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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: John Fitchen papers
    Date (inclusive): 1927-1989
    Collection number: 910018
    Creator: Fitchen, John
    Extent: 4 lin. ft. (10 boxes)
    Repository: Getty Research Institute
    Research Library
    Special Collections and Visual Resources
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
    Abstract: American architect and architectural historian. Most of the research materials relate to three of Fitchen's books: Construction of Gothic Cathedrals, The New World Dutch Barn, and Building Construction Before Mechanization. Other papers include designs, drawings, and sketchbooks, as well as correspondence with numerous architectural historians, primarily on the subject of medieval architecture.
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    Language: Collection material in English

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    John Fitchen papers, 1927-1989, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Accession number 910018.

    Processing History

    Teresa Morales processed the collection in 1996.

    Biographical/Historical note

    John Fitchen, American architectural historian and architect, is the author of several works, among them, Construction of Gothic cathedrals (1961, 1981), New World Dutch barn (1968), and Building construction before mechanization (1986). He attended Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, where he studied with Kenneth John Conant and developed an abiding interest in medieval construction techniques.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Fitchen papers comprise research materials, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs and reviews for his publications, especially for his 3 books: Construction of Gothic cathedrals, New World Dutch barn, and Building construction before mechanization. Manuscripts and printed materials document numerous articles and lectures by Fitchen. Other files contain material for unpublished projects, including his manuscript “Plot, plan and perspective.” Sketches and drawings document Fitchen's designs for bookplates and buildings, including some done as a student. A sketchbook contains drawings of American Dutch barns. Correspondence with more than a dozen architectural historians centers largely on the subject of medieval architecture and construction.


    Indexing Terms


    Fitchen, John
    Ayasofya Müzesi
    Harvard University. Graduate School of Design
    Washington Cathedral
    Architecture, Gothic
    Architecture, Gothic—History
    Architecture, Medieval
    Architecture, Medieval—History
    Building materials—Europe—History
    Barns—United States
    Church architecture
    Church architecture—Europe—History
    Church architecture—Themes, motives
    Church architecture—Designs and plans
    Civil engineering
    Vaults (Architecture)
    Vaults (Architecture), Gothic

    Genres and Forms of Materials

    Architectural drawings—United States—20th century
    Photographs, Original
    Photographic prints


    Bucher, François
    Conant, Kenneth John, 1894-
    Harvey, John Hooper
    Heyman, Jacques
    Horn, Walter William, 1908-
    Hubka, Thomas C., 1946-
    Macaulay, David
    McKee, Harley J.
    Placzek, Adolf K.
    Szarmach, Paul E.
    Van Nise, Robert L.
    Wachs, William


    Construction of Gothic cathedrals New World Dutch barn Building construction before mechanization