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About the Korab Collection
Represented in this online collection is a selection from the Korab Collection. Included are:
- Almost 800 photographs by Balthazar Korab documenting 19 projects designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen (1910-1961). Included are corporate headquarters, airports, university facilities, embassies, private residences, churches, a museum, and a monumental arch. Korab captured their development in the 1950s and 1960s from model and site plan through construction to finished exteriors and interiors. The same images are also featured with accompanying essays in the book Eero Saarinen: Buildings from the Balthazar Korab Archive, edited by David G. De Long and C. Ford Peatross (New York: W.W. Norton, 2008), which is part of the series called Norton / Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks in Architecture, Design, and Engineering.
- Images that have been digitized in response to researchers’ purchase of reproductions and created in the course of Library of Congress special projects, as well as digital images that came with the collection.
The Balthazar Korab Collection as a whole consists of more than 530,000 images that document the creative work of one of the most respected architectural photographers in the U.S. The collection spans over six decades and ranges from 35 mm to 4 x5 inch black and white negatives to color transparencies of all sizes and some digital formats. A selection of photographs related to the work of Eero Saarinen was gifted in 2007, and the artist's full archive of negatives, transparencies and contact sheets was transferred to the library in 2011.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1926, Korab began working as an architect for Eero Saarinen at his office in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in 1955. His work at that office afforded him the opportunity to develop his craft as both an architect and as a photographer. On work for projects in the Saarinen office, he experimented and explored photography's uses in documenting working models, as well as finished structures. While known for iconic images of modernist architectural masterpieces, he also spent time on less commercial projects. The archive especially reveals his personal interest in extensively photographing Michigan and the Midwest, Italy, and American car culture among other topics.
Searching the Collection
Collection as a Whole
The entirety of the archive is searched through an online finding aid that provides descriptions at a folder level. Advance notice is needed to request to view these materials that are not digitized. Requests to view originals should be made through Ask a Librarian.
For more information, see the collection guide, Korab Collection: Archive of an Architectural Photographer