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Finding aid for the Walter Horn papers, 1917-1989
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Material
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Walter Horn papers
    Date (inclusive): 1917-1989
    Number: 920087
    Creator/Collector: Horn, Walter William, 1908-1995
    Physical Description: 27.0 linear feet (69 boxes) + additions (circa 40 linear feet of unprocessed material)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: Research archive of the art historian Walter William Horn (1908-1995) comprises manuscripts, field notes, drawings, correspondence, publications, blueprints, photographs, slides, and negatives compiled during Horn's research of medieval timber-framed vernacular structures such as barns, halls, churches, and hospitals in England, France, and the Lowlands. Horn used much of this material in works written with his frequent collaborator, the architect Ernest Born.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record  for this collection. Click here for the access policy .
    Language: Collection material is in English

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Walter William Horn was born on January 18, 1908 and received his education in Germany, where he studied under Erwin Panofsky. In 1938, Horn joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley as a professor of architecture and art history. Horn specialized in medieval architecture and sculpture, and he devoted much of his career to the study of vernacular architecture. Horn served as Chair of the Department of History of Art from 1946 to 1974. Horn was also the Head of the U. S. Army Intelligence Unit, Monuments and Fine Arts Section after World War II (see Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution).
    Horn was a frequent collaborator with the architect Ernest Born, with whom he published The Plan of St. Gall: a study of the architecture and economy of and life in a paradigmatic Carolingian monastery, 1979, and The barns of the Abbey of Beaulieu at its granges of Great Coxwell and Beaulieu-St. Leonards, 1965. The Plan of St. Gall received eight major awards for scholarship, bookmaking and typography. In 1982, Horn and Born received a medal from the American Institute of Architects in recognition of their achievements.
    Other publications by Horn include On the Author of the Plan of St. Gall and the relation of the plan to the monastic reform movement, 1962, The plan of St. Gall: original or copy?, 1962, and The forgotten hermitage of Skelling Michael (with Jenny White Marshall, Grellan D. Rourke, Paddy O'Leary and Lee Snodgrass), 1990. Horn also collaborated on articles with the architect Frederick William Bolton (Fred) Charles.
    In 1958, Horn presented a paper to the College Art Association titled "On the Origin of the Medieval Bay System." This was a significant event in the study of medieval timber structures, and the paper was later published in a 1976 anthology.
    Horn served as a member of the board of trustees of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He died in San Francisco in 1995.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers, except for approximately 40 lin. ft. of additions received in 1998-1999 and not yet processed.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Walter Horn papers, 1917-1989, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 920087.

    Acquisition Information

    The Horn archive was purchased from Horn in 1995. The Getty received additional material in 1998-1999 that has not yet been processed.

    Processing History

    Lorna Price did initial processing before the Getty purchased the collection from Horn in 1995. Hillary Brown completed the processing of the material and wrote this finding aid in May, 1997. Approximately 40 linear feet of material was received in 1998-1999, but has not yet been processed.

    Related Material

    Ernest Born architectural drawings of medieval aisled timber halls, ca. 1944-ca. 1981. Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession number 920089.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This scholarly archive of professor Walter Horn contains material relating to Horn's study of timber-framed vernacular structures at various sites in England, France, and the Lowlands. These materials include field notes, drawings, correspondence, publications, offprints, and photographs, slides and negatives. This research was accomplished in collaboration with the architect Ernest Born [see also Born architectural drawings Special Collections accn no. 920089].
    Media in the collection include manuscripts, drawings, blueprints, clippings, correspondence, photographs, slides, and negatives. The titles on the folders (i.e. "Halles: General") are the titles given by Horn. Most of the material in Series II, III, IV, and V was separated out of Series I.

    Arrangement note

    The collection is arranged in five series: Series I. Papers, ca. 1929-1989 Series II. Photographs, ca. 1929-1989 Series III. Slides, ca. 1929-1989 Series IV. Negatives, ca. 1929-1989 Series V. Oversize blueprints, plans and drawings, ca. 1937-1987

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Born, Ernest, 1898-
    Horn, Andrew

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    Barn of Great Coxwell (Great Coxwell, England)
    Beaulieu Abbey
    Church of St. James and St. Paul . (Marton, Cheshire, England)
    Grange de Vaulerant (Seine-et-Oise, France)
    Great Hall (Leicester Castle, Leicester, England)
    St. Mary's Hospital (Chichester, England)
    St. Oswald's Church (Lower Peover, England)
    Ter Doest (Cistercian abbey : Lissewege, Belgium)

    Subjects - Topics

    Architecture, Medieval
    Architecture, Medieval--England
    Architecture, Medieval--France
    Church buildings
    Church buildings--England
    Church buildings--France
    Hospitals--Design and construction--History
    Market halls--France
    Vernacular architecture
    Vernacular architecture--England
    Vernacular architecture--France

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Blueprints (reprographic copies)
    Drawings (visual works)
    Photographic prints
    Photographs, Original
    Plans (drawings)
    Slides (photographs)