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Max Gordon architectural records and papers, 1944-2010, bulk 1944-1990

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Preferred Citation

Max Gordon architectural records and papers, 1944-2010, bulk 1944-1990. Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

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

Summary Information

Abstract

Max Gordon (1931-1990) was an internationally renowned architect who specialized in the design of galleries and exhibition spaces for modern and contemporary art. The collection is composed primarily of project files, architectural drawings, photographs, correspondence, legal papers, personal diaries, and student sketchbooks.

At a Glance

CLIO record: View CLIO record
Creator(s):Gordon, Max, 1931-1990
Title:Max Gordon architectural records and papers, 1944-2010, bulk 1944-1990
Physical description:10 linear feet, 1229 drawings, 929 photographic items
Language(s):In English
Access: This collection is available for use by qualified readers by appointment in the Dept. of Archives & Drawings' Reading Room, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. The majority of this collection is maintained in off-site storage and must retrieved with advance notification. For further information and to make an appointment to use this collection, please call (212) 854-4110 or email avery-drawings@libraries.columbia.edu.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in four series:

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Description

Scope and Content

The Max Gordon architectural records and papers documents the architectural career and life of the internationally renowned architect. The collection is composed primarily of project files, architectural drawings, photographs, correspondence, legal papers, personal diaries, and student sketchbooks.

Series I: Project Records covers Max Gordon’s architectural career from his student work at Cambridge, the Architectural Association School of Architecture, and Harvard University to his later work under his own London based practice, Max Gordon Associates. The series is made up of three subseries: Drawings, Files, and Photographs . Subseries 1: Drawings primarily documents commissions undertaken by Gordon after he established Max Gordon Associates. The architectural drawings are arranged alphabetically by project. Max Gordon is the primary creator for most of the drawings in this subseries; however, when this is not the case, the other creator has been listed. It is important to note that Gordon worked closely with architect Richard Goldsbrough on many projects. The majority of the architectural drawings are blue line prints, but there are many original ink on trace and ink on Mylar drawings as well as blueprints. Subseries 2: Files consists of non-visual, project-related material, including correspondence, contract records, invoices, notes, and calculations. The files have been arranged alphabetically by project. Subseries 3: Photographs contains project photographs. The majority of the projects contain only color prints; however, the subseries does contain negatives, slides, glass plate negatives, and digital images stored on CD-ROM. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by project name.

Series II: Office Records contains papers related to Gordon’s partnership with Chapman Taylor Partners and Louis de Soissons Partnership, including legal papers and correspondence. The series also includes material associated with Max Gordon Associates, including his desk diaries and promotional portfolios and photographs.

Series III: Student Work contains architectural drawings, sketches, class notes, and student writings created by Gordon while he was a student at University of Cambridge and the Architectural Association in London during the early 1950s. The material is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Series IV: Personal Papers is made up of personal diaries, biographical information, clippings, slides, and collected ephemera. The material is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

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Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

 This collection is available for use by qualified readers by appointment in the Dept. of Archives & Drawings' Reading Room, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. The majority of this collection is maintained in off-site storage and must retrieved with advance notification. For further information and to make an appointment to use this collection, 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

Max Gordon architectural records and papers, 1944-2010, bulk 1944-1990. Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Related Materials

Researchers interested in Max Gordon’s involvement with the advisory board of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the advisory board associated with the construction of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sophia, Madrid should consult the Papers of the architect Max Gordon located at the Tate Archive, London. The collection housed at the Tate Archive also documents Gordon’s role as a patron, curator and collector and includes correspondence, invoices, plans and photographs, lecture notes and printed material.

For Further Information

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

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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 collection was processed in 2010 by Shelley Hayreh, Archivist, Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion January 11, 2011 Finding aid written in English.
    2011-01-11 File created.

CLIO ID: 8277276 View CLIO record

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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.

Topics

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Apartment houses--England--London.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Apartment houses--New York (State)--New York.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--England--Designs and plans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--United States--Designs and plans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Art Galleries (buildings)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Exhibition building spacesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Galleries (Architecture)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Building Names)

HeadingCUL Archives:
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CUL Collections:
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Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Saatchi GalleryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Annely Juda Fine ArtPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Fisher Landau CenterPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Marlborough Fine Art (London) Ltd.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Whitechapel Art GalleryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Additional Creators (Corporate Names)

HeadingCUL Archives:
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Chapman, Taylor PartnersPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Richard Gluckman ArchitectsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Personal Names)

HeadingCUL Archives:
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CUL Collections:
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Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Gordon, Max, 1931-1990PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bartlett, Jennifer, 1941-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Feigen, Richard L., 1930-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Manilow, Lewis, 1927-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Joannou, DakisPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Johns, Jasper, 1930-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Types of Materials

HeadingCUL Archives:
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CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Architectural drawingsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Diaries.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Photographs.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Student drawingsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biography

Max Gordon was born June 10, 1931 in Cape Town, South Africa. He received his architectural education at the University of Cambridge, the Architectural Association in London, and the graduate School of Design at Harvard University. At Harvard, Gordon studied Urban Design under Professor Jose Luis Sert and graduated with a Master of Architecture degree in 1956.

Gordon’s professional practice began in New York working for Skidmore, Ownings and Merrill. In 1962, Gordon returned to England as a partner in the London based firm Chapman Taylor Partners. After ten years with Chapman Taylor, Gordon left to become a senior partner at The Louis de Soissons Partnership. He remained with Louis de Soissons until 1981 when the firm relocated its offices outside of London.

At that time, Gordon established his own practice in London, Max Gordon Associates. After only a few years, Gordon soon became an internationally sought-after designer of and consultant for exhibition spaces and art galleries. At the time of his death, a New York Times obituary described Gordon as “the architect of choice for museums, dealers' galleries and private collectors from Los Angeles, Chicago and New York to London, Madrid, Athens and Helsinki.”

One of Gordon’s breakthrough commissions was the Saatchi Gallery located at 98a Boundary Road in London. In 1984, Charles and Doris Saatchi approached Gordon about converting a former paint factory into an exhibition gallery for their contemporary art collection. Gordon converted an old industrial factory in St John’s Wood into, as one critic at the time described as, “one of the most blissful spaces of its kind.”

His most prominent commissions include, among others, Annely Juda Fine Art, Brooke-Alexander Gallery, Paula Cooper Gallery, James Corcoran Gallery, Fisher Landau Center, Koury-Wingate Gallery, Lorence-Monk Gallery, Luhring-Augustine Gallery, Maeght-Lelong Gallery, Marlborough Fine Art Galleries, and gallery space for the Centro d’Arte Reina Sophia. Gordon also did significant residential design work for clients such as artist Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Jennifer Barlett, art collectors Asher Edelman and Lewis Manilow, and musician Brian Ferry. Gordon worked closely with architects Richard Goldsbrough and Richard Gluckman on many of these projects.

Alongside his work as an architect, Gordon was a member of the trustees' committee on architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art and a member of its international council from 1978 to 1985. In London, he was a founding committee member of the Patrons of New Art at the Tate Gallery and a trustee of the Whitechapel Art Gallery Foundation.

Max Gordon died on August 24, 1990 in London.

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