Thursday, September 6, 2018

Willard D. Morgan: The Early Architectural Photography Connections

The purpose of this post is to shed light on the brief, but significant, architectural photography career of Willard D. Morgan, a much overlooked persona in the formative Los Angeles and Southern California modern architectural photography circles of the late 1920s and early 1930s. Morgan had the foresight to marry UCLA art student and faculty member Barbara Johnson in the fall of 1925 and to become involved in coteries surrounding architects R. M. Schindler, Richard Neutra and Lloyd Wright, artist Annita Delano and dancer Bertha Wardell of the the UCLA Art and Physical Education Departments and photographer Edward Weston. As part of this group Morgan was exposed to the architecture of besides Schindler, Neutra, and the Wrights, Schindler circle friends Irving Gill, Kem Weber, John Weber and J. R. Davidson, as well as befriending Schindler-Neutra apprentices Harwell Hamilton Harris and Gregory Ain. (For much more detail on the Schindler-Neutra circle influence on the Morgans see my "Foundations of Los Angeles Modernism: Richard Neutra's Mod Squad" and "Bertha Wardell: Dances in Silence: Kings Road, Olive Hill and Carmel")

Willard D. Morgan with a new Leica 35 mm. camera in his shirt pocket ca. 1929. Photographer unknown but likely Barbara Morgan or a self-portrait. Morgan Archive, U.C.L.A.

A prelude to Morgan's late 1920s  infatuation with modern architectural photography can perhaps be seen in a letter from fiance Barbara to Willard, who was then trying his hand on the family ranch in the Coachella Valley, describing a 1920 visit, presumably with art faculty member Annita Delano, to Irving Gill's home studio at 913 S. Figueroa St. She presciently wrote,
"A few of us from the Art Department went to Mr. Gill's, an architect whose office is between ninth and tenth on Figueroa the other day. He is quite a character with rather decided and extreme hobbies but with some good ideas. His theory is that people especially housekeepers spend too much time at household drudgery, which isn't new, but to eliminate this time waste he has taken out all of the needless dust catching features in rooms, such as base boards, picture moldings, panelling door and window casings, etc. His chairs are all curves, very beautifully shaped, so that dust doesn't gather in crevices. His floors are cement, treated with acid to give a beautiful mellow brown varied color, and waxed. Somehow they do not seem at all cold but are most agreeable to see and walk upon. His colors in the room are rich, bright and soft.There is much plain wall space broken up in beautiful proportion by the articles of furniture. There are all kinds of interesting things I might tell about him but as you may see by my terrible writing and lack of punctuation I am in a hurry." (Barbara Johnson to Willard Morgan, November 9, 1920. From Morgan Archive, courtesy Lael Morgan).
During their visit modern architecture fans Annita and Barbara undoubtedly learned more of Lloyd Wright and the goings on with Gill's former Dankmar & Sullivan drafting supervisor Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House for patron Aline Barnsdall on Olive Hill in Hollywood. Their viist was also right around the time Gill was commissioned to design and construct the four-unit Horatio West Court building in Santa Monica that also intrigued future Schindler partner and roommates Clyde Chace and his wife Marian. Marian Da Camara went to school with Pauline Schindler at Smith College in Massachusetts and taught with her at the progressive Ravinia School in the northern Chicago suburb of Highland Park. After following the Schindlers to Los Angeles  the Chaces lived with Gill in Santa Monica while Clyde was employed on the construction of Gill's project before work began on their now iconic Kings Road House with the Schindlers. (See for example "Irving Gill, Homer Laughlin and the Beginnings of ModernArchitecture in Los Angeles, Part II, 1911-1916", (IG).

This was just a month prior to the arrival of the Schindlers in Los Angeles to take over from Lloyd responsibility for construction supervision of Wright's Olive Hill project. Or perhaps Barbara may have already been acquainted with Lloyd through his short-lived marriage to Barnsdall's Player Producing Company's leading lady Kirah Markham and/or his set design work for Paramount. For that matter, Lloyd also could have even been the person who provided Annita and Barbara with the introduction to his erstwhile mentor and employer Gill. (For Lloyd Wright's 1916-17 involvement with Barnsdall's theatrical troupe and marriage to Markham see my "R. M. Schindler, Edward Weston, Anna Zacsek, Lloyd Wright,Lawrence Tibbett, Reginald Pole, Beatrice Wood and Their Dramatic Circles.").


