1923 and becoming a citizen in 1929. In 1924, Neutra briefly worked for Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin East.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Neutra designed office buildings, housing projects, churches, cultural centers and buildings for universities and colleges. Between 1927 and 1969, he designed more than 300 houses, mostly in California. His most famous works include the Lovell House in Los Angeles, the Kaufmann Desert House in Palm Springs, and the Tremaine House in Santa Barbara.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Biorealism, a term coined by Neutra, represented his belief that man and nature should exist in harmony and that architecture should bridge the two. Neutra was known to work closely with his clients in order to understand their needs, rather than imposing his vision. In 1966 he partnered with his son and founded Richard and Dion Neutra and Associates. His voluminous writings include many articles and three books, Survival Through Design (1954), Life and Human Habitat (1956), and his autobiography Life and Shape (1962).

Neutra died in Germany in 1970. His architectural firm is still operating in Los Angeles.

From the guide to the Richard Joseph Neutra papers, 1927-1978., (Columbia University. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Dept. of Drawings & Archives, )

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Subjects:

  • Architecture, Modern--20th century--United States
  • Architecture, Domestic--Oregon
  • Art--Philosophy
  • Neutra, Dion, 1926--Career in Architecture
  • City planning--United States
  • Architecture--California--20th century
  • Austrian Americans
  • Architecture--California--Los Angeles--20th century
  • Architects--United States--Biography
  • Architecture--Human factors
  • Architectural design
  • Architectural firms
  • Architecture--United States--20th century
  • Architecture--Designs and plans
  • Photoprints
  • Architectural practice
  • Architecture, American
  • Architecture, Domestic--California, Southern
  • Architects--Archival resources
  • Architecture--Psychological aspects
  • Émigré
  • Architects
  • Architecture, Domestic
  • International style (Architecture)--California--Los Angeles
  • Architecture--United States--Designs and plans
  • International style (Architecture)--United States
  • Architecture--United States
  • Architecture, Modern--20th century
  • Architecture, Modern--20th century--Oregon--Portland
  • Architecture--Environmental aspects
  • Architecture, Domestic--Designs and plans--Working drawings
  • Architectural Drawings
  • Architecture, Domestic--Archival resources
  • Architects--United States
  • Architects--United States--Correspondence
  • Architecture, Domestic--20th century
  • Architecture--Study and teaching
  • Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970--Career in Architecture

Occupations:

  • Architects--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources
  • Architect

Places:

  • California--Los Angeles (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • California, Southern (as recorded)
  • California, Southern (as recorded)
  • California--Los Angeles (as recorded)
  • California (as recorded)