Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Verna Cook Shipway Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0105
7 Linear feet
(6 archives boxes, 5 flat boxes, and 53 map case folders)
Date (inclusive): 1894 -1979
Abstract: Papers of Verna Cook Shipway, American architect and author. Shipway designed homes in New York state and California, and
wrote, with her husband Warren Shipway, five books on contemporary Mexican residential architecture and interior design.
Scope and Content of Collection
Papers of Verna Cook Shipway, American architect and author. Shipway designed homes in New York state and California, and
wrote, with her husband Warren Shipway, five books on contemporary Mexican residential architecture and interior design. The
papers include correspondence, travel diaries, sketches, plans and photographs of her homes and details of interiors, and
measured drawings of furniture details. Also included are manuscript materials, photographs and paste-ups for her books.
Arranged in four series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS, and 4) ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS.
Verna Cook Shipway was born October 19, 1890, in Spokane, Washington. She attended the Ecole Speciale d'Architecture in Paris
and the School of Architecture at Columbia University, where she met and married fellow architecture student Edgar Salomonsky.
They founded an architectural firm in 1920. When Edgar died in 1929, Verna continued to run the business on her own, specializing
in Georgian, colonial and English style homes. She published a study of American furniture entitled
Masterpieces of Furniture Design (1931).
Shipway designed homes built in numerous New York suburbs including Berkley and Scarsdale. In 1936, she was selected to design
the first "Ideal House" for
House and Garden magazine. In 1939, Shipway designed a model home for the New York World's Fair that was practical and affordable for the
American family in the suburbs. Her home designs featured abundant closet space, natural light, circular staircases, bay windows,
large hallways, and light-colored walls to make rooms appear larger.
In the 1940s, Verna Salomonsky married Warren Butler Shipway, an architectural engineer, and moved to California in 1947.
During a tour to Mexico, the Shipways met a builder who encouraged them to write a book on Mexican architecture. Warren documented
the construction of homes and took photographs, while Verna noted the planning and design and drew sketches. Together they
published five books on Mexican architecture and design:
The Mexican House, Old and New (1960),
Mexican Interiors (1962),
Mexican Homes of Today (1964),
Decorative Design in Mexican Homes (1966), and
Houses of Mexico: Origins and Traditions (1970).
After the death of her husband in 1972, Shipway moved to La Jolla, California, where she died in 1978.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Verna Cook Shipway Papers. MSS 105. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Photographic prints -- 20th century
Interior decoration -- Mexico
Women architects -- United States
Architecture, Domestic -- Mexico
Architecture -- United States -- 20th century
Architecture, Domestic -- California -- Designs and plans
Architecture, Domestic -- United States -- Designs and plans
Architecture, Domestic -- United States
Architectural drawings (visual works)
Shipway, Verna Cook, 1890-1978 -- Archives
New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.)