Barbara Morgan on the deck of the Morgan's home located at 2437 Echo Park Ave. in Los Angeles ca. 1927. Photo by Willard D. Morgan. Courtesy Lael Morgan.


From left to right, Franz K. Ferenz, Barbara Morgan (kneeling), David Giffen, Ragenhilde Liljedahl (Mrs. Giffen), unknown, unknown, Annita Delano, Richard Neutra, unknown, Harwell Hamilton Harris and Gregory Ain. (E. Merril Owens is one of the three unidentified students). Photo by fellow class-member Willard D. Morgan, early 1929. 

Morgan, nee Johnson's longtime colleague Annita Delano, to Neutra's right in the above photo, long-time UCLA Art Professor and a founding member of the UCLA Art Department in the 1920s, recalled in her Oral History Southwest Artist and Educator
"Schindler and Neutra came to Los Angeles to work with Frank Lloyd Wright, and I was privileged to know them right away within the first year after they came here. It seems the architects, designers, painters, sculptors got together. The city was so much smaller. ... We met in a Frank Lloyd Wright house — that is, the Freeman House in Hollywood. It was tremendous to have this get-together with people who were creating. And that's how I got interested [in modern architecture]. (Delano Annita, Southwest Artist and Educator, p. 237).

A few weeks before the Schindlers arrival in Los Angeles and while still theoretically involved with construction activity on Aline Barnsdall's Hollyhock House, Lloyd Wright was also seriously moonlighting by breaking ground on his first residential commission for film maker Otto Bollman. (For example see my "Tina Modotti, Lloyd Wright and Otto Bollman Connections, 1920"). 

Mark and Pauline Schindler and Leah Lovell and children in Leah's "School in the Garden," Argyle Avenue, Hollywood, ca. 1925.

Morgan was by 1927 earning his living by writing freelance magazine articles and illustrating them with his photographs. The first known Morgan publication of an architectural subject is of Philip Lovell's beach house in Newport Beach designed by R. M. Schindler. First meeting on Olive Hill while Schindler and Lloyd Wright were overseeing construction of Barsdall's dream, Philip's wife Leah and Pauline Schindler taught progressive education to small children out of Hollyhock House and out of the Lovell's homes after the Hollyhock House was abandoned by Aline (see above). The Lovell Beach House was completed in 1926 and photographed and published by Willard in Popular Mechanics in 1927 (see below).

Morgan, Willard D., "Unusual Home is Built of Concrete and Glass." Popular Mechanics, June 1927. Lovell Beach House, Newport Beach, R. M. Schindler, architect. 

The house was photographed by Edward Weston two months later and published world-wide by Schindler and Neutra over the ensuing years without once being credited to Weston (see below for example).

Lovell Beach House, Newport Beach, 1926, R. M. Schindler, architect. Photo by Edward Weston, August 2, 1927. Courtesy of U. C. Santa Barbara Art and Design Collections, Schindler Archive
.

Lovell Physical Culture Center, Los Angeles, 1928, Richard Neutra, architect. Das Neue Frankfurt, May 5, 1928, p. 90. From Picnic de Pioneros by Ruben Alcolea, p. 178.

Morgan, Willard D., "Glass Roof Lights House Without Windows." Popular Mechanics, August 1927. Sowden House, Hollywood, Lloyd Wright, architect. 


Two months later Willard published Lloyd Wright's Sowden House in the same publication. Ruth Sowden and Harwell Hamilton Harris were sculpture classmates in 1924 at the Otis Art Institute where Willard's fiance Barbara Johnson's UCLA colleague Annita Delano taught part time. In fact it was Sowden who purportedly turned classmate Harris onto Frank Lloyd Wright and modern architecture (Harris oral history).

Sculpture class at Otis Art Institute, 1924: Fourth from left, future Schindler client and Herman Sachs employee Pasquale Giovanni Napolitano, Instructor Harold Swartz in center; continuing right: Ruth Sowden, who encouraged Harris to discover Frank Lloyd Wright and commissioned son Lloyd Wright to design the 1926 Sowden House; Viola Kepler (model); George Stanley (future designer of the "Oscar" statuette); Clive Delbridge (Harris's client for his first building, the Lowe House); and Harwell Hamilton Harris. (From Otis Collections Online).

