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MS Ger 208

Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969. Walter Gropius papers, 1925-1969: Guide.

Houghton Library


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Ger 208
Repository: Houghton Library
Title: Walter Gropius papers,
Date(s): 1925-1969,
Date(s): 1937-1969.
Quantity: 1 collection (15 linear feet (40 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English, German, and Spanish.
Abstract: Papers of German-born architect and Harvard professor Walter Gropius.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

81M-84. Gift of Mrs. Walter Gropius; received: 1973-1981.
This collection of Gropius materials represents only a part of the personal archive of Walter Gropius. Upon his death his widow, Ise Gropius, arranged to have the collection divided into early and late papers. Both parts were photographed with funds provided by the Thyssen Foundation. The late papers, relating to Gropius' career after 1937, and the photos of the early ones, then came to the Houghton Library; the early papers and photos of the late ones went to the Bauhaus Archiv, then in Darmstadt, since reestablished in Berlin.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Walter Gropius Papers, 1925-1969 (MS Ger 208). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

For photographs of the early papers of Walter Gropius in the Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin, Germany, see bMS Ger 208.2. Additionally, several boxes of press clippings are also housed in the Houghton Library, see *81M-94 and *81M-96. Another collection of Gropius materials, consisting of several thousand blueprints, sketches, and photographs of buildings designed by Gropius throughout his career, is located in the Busch-Reisinger Museum at Harvard. Lamont Library houses microfilm of certain clippings scrapbooks.

Biographical / Historical

Gropius was a German-born architect and educator, who founded and directed the Staatliches Bauhaus, Weimar in 1919; taught at Harvard, 1937-1952; and formed the Architects Collaborative in Cambridge, 1946.


Arranged into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence and compositions (in English and German) relating to Gropius' career after 1937. Chiefly correspondence with noted European, American, and Japanese architects, including Mies van der Rohe and Alvar Aalto; designers and artists, including Lyonel Feininger; colleagues from Bauhaus (Dessau), Black Mountain College, and Harvard, such as Joost Schmidt, Josef Albers, Joseph Hudnut; family (including Ise Gropius' correspondence during Walter Gropius' lifetime), friends, and former students; publishers; and persons in planning and building professions. Significant amounts of correpondence exist from the following: Albers, Marcel Breuer, Gerhard Marcks, Alexander Dorner, Hudnut, and Lásló Moholy-Nagy. Also considerable correspondence with other political refugees from Germany, such as the architect Sigfried Giedion, and friends and relatives who described conditions in wartime Germany as well as their postwar experiences, such as Joachim Rolfes. Other materials include notes and drafts reflecting Gropius' teaching and curriculum planning at Harvard; his writings on architectural education, city planning, design and industry, history of Bauhaus, architect in society, etc.; speeches and round-tables; correspondence, itineraries, etc. concerning his trip to Japan in 1954; reports by Harvard Graduate School of Design on housing projects in South Boston; and compositions by others, such as Alexander Dorner.

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