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McCoy, Esther

McCoy, Esther (1904–89). American self-taught architectural historian and critic. She worked in Schindler's office, which gave her insights about the architectural world, before publishing Five California Architects and Richard Neutra in 1960, which established her name, encouraging her to produce further work on the California avant-garde from the early C20. She was also a novelist, and contributed hundreds of articles to various books, journals, and exhibition catalogues, all demonstrating her mastery of taut prose. She was successful in relating social history to architecture, and she was emboldened to argue that the Modern Movement developed in America at least as early as in Europe. In her work on Californian architecture she succeeded in revealing the significance in ordinary and familiar things, and her analyses showed how important modest architecture can be.

Bibliography

McCoy (1960, 1962, 1968, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1983, 1990);
McCoy & and Goldstein (1982);
McCoy & and Smith (1988);
Progressive Architecture, lxxi/2 (Feb. 1990), 118–19;
E. Smith (2002)

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