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Curtis and Davis Project Photographs

Identifier: SEAA-175

Scope and Contents

This collection includes project photographic prints and negatives from the office of New Orleans architects Curtis and Davis Architects and Engineers (Nathaniel C. Curtis, Jr. 1917-1997; Arthur Q. Davis, 1920-2011). Photographs and negatives were taken from various offices in New Orleans, New York, New York, Los Angeles, California, Berlin, Germany, and London, England. Projects were international in scope, and include academic, commercial, medical, prison, religious, residential, and transportation buildings.


  • 1940s–1970s


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is the physical property of Tulane University Special Collections. Copyright belongs to the creators or their legal heirs and assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or owner’s heir for permission to publish where Tulane University Special Collections does not hold the copyright. For further information, please contact Research Services at

Biographical / Historical

Curtis and Davis Architects and Engineers was founded in 1947 by Nathaniel Cortlandt Curtis, Jr. (1917-1997) and Arthur Quentin Davis (1920-2011). Both Curtis and Davis were born in New Orleans, and both graduated from Tulane University School of Architecture. Curtis was the son of another New Orleans architect and Tulane School of Architecture professor, Nathaniel Cortlandt Curtis, Sr. (1881-1953). Davis studied under Walter Gropius at Harvard and received his Master’s in Architecture from that university in 1946.

In New Orleans and the broader region of Louisiana, the firm designed sizable mid-to-later 20th century buildings, including the New Orleans Public Library, Automotive Life Insurance, Cabrini Church, the Rivergate, the Louisiana Superdome, and many others. They were also responsible for many of the area’s early Modernist residences. Outside Louisiana, the firm was successful in designing buildings throughout the United States, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. Buildings included the IBM Building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, and the Medical Center of the Free University in West Berlin.

The firm was dissolved in 1978. Curtis and Davis went on to form their own firms. Curtis was the principal designer for 1996 alterations to the original Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane University. Built in 1940, his father, Nathaniel C. Curtis, Sr. had a large hand in the design of Howard-Tilton, working in the office of Moise Goldstein, the architect of the building. Davis went on to design the New Orleans Arena, which sits next to their Louisiana Superdome, now the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.


30.97 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into three series: Series 1: Project Photographs; Series 2: Rivergate International Exhibition Facility Photographs; Series 3: Project Photo Negatives.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Project photographic prints, were given by Curtis and Davis, individually in the 1980s and 1990s. Photographic negatives were given by the family of Nathaniel Curtis, Jr. in 1998.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Tulane University Special Collections Repository

Jones Hall Room 202
6801 Freret Street
New Orleans 70118 US