The DAAP library has growing special collections comprised of artist’s books, architectural drawings and archives, handmade/fragile pop up books, rare elephant folios, and Cincinnati urban planning materials. The artists’ books collection contains several hundred one-of-kind, limited edition, rare, and hand-crafted books and objects. Interesting bindings and forms of the book are but one focus of the collection. Related to artist’s books is the entire limited-edition ten-year run of objects from “the Thing Quarterly,” a periodical in the form of objects designed by artists, writers, designers, filmmakers, and musicians. There is a collection of Mail art, art sent through the mail meant to be participatory, democratic, and meant to subvert the notion of “high art” and gallery/museum elitism. All these collections are available to students, scholars, and members of the general public.

Alice Weston (1926- )

Alice Weston, environmental artist, philanthropist, and gallery owner, photographed houses in the 1990s for the publication, Great Houses of the Queen City: Two Hundred Years of Historic and Contemporary Architecture and Interiors in Cincinnati, text by Walter E. Langsam, 1997. Hundreds of photographs, not in the book, are included in the UCL digital collection. Alice also donated her photographs from her work in Architecture in Cincinnati: An Illustrated History of Designing and Building an American City, by Sue Anne Painter and Beth Sullenberger, 2006.

Architecture Drawings and Archives

Over 15,000 drawings, diazos, blueprints, and watercolors along with records, client folders, and correspondence of Cincinnati Modernist architecture.

Practitioners include:

James Alexander (1921-2007)
Educated in architecture at UC; interned with Raymond Loewy, NY; taught architecture at UC and designed many local, modernist houses, particularly in Cincinnati suburbs such as Wyoming.

Benjamin Dombar (1916-2006)
Studied with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin (along with his brother, Abrom Dombar) in the 1930s; returned to Cincinnati where he helped supervise Wright’s Boulter House (1954-56) and designed houses and other buildings for approximately 1,500 Cincinnati-area clients.  

Woodie Garber (1913-1994)
Educated in architecture at Cornell University; designed numerous important public buildings and residences in Cincinnati, including the Cincinnati Public Library downtown; Procter Hall and Sander Hall at UC; Cincinnati’s 9th St. Fire Station; Christ Church Glendale, additions; and many other local, modernist buildings.

Rudy Hermes (1927-2016)
Educated in architecture at UC, where he met his future wife, Carole Bruner, who studied interior design.  Rudy and Carole Hermes collaborated as a design team on numerous projects.   Rudy’s practice, and their joint projects, focused on residential architecture and interiors.  In addition to designing individual houses, Rudy also acted as a designer and developer of entire suburban streets and subdivisions, playing a role known today as “design-build.”

John Bentley (1942- )
Educated in architecture at Penn State with a MA from University Michigan; John Bentley practiced for decades in Cincinnati and designed important projects such as the Procter and Gamble HQ gardens, landscaping for the 1967 Montreal World’s Fair, and an influential green space study for Cincinnati's Indian Hill suburb.

David Niland (1930-2010)
Professor at DAAP for over 40 years. BA and MA from Yale University. David Niland is important for his contributions to handicap accessibility.

Hans Nueztel (1921-2013)
Hans Nueztel practiced in Cincinnati from 1952-2013; he designed dozens of modernist houses in and around the city.   

India Boyer (1907-1998)
Educated at Ohio State University (Bachelor’s in Architecture, 1930) and UC Evening College.  Worked with the U.S. Engineers' Office, Cincinnati (1934-1945+). Boyer was the first licensed female architect in the state of Ohio.

Skidmore Owings & Merrill (1936- )
Original drawings and blueprints of the important Terrace Plaza Hotel in downtown Cincinnati, completed in 1948.

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)
Original blueprints of the Cedric and Patricia Boulter House, Clifton, Cincinnati (1954-56).  Some of these blueprints contain original pencil over drawings for alterations by Wright’s pupil Benjamin Dombar, who supervised construction in Cincinnati.

Collection includes photographs of the built environment, historic photographs, architecture plans, drawings, and blueprints with a focus on images related to Cincinnati. Some highlights include the Aronoff Center for Design and Art Complex, Cincinnati Modernist architecture, and Cincinnati Preservation Association historical slide collection (photographed over a 40-year span and many no longer extant). Also includes many images of urban planning projects from China, Africa, Europe, and the United States.

The Bonnie Cashin Collection is comprised of over 200 historical garments designed by Bonnie Cashin for Sills and Co. between 1960 and 1980.

Émile Mâle was chair of Medieval Art at the Sorbonne in Paris, 1912. The materials in this collection focus on French Gothic Art and Architecture and the influence Eastern European iconography had on these works.  Most of the publications are written in French and reflect Mâle's significant contributions to twentieth century art history.

This is a collection both in database and object formats of cutting-edge materials: glass, polymers, ceramics, metals, cement, and carbon. The library of objects includes a sample board  of the material with a description of its unique properties, manufacturer information, recommended use/application, and any limitations of the material, etc.  The database, linked from the library webpage, is searchable by physical property (ex: glossy), processing attributes, sustainability factors, and other properties. This unique collection is useful to many fields of study: engineering, industrial design, interior design, fashion, sculpture, etc.

Martin designed catalogues, bulletins, invitations and impacted Cincinnati’s visual culture with his Modernist aesthetic; an aesthetic in which the idea of uncluttered simplicity reigned. He was schooled at the Cincinnati Art Academy and later taught there, as well as, at UC. In 1953, he was included in an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC called, “Four American Designers.” He was the Cincinnati Art Museum’s in-house graphic designer for many years. His library of books and pamphlets on logo design; graphic design; font, typeface, typography, typesetting, printing, and lithography was donated to the library in 2009.