Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Wallace Neff Photograph Collection: Finding Aid
photCL 211  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (112.59 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Wallace Neff Photograph Collection
    Dates (inclusive): approximately 1913-1980s
    Bulk dates: 1930s-1960s
    Collection Number: photCL 211
    Creator: Neff, Wallace, 1895-1982.
    Extent: 6 flat boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo Archives
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains photographs, papers and published articles related to Los Angeles architect Wallace Neff (1895-1982) and his work designing residential and public buildings, primarily in Southern California, approximately 1913-1960s. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs of buildings, with some photographs of Neff's sketches, photographs of architectural drawings, portraits of Neff, and correspondence, patent drawings and other papers pertaining to airform construction.
    Language: English.


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

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    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], Wallace Neff Photograph Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of Wallace Neff and Wallace L. Neff, November 10, 1976, and Wallace Neff, May 1978.

    Biographical Note

    Los Angeles architect Wallace Neff (1895-1982) designed many residential and public buildings of note in Southern California from 1919 to 1975. Although best known for magnificent homes for famous clients such as King Vidor, Edward L. Doheny, Darryl Zanuck, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, and Amelita Galli-Curci, he also created and patented a mass-produced and inexpensive dwelling called the Bubble House. Neff was born in La Mirada, California, on January 28, 1895, though he spent much of his childhood in the residence of his grandfather Andrew McNally in Altadena, California. Neff married Louise Updegraff in 1924, and they had three children: Phyllis (born 1925), Wallace (born 1930), and Arthur (born 1932).

    Scope and Content

    The photographs in this collection are chiefly black-and-white 8 x 10-inch professional images of residences and other projects designed by Neff, including interiors, exteriors, and aerial views, as well as photographs of architectural drawings. The majority of buildings represented are in California, but there are a few projects in other states and the Virgin Islands. Items in the collection include photographic prints; photocopies of published images; photographs of sketches and renderings; published articles and clippings; and some correspondence and patent documents related to airform construction. Neff appears in several photographs in portraits and with family members, including a copy photograph showing Neff as a young boy with his family in Salzburg, Austria. The airform construction or "Bubble house" materials include correspondence, copies of drawings, clippings and photographs, including snapshots of airform housing under construction in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
    Several of the photographs were made by photographers Julius Padilla, Padilla Studios, and Maynard L. Parker.
    Many of the photographs in this collection were used in Architecture of Southern California (Rand McNally, 1964), by Wallace Neff, and later in Alson Clark and Wallace Neff, Jr.'s Wallace Neff: Architect of California's Golden Age (Capra Press, 1986), and Wallace Neff 1895-1982: The Romance of Regional Architecture (The Huntington Library, 1989). An autograph copy of Architecture of Southern California by Wallace Neff is part of this collection (Box 6).

    Related materials in the Huntington Library

    For additional photographs of works by Wallace Neff, see also:


    Arranged in the following series and subseries:
    • Photographs
      • Photographs of Residential and Other Building Projects (+ some photographs of drawings)
      • Photographs of Sketches and Renderings
      • Photographs of Airform Construction
      • Portraits of Wallace Neff
    • Airform Construction: Correspondence and General Information
    • Publications

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Neff, Wallace, 1895-1982 -- Archives.
    Neff, Wallace, 1895-1982 -- Photographs.
    Architects -- California -- Archives.
    Architecture -- California -- Los Angeles -- Designs and plans.
    Architecture, Domestic -- California -- Photographs.
    Concrete houses -- Designs and plans.
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc. -- Pictorial works.




    Padilla, Julius, photographer.
    Parker, Maynard L., 1900-1976, photographer.
    Padilla Studios, photographer.