The same photo of the Sowden House Willard used to illustrate the Popular Mechanics piece was used by Lloyd to illustrate his father's "In the Cause of Architecture: VI - The Meaning of Materials - Glass" article in the August 1928 Architectural Record article (see below).

Sowden House by Lloyd Wright, 1926, photo by Willard D. Morgan. From Wright, Frank Lloyd, "In the Cause of Architecture: VI - The Meaning of Materials - Glass" Architectural Record, July 1928, p. 10.

Willard likely first became acquainted with A. Lawrence Kocher, then a part of Architectural Record's editorial staff,  through the publishing of a few of Wright's 1928 "In the Cause of Architecture" pieces for which he most likely collaborated with Schindler-Weston circle member Lloyd Wright by providing the photos (see above and perhaps many below for example). He also might have collaborated with future New York friend and neighbor Douglas Haskell who may have used some of the Ennis and Barnsdall images in his November 1928 article on Wright, "Organic Architecture," published in Creative Art Magazine. Haskell soon joined Kocher's Architectural Record editorial staff for part of 1929-30. (Author's note: I have found no correspondence between Lloyd and father or Kocher indicating the creator of the images of Frank Lloyd Wright's Southern California work but judging from the above Morgan image of Lloyd Wright's Sowden House being used by Kocher in the July 1928 issue above, the rest of the Southern California images were also perhaps by Lloyd's then friend Willard. Correspondence between Frank Lloyd Wright and Willard Morgan dated February 1932 further indicate previous connections likely via Lloyd or Haskell. It is also not known whether Haskell's service at the Architectural Record overlapped with that of Henry-Russell Hitchcock who in 1928 was writing a monthly column titled "Foreign Periodicals" in which he 'discovered" the work of Morgan's Los Angeles friend Richard Neutra. For more on the Morgan's early interactions with the architectural circles of Southern California see "Foundations of Los Angeles Modernism: Richard Neutra's Mod Squad" (FLAM)).

Barnsdall House, Hollywood, 1921, Frank Lloyd Wright,architect, photo likely by Willard D. Morgan. From From Rebori, A. N., "Frank Lloyd Wright's Textile Block Construction,"  Architectural Record, December 1927, p. 452.

Barnsdall House, Hollywood, 1921, Frank Lloyd Wright,architect, photo likely by Willard D. Morgan. From Rebori, A. N., "Frank Lloyd Wright's Textile Block Construction,"  Architectural Record, December 1927, p. 455.

Per Harwell Hamilton's oral history The Organic View of Design Douglas Haskell visited Wright at Taliesin ca. 1928 while assisting A. Lawrence Kocher on the editorial staff of The Architectural Record to discuss publication of Wright's 1928 "In the Cause of Architecture" columns. (Harris, Harwell Hamilton, The Organic View of Design, p. 90).

Barnsdall House, Hollywood, 1921, Frank Lloyd Wright,architect, photo likely by Willard D. Morgan. From Wright, Frank Lloyd, "In the Cause of Architecture: VI - The Meaning of Materials - Glass" Architectural Record, July 1928, p. 12.

Ennis House, Hollywood, 1924, Frank Lloyd Wright, architect. Photo likely by Willard D. Morgan. From Wright, Frank Lloyd, "In the Cause of Architecture: VII - The Meaning of Materials - Concrete" Architectural Record, August 1928, p. 98.

Freeman House, Hollywood, 1924, Frank Lloyd Wright, architect. From Wright, Frank Lloyd, "In the Cause of Architecture: VII - The Meaning of Materials - Concrete" Architectural Record, August 1928, p. 100.

Willard (and wife Barbara) had by 1928 met and attended soirees at FLW's Freeman House through mutual friends the Schindlers, Lloyd Wright and Edward Weston (see below for example).

Announcement for R. M. Schindler Lecture on "Modern Architecture" at the Freeman House, 1962 Glencoe Way, Hollywood, September 29, [1928?]. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Schindler Archive.

