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Thomas D. Church Collection, 1933-1977
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Collection Overview
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The Thomas D. Church collection documents over two hundred of Church's projects through textual records, drawings and photographs. The collection is arranged in four series: Office Records, Project Records, Display Boards, and Additional Donations. The office records include correspondence relating to prospective (uncompleted) projects, subject files that contain photographs and clippings of landscape details and structures, public relations files and exhibit boards. The public relations files include correspondence regarding the publication of Church's work and photographs of Church projects. The exhibit boards also feature photographs, as well as drawings. Additional photographs are located with the project files.
Thomas "Tommy" Dolliver Church was born in Boston but lived in Ojai until he was a teenager and then moved to Berkeley. He is credited with being the creator of the "modern garden." He was educated at the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard. Following graduation in 1922, he traveled extensively in Europe on a Sheldon Travelling Fellowship. Upon his return to the United States, he began teaching landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He returned to practice in 1929 and three years later opened his own office in San Francisco at 402 Jackson Street where he practiced until his retirement in 1977. During the 1930s, Church’s wife Betsy worked for "Cargoes" a gift shop that sold furniture. She talked the manager into allowing Tommy to show his drawings there and when the Aaltos--who were good friends of the Churches--wanted to sell their furniture in the US, Betsy was also allowed to show it in the space.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection should be discussed with the Curator.
Collection is open for research.