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Finding Aid for the Mary Bowling photographs, 1917-1995 0000113
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Custodial History note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Content note

  • Title: Mary Bowling photographs
    Identifier/Call Number: 0000113
    Contributing Institution: Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 2.0 Linear feet (2 record storage boxes)
    Date (inclusive): circa 1950-circa 1970
    creator: Bowling, Mary, 1917-1995


    Partially processed collection, open for use by qualified researchers.

    Custodial History note

    Gift of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, 1994.

    Preferred Citation note

    Mary Bowling photographs, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Mary Bowling was born March 14, 1917 in Santa Barbara and raised in El Paso, Texas. She earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Southern California in 1936 and completed graduate work at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena before moving to New York to pursue a career in industrial design. While in New York, Bowling worked for the noted designer Raymond Loewy (1893-1986) and studied painting with the artist Cameron Booth (1892-1980) at the Art Students’ League. She returned to Los Angeles where she taught industrial design at the Chouinard Art Institute, known today as the California Institute of the Arts. In 1957, Mary Bowling received the Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year Award. As an artist she worked in a variety of media including but not limited to photography, stained glass, and painting. Her photographs are striking for their critical and candid assessment of the dramatic architectural transformation of Bunker Hill and downtown Los Angeles. Bowling’s images trace the changes in the decaying downtown community from its adobe roots to the high-density urban core it has become. She died on January 20, 1995.

    Scope and Content note

    The Mary Bowling photograph collection spans 2 linear feet and dates from circa 1950 to circa 1970. The collection is composed of matted color and black-and-white prints that range in size from 4 x 5 in. to 8 x 10 in., unmated black-and-white prints, and black-and-white negatives. The majority of the matted prints have didactic labels that detail the location of the image. Mary Bowling’s photographs document life and landmarks in Los Angeles during the 1950s and 1960s. Some famous landmarks include, the La Brea Tar Pits, Olvera Street and the Avila Adobe, Griffith Observatory, and Angels Flight.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Bowling, Mary, 1917-1995
    Architecture -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th Century
    Photographic prints