Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, 1903-1987

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Architectural historian, critic, museum director, and influential teacher. Died 1987.

From the description of Henry-Russell Hitchcock letters to Dorothy Stroud and John N. Summerson, 1946-1949. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 83551893

Architectural historian.

From the description of Lectures on architecture, 1948 Jan.-May. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79723075

Hitchcock (1903-1987) was an architectural historian.

From the description of Henry-Russell Hitchcock papers, circa 1500-1970, (bulk circa 1800-1970). (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 505720127

Henry-Russell Hitchcock (1903-1987) was an architectural historian, critic, museum director, and influential teacher in Boston, Mass.

He taught at Wesleyan University and Smith College, wrote over two dozen books on architecture and modernism, and was the director of Smith College Museum from 1949-1955.

From the description of Henry-Russell Hitchcock papers, 1919-1987. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 245518423

Henry-Russell Hitchcock, considered the "father" of modern architectural historiography, played a major role in bringing modern architecture to the United States. As an eminent professor for more than forty years, Hitchcock trained and influenced several generations of scholars and critics. He combined a love of architecture with criticism and scholarship to produce a large number of distinguished monographs and articles on a broad range of styles and periods.

Born in Boston in 1903, Henry-Russell Hitchcock was the son of Mayflower descendants. At Harvard University, he studied medieval history with A. Kingsly Porter as his mentor and completed the undergraduate curriculum in three years. Hitchcock spent his senior year studying architecture, graduated in 1924, and stayed to study for a master's degree, which was awarded in 1927. During his years at Harvard, he wrote for Hound and Horn and knew Alfred Barr, T. S. Eliot, Philip Johnson, Lincoln Kirstein, Virgil Thomson, and others who became leaders in the modernist movement.

Henry-Russell Hitchcock's teaching career began when he was appointed an assistant professor at Vassar College for the academic year 1927-28. In 1929, he joined the faculty of Wesleyan University, where he remained for two decades before moving to Smith College in 1949. During his tenures at Wesleyan and Smith, his services as a visiting lecturer were employed on many occasions by Cambridge University, Connecticut College, Harvard University, the Institute of Fine Arts, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Yale University. Upon retiring from Smith College in 1968, Hitchcock moved to New York City and taught briefly at Columbia University, the Institute of Fine Arts, and the University of Massachusetts, at Amherst.

Best known as a proponent of modernism, Hitchcock wrote more than two dozen books about a wide range of styles and periods, and most are considered standard works on their subjects. His first, Modern Architecture: Romanticism and Reintegration, appeared in 1929 and was the first book on the subject to be published in English; his final book, German Renaissance Architecture, was published in 1981.

Henry-Russell Hitchcock served as director of the Smith College Museum between 1949 and 1955. In addition, he was curator of several exhibitions, the first and most important of which was Modern Architecture: International Exhibition, organized in collaboration with Philip C. Johnson and held at the Museum of Modern Art. Their book, The International Style: Architecture Since 1922, was published in 1932 in conjunction with the exhibition.

During World War II, Hitchcock's civilian service included working as director of the U. S. Navy's Photographic Library and writing Pratt and Whitney aircraft engine manuals.

Henry-Russell Hitchcock was an active member of many professional associations. He served as president of the Society of Architectural Historians from 1952 to 1954. In addition, he was a founding member of The Victorian Society in Great Britain, and between 1969 and 1974 was president of its sister organization, The Victorian Society in America.

During his long and illustrious career, Henry-Russell Hitchcock won many awards and honors. Awards for Early Victorian Architecture in Britain and Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries were conferred by the Society of Architectural Historians (1955) and College Art Association (1960), respectively. Hitchcock received the Royal Society of Arts Medal for Best Lecture (1956) and its Benjamin Franklin Medal (1970), in addition to the American Institute of Architects' Architectural Critics' Medal (1970). Other awards include: National Institute of Arts and Letters Award (1956), American Council of Learned Societies Prize for Distinguished Accomplishment in Humanistic Scholarship (1961), Friends of Cast-Iron Architecture Certificate of Commendation (1978), the American Institute of Architects Award of Merit (1978), and Municipal Art Society Certificate of Merit (1978).

