Architecture & Design

Architecture & Design

This drawing, of ink and graphite on heavy paper (detail) was a recent gift of Hugh Shepley FAIA. Attributed to Baldassare Peruzzi (Siena 1481-Rome 1536), Palace Facade in Pespective, 1520s.

The Museum's Architecture and Design Collection is one of the country's important collections for the study of architectural instruction and practice. The collection was developed as a repository for the thesis drawings and course materials from the first American architectural program, MIT's Course Four.

The Architecture & Design Collection has grown into a collection documenting American and European architectural training and graphics of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The collection documents the oldest architectural program in the country through more than 15,000 student thesis drawings from 1873 through the 1960s. Program books, dating from 1905 to 1956, record studio competitions, often with photographs of student presentations. The emphasis of the collection is on study drawings not built work, such as travel sketches of MIT students awarded the Rotch traveling fellowship, today awarded by the Boston Society of Architects.

Developed for instruction in architectural design and graphics, the collection includes work of European and American architects of the 1840s through the 1920s, including Samuel Chamberlain, Louis Rosenberg, Bertram Goodhue, and Emmanuel Brune and Piranesi prints brought to MIT in the 1860s.

Collection Highlights

The Architects Collaborative

The Architects Collaborative (TAC), founded by Walter Gropius and seven colleagues in Cambridge, MA in 1946, is one of the most influential architectural firms of the twentieth century. The MIT Museum and the School of Architecture and Planning acquired the majority collection of TAC's drawings and office records when the firm closed in 1995.

The Campus Collection

The Campus Collection includes photographs, drawings and models documenting MIT's original Boston campus and the evolution of its current Cambridge campus. The Architecture and Design Collection also includes drawings from Department of Architecture life drawing and color theory classes. Written theses statements that accompanied the student thesis drawings are housed at the Institute Archives and Special Collections of the MIT Libraries.

The Imre Halasz Trust

The Imre Halasz Trust was established in 2007 to offer financial support for working architects to advance their professional interests through scholarly research and related projects. The Trust donated the Halasz archives to the MIT Museum and is continuing to support curatorial work to make the work accessible to researchers including a new project to digitize a selection of the material.

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