Archival Collections
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library

George Cserna photographs and papers, 1937-1978. 

Creator: 
Cserna, George, 1919-2003.
Phys. Desc: 
approx. 10,260 photographic items.; 12 manuscript boxes of publications.; 1 manuscript boxes of archival papers.
Location: 
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
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Biographical Note

George Cserna was a New York based architectural photographer. Cserna was born in Budapest, Hungary on March 14, 1919. He received a degree from Minta Gymnasium in Budapest, and later studied Etruscology at the University of Perugia, Italy, and law at Budapest University. He emigrated to the United States in 1951. In 1958, he began contributing to Architectural Forum. Cserna's work was featured in Progressive Architecture, Architectural Forum, Art in America, and Fortune Magazine. He received the 1970 AIA Architectural Photography Medal. He taught Architectural Photography at the New School in New York City in 1979 and 1980. Some of George Cserna's most notable work includes photographs of the work of Ulrich Franzen; Haines, Lundberg, and Waehler, Victor Lundy, and I. M. Pei. He also photographed many openings and exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art between 1960 and 1975. While working for Doubleday he took book jacket portraits of notable persons including John dos Passos, W.H. Auden, and William Faulkner.

Scope and Contents

This collection is photograph archive of the works of architectural photographer George Cserna. Images include interior and exterior shots of prominent New York buildings primarily during the 1960s. The collection has been arranged alphabetically by the client or architect of the building. Some of George Cserna's most notable work in this collection includes photographs of Ulrich Franzen's Agronomy Building, Emerson Hall, and Goddard Library at Cornell University; Haines, Lundberg, and Waehler's U.S. Trust Building and Schering-Plough Headquarters; Victor Lundy's I. Miller Store and IBM Headquarters; and I. M. Pei's John Hancock Tower, Mount Royal Bank and Ville Marie Complex, and MIT Chemistry Building. The collection also contains photographs of exhibitions and openings at the Museum of Modern Art in the 1960s and 1970s, such as The Responsive Eye and Toward a Rational Automobile. Finally, the collection has photographic portraits of notable persons including John dos Passos, W.H. Auden, and William Faulkner.