Mark L. Peisch correspondence and papers, 1903-1997.
This material is arranged in seven subseries: Correspondence, Photographs, Presentations, Publishing, Reference Files, Reference Notes, and Writings. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent name; materials in the remaining subseries are arranged chronologically
This collection contains primarily correspondence related to Peisch's Ph.D. thesis on the work of Chicago architects associated with the Prairie School movement. Much of the material is about Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin's work in the United States and Australia and includes letters from and about Marion Mahony Griffin, Francis Barry Byrne, William Gray Purcell, William L. Steele, and George Grant Elmslie. The collection also includes some photographs, clippings, lectures, and papers related to the later publication of Peisch's thesis in book form as "The Chicago School of Architecture: Early Followers of Sullivan and Wright" (New York : Random House, 1964). Lastly, the collection contains a small number of reference files, some gathered long after the completion of Peisch's thesis.
Biographical / Historical Note
Mark Lyons Peisch (b. 1921) received his B.A. in History and History of Art from Dartmouth College in 1944. At Dartmouth, he was introduced by Professor Hugh Morrison, noted scholar of Louis Sullivan, to the work of Chicago School architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin. After his release from military service in 1947, Peisch taught briefly at Dartmouth before entering Columbia University in 1949 as a graduate student in the Department of Fine Arts and Archeology. While researching his doctoral thesis on the Griffins and their contemporaries, Peisch counted as his mentors such noted historians and scholars as William Bell Dinsmoor, Talbot Hamlin, Adolf Placzek, Jacques Barzun, Meyer Schapiro, and Rudolph Wittkower. While a graduate student, Peisch also held various positions within the university's administration and, under the direction of Everard Upjohn, regularly taught the "Masterpieces of Fine Arts" course within the Core Curriculum program of Columbia College. Peisch was awarded his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1959 with the completion of his dissertation "The Chicago School and Walter Burley Griffin, 1893-1914: Growth and Dissemination of an Architectural Movement and a Representative Figure," which was published in 1964 by Columbia University Press and Random House as "The Chicago School of Architecture: Early Followers of Sullivan and Wright." Although Peisch primarily held positions in academic administration at Columbia University and other institutions throughout his career, he continued his interest in the architects of the Prairie School, writing entries on Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin for Macmillan Encyclopedia and serving as a consultant for the 1999 documentary "Walter Burley Griffin: In His Own Right."
One item in this collection is restricted from patron use due to its physical condition; the remainder of the collection is available for use by qualified readers by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please call (212) 854-4110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Mark Lyons Peisch correspondence and papers. Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.