The Lester Bridaham photographs and papers relating to gargoyles document the scholar's ongoing fascination with this distinctive
form of architectural decoration. Collected over the course of six decades, Bridaham's extensive compilation of photographs
and research materials forms a comprehensive overview of the gargoyle and other related grotesques used as ornament in medieval
architecture throughout western Europe.
Lester Burbank Bridaham (1899-1992) was a museum administrator, educator, artist, collector, art historian, and author. Bridaham's
initial academic training was in the sciences. He received a B.S. from Cornell University in chemistry and, in 1923, a M.S.
in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Yet, during his time at Cornell, Bridaham developed
a deep interest in art, which he credited to his fascination with the gargoyles decorating his fraternity house. After only
a brief period working in the steel business, Bridaham devoted the rest of his life to pursuing this interest in art.
Open for use by qualified researchers, with the exception of the photographic negatives, which require further processing.