Albert Frey Collection

Finding aid created by Palm Springs Art Museum staff using RecordEXPRESS
Palm Springs Art Museum
101 Museum Dr.
Palm Springs, California 92263

Descriptive Summary

Title: Albert Frey Collection
Dates: 1940’s to 1990’s (bulk 1950-1970)
Collection Number: 55-1999.2
Creator/Collector: Albert Frey
Extent: 105 linear feet plus flat file drawers
Repository: Palm Springs Art Museum
Palm Springs, California 92263
Abstract: Albert Frey, FAIA, was born 1903 in Switzerland, and earned his architecture diploma there in 1924. He moved to Paris in 1928 to work for Le Corbusier, on projects including the Villa Savoye. Moving to New York in 1930, Frey was the first Corbusier disciple to work in the U.S. There, he became partners with architect A. Lawrence Kocher, who was also managing editor of Architectural Record magazine. Together they published numerous articles on urban planning, the modernist aesthetic, and technology. Kocher and Frey also designed four buildings, including the acclaimed Aluminaire House, a demonstration house designed for the Exhibition of the Architectural League in New York, 1931. In 1934, Frey came to Palm Springs to supervise construction of the Kocher-Samson Building, a mixed-use building for his partner’s brother, J.J. Kocher. Frey fell in love with the area, and worked with John Porter Clark for two years under the offices of Van Pelt and Lind as neither architect was yet licensed in California. Returning to New York in 1937 to work on the Museum of Modern Art, Frey moved back to Palm Springs permanently two years later. Rejoining Clark in a partnership, Frey went onto design a body of work including residential, commercial, institutional and civic buildings. Many of these buildings are preserved today including Raymond Loewy House (1946-47), Palm Springs City Hall (1952), Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Valley Station (1963) and Frey House II (1963-64) and the most recently restored North Shore Yacht Club at the Salton Sea (1958). Frey lived in Palm Springs until his death in 1998. As Palm Springs’ first full-time, resident architect, Frey is known as one of the founders of Desert Modernism.
Language of Material: English


The collection is open to qualified researchers by appointment only.

Publication Rights

No interpretive restriction is placed on material. Separate permissions to be obtained for publishing material. Property rights to the physical object belong to the Palm Springs Art Museum. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where Palm Springs Art Museum does not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Albert Frey Collection . Collection Number: 55-1999.2. Palm Springs Art Museum

Acquisition Information

At the bequest of Albert Frey upon his death, his second residence in Palm Springs, 686 Palisades Drive (Frey House II), and the contents of the residence were donated to the museum. The Jean Farrar Collection (S2020.1) was added in January 2022.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection contains drawings, slides, photographs, negatives, scrapbooks, photo albums, books, magazines, codes, standards, professional association materials, artifacts and vendor samples and catalogs, correspondence, and household items. The collection is organized into 15 series each of which is described below: Series I: Correspondence - Active Series II: Correspondence – Inactive Series III: Finances - CONFIDENTIAL Series IV: Personal Files, Miscellaneous Series V: Architectural Files, Miscellaneous Series VI: Architectural Projects Series VII: Personal and Architectural Photographs Series VIII: Blueprints, Drawings, and Maps Series IX: Books Series X: Magazines /Periodicals and Clippings Series XI: Vendor Catalogs and Codes, Standards, etc. Series XII: Memorabilia + Artifacts Series XIII: Household Items Series XIV: Frey House II Series XV: The Jean Farrar Collection

Indexing Terms

Palm Springs – Buildings, structures, etc.
Architecture – California - Palm Springs
Frey, Albert (1903-1998) - Archives
Palm Springs, California
Architects – California - Palm Springs

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