Schindler took over as family architect for the Freemans and Aline Barnsdall from Frank Lloyd Wright after his late 1923 departure back to Taliesin. He designed a substantial remodel for Barnsdall in 1928 and starting the same year he designed furniture for the Freemans and as well as some additions and remodeling over the years. This is likely around the time that Lloyd had a falling out with Schindler as mentioned later below.

Freeman House, 1962 Glencoe Way, Hollywood, Frank Lloyd Wright, architect, 1924. Photo likely by Willard D. Morgan. From Wright, Frank Lloyd, "In the Cause of Architecture: VI - The Meaning of Materials - Glass" Architectural Record, July 1928, p. 13.

Freeman House, 1962 Glencoe Way, Hollywood, Frank Lloyd Wright, architect, 1924. Photo likely by Willard D. Morgan. Wright, Frank Lloyd, "In the Cause of Architecture: VII - The Meaning of Materials - Concrete" Architectural Record, August 1928, p. 101.

Millard House, Pasadena, 1923, Frank Lloyd Wright, architect. Photo likely by Willard D. Morgan. From Rebori, A. N., "Frank Lloyd Wright's Textile Block Construction,"  Architectural Record, December 1927, frontispiece.
Millard House, Pasadena, 1923, Frank Lloyd Wright, architect. Photo likley by Willard D. Morgan. From Wright, Frank Lloyd, "In the Cause of Architecture: VII - The Meaning of Materials - Concrete" Architectural Record, August 1928, p. 103.


Entrance, Studio of Conrad Buff, Los Angeles, R. J. Neutra, Architect. Photos by Willard D. Morgan. Das Neue Frankfurt, September 9, 1928, p. 173. From Picnic de Pioneros by Ruben Alcolea, p. 184.

Morgan, Willard D., "Tile Lures the Motorist," Tile and Tile Work, January 1930, pp. 17-18. Photos by Willard D. Morgan.

Morgan also had published under his own byline many articles featuring photos of and references to Neutra's designs and the work of others (see above for example). Below is an example of a typical query card Morgan sent to editors to solicit their interest in articles pertaining to Neutra's projects including his career-making Lovell Health House. From 1927 until the fall of 1930 when the Morgans moved to New York, the pair collaborated on over 50 articles under both of their bylines.


Willard D. Morgan, Query Card No. 107, "Demonstration Health House and Open Air School, Los Angeles, Richard J. Neitra, Architect, photographs by Willard D. Morgan," 1929. FromPicnic de Pioneros by Ruben Alcolea, BTC, 2009, p. 268.

Willard had been collaborating with Neutra at least since 1927 when he photographed his Jardinette Apartments, the Lovell Physical Health Center and a small project for the entrance for artist Conrad Buff's studio. Neutra published these projects and the Lovell Health House widely in Europe and the U.S. and included them in his 1930 book Amerika (seen earlier herein) along with many Morgan photos of work by Frank Lloyd Wright, Irving Gill and others and photos by Brett and Edward Weston, R. M. Schindler and himself. European publication of these images helped attract the attention of fledgling critic Henry-Russell Hitchcock who was then editing a monthly column "Foreign Periodicals" for Kocher in the Architectural Record. This ultimately helped pave the way for Neutra's inclusion in MoMA's groundbreaking "International Style" exhibition of February 1932.

Morgan, Willard D., "An Architect's Warm-Air Heated Health House," Sheet Metal Worker, July 31, 1930, cover, pp. 420-421, Morgan photos. 

Jardinette Apartments, Hollywood, 1927, Richard Neutra, architect. From Wright, Henry, "The Modern Apartment House,"  Architectural Record, March 1929, p. 270. Photos by Willard D. Morgan.

Jardinette Apartments lantern slide by Willard D. morgan, ca. 1927. From Morgan Archive. Courtesy Lael Morgan.

Bullock's Wilshire, Parkinson & Parkinson, architects, 1929. Willard D. Morgan, photographer, ca. 1929.

Willard lost the Bullock's Wilshire commission to the Mott Studios even though many of his and his wife's artist and designer friends worked on the interiors including Schindler-Weston clients and coterie members Herman Sachs, Jock Peters, John Weber and Gjura Stojana. He still took some photos for himself (see above for example). (For much more on the relationship between the Morgans and their circle on Bullock's Wilshire see my "Foundations of Los Angeles Modernism: Richard Neutra's Mod Squad.")

