• IdentificationPUBLIC "-//The Art Institute of Chicago::Ryerson and Burnham Archives//(US::ICA::2001.5::DAVID ADLER (1882-1949) COLLECTION, 1860-2014 (bulk 1925-2001))//EN" "ica200105.xml"
  • TitleAdler, David (1882-1949) Collection, 1860-2014 (bulk 1925-2001)
  • PublisherRyerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Language
    • English
    • English.
  • Date
    • 1860-2014
    • (bulk 1925-2001)
  • Physical Description
    • 3.25 linear feet (7 boxes), 2 portfolios, 1 oversize portfolio, flatfile materials and 1 rolled tube
    • Black and white and color photographic prints, color transparencies, bound photographic prints, printed papers, photocopies, VHS videocassettes , CD-roms, Blueprints, sepia diazo print, ink on tracing paper, graphite on tracing paper and computer printouts.
  • RepositoryRyerson and Burnham Archives Ryerson and Burnham Libraries The Art Institute of Chicago 111 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60603-6110 (312) 443-7292 rbarchives@artic.edu
  • AbstractChicago architect David Adler practiced in Chicago with Robert Work from 1917 to 1928 and independently thereafter and was known for adapting classical and vernacular styles to his residential commissions. This collection contains a portrait photograph and photographs for three houses as well as photographs, color transparencies, and research files relating to the life and work of Adler and his sister, interior designer Frances Elkins, which were collected or produced by The Art Institute's Department of Architecture in preparation for the 2001 exhibition and publication, David Adler, Architect: The Elements of Style.
  • OriginationThese materials were created by several photographers, including Hutchinson and Luis Medina. The Field Residence photographs were collected by Adler's sister, interior designer Florence Elkins. The Reed Residence photographs were commissioned by the Reed family. The materials in the research files were assembled by the staff of the Department of Architecture at the The Art Institute of Chicago.
  • LocationA portion of the collection is housed in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' on-site stacks. The remainder of the collection is housed offsite, and is designated so by the abbreviation (OS) in the left-hand location column. Retrieval of offsite materials requires advance notification; please consult the Archivist for the current retrieval schedule.

David Adler was born on January 3, 1882, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and first attended the city's public schools before receiving a preparatory education at the Lawrenceville (New Jersey) School. He studied architecture at Princeton University from 1900 to 1904, after which, from 1904 to 1911, he traveled on architectural tours of Italy, Germany, and France and attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Following his return to the United States, Adler came to Chicago in 1912 to work in the office of architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, and established his reputation as a residential architect for many of Chicago's elite. Adler was known for his sensitive adaptations of classical and vernacular styles to fashionable urban townhouses and apartments and opulent country houses in Chicago and its suburbs, on the East and West Coasts, and in Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition, he often planned the landscaping and his sister, designer Frances Elkins, contributed interior designs for many of his commissions. Adler worked independently for most of his career, although he did have a professional association with Robert Work from 1917 to 1928. Adler was a member of the Chicago Chapter of the AIA and elected to its College of Fellows in 1941. He retired from practice in 1947 and died on September 27, 1949, in Libertyville, Illinois.

The David Adler Collection is comprised of two discrete and separately acquired groups of materials, the first a set of photographs documenting the construction and built environments of several notable Adler residence projects, including the Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Field Residence in New York, New York, a bound album of photographs for the Mrs. J. Ogden Armour Residence, and the Mrs. Kersey Coates Reed Residence in Lake Forest, Illinois. This initial acquisition also includes one portrait of Adler. The second group of materials consists of black and white photographs, color transparencies, correspondence, and photocopies relating to the life and work of Adler and his sister, interior designer Frances Elkins, which were collected or produced by The Art Institute's Department of Architecture in preparation for the 2001 exhibition and publication, David Adler, Architect: The Elements of Style. These images include both interior and exterior views, most of which were published in the exhibition catalog. The research files are comprised of correspondence between AIC Department of Architecture staff and various individuals and organizations as well as the fruits of this research: a sizable assemblage of primary source document reproductions (i.e., photocopies of birth certificates, correspondence, and architectural licences), secondary source reproductions (i.e., photocopies of newspapers, magazines, and brochures), as well as interview transcripts found in a dissertation by Diane Bower.

SERIES I: PROJECT PAPERS. Organized into three subseries: Adler Projects, Adler Exhibition, and Non-Adler Projects, then alphabetical within each subseries.

SERIES II: PERSONAL PAPERS. Organized into two subseries: Photographs and Papers, the latter of which is further sub-divided into three files: David Adler, Adler Family and Miscellaneous. With the Papers subseries, folders have been arranged predominantly in the order in which they were received from the Department of Architecture.

SERIES III: AUDIO AND VIDEO. Arranged alphabetically.

  • Names
    • Adler, David, 1882-1949
    • Adler, David, 1882-1949--Archives
  • Subject
    • Architects--Illinois--Chicago--Archives
    • Architecture--New York (State)--New York--20th century--Sources
    • Architecture--Illinois--Lake Forest--20th century--Sources

AIC BOX.FF n.d. OP Portf.

Architectural drawings by David Adler are in the permanent collection of the Department of Architecture.

Architectural drawings by David Adler are in the permanent collection of the Department of Architecture.

The collection may be used by qualified readers in the Reading Room of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at The Art Institute of Chicago. Collections maintained on-site are available for patron use without prior arrangement or appointment. Collections maintained in off-site storage will be retrieved with advance notification; please consult the Archivist for the current retrieval schedule. For further information, consult http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchaccess.html

The Art Institute of Chicago is providing access to the materials in the Libraries' collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of the Art Institute is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Archivist, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to permission from the Art Institute, permission of the copyright owner (if not the Art Institute) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distribution, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. The Art Institute makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

David Adler Collection, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.

Photographs of the Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Field Residence were the gift of Mrs. Florence Elkins. Photographs of the Mrs. Kersey Coates Reed Residence were the gift of Peter Reed. Photographs of the Armour Residence were the gift of John J. Mitchell III. Drawings of the Boeckmann Residence were given by Sheila and Ann ffolliott in April 2012. Some materials are of unknown provenance though most other materials were transferred to the Ryerson and Burnham Archives from the Department of Architecture in 2003.

The David Adler Collection consists of items transferred from the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, Summer 2001.

This collection was processed by Natasha Derrickson in July 2001. The finding aid was revised by Annemarie van Roessel in 2002, Amy Babinec in 2003, Nathaniel Parks in 2005 and 2012, Heather Tennison in 2013 and Suzanne Farrand in 2015.

New materials may be added to this collection on an irregular basis.