Avery Drawings & Archives Collections
 

Walker O. Cain architectural records and papers collection, 1892-1994, bulk 1960-1994

Summary Information

Abstract

Walker O. Cain (1915-1993) was an American architect associated with the firms of McKim, Mead & White (1940-1961), Steinmann, Cain & White (1961-1965), Steinmann & Cain (1965-1967), Walker O. Cain & Associates (1967-1978), and Cain, Farrell and Bell (1978-1986). Collection consists chiefly of travel sketches, cartoons, invitations, and other ephemera. The collection also includes correspondence with Alexander Calder and photographs of the sculptor and his works; photographs and printed materials related to the firm of McKim, Mead & White; Scrapbooks; Medals; and a few architectural drawings.

At a Glance

Bib ID 3464753 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Cain, Walker O., 1915-1993
Title Walker O. Cain architectural records and papers collection, 1892-1994, bulk 1960-1994
Physical Description 12.5 manuscript boxes; 3 print boxes; 2 document boxes; 2 rolls; 1 folder (flat-file)
Language(s) English .
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 and to make an appointment, please email avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Arrangement

Arrangement

The collection is made up of seven series: Sketch File, Sketch Books, Sketch & Scrap Book, Architectural Drawings, General Files, Medals, and Miscellaneous.

Description

Scope and Content

The collection consists chiefly of travel sketches, cartoons, invitations, and other ephemera. The arrangement of the material relies primarily on Walker Cain's filing system. Therefore, unlike material is sometimes grouped together because it was originally found in the same folder. Moreover, folder titles have been transferred from the original file folder label given by Walker Cain. A folder title in square brackets indicates it has been supplied by the cataloger and not from Cain's original file (however, this is not the case in Series VI: Medals and Series VII: Miscellaneous, where all titles have been supplied by the cataloger). The folder titles supplied by Cain do not always provide the most accurate description of the material found within a certain folder, therefore, a great effort has been put forward to describe the majority of the material contained within each folder. This description or scope and content note is found in the container list under each folder title. It is important to look at the scope and content notes rather than rely on a folder title to help determine what material will be found in each folder.

The names and groupings of the subseries under Series V: General Files comes from Cain's original filing system. Subseries 5: MMW includes material related to the firm of McKim, Mead & White. Some of the material within this series pre-dates Cain's employment with the firm and includes photographs and printed materials. Subseries 6: Sandy Calder includes correspondence with Alexander Calder and photographs of the sculptor and his works.

The collection was donated in 3 accessions, in 1994, 1996, and 2007. The material is from the first accession (1994.004) unless otherwise noted.

General Note

Walter O. Cain also donated materials related to the firm of McKim, Mead & White to Avery Library.

Using the Collection

Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Restrictions on 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 and to make an appointment, please email avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Permission to publish must be obtained in writing from the Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University,1172 Amsterdam Ave., Mail Code 0301, New York, NY 10027.

Preferred Citation

Walker O. Cain architectural records and papers collection. Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library. Columbia University, New York, NY.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Revision Description

2009-06-25 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Architectural drawings -- American Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Invitations Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sketchbooks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sketches Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Travel sketches Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Video recordings (physical artifacts) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Watercolors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Armenian Church. Diocese of the Armenian Church of America Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Caricatures and cartoons Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Century Club (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Europe -- Description and travel Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
McKim, Mead & White Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Utudjian, Edouard Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biography

Walker O. Cain (1915-1993) was an American architect associated with the firms of McKim, Mead & White (1940-1961), Steinmann, Cain & White (1961-1965), Steinmann & Cain (1965-1967), Walker O. Cain & Associates (1967-1978), and Cain, Farrell and Bell (1978-1986). Among Cain's most notable buildings are St. Vartan Cathedral, the Armenian Church at Second Avenue and 34th Street, the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of History and Technology in Washington, and the Jadwin Gymnasium and Computer Center at Princeton.

Cain was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland where he held the Trustees' Scholarship for five years. In 1937 he was a recipient of the Schweinfurth Scholarship to study in Fontainebleau, France.

In 1939 he won the Henry Adams Prize of the American Institute of Architects and was a finalist in the Paris Prize competition the same year.

In 1938 and 1939, he won honorable mention in architecture in the competition for the Rome Prize of the American Academy in Rome.

Then, in 1940, while a candidate for a master's degree in fine arts at Princeton University, Cain won the Rome Prize. After moving to New York City, he served as chairman of the board of the American Academy in Rome from 1974 to 1984. Cain also served as the chairmen of the New York chapter of Save Venice, Inc. during the 1970s.

Walker O. Cain died in Southhampton, L.I. in 1993.