"Bullock's Wilshire Department Store, Los Angeles, John and Donald B. Parkinson, Architects," Architectural Record, January 1930, pp. 51-61. All photos by The Mott Studios.

Exhibition announcement, L.A. Times, December 9, 1928, p. III-23. (Note: A follow-up "Modern Arts" exhibition sponsored by the Los Angeles Architectural Club, likely also curated by Delano, featured many of the same CAC members such as Kem Weber, Richard Neutra, R. M. Schindler, Conrad Buff, George Stanley, Feil & Paradise and J. R. Davidson and took place at the Architect's Building at 5th and Figueroa. ("Modern Design to be Architect's Subject," Los Angeles Times, March 18, 1929).

Pauline Schindler was undoubtedly aware of the December 1928 "Decorative and Fine Arts of Today"exhibition seen in the L.A. Times ad above when writing the article. The Bullock's show featured the work of her estranged husband, Richard Neutra, Kem Weber, Jock Peters, Edward Weston and many others and was organized by Kings Road salon regular and UCLA art teacher, Annita Delano (also in the show) and her and John Weber's close friend Eleanor Lemaire for Bullock's Department Store's downtown Los Angeles location while Bullock's Wilshire was under construction. Delano most likely used photos by the husband of her colleague and close friend Barbara Morgan to illustrate the architectural projects used in the show. (For much more on this exhibition see my "Foundations of Los Angeles Modernism").

Millier, Arthur, "A New Art", L.A. Times Mid-Winter Number, January 2, 1929.

This must have been a heady time for the young lensman as none other than the art critic for the Los Angeles Times and Schindler-Weston close friend Arthur Millier chose to publish Willard's photos of both Lloyd Wright's Sowden House and Richard Neutra's Jardinette Apartments as well as Schindler's Lovell Beach House, and Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House (see above). This was also about the same time as Morgan began to faithfully document the construction of the Lovell Health House for Richard Neutra with the possible goal of publication of a book on its construction perhaps as class documentarian for Neutra's "Practical Course in Modern Building Art" the announcement for which was also illustrated by Morgan photos of Neutra's Jardinette Apartments (see class announcement below).

Course Announcement for "A Practical Course in Modern Building Art" taught by Richard Neutra for F. K. Ferenz's Academy of Modern Art. Photos by Willard D. Morgan. 

Willard D. Morgan on the Lovell Health House construction site, ca. 1929. From Morgan Archive. Courtesy Lael Morgan.

From left to right, Franz K. Ferenz, Barbara Morgan (kneeling), David Giffen, Ragenhilde Liljedahl (Mrs. Giffen), unknown, unknown, Annita Delano, Richard Neutra, unknown, Harwell Hamilton Harris and Gregory Ain. (E. Merril Owens is one of the three unidentified students). Photo by fellow class-member Willard D. Morgan, early 1929. 

Alcolea, Ruben A., Picnic de Pioneros: Arquitectura, Fotografia y el Mito de la Industria, Imprenta Nacher, Valencia, 2009. Lovell Health House, Richard Neutra, 1929. Cover photo and numerous interior images by Willard D. Morgan.

Lovell Health House, Richard Neutra, architect. Photographer Willard D. Morgan, December 1929.

Neutra, Richard J., Architect, "The Demonstration Health-House for Dr. Philip Lovell,, Los Angeles," Architectural Record, May 1930, pp. 433-439. Photos by Willard D. Morgan.

Neutra, Richard J., Architect, "The Demonstration Health-House for Dr. Philip Lovell,, Los Angeles," Architectural Record, May 1930, pp. 433-439. Photos by Willard D. Morgan.

Exhibition Poster for "Contemporary Creative Architecture of California", UCLA April 21-29. Courtesy of the UC-Santa Barbara, University Art Museum, Architecture and Design Collections, R. M. Schindler Collection.

