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Korab Collection: Archive of an Architectural Photographer

Balthazar Korab was one of the best-known photographers of 20th-century modern architecture. This collection overview offers a summary of content with sample images, information about how to search and view the collection and links to related resources.

Introduction

Balthazar Korab, photographer. Bacardi Office Building (Mies van der Rohe, architect), Mexico City, Mexico. 1961. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

The Balthazar Korab Collection of over 540,000 images documents the creative work of one of the most significant architectural photographers in the United States, during the second half of the 20th century. The collection spans over six decades, from the 1940s to the 2010s, and ranges from 35 mm to 4x5 inch black and white negatives to color transparencies of all sizes and some digital formats. The collection is searchable by architects, projects and themes.

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. While working 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.