fb icon

Schindler House

For many years these images had been filed in Ned Scott's negative folders with no designation, date, or purpose for their creation. No prints existed in the print files for these negs.  As with all negs from the files, the archive processed them for proofs of the images.  These were then filed and copyrighted under the name "bauhaus" house.   Only recently were these discovered to be photographs of the largest residential structure designed by renowned Southern California architect Rudolf M. Schindler.  It was further made clear that these were the only ones of this structure in existence which survived in their original format (4 x 5) negatives.

It is clear and obvious why Ned Scott created these images for this 1937 vintage house.  Ned and the home's owner, the photographer, director, script writer and all around media man Henwar Rodakiewicz were great and fast friends from the earlier days at the Camera Club of New York and the 1934 "Redes" film production in Mexico.  They maintained their friendship through the '30's and '40's while Henwar was attending to projects around the country and Ned Scott was ensconced in Hollywood doing his freelance still photography tasks.  While Henwar was away on assignments, he and Ned kept in touch with letters and the occasional phone call.

These letters reveal that right after the time this house was designed and built in 1937, Henwar departed shortly for New York to work on "The City", a Ralph Steiner driven documentary about New York City.  He stayed there over a year and saw the project through to completion.  What's interesting is that these letters demonstrate a casual, offhand attitude toward money; the point being that Henwar was on a short leash there in New York.  The topic of money never worried Henwar.  When he married Peggy Bok, former wife of Curtis Bok, in August 1936, he found himself with a very wealthy wife.  The newspaper notice mentioned that both bride and groom were going to reside in the bride's "hilltop" home in town (Los Angeles).  No doubt this is the Schindler house in Beverly Hills. If this point has the ring of truth about it, then the Schindler house for Henwar was actually built a year earlier.  Toward the end of Henwar's work schedule in 1939, his letters began to ring with complaints about his wife, and these complaints were strident and they were money based.

The assumption then becomes that while this Schindler house is known as Henwar Rodakiewicz's house, it actually belonged to Peggy, his wife.  And certainly Peggy who had recently parted company with her wealthy former husband, taking their three children, had access to adequate funds to build such a large and lavish structure in a still shaky economic environment following the Great Depression.  Ned Scott also had a relationship with Peggy, and this is revealed in a letter file from 1934 when Peggy was living in England and shuttling via cruise liner between the London and New York.  So it makes perfect sense that Ned Scott would step up to photograph this new Schindler house for Peggy and Henwar (also known as the "Peggyvars" to their friends), and make prints to their specifications.  However, no prints have ever been located from this file.  Only the negs exist, and they are nitrate films.