He received honorary degrees from Glasgow University and the University of Pennsylvania in 1973, and in 1979 from Wesleyan University. In Search of Modern Architecture: A Tribute to Henry-Russell Hitchcock, edited by Helen Searing, was published by The Architectural History Foundation in 1982.

Due to declining health, Henry-Russell Hitchcock lectured rarely and wrote little in the three years preceding his death from cancer. He died in New York City, February 19, 1987.

From the guide to the Henry-Russell Hitchcock papers, 1919-1987, (Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn The Virgil Thomson Papers, 1804-1990 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Ivry, Benjamin,. Benjamin Ivry collection of correspondence on Pavel Tchelitchew, 1981-1982. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Walter Curt Behrendt papers, 1910-1945 Columbia University. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library. Dept. of Drawings & Archives,
referencedIn New Theater for Hartford, CT / Frank Lloyd Wright, architect Columbia University. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library. Dept. of Drawings & Archives,
creatorOf Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. Autograph letters signed (2) : Paris, to Henry-Russell Hitchcock, 1929 Jan. 13 and [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Papers, 1903-2005 Harvard Art Museum Archives, Harvard University
creatorOf Hitchcock, Henry Russell, 1903-. Henry-Russell Hitchcock letters to Dorothy Stroud and John N. Summerson, 1946-1949. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn Coolidge, John, 1913-1995. Papers of John Coolidge and Agnes Mongan, 1909-2006. Harvard University Art Museum
creatorOf Hitchcock, Henry Russell, 1903-1987. The architectural library of H. H. Richardson. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Papers of John Coolidge and Agnes Mongan, 1909-2006 Harvard Art Museum Archives
referencedIn Whiffen, Marcus. Marcus Whiffen collection, 1930-1995. Arizona State University Libraries
referencedIn Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965. Papers, 1903-2005. Harvard University Art Museum
creatorOf Francis, Henry Sayles, 1902-1994. Henry Sayles Francis papers, [ca. 1924-1983]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Hitchcock, Henry Russell, 1903-1987. Letters, 1927-1948, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. The Virgil Thomson papers, 1804-1990 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Hitchcock, Henry Russell, 1903-1987. Henry-Russell Hitchcock papers, circa 1500-1970, (bulk circa 1800-1970). Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Henry-Russell Hitchcock papers, 1919-1987 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
referencedIn Lynes, Russell, 1910-1991. Russell Lynes papers, 1935-1986. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Donald and Katharine Foley Collection of Penguin Books, 1935-1965 Bancroft Library
referencedIn Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. The Virgil Thomson papers, 1804-1990 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Bunce, Eleanor Howland, 1905-. Eleanor Howland Bunce papers, 1935-1982. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Henry-Russell Hitchcock : vertical file. Centre canadien d'architecture, | Canadian Centre for Architecture | CCA
creatorOf Harvard University. Graduate School of Design. The International style in perspective : sound recordings; 1980 Apr. 16-17. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Barr, Margaret Scolari, 1901-1987. Oral history interview with Margaret Scolari Barr concerning Alfred H. Barr, 1974 Feb. 22-May 13. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Bunce, Eleanor Howland, 1905-. Eleanor Howland Bunce papers, 1935-1982. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Barr, Margaret Scolari, 1901-1987. Oral history interview of Margaret Scolari Barr concerning Alfred H. Barr, 1974 Feb. 22 - May 13. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Hitchcock, Henry Russell, 1903-1987. Lectures on architecture, 1948 Jan.-May. J. Paul Getty Center, Arts Archives
creatorOf Rutan, Charles H. (Charles Hercules), 1851-1914. Charles H. Rutan papers, 1870-1973. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Hitchcock, Henry Russell, 1903-1987. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Haskell, Douglas Putnam, 1899-1979. Douglas Putnam Haskell papers, Series II: Personal correspondence, 1922-1979 (bulk 1940-1970). Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn The Virgil Thomson Papers, 1804-1990 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
