Unusual Finds from the Knowles Blunck Architecture collection

At the beginning of May 2018, I started working on MS 703, a collection donated by an architecture firm called Knowles Blunck Architecture. This Des Moines based firm donated materials chronicling their various projects through documents, slides, photos, and negatives. My previous project largely contained only paper records, so I was excited to work with new formats. When I was first assigned this project I was informed of two things: all the materials were organized into binders and this collection could contain dirt from the firm’s job sites. Since then I have gone through many boxes filled with binders and the dirt is not actually the strangest material I have discovered in this collection. While processing the collection I have found wallpaper, photos with speech bubbles drawn in, and even homemade panoramas.  These materials stuck out to me, so I decided to focus on them in this blog post.

Dirt from various job sites can be found in some of the binders.

Knowles Blunck Binder with Dirt
This picture shows how much dirt from a work site came out of a binder.

These swatches of wallpaper were taken during a renovation Knowles Blunck completed in the East Village in Des Moines, Iowa. They were in a building located at 420 Locust Street and are undated.

Wallpaper samples taken out of 420 Locust St, Des Moines, IA during renovation.

When Knowles Blunck was Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck, the firm worked on an addition to Drake Legal Clinic in which they added a mock court room which can be seen in this homemade panorama. This collection has contained many photos taped together to show a larger range of certain rooms.

Knowles Blunck Panorama
This shows the full layout of the panorama they created by taping together 15 individual photographs.
KB Panorama
Another view of the panorama shot.

This photo is also from the addition at Drake Legal Clinic. It was taken in a room containing audio visual equipment. This photo is not the only photo I have discovered with writing on it, but it is the only one I have seen with a speech bubble.

SpeechBubble
This shows one of the doodles added to a photograph in this collection.

About this entry

Original post: Unusual Finds from the Knowles Blunck Architecture collection

Publication date: July 25, 2018

References

  • Knowles Blunck Architecture collection, MS 703, Iowa State University Library Special Collections and University Archives.

 

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Cardinal Tales: Highlights from 2018 by Iowa State University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book