crown CU Home > Libraries Home
Columbia University Libraries Archival CollectionsAvery Drawings & Archives Collections
 

Ely Jacques Kahn papers, 1906-1986, (bulk 1906-1972)

Download and Print CitationContact Bookmark Share

Preferred Citation

Ely Jacques Kahn papers, 1906-1986, (bulk 1906-1972), Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

At a Glance

CLIO record: View CLIO record
Creator(s):Kahn, Ely Jacques, 1884-1972
Title:Ely Jacques Kahn papers, 1906-1986, (bulk 1906-1972)
Physical description:approximately 7 linear feet (in 3 manuscript boxes, 7 1/2 print boxes, 2 oversize folders)
Language(s):In 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 call (212) 854-4110 or email avery-drawings@libraries.columbia.edu.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in seven series:

Return to top

Description

Scope and Content

The collection consists of papers related to the personal and professional life of American architect Ely Jacques Kahn. A small amount of personal papers was transferred from the Arendts Library at Syracuse University in 1992. Additional personal papers, including two large scrapbooks, were donated by Liselotte Kahn, wife of Ely Jacques Kahn, in 1992 and 1993. Also found in this collection are student drawings and an incomplete autobiographical essay, donated to Avery Library by Kahn himself in 1963. Completing the Kahn holdings are personal materials from Ely Jacques Kahn, including drawings done while Kahn was a student at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts in Paris (1907-1908), sketchbooks, diplomas, autographs from fellow students, a typescript of Kahn's autobiography, and scrapbooks containing clippings, photographs, telegrams and other ephemera. Additionally, there is a small holding for Liselotte Kahn within the collection, including her unpublished memoirs, some correspondence, and a watercolor painting. Liselotte Kahn's memoirs describe her childhood in Germany; her marriage to Dr. Ernst Müller and the birth of their sons; Nazi anti-Semitism; their emigration to Greece; her husband's medical practice in Athens; the Italian and German invasion of Greece; their escape to Palestine; and their emigration to and experiences in the United States.

Return to top

Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

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 call (212) 854-4110 or email avery-drawings@libraries.columbia.edu.

Restrictions on Use

Columbia University is providing access to the materials in the Library's collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of Columbia University is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For additional guidance, see Columbia University Libraries' publication policy.

In addition to permission from Columbia University, permission of the copyright owner (if not Columbia University) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distributions, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. Columbia University makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

Preferred Citation

Ely Jacques Kahn papers, 1906-1986, (bulk 1906-1972), Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Related Material

Avery Drawings & Archives holds the personal papers of Ely Jacques Kahn and additional drawings from Kahn & Jacobs (as well as the firm's earlier iterations). Received over the years in various donations, our additional holdings include the following:

Ely and Liselotte Kahn (1963.001, 1992.003, 1992.011, 1993.016, 1994.013)-- Ely Jacques Kahn papers, 1906-1986, (bulk 1906-1972)

For Further Information

For more information about using the collections and conducting research in the Department of Drawings & Archives, please see our FAQ.

Return to top

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library. Department of Drawings and Archives; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

This finding aid was produced by Shelley Hayreh, Avery Archivist, in 2014. The scrapbooks were processed by Nicole Richard in 2015.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion November 19, 2014 Finding aid written in English.
    2014-11-19 File created.

CLIO ID: 11015367 View CLIO record

Return to top

Index Terms

The names and terms listed below are represented 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 consortial/union catalog offered by OCLC that allows users to search the holdings of multiple archives and libraries.

All links open new windows.

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Bergdorf Goodman (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (France)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Kahn, LiselottePortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architects--New York (State)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Sketch-books.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Study and teaching.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architects--United States--BiographyPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Photographs.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Watercolors.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
SketchbooksPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Autobiographies.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
AutographsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Return to top

History / Biographical Note

History

Ely Jacques Kahn was one of the most significant architects in New York City in the 20th century, sustaining an active career over more than six decades. Many of his buildings are now New York City landmarks, bearing witness to the sophistication of Art Deco and Moderne styles and the ambitions of the post-World War II building boom.

Born in Manhattan, Kahn graduated from Columbia College in 1903 and completed further study in architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1907-08. Returning to New York, Kahn struggled to find work in the wake of the 1907 stock market collapse. Competition for architectural jobs was tough given the growing number of trained architects and Kahn also faced a rising wall of anti-Semitism in the patrician world of New York architecture. In 1914, Kahn took a teaching position at Cornell as a replacement for a French architect unable to return due to the outbreak of World War I. In 1917, he joined the partnership of Buchman and Fox, already an established firm. As part of Buchman & Kahn, he began designing and building successful commercial buildings, profiting from the building boom in the 1910s and 1920s.

Return to top