Delano's December 1928 Bullock's exhibition, Millier's article and Neutra's class were undoubtedly the genesis for Pauline's March 1930 decision to capitalize on recent events and curate a traveling exhibition of Contemporary Creative Architecture in California (see above announcement) featuring work by Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, R. M. Schindler, Jock D. Peters, John Weber, Kem Weber and J. R. Davidson for the Western Association of Museum Directors. The exhibition also likely included many of Willard's photos to illustrate the work of the participants. (Author's Note: Pauline was the living at Frank Lloyd Wright's Storer House with Galka Scheyer and Brett Weston as housemates. For more on this see my "Brett Weston's Smokestacks and Pylons"). (Period correspondence between Lloyd Wright Pauline and his father indicates that there was a falling out of sorts between the Pauline and the Wrights regarding the exhibition causing Lloyd not to participate and Frank to drop out after the first show at Delano's and Morgan's UCLA Exhibition Gallery at the end of April 1930.).

After moving to New York in the fall of 1930 the Morgans found that by coincidence they were living in the same building as Douglas Haskell, (and may even have been drawn to the building by him) recently of A. Lawrence Kocher's editorial staff at the Architectural Record. Quickly becoming lifelong friends with Haskell gave them entree to publish Willard's Southern California architectural photographs among Kocher's modernist-leaning journal's pages in 1930-31. Through Morgan's and Haskell's largess many Southern California architects also gained access to Kocher during this period including R. M. Schindler and his Kings Road tenant Richard Neutra. Out of  gratitude Neutra included 1932 MoMA International Style Exhibition colleague Kocher (Aluminaire House with Albert Frey) in his 1930 publication Amerika (see below).

Neutra, Richard, Amerika: Neues Bauen in der Welt, 1930, p. 120. Sunlight Towers, ca. 1929, Kocher and Ziegler, architects.


John Weber, who preceded the Morgans to New York by a few months to continue working with Eleanor Lemaire after completing work on Bullock's Wilshire, designed a house for the Morgans in 1941 in Scarsdale next door to his own house completed a year earlier.

Schindler, Pauline G., The Samuel House, Los Angeles, Lloyd Wright, Architect, Architectural Record, June 1930, pp. 525-531.

In June of 1930 Pauline Schindler placed an article on Lloyd Wright's Samuel House with  Kocher in a fruitless attempt to lure Lloyd back into the fold so to speak. This not so coincidentally occurred a month before R. M. Schindler was able to publish his Pueblo Ribera project (see below) in the Record, perhaps due to face to face contact with Kocher during a brief consulting gig with Ely Jacques Kahn on the remodel of the interiors of the Bonwit Teller Building during the summer of 1930.
Schindler, R. M., "Houses for Outdoor Life: A Vacation Settlement on the Pueblo Ribera, La Jolla, California, R. M. Schindler, Architect," Architectural Record, July 1930, pp. 17-21.

About the time the Morgans arrived in New York they were greeted with an article on J. R. Davidson's Hi-Hat Restaurant illustrated with seven Willard Morgan photos in the Architectural Record (see below).

"Restaurant at Los Angeles, J. R. Davidson, Designer," Architectural Record, September 1930, p. 237.

"Restaurant at Los Angeles, J. R. Davidson, Designer," Architectural Record, September 1930, p. 239.

"Restaurant at Los Angeles, J. R. Davidson, Designer," Architectural Record, September 1930, p. 240.
Entrance of Studio of Conrad Buff, Richard Neutra, architect, 1927.  Architectural Record, November 1930, p. 438. Photos by Willard D. Morgan.

Not coincidentally just two months later, about the time Neutra arrived in New York from Europe, his Conrad Buff Studio Entrance project graced the pages of Kocher's journal illustrated by Willard Morgan photos. Morgan's photos of Irving Gill's Mary Banning House were published the same month, clearly indicating their arrival on the New York scene (see above and below).

Banning House, Los Angeles, 1913, Irving Gill, architect. Architectural Record, November 1930, p. 439. Photos by Willard D. Morgan.
"Satyr Book Shop," J. R. Davidson, Architect, Architectural Record, December 1930, pp . 457.
Willard D. Morgan photos.

The following month Morgan photos of J. R. Davidson's Satyr Book Shop also appeared indicating Kocher's infatuation with the work of modernist Southern California architects. The same month the Bullock's Wilshire work of Barbara Morgan's and Annita Delano's close friends John Weber and Eleanor Lemaire appeared with photos by Mott Studios following up on the earlier January 1930 article.

"A Department Store Beauty Parlor designed by John Weber and Eleanor Lemaire," Architectural Record, December, 1930, pp.462-463. 

