Scope and Content of Collection
Shipway, Verna Cook, 1890-
Title: Verna Cook Shipway Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1894 - 1979
13.40 linear feet
(7 archives boxes and 71 oversize folders)
Abstract: Papers of Verna Cook Shipway, American architect and author. Shipway designed homes in New York State and California, and
wrote, with her husband Warren Shipway, five books on contemporary Mexican residential architecture and interior design.
The papers include correspondence, travel diaries, sketches, plans and photographs of her homes and details of interiors,
and measured drawings of furniture details. Also included are manuscript materials, photographs and paste-ups for her books.
The collection dates from 1894 to 1979 and is arranged in four series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS,
and 4) ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS.
University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Collection number: MSS 0105
Language of Material:
Collection materials in English
Collection is open for research.
Verna Cook Shipway Papers, MSS 0105. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Verna Cook Shipway was born October 19, 1890, in Spokane, Washington. She attended the Ecole Speciale d'Architecture in Paris
and the School of Architecture at Columbia University where she met and married Edgar Salomonsky, also a student of architecture.
Together they opened an architectural firm in 1920. When Edgar died in 1929, Verna continued to run the business on her own,
specializing in Georgian, colonial and English style homes. She published a study of American furniture entitled MASTERPIECES
OF FURNITURE DESIGN (1931).
Shipway designed homes built in numerous New York suburbs including Berkley and Scarsdale. In 1936, she was selected to design
the first "Ideal House" for HOUSE AND GARDEN. In 1939, Shipway designed a model home for the New York World's Fair that was
practical and affordable for the American family in the suburbs. Her home designs featured abundant closet space, natural
light, circular staircases, bay windows, large hallways, and light-colored walls to make rooms appear larger.
In the 1940s, Verna Salomonsky married Warren Butler Shipway, an architectural engineer, and moved to California in 1947.
During a tour to Mexico, the Shipways met a builder who encouraged them to write a book on Mexican architecture. Warren documented
the construction of homes and took photographs, while Verna noted the planning and design and drew sketches. Together they
published five books on Mexican architecture and design: THE MEXICAN HOUSE, OLD AND NEW (1960), MEXICAN INTERIORS (1962),
MEXICAN HOMES OF TODAY (1964), DECORATIVE DESIGN IN MEXICAN HOMES (1966), and HOUSES OF MEXICO: ORIGINS AND TRADITIONS (1970).
After the death of her husband in 1972, Shipway moved to La Jolla, California, where she died in 1978.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Verna Cook Shipway Papers consist of correspondence, sketches and measured drawings, manuscripts and production materials
for many of Shipway's published books, photographs of architectural details and furniture, travel logs, diaries, and newspaper
and magazine clippings. The materials cover the years 1904-1979, occupy 3.6 linear feet and are arranged in four series:
1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS, and 4) ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS.
SERIES 1: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS
The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series, arranged alphabetically, includes address books, documents, reference notebooks on design
and culture, sketchbooks, travel diaries, and other memorabilia. An early photograph of Verna Cook is also included.
SERIES 2: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series consists of personal correspondence, as well as professional correspondence pertaining to Shipway's
architect's license. The materials arranged alphabetically.
SERIES 3: WRITINGS
The WRITINGS series is arranged alphabetically, and includes photographs, layouts and text for her books books on Mexican
architecture and design. The series also includes the specifications for Shipway's home design for the New York World's Fair
in 1939 and are accompanied by a proof of a booklet of the housing exhibit, "The Home Building Center."
SERIES 4: ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS
The ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS series is arranged in three subseries: A) Measured Drawings, B) Photographs and Illustrations, and
C) Architectural Plans.
A) The Measured Drawings subseries contains Shipway's analysis of furniture and design details and includes published drawings,
as well as sketchbooks containing original pencil drawings.
B) The Photographs and Illustrations subseries, arranged alphabetically, includes photographs of Shipway-designed homes that
show interiors and exteriors. There are also photographs pertaining to Mexico, and illustrations from a book on French architecture.
C) The Architectural Plans subseries, arranged chronologically, document's Shipway's plans for specific homes. Undated plans
are located at the end of the subseries.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Shipway, Verna Cook, 1890- -- Archives
Architecture, Domestic -- United States
Architecture, Domestic -- United States -- Designs and plans
Architecture, Domestic -- California -- Designs and plans
Architecture -- United States -- 20th century
Architecture, Domestic -- Mexico
Women architects -- United States
Interior decoration -- Mexico
Photographic prints -- 20th century.
Shipway, Verna Cook. -- Decorative designs in Mexican homes
Shipway, Verna Cook. -- Houses of Mexico
Shipway, Verna Cook. -- Mexican homes of today
Shipway, Verna Cook. -- Mexican house old and new
Shipway, Verna Cook. -- Mexican interiors