creatorOf Hitchcock, Henry Russell, 1903-. Henry-Russell Hitchcock papers, 1919-1987. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbott, Jere person
associatedWith Abbott, Jere. person
associatedWith Austin, Arthur Everett, 1900-1957. person
associatedWith Barr, Alfred Hamilton, 1902- person
associatedWith Barr, Margaret Scolari, 1901-1987 person
associatedWith Behrendt, Walter Curt, 1884-1945 person
associatedWith Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959. person
associatedWith Berman, Eugene, 1899- person
associatedWith Berman, Eugene, 1899-1972. person
associatedWith Berman, Leonid, 1896-1976. person
associatedWith Bunce, Eleanor Howland, 1905- person
associatedWith Coolidge, John, 1913-1995. person
associatedWith Doesburg, Theo van, 1883-1931. person
associatedWith Erffa, Helmut von, 1900-1979. person
associatedWith Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956. person
associatedWith Foley, Donald L. person
associatedWith Foley, Katharine person
associatedWith Francis, Henry Sayles, 1902-1994. person
associatedWith Gaudí, Antoni, 1852-1926. person
associatedWith Gill, Brendan, 1914-1997. person
associatedWith Goldwater, Robert John, 1907-1973. person
associatedWith Harvard University. Graduate School of Design. corporateBody
associatedWith Haskell, Douglas Putnam, 1899-1979. person
associatedWith Howe, George, 1886-1955. person
associatedWith Ivry, Benjamin, person
associatedWith Johnson, Philip C. person
associatedWith Johnson, Philip C. person
associatedWith Kaufmann, Edgar, 1910-1989. person
associatedWith Kirstein, Lincoln, 1907- person
associatedWith Lynes, Russell, 1910-1991. person
associatedWith Macintosh, Charles Rennie. person
associatedWith McCormick, Thomas J. person
associatedWith Mumford, Lewis, 1895- person
associatedWith New York University. Institute of Fine Arts. corporateBody
associatedWith Oud, J. J. P. (Jacobus Johannes Pieter), 1890-1963. person
associatedWith Panofsky, Erwin, 1892-1968. person
associatedWith Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1902-1983. person
associatedWith Porter, Kingsley person
associatedWith Price, Paton 1816-1982 person
associatedWith Richardson, H. H. (Henry Hobson), 1838-1886. person
associatedWith Rutan, Charles H. (Charles Hercules), 1851-1914. person
associatedWith Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965. person
associatedWith Schindler, R. M. (Rudolph M.), 1887-1953. person
associatedWith Scully, Vincent Joseph, 1920- person
associatedWith Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson, and Abbott. corporateBody
associatedWith Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge. corporateBody
associatedWith Sizer, Theodore, 1892-1967. person
associatedWith Smith, E. Baldwin (Earl Baldwin), 1888-1956. person
associatedWith Smith, Peter van der Meulen person
associatedWith Soane, John, Sir, 1753-1837. person
associatedWith Soby, James Thrall, 1906-1979. person
associatedWith Spark, Victor D. (Victor David), 1898-1991. person
associatedWith Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. person
associatedWith Sterner, Albert, 1863-1946. person
associatedWith Sterner, Harold person
associatedWith Stroud, Dorothy. person
associatedWith Summerson, John Newenham, Sir, 1904- person
associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896- person
associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. person
associatedWith Vanderbilt, Paul. person
associatedWith Washburn, Gordon B. (Gordon Bailey), 1904- person
associatedWith Whiffen, Marcus. person
associatedWith Wittkower, Rudolf. person
associatedWith Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Massachusetts
Great Britain
Subject
Museum Directors
Architecture, Modern--19th century
Authors--New York (State)--New York
Architecture
Museum directors--New York (State)--New York
Architectural historians--New York (State)--New York
Architecture--Study and teaching
Furniture designers
Architects
Architectural firms
Architecture--History
Architectural historians
Architecture, Victorian
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1903

Death 1987

Americans

English

Information

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