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Finding Aid to Lilian Bridgman Photograph Collection, ca. 1881-1940
BANC PIC 1985.033--PIC  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Lilian Bridgman photograph collection
    Date: ca. 1881-1940
    Collection Number: BANC PIC 1985.033--PIC
    Creator: Bridgman, Lilian
    Physical Description: 212 photographic prints; 2 photograph albums; 10 negatives; 1 color transparency; 1 map (transferred to the map division) 126 digital objects
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English

    Information for Researchers


    Portions of the collection are stored off-campus and require advance notice for use.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Lilian Bridgman photograph collection, ca. 1881-1940, BANC PIC 1985.033--PIC, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Digital Representations Available

    Digital representations of selected original pictorial materials are available in the list of materials below. Digital image files were prepared from selected Library originals by the Library Photographic Service. Library originals were copied onto 35mm color transparency film; the film was scanned and transferred to Kodak Photo CD (by Custom Process); and the Photo CD files were color-corrected and saved in JFIF (JPEG) format for use as viewing files.
    Selected items were digitized or re-digitized at a later date.

    Materials Cataloged Separately

    Lilian Bridgman Papers: BANC MSS 85/102 c
    [Map of Daley Scenic Park Tract, Berkeley, Calif.] : G4364.B5:2N7 1900.M3 Case D


    Lilian Bridgman was born in eastern Kansas in 1866 to Israel Noble Bridgman and Sarah Ezilda. She attended the Kansas State Agricultural College, graduating in 1888 with a degree in science. Her transcripts also reveal an interest in drawing, literature and music. In 1891, she came to the University of California, Berkeley where she studied with Professor Joseph LeConte. Her thesis, titled The Origin of Sex in Fresh-Water Algae, earned her a master's degree in science in 1893.
    From 1893 to 1912, Bridgman taught physics and chemistry at various high schools and junior colleges in California, including the California School of Mechanical Arts in San Francisco. During this time she also wrote short stories and poetry which were published in magazines such as Overland Monthly, Harper's and Century Magazine. In 1899, drawing upon her natural artistic abilities and advice from friend Bernard Maybeck, she designed her first Berkeley residence near Blackberry Canyon.
    In 1912, Bridgman again enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, this time to study drawing and architecture. In 1915, she was licensed as an architect by the State of California. While not as well-known as architects like Julia Morgan, Bridgman worked steadily, designing more than fifteen homes during her career. After the Berkeley fire of 1923, which devastated much of North Berkeley, Bridgman, along with other local architects, was instrumental in rebuilding the area. Her work was influenced by her mentor Bernard Maybeck and other creative architects in the Bay Area who embraced the writings of the English philosophers John Ruskin and William Morris. Ruskin and Morris believed that the simple, vital features of the medieval cottage design represented a return to life before the Industrial Revolution. These ideas became the foundation for the Arts and Crafts style, which was embraced by artists, architects and designers throughout the Bay Area. In a departure from the vertical, ornate styles of the day, architects began to design simple houses emphasizing horizontal lines. They also used natural materials, fitting the houses into the landscape, harmonizing with the contours of the hills. Structural elements stood forth as ornament and the redwood houses took on a rustic quality. The architects built around trees rather than remove them, and instead of allowing city engineers to impose a rigid grid-iron pattern to the streets, they laid out new streets to wind through the hills.
    It was during the peak of the Arts and Crafts movement that Lilian Bridgman launched her career as an architect and designer. She may not have been as well-known as her colleagues, but her beautiful houses are still standing today as monuments to Berkeley's architectural heritage. In 1939, at the age of 73, Lilian designed her last structure--a small duplex just north of the U.C. campus. Lilian Bridgman died at her Berkeley home in 1948 at the age of 82.

    Scope and Content

    The Lilian Bridgman Photograph Collection (ca. 1881-1940) contains primarily photographs of homes she designed while living in Berkeley, California. The collection also includes personal photographs of Lilian and her family, as well as photographs of classmates, students and professors she knew throughout her academic career.