Neutra, Richard, Amerika: Neues Bauen in der Welt, 1930 Brett Weston cover montage designed by El Lissitzky.

Neutra wisely used his 1930 book Amerika both as a tool to further his career by promoting his own work and  ingratiating himself with his former mentor Frank Lloyd Wright and son Lloyd and Loyd's former mentor Irving Gill, not to mention Schindler and client Herman Sachs' clients John and Donald B. Parkinson by illustrating much of their work with Willard D. Morgan and his own photos. He also incorporated work by the Edward and Brett Weston including the above cover montage by Brett Weston which was designed by El Lissitzky (see above).

Neutra, Richard, Amerika: Neues Bauen in der Welt, Julius Hoffman, Stuttgart, 1930, p. 6. Some Willard Morgan photos.

Neutra, Richard, Amerika: Neues Bauen in der Welt, Julius Hoffman, Stuttgart, 1930, p. 76. Willatd Morgan photos of Irving Gill's Bishop's School.


Neutra, Richard, Amerika: Neues Bauen in der Welt, Julius Hoffman, Stuttgart, 1930, p. 99. Willard Morgan photo of Schindler client Herman Sachs' client Parkinson and Parkinson's Title Insurance Co. Bldg.


Neutra, Richard, Amerika: Neues Bauen in der Welt, Julius Hoffman, Stuttgart, 1930, pp. 126-7. Neutra photos of Irving Gill's Banning House.

Neutra, Richard, Amerika: Neues Bauen in der Welt, Julius Hoffman, Stuttgart, 1930, p. 128-9. Viroque Baker photos of Schindler's Packard House.

Neutra, Richard, Amerika: Neues Bauen in der Welt, Julius Hoffman, Stuttgart, 1930, p. 139. Schindler or Neutra construction photo of the Lovell Beach House.

Neutra, Richard, Amerika: Neues Bauen in der Welt, Julius Hoffman, Stuttgart, 1930, p. 136. Willard Morgan photo of Slate Aircraft Corp. dirigible in hangar.

Neutra, Richard, Amerika: Neues Bauen in der Welt, Julius Hoffman, Stuttgart, 1930, pp. 140-1. Willard Morgan construction photos of the Lovell Health House.

Neutra, Richard, Amerika: Neues Bauen in der Welt, Julius Hoffman, Stuttgart, 1930, p. 158. Willard Morgan photos of Neutra's Jardinette Apartments.

Neutra, Richard, Amerika: Neues Bauen in der Welt, Julius Hoffman, Stuttgart, 1930, p. 150. Willard Morgan construction photo of the Lovell Health House.


Barbara Morgan, "Willard D. Morgan with Model A Leica in Bandolier National Monument," 1928. From Barbara Morgan: Prints, Drawings, Watercolors & Photographshttps://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=southernc0e-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0871002612, by Curtis L. Carter and William C. Agee, Patrick & Beatrice Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, 1988, p. 9.

Neutra's visit to New York in late 1930 and early 1931 resulted in his meeting many architects and editors that helped further his career including Philip Johnson, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Joseph Urban, Kocher and Frey, Ely Jacques Kahn, Raymond Hood, Douglas Haskell and many others.

After leaving Europe for Los Angeles in late November 1930, Neutra took over a month stopover in New York trying to find a publisher for a book on the Lovell Health House. The book was to feature the photos of CAC member Willard D. Morgan which documented construction during Neutra's "Practical Course in Modern Building Art." (For much more on this see Mod). Despite not finding a publisher, Neutra was assuredly pleased to see his previously-mentioned Willard Morgan-illustrated Conrad Buff project featured in the November issue of the Architectural Record and likely knew by then that his Lovell Health House with Morgan photos had also been published by the Record's modernist managing editor A. Lawrence Kocher in the May 1930 issue. 

These important appearances in the East Coast-based Record likely occurred partially through the coordination efforts of Pauline Schindler who was acting as publicity agent for a modernist circle of Los Angeles architects and designers. She, along with Morgan's and other's independent submittals and recent friendship with Architectural Record former assistant editor Douglas Haskell, was able to strategically place 15 articles featuring work by Neutra, Schindler, Lloyd Wright, J. R. Davidson, Kem Weber, Jock Peters, Irving Gill and others with Kocher (and Haskell) between late 1929 and  1931. (PGS and Mod).

