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Finding Aid for the Julius Ralph Davidson papers, 1904-1977 0000127
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Custodial History note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Related Archival Materials note

  • Title: Julius Ralph Davidson papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 0000127
    Contributing Institution: Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 23.0 Linear feet (6 half record storage boxes, 2 oversize boxes and 6 flat file drawers)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1924-1977
    Date (inclusive): 1904-1977, bulk 1924-1977
    Location note: Boxes 1a-b, 2a-b, 3, 5, 6 /ADC - regular Box 4*/ADC - oversize* Box 7*/ADC - oversize* 6 Flat File Drawers/ADC - flat files Furniture - Mosher Lamp (1998.82) chrome plated metal, parchment shade ( 14 x 15 1/2 x 6) Night Stand (1998.83) natural birch with Tufflex glass (24 1/2 x 14 x 18) 2 Chairs (added 2013)
    creator: Davidson, Julius Ralph, 1889-1977 -- Archives


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Custodial History note

    Gift of J. R. Davidson, 1972 and 1975. Addition materials gifted by Barnaby Davidson, 2004.

    Preferred Citation note

    Julius Ralph Davidson papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Julius Ralph Davidson was born in 1889 in Berlin. Beginning at the age of 18, J.R. Davidson worked in architectural offices in Berlin, London at the office of Frank Stuart Murray, and Paris. During the years 1919 to 1923, Davidson had his own practice in Berlin before relocating to Los Angeles in 1923, at the age of 34. In Los Angeles, Davidson went to work for the office of David Farquhar, then worked as a set designer under contract with Cecil B. De Mille, and then begun remodeling houses for a firm of builders. In 1927, Davidson opened up his own office in Los Angeles, though he never became a licensed architect. His commercial buildings of the 1920s, for which he often designed the interiors, fixtures and furniture, were widely published, including those for the popular Coconut Grove restaurant/nightclub and the High Hat restaurants. Davidson’s house designs date primarily from the late 1930s through the 1940s. Invited by John Entenza, editor of Arts and Architecture magazine, Davidson designed Case Study House 1, which was finally realized in 1948. He also designed Case Study House 11, the first of the Case Study houses to be built, and Case Study House 15. Although many of Davidson's designs were published during his lifetime, Esther McCoy helped bring international attention to his work when she included him in her book, The Second Generation. Davidson died at his home in Ojai, California on May 2, 1977.

    Scope and Content Note

    The Julius Ralph Davidson papers span 23 linear feet and date from 1904 to 1977. The collection is comprised of correspondence, clippings, scrapbooks, ephemera, black-and-white photographs, architectural drawings and reprographic copies, sketches of furniture designs, awards, administrative records such as client lists and specification reports, two flat file drawers filled with presentation boards, and Davidson’s student work from the early 1900s. The majority of Davidson’s architectural drawings and reprographic copies are of both residential and commercial remodeling designs.

    Related Archival Materials note

    David Gebhard papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.
    Esther McCoy research papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Davidson, Julius Ralph, 1889-1977
    Architect-designed furniture -- United States -- 20th century
    Architects -- California
    Architectural drawings
    Architectural photographs
    Architecture -- California
    Architecture -- California -- 20th century
    Architecture -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th Century
    Architecture -- United States -- 20th century -- Sources
    Architecture, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- Los Angeles
    Case Study House No. 1 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Case Study House No. 11 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Case Study House No. 15 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Los Angeles (Calif.) Buildings, structures, etc.
    Modern movement (Architecture) -- California
    Photographic prints