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Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center receives archive Donation from architect Hugh Kaptur
From left to right: Palm Springs Art Museum Archivist and Librarian. Frank Lopez and Architect Hugh Kaptur.


PALM SPRINGS, CA.- Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion announced it has received a generous donation from long-time local architect Hugh Kaptur, that includes a significant number of his original drawings, renderings, models, and slides. The collection will reside in The Lorraine Boccardo Archive Study Center at the A+D Center, now open for research by appointment on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Located on the lower level, the archive study center features collections of drawings, photographs, models, and objects by renowned midcentury modern architects including those of Albert Frey, Donald Wexler, E. Stewart Williams, architectural historian Patrick McGrew, and interior designer Arthur Elrod Associates Inc./Harold Broderick.

Kaptur’s donation to the archive study center includes 212 unique projects representing a total of 5,619 architectural drawings, renderings, and documents covering the mid-1950s to late-1990s, as well as six building models, nine renderings, and 184 color slides. His gift notably includes original drawings and photographs of Tahquitz Plaza I and II that have assisted in the recent Class I historic designation of the plaza, and its restoration. Other projects included in the gift are drawings for the Steve McQueen residence, Palm Springs Swim Complex, Palm Springs Fire Stations No. 3 and 4, Casa Blanca (now Musicland Hotel), and the Selzer Residence. He also made a monetary donation to assist the museum in acquiring appropriate archival supplies for long-term storage of materials.

“I had planned to give the collection to the A+D Center all along, and with my recent move to a smaller residence the timing was right,” Kaptur said. “The study center provides a unique opportunity to access a wealth of archives, and I’m pleased to have my work included.”

Kaptur’s 60-year career includes designing residences for such notable clients as William Holden and Steve McQueen. He designed over 200 residences and 40 commercial structures in the Palm Springs area, playing an essential role in contributing to the community’s postmodern era. Today, Kaptur continues to work on numerous projects adding to his prolific portfolio.

Palm Springs Art Museum's Archivist and Librarian, Frank Lopez, was instrumental in seeing the archive study center come to fruition. He worked diligently on the archival inventory and descriptive finding aids for Kaptur's collection as well as for the other material in the archive study center. The finding aids include detailed description of the collections, explain how they are organized, outline the contents, and provide listing locations where relevant materials may be found within each of the collections.

“The addition of the Hugh Kaptur collection to the archive is significant as it fills a gap in our materials associated with local desert modern architects, and we are now the only repository in the country with his materials that span the core years of his working career,” said Lopez. “We are extremely grateful and look forward to providing researchers, scholars, and preservationists a unique opportunity to access his work in more detail and to consult with source documents for rehabilitation projects and study.”

In addition to the opening of the archive study center, the original gate from the bank vault in the E. Stewart Williams designed building, when it housed Santa Fe Savings & Loan, has been re-purposed in the archive. The gate received side panels designed by Marmol Radziner, the architecture firm that oversaw the original rehabilitation of the building to become the A+D Center.

Research visits are free and digital scans and photocopies are available for a fee. Appointments can be made by contacting Lopez at the Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion at (760) 322-4833 or via email at flopez@psmuseum.org. The Architecture and Design Center is located at 300 South Palm Canyon Drive, in downtown Palm Springs.






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