NEH Grant Announcement

The IHC is delighted to announce that Bruce Robertson, Professor of History of Art & Architecture, and Director of the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, has won an NEH Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grant for his project, Collection Preservation and Study Center. Read more about the project below.

Project Abstract

The Art, Design & Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara (AD&AM) has built an international reputation through its Architecture and Design Collection, and its thoughtful exhibition and publication program. Encompassing the history of Southern California architecture, landscape design, and urbanism from the late 19th to the early 21st century, the Architecture and Design collection is the essential archival resource for the study of Southern California through the prism of its built environment. This NEH grant will support a $4 million project that the Museum has undertaken to enhance its physical capacity to preserve and provide access to its collections, both architecture and art. Funding will support the renovation of a new Collection Preservation and Research Center in order to 1) maximize collection storage and enable growth of the Architecture and Design Collection, as well as the art collection, 2) preserve the collection, and 3) allow intensive and innovative use of the collection by students, scholars, staff, and others through on-site visits and digital access.

The AD&AM is committed to the development of critical thinking and visual literacy in support of the University’s goals of teaching, research, and service. What gives the AD&AM national and international significance is its Architecture and Design Collection, along with its increasingly distinguished fine art collection. This growing collection is indispensable for scholarly investigations of specific architects, buildings, and urbanism, as well as the research in housing and technology from the Depression through wartime workers’ dwellings and the postwar boom. The story of early Modernism is especially strong in Southern California. Its beginnings can be traced through the archives of the European designers who arrived here in the 1910s through the 1930s, the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright’s followers, and the impact of regionalism. Images of the California ranch house and hacienda, post-war ‘Googie’ roadside architecture, and the Case Study House program have become worldwide icons, spread through publications and films. Many of the current debates about architecture and its contribution to popular culture began in Southern California.

The proposed project addresses three major challenges to the AD&AM’s collections: growth, preservation, and access, all of which are limited by the Museum’s current physical capacity. The AD&AM expansion into a recently acquired University property, known as the Devereux site, is necessary to consolidate collections from four temporary, off-site spaces into a permanent 11,700 sq. ft. building that will include a research and study center. During the project period, funds will support the renovation of the building, including demolition, construction, painting and sealing, plumbing and electrical, including HVAC, fire detection and suppression, and security.

For more information on IHC help with grant and research development, click here.