Catherine Bauer and the Photography of Modern Housing

Although one of the foremost leaders of the movement for modern public housing in the United States, Catherine Bauer often goes overlooked as an important maker and collector of photographs of modern architecture.

This exhibit invites a new understanding of Catherine Bauer’s contributions to the modern housing movement by looking through the lens of photography. Photographs and excerpts from Bauer’s writings at the Environmental Design Archives and the Bancroft Library illustrate how photography was an essential tool in Bauer’s work that continues to offer a perspective on modern housing history in the present.


Catherine Bauer Wurster papers, BANC MSS 74/163 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Catherine Bauer Wurster photograph collection, BANC PIC 1974.029, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

William and Catherine Bauer Wurster Papers, Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.

Forthcoming Publication

Nicole Krup Oest, Photography and Modern Public Housing in Los Angeles (, 2021)


Research for this exhibit was made possible through funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Nicole Krup Oest thanks Chris Marino and the Environmental Design Archives for their support of this exhibition. She also thanks Victor Rini, historian and descendant of a family of Chávez Ravine, and Dr. Raymond Neutra of the Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design.


Curator: Nicole Krup Oest