Architecture Program

 

Date of this Version

12-2014

Citation

Kane, Suzanne B. "Finding Addison Mizner: His Scrapbook Testimony" MS thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2014.

Comments

A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Architecture, Under the Supervision of Professor Mark Hinchman. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Suzanne B. Kane

Abstract

Through historic archival research, this study focuses on the works of Florida architect Addison Mizner (1872-1933), credited with bringing Spanish/Mediterranean Revival architecture to Palm Beach, Florida in the early 20th century. This thesis is the first to study the works of Mizner through the perspective of his personal scrapbooks. In a state of advanced deterioration, Mizner’s scrapbooks are currently housed in Society of the Four Arts, King Library in Palm Beach, Florida. While a rare and treasured source of their own accord, the importance of the scrapbooks is elevated by the fact that many of Mizner’s buildings have been demolished, severely altered, or are inaccessible to the public. As a result, it is difficult to experience Mizner’s works first hand through his remaining buildings.

The absence of an in-depth study on Mizner’s personal scrapbooks leaves a gap in Mizner scholarship. This research reveals how the Mizner scrapbooks present his mode of thought and design intent, and how they serve as a pictorial narration of the workings of an architect in a very primitive Florida with few resources beyond his own innovations. In addition, this study will show how the scrapbooks refute long-standing views of Mizner’s lack of architectural acumen, a product of Modernism’s mid-century coup. Considering the fragile nature of the scrapbooks, it is hopeful that this thesis will not only spark a renewed interest in all things Mizner, but will advance an awareness and urgency for continued preservation of this treasured primary source and his remaining buildings.

Adviser: Mark Hinchman