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A Century of Minnesota Architecture photographs

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: N1

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of 100 8 x 10" black and white photographs by Jerome Liebling (Department of Art, University of Minnesota) for the book "A Century of Minnesota Architecture" by Donald Torbert (Minneapolis: Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, 1958). Fifty structures dating from the early 1850s through the 1950s are pictured, including banks, churches, residences, commercial buildings, and schools. The majority of the photographs are of Minneapolis and St. Paul architecture; the remainder document the architecture of other Minnesota communities, such as Owatonna, Rochester, and Duluth.

 Twin Cities area buildings represented in the collection are the Minnesota Territorial Capitol (1851) and the present State Capitol (1896); the Alexander Ramsey house (St. Paul) (1872); the Henry Sibley house (Mendota, MN) (1835); and the Cathedral of St. Paul (1905–1915). Other state buildings pictured are the National Farmers Bank (Owatonna) (1907–1908), the Mayo Clinic (Rochester) (1926–1928), and the Kirk Building (Duluth) (1902).


  • Creation: 1850-1958
  • Creation: (bulk 1956-1958)


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division reading room. Advance notice is requested.

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on the use of materials in this collection. Copies can be requested if the condition of the originals warrants it.

Biographical or Historical Note

Born in 1924, Jerome Liebling was an American photographer and filmmaker, in addition to his achievements as a professor. Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns considered Liebling to be a mentor, and Liebling was a member of New York's Photo League. He produced several documentaries, including Pow Wow, The Tree is Dead, and The Old Men. Liebling has received numerous grants and awards, including two Guggenheim Fellowships and the National Endowment for the Arts. His photographs are in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Corocan Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He was also the father of five children. He passed away on July 27th, 2011.

Donald Torbert was born in Ohio in 1910. He began his teaching career at Ohio State University and taught art history at the University of Minnesota in 1978. Torbert was a member of the Committee on the Urban Environment, the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission, and the Minnesota State Review Board for the National Register of Historic Places. He was also an author, and his works included A Century of Art and Architecture, A Century of Minnesota Architecture, and Significant Architecture in the History of Minneapolis. He died on August 24th, 1985.

Jerome Liebling was an assistant professor, and Donald Torbert was an associate professor in the art department at the University of Minnesota when they created the architectural exhibit in celebration of the Minnesota Centennial and the 75th anniversary of the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts.


100 items


The collection consists of 100 photograph illustrations taken by Jerome Liebling for A Century of Minnesota Architecture, edited by Donald Torbert.


The collection is arranged alphabetically.

Related Material

Ellerbe Architects papers (N4)

American Terra Cotta papers (N5)

Donald Torbert Photograph collection (N8)

A Century of Minnesota Architecture photographs
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Collecting Area Details

Contact The Northwest Architectural Archives Collecting Area