Grand Central Palace, New York,  circa 1930.

Through his aggressive self-promotion while in New York Neutra made some very important connections that would bode well for his career including, besides Kocher, Philip Johnson and his father Homer, the corporate attorney for ALCOA, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Joseph Urban, Ely Jacques Kahn, Lewis Mumford, Raymond Hood, Buckminster Fuller, Bruno Paul, Ralph Walker, Jose Clemente Orozco and many others. Through Urban's connections, Neutra, Schindler and the rest of Pauline's clients (including Kem Weber, Jock Peters, J. R. Davidson, and Lloyd Wright) were included in the April, 1931 Architectural League of New York's 50th anniversary exhibition which was held in conjunction with the Allied Arts and Building Products Exhibition in New York's Grand Central Palace (see above). Neutra and R. M. Schindler corresponded regarding details of the show during Neutra's stay in New York. (Hines, p. 99 and note 24., p. 327 and Sheine, p. 256 and note 6., p. 284). 

The majority of the Los Angeles work shown in the League's show was likely a reprise of Pauline Schindler's "Creative Contemporary Architecture" exhibition and Willard Morgan photos which had just completed its circuit of West Coast museums. (PGS). Weber, Davidson, Peters and Wright's work moved on the following month to the Brooklyn Museum's American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (AUDAC) exhibition and was published in the organization's first "Annual of American Designhttps://lh6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/sz6wapqtiwvGR0p12sjEkYZDRz7_IMNWqCOMTc_dvr4RAcflVfo_9jqVj3Fd3zDqEPjHhLiuxuLxyq4aH6BUURx7GvxNf3DMYCAgycp9uqPUOWI-rAqYFscpGgoFTgmwkBlCf8GPR7hpLmyIAmv9gtzeIFuT2mP4=s0-d."  (Author's Note: The exhibition also had the distinction of including soon-to-be Southern California modernist Albert Frey's (in partnership with Kocher) full-scale "Aluminaire: A House for Contemporary Life") (See below). 

"Cut-Away" drawing of Kocher and Frey's Aluminaire House from the August 1931 issue of Popular Mechanics.

Likely with Pauline Schindler's largess, Brett Weston, son of the Morgan's friend Edward, illustrated the article on Schindler's Wolfe House appearing in the September 1931 issue of the Record seen below. Brett received the Wolfe House commission from Schindler while he was living with Pauline in Frank Lloyd Wright's Storer House in Hollywood. (For more see "Brett Weston's Smokestacks and Pylons.")

Summer House of C. H. Wolfe on Catalina Island, R. M. Schindler, architect, Architectural Record, September 1931, p. 159.

Frank Lloyd Wright again came into play in young Willard's life, this time mooching a Leica outfit off Morgan then employed by, and working on a manual for, Leica (see below for example). Virtually on the eve of Philip Johnson's and Henry-Russell Hitchcock's "Modern Architecture: International Exhibition" at New York's Museum of Modern Art the ever-enterprising Wright dashed off the below request to Morgan, somehow knowing that it would be honored.

Frank Lloyd Wright to Willard D. Morgan, typed letter signed, February 8, 1932.

The resourceful Morgan was soon able to put his Lovell Health House work for Neutra to use again, this time in the Leica manual (see below for example).
Basic Leica Technique, Leica Manual by Willard D. Morgan and Henry M. Lester, Morgan & Lester, 1935, p. 22. Willard Morgan photo of Richard Neutra's Lovell Health House.

Leica Manual by Willard D. Morgan and Henry M. Lester, Morgan & Lester, 1935.

Epilogue:

The above simply focused on the considerable and significant Southern California modern architecture interests of the budding photographer Willard Morgan. To learn much more about his fascinating life and career see his Wikipedia post at Willard D. Morgan. To learn more about his relationship with Richard Neutra and his and wife Barbara's friendship with UCLA art faculty member Annita Delano see my "Foundations of Los Angeles Modernism: Richard Neutra's Mod Squad" and UCLA Physical Education Department instructor and dancer Bertha Wardell at "Bertha Wardell Dances In Silence at Kings Road, Olive Hill and Carmel."