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Finding Aid for the Kirtland Kelsey Cutter papers, circa 1913-1998 0000126
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Custodial History note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Separated Materials note
  • Arrangement note
  • Scope and Content note
  • Related Archival Materials note

  • Title: Kirtland Kelsey Cutter papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 0000126
    Contributing Institution: Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 4.0 Linear feet (2 half record storage boxes and 1 flat file drawer)
    Date (inclusive): circa 1913-1998
    Location note: Box 1-2/ADC - regular 1 Flat File Drawer/ADC - flat files
    creator: Cutter, Kirtland Kelsey, 1860-1939


    Processed collection, open for use by qualified researchers.

    Custodial History note

    Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Richard L. Poper, 1999.

    Preferred Citation note

    Kirtland Kelsey Cutter papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Kirtland Kelsey Cutter was born in East Rockport, Ohio on August 20, 1860. At age 17, Cutter attended Brooks Military Academy. After military school, Cutter enrolled in the Art Students’ League of New York, intent on becoming an illustrator. Following art school, Kirtland Cutter traveled to Europe and studied art in Dresden and Florence. In 1886, Cutter moved back to the United States to Spokane Washington, where he made the decision to practice architecture rather than pursue a career in art. Cutter recruited John C. Poetz, a young draftsman who had just moved to Spokane from Los Angeles, to be his partner. After fire destroyed most of downtown Spokane in 1889, Kirtland Cutter and his partner John C. Poetz helped to rebuild the city. Notable buildings from this period include: First National Bank, Rookery Building, White House Store, Sherwood Building, and Spokane Club. Work began to pick up for Cutter after he had finished rebuilding downtown Spokane, and he began receiving residential commissions in Seattle, Tacoma, and Santa Barbara. In 1923, Cutter sold his practice to his longtime assistant Henry Bertelsen and moved to California, where he set up a new firm in Long Beach. From 1923 through 1929 Cutter was in a partnership with architect Jess Jones. In California, Cutter designed residences in Long Beach, Palos Verdes, Beverly Hills, and San Marino. Kirtland Kelsey Cutter died September 26, 1939 at the age of 79 in Long Beach.

    Separated Materials note

    The following books were transferred to the UCSB Arts Library in February, 2000:
    Book of the Boston Architectural Club, "signed Kirtland Cutter"
    Borghese: An Illustrated Catalogue, signed "Kirtland Cutter, Long Beach"
    Garrisson, G. Richard and George W. Rustay Mexican Houses: a Book of Photographs and Measured Drawings, signed "Kirtland Cutter, 1930"
    General Catalogue of Jacobson and Company
    Humphreys, John S. Bermuda Houses, signed "Kirtland Cutter, Long Beach, 1930"
    Lowell, Guy Smaller Italian Villas and Farmhouses, signed on flyleaf "Kirtland Cutter."
    Lowell, Guy More Small Italian Villas and Farmhouses, signed "Kirtland Cutter, 1927"
    Mack, Gerstle and Thomas Gibson Architectural Details of Southern Spain: One Hundred Measured drawings and One Hundred and Thirteen Photographs, signed "Kirtland Cutter, Long Beach"

    Arrangement note

    The arrangement scheme for this collection was imposed during processing in the absence of a usable original order, and is organized alphabetically by subject and/or name.

    Scope and Content note

    The Kirtland Kelsey Cutter papers span 4 linear feet and date from 1913 to 1998. The collection primarily contains material related to Cutter's work in Southern California and is composed of black-and-white photographs of Southern Californian residences that Cutter designed, newspaper clippings and ephemera about Cutter that date from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, Cutter’s handbook on architectural practice dated 1928, architectural drawings (primarily presentation drawings) as well as architectural reprographic copies. A few files hold information about buildings in Washington State.

    Related Archival Materials note

    Cutter & Malgren Records, 1889-1923, Eastern Washington State Historical Society/Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane, WA, Collection Number Ms 49.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Cutter, Kirtland Kelsey, 1860-1939
    Architectural drawings
    Architecture -- California -- 20th century
    Architecture, Spanish Colonial -- California, Southern
    Photographic prints
    Presentation drawings (proposals)
    Reprographic copies