Julia Morgan — An Online Exhibition
The Julia Morgan Papers at Cal Poly
Many myths surround Julia Morgan's career, but one of the most persistent is the legend that she destroyed the records of her nearly fifty-year practice when she retired in 1951.
In fact, Morgan carefully preserved thousands of architectural plans, drawings, sketchbooks, photographs, correspondence, project files, and other personal and professional papers, which were given to California Polytechnic State University by her heirs in 1980.
Generous donors have made several other significant gifts of Morgan materials to the Kennedy Library, including plans and sketches for residential and business commissions, and the research files of the late architectural historian, Sara Holmes Boutelle, who wrote the first book-length biography of the architect.
Together these gifts represent the largest and most comprehensive Julia Morgan archives in the country, containing unique and original materials on her Beaux-Arts education in Paris; her participation in the influential Arts and Crafts movement in early twentieth-century California; project files and drawings of her commissions for influential women and women's organizations; and extensive records relating to her masterworks, the seaside retreat, Asilomar, built for the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), and the legendary estates at San Simeon and Wyntoon for publisher W.R. Hearst.