The Ada Louise Huxtable papers contain the writing and research of the outspoken architecture critic and ardent advocate of
the contemporary preservation movement. Huxtable wrote 11 books and worked as a dedicated architecture critic at the
New York Times and the
Wall Street Journal. This collection is comprised of correspondence, typescripts, photographs, awards and research files spanning
her career as a writer and one of the most important voices in the field of architectural criticism during the second half
of the twentieth century.
Ada Louise Huxtable (née Landman, 1921-2013) was considered the most important voice in architectural criticism over the last
50 years. Born and raised in New York City, she graduated from Hunter College in 1941 and subsequently studied architectural
history at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. Ada Louise married the industrial designer L. Garth Huxtable in 1942.
Because of their related interests, the couple frequently collaborated throughout their marriage. Together they worked on
the design of tableware and serving pieces for New York's Four Seasons restaurant, and Garth's influence was also evident
in her sporadic writing about the field of industrial design and through the numerous photographs he took to illustrate her
writing. In 1946 Huxtable was hired by Philip Johnson to work as an assistant curator in the Department of Architecture and
Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). She left MoMA in 1950 upon receiving a Fulbright Scholarship which provided her
the opportunity to travel to Italy and research Italian architecture and engineering. She also received a Guggenheim Fellowship
in 1958 to support her research on the structural and design advances of American architecture. While Huxtable wrote freelance
articles during the 1950s for several journals including
Progressive Architecture and the
New York Times Sunday Magazine, her writing career was truly established with the publication of her first book based on her Fulbright research,
Pier Luigi Nervi (1960).
The New York Times hired Huxtable to write about architecture full time in 1963 when their art critic Aline Bernstein, the wife of Eero Saarinen,
felt that she could no longer cover architecture without a conflict of interest. These unique circumstances placed Huxtable
as the first ever dedicated architecture critic for an established daily newspaper.
239.5 linear feet
(433 boxes, 27 flatfile folders)
Library Reproductions and Permissions.
Open for use by qualified researchers. Audio visual materials and data disks are unavailable until reformatted.