Architectural Archives

George Simpson Koyl Collection (046)

This collection is notable for Koyl's fine watercolor renderings and travel drawings executed during his period of study at the American Academy in Rome.  It also contains a small amount of memorabilia.  It contains no correspondence and no materials related to Koyl's built architectural projects.

Biographical/Historical Sketch

George S. Koyl was born in Wyoming in 1885.  He was trained in architecture in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania and studied at the American Academy in Rome 1911-1914.  After returning to the United States, he taught at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, worked in the offices of Cass Gilbert and McKim, Mead & White and later began an independent practice.  Koyl returned to Philadelphia as Dean of the School of Fine Arts of the University of Pennsylvania in 1932.  After his retirement as Dean in 1950 he continued as Professor of Architecture until 1955. 

Scope and Content Note

This collection is notable for Koyl's fine watercolor renderings and travel drawings executed during his period of study at the American Academy in Rome.  Their beauty and attention to detail reflect the Beaux-Arts style of architectural rendering Koyl learned as a student of Paul Cret at the University of Pennsylvania.  The most remarkable is a 46 3/4" x 37 1/2" rendering of the Oratorio di San Bernardino, Perugia.  Another notable rendering, Hall of Fame, Washington D.C., is a collaboration with Ezra Winter, painter (Ezra Winter, 1886-1949), and H. D. Thrasher, sculptor (Harry Dickinson Thrasher, 1883-1918). 

The latest drawing in the collection is dated 1923, a rendering of a proposed restoration of City Hall Park, New York City, done in collaboration with J. A. Thompson (John Ambrose Thompson, 1876-1968) and Victor Farrar.  The collection also contains a small amount of memorabilia.  It contains no correspondence and no materials related to Koyl's built architectural projects.  The only materials related to Koyl's teaching are a certificate on his retirement and an original 1942 caricature of Koyl by Alfred Bendiner.
 

Provenance

Acquisition:  Gift of George S. Koyl.