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Greene and Greene Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Custodial History
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement

  • Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
    Title: Greene and Greene collection
    Creator: Greene, Charles Sumner, 1868-1957
    Creator: Greene, Henry Mather, 1870-1954
    Identifier/Call Number: archGreene
    Physical Description: 368.58 Linear Feet (205 boxes, 47 oversize folders)
    Date (inclusive): 1775-2008
    Date (bulk): 1889-1975
    Abstract: Charles and Henry Greene were brothers and partners in the architectural firm Greene and Greene that flourished in the early twentieth century in Pasadena, California. They created a distinctive residential architecture, now known as California Craftsman, designing houses mostly in Pasadena. In some cases they also designed interior fixtures and furniture to complement the architecture. The firm, founded in 1894, dissolved in 1922. Even before the formal dissolution Charles and Henry each created independent works and also occasionally collaborated after the firm was dissolved. Although celebrated in their own time, the Greenes were largely forgotten after 1920. Their work was re-discovered in the late 1940s by modernist architects and their admirers, and one of their major works, The Gamble House, opened as a museum in 1966. The rediscovery of the Greenes' work led to a new appreciation of the bungalow and to a national revival of the Arts and Crafts movement.
    Language of Material: Materials are in English.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Greene and Greene collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of The Gamble House Conservancy, July 2021.

    Custodial History

    In 1968, the Greene and Greene Library (later the Greene and Greene Archives) was established to bring together drawings, photographs, and other records of the Greenes' work. The core of the initial collection was the gift by David and Mary Gamble of drawings and photographs of The Gamble House. Subsequently more than 400 donors contributed to the collection, most importantly the families of Charles and Henry Greene, who donated personal correspondence, family photographs, drawings and sketches, and numerous other materials. Besides the Greene and Gamble families, other clients and later owners of Greene and Greene buildings gifted drawings and other records. The Greene and Greene Collection also contains a research collection on Greene and Greene, comprised of copies of original materials from other institutions and other secondary materials.
    The Greene and Greene collection has physically resided at The Huntington Library since 1987. However, during that time it remained the property of and was administered by the Greene and Greene Archives of The Gamble House, School of Architecture, University of Southern California until 2019 when ownership was transferred to the Gamble House Conservancy. In July 2021, The Huntington acquired the collection from the Gamble House Conservancy.

    Biographical / Historical

    Charles Sumner Greene (1868-1957) and Henry Mather Greene (1870–1954) were born in Cincinnati, Ohio. The family soon moved to St. Louis, where Charles and Henry grew up. In the mid-1880s, they entered the Manual Training School of Washington University. The school stressed work with the hands as a way to train young people to enter the professions and industry. In 1888, the brothers headed east to Boston, where they enrolled in the two-year architecture course for "Special Students" at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After apprenticing at various Boston firms, the brothers moved to Pasadena, California, to join their parents; they opened their firm in Pasadena in 1894. The first decade of the twentieth century saw the development of the firm's distinctive California Craftsman residential architecture, inspired by the theories of the Arts and Crafts movement, as well as New England Shingle Style houses, European and English architecture, and Asian art and design. Houses for James Culbertson (1902 and later), Mary Darling (1903), Theodore Irwin (1906), Robert R. Blacker (1907), David Gamble (1908), William Thorsen (1908), and Charles Pratt (1910) established the firm's reputation. Charles moved to Carmel in 1916 to pursue the life of an artist and writer, while Henry remained in Pasadena; the firm was officially dissolved in 1922. Each brother produced works independently, Charles designing the D. L. James house (1918 and later) and Henry designing the Thomas Gould, Jr. and Walter Richardson houses (1920, 1929 respectively). Although their work was largely forgotten between the wars, the Greenes lived to see renewed recognition of their achievements after World War II, when they were honored by the American Institute of Architects, Southern California Chapter (1948) and by the national AIA (1952).

    Scope and Contents

    The Greene and Greene Collection contains a wide variety of materials, from Greene and Greene ancestor, architect/engineer James Sumner's "Memo of the Timber wanted for the Steeple in Providence," dated 1775, and a diary of a European grand tour from 1829 to 1931 by an English ancestor of Charles Greene's wife, Alice, to drawings and photographs of Greene and Greene works from the time of construction through the close of the 20th century. The bulk of the collection dates from 1889 to 1975. Photographs comprise most of the records documenting their architecture. There is a small collection of architectural drawings; most of the firm's drawings are housed at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University, New York City, with a smaller collection of drawings from the estate of Charles Greene at the Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.
    The collection is organized into four series: I. Personal Papers, II. Office Records, III. Job (Project) Records (including furniture), and IV. Related Research Materials. In general the papers and records of both brothers have been kept together for the periods in which they were living together as students and young men, and for the period when they were partners in the firm of Greene and Greene. Within each series, the organization follows the separate lives and works of each brother from the dates at which they diverge. Although the collection has been assembled from many different sources, most items have a unique accession number identifying the donor, so that the researcher can easily identify the source of most documents.

    Processing Information

    The collection was processed in 2011 by Ann Scheid for the Greene and Greene Archives of The Gamble House. In 2021, when The Huntington acquired the collection, Maggie Hughes updated the finding aid to reflect the change in ownership and Mari Khasmanyan updated the extent and container list.


    The collection is organized into four series: I. Personal Papers, II. Office Records, III. Job (Project) Records (including furniture), and IV. Related Research Materials.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Architect-designed furniture
    Architecture, Domestic--California
    Boston (Mass.)
    Carmel (Calif.)
    Pasadena (Calif.)
    Architectural drawings (visual works)
    Photograph albums
    Current, William R., 1923-1986
    Flavin, Martin, 1883-1967
    Garfield, Lucretia Rudolph, 1832-1918
    Gordon, Elizabeth, 1906-2000
    Greene, Charles Sumner, 1868-1957
    Greene, Henry Mather, 1870-1954
    Hagemeyer, Johan, 1884-1962
    Harris, Harwell Hamilton, 1903-1990
    Hulbert, Levo Leroy, 1898-1943
    Jourdan, Erven, 1918-1984
    Lancaster, Clay, 1917-2000
    Newsom, Joseph Cather, 1858-1930
    Parker, Harold A., 1878-1930
    Parker, Maynard, 1900-1976
    Pratt, Charles Millard, 1855-1936
    Prentiss, Elisabeth Severance Allen, 1865-1944
    Rand, Marvin, 1924-2009
    Shulman, Julius, 1910-2009
    Stoller, Ezra, 1915-2004
    Weisshaus, Imre, 1905-1987
    Wemple, Emmet, 1921-1996
    Weston, Cole, 1919-2003
    Weston, Edward, 1886-1958
    Greene & Greene