Hidden legacy

After the war

Letter from Ludwig Munz to Edward Carter, 1940

Letter from Ludwig Münz to Edward J. 'Bobby' Carter, dated 1 July 1940
© RIBA Library Photographs Collection

  

An eight-page inventory of portfolios of drawings and other material shows that a major part of Loos's legacy was deposited at the RIBA together with a large documentary collection of texts by and about Loos, his friends and contemporaries. Most intriguingly, in a letter to Edward Carter, dated 1 July 1940, Münz announced his intention 'ultimately to bequeath the Loos collection to the Institute'. However, he stipulated in the same breath that he would make the final decision after the war.

Evidence indicates that throughout the war the Loos archive was preserved in the lower basement of the RIBA building at 66 Portland Place. After the end of hostilities, in June 1946 Münz decided to take it back with him to Vienna, where he became director of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, and the RIBA returned the collection to him. Münz died suddenly in Munich in 1957 and his widow then sold the Loos-Münz archive to the Albertina, where it has been open to researchers ever since. The far-sighted and timely action of Carter and the RIBA Library made possible the preservation of a precious collection that has continued to enrich the growing body of Loos scholarship.

 

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