|Avery Drawings & Archives Collections|
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At a Glance
The collection consists of approximately 140 bound albums of photography by Ezra Stoller featuring buildings and interiors designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) and a small collection of project records. Projects represented include, among others, Albright Knox Art Gallery, American Republic Insurance Company, Banque Lambert, Beineck Library, Chase Manhattan Bank, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Ford Motor Company, HJ Heinz Research Center, John Hancock Building, Lever House, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, and US Airforce Academy.
Using the Collection
Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avery Drawings & Archives collections from S.O.M. or an architect from S.O.M. include:
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill photographs, 1945-1969. [Includes many photographs by Ezra Stoller]
Avery Drawings & Archives collections that include material for S.O.M. projects:
Theodore Conrad papers, 1937-1991.. [Architectural model maker; the collection includes photographs 25 S.O.M. projects, dating 1957 to 1965.]
Louis Checkman negatives photographs and papers, 1955-1992. [Architectural model photographer; the collection includes photographs and negatives for 17 S.O.M. projects, dating from 1955-1980.]
Joseph W. Molitor architectural photographs, 1935-1985. [Architectural photographer; the collection includes images for 15 S.O.M. projects.]
George Cserna photographs and papers, 1937-1978. [Architectural photographer; the collection includes images for 7 S.O.M. projects.]
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated by S.O.M. in 2020 (Accession 2020.001)
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Founded in 1936, Skidmore, Ownings, & Merrill (SOM) pioneered modern architecture – in form, materials, and construction processes – in the United States, ultimately becoming one of the largest and most prolific international firms in history. Ezra Stoller was SOM's preferred architecture photographer for nearly forty years, from shortly after the firm was founded until Stoller's retirement c. 1980. Long-time head of design, Gordon Bunshaft, had a special relationship with Stoller and described the photographer's role at SOM as integral to the firm. Stoller photographed drawings, models, and completed buildings. The bulk of the photographs in the collection date from the 1950s and 1960s, SOM's period of high modernism, and include many of SOM's renowned buildings, such as Lever House , New York; Manufacturers Trust, New York; Chase Manhattan, New York; Union Carbide Headquarters, New York; and Pepsi Cola, New York. These albums form an important visual collection of SOM's work and were used for internal reference, for publicity, and shown to prospective clients.