Peter Blake (1920-2006)

This large collection contains materials related to a full range of American architect and editor Peter Blake’s personal, professional, and academic lives. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1980s through the early 2000s. His professional and faculty papers document many of his interests, and primarily include published and unpublished lectures and articles. In addition, many articles he wrote for publication appear as annotated typescripts.  There are also significant papers related to publication of his memoir No Place Like Utopia (Knopf, 1993), including correspondence and some production records. Throughout the professional and faculty papers are also found a large number of reference files relating to modern architecture, art, design, urbanism, technology, and current events, compiled over many decades. The collection also contains correspondence with personal friends, clients, and professional and academic colleagues. Additionally, Blake's architectural project records include original and reprographic drawings and photographs for 40 of his residential and institutional designs, located primarily in New York City and the surrounding region.

Born Peter Jost Blach in Berlin in 1920, Blake was educated as an architect at the University of Pennsylania under Louis Kahn. Blake worked professionally as curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1948 to 1950, served on the editorial staff of Architectural Forum, House & Home, and Magazine of Building, founded Architecture Plus magazine, and wrote numerous monographs and critical articles on contemporary architecture. Although he practiced architecture intermittently, Blake taught architecture at several universities and was chairman of the Boston Architectural Center and of Catholic University’s department of architecture and planning. Blake also maintained close friendships with many prominent architects and artists, publishing his memoir No Place Like Utopia: Modern Architecture and the Company We Kept in 1993. Blake died near Branford, Connecticut, in 2006.

Among the artists and architects represented in this collection are R. O. Blechman, Serge Chermayeff, Craig Ellwood, Clive Entwistle, R. Buckminster Fuller, Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., Lee Krasner, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Willo von Moltke, Pier Luigi Nervi, Dion Neutra, J. J. P. Oud, Jackson Pollock, Paul Rudolph, Ernesto Rogers, Aline and Eero Saarinen, Harry Seidler, Paolo Soleri, Raphael Soriano, Hugh Stubbins, Edgar Tafel, Kenzo Tange, O. M. Ungers, Robert Venturi, Konrad Wachsmann, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Lloyd Wright.