The Biographical and Professional Series (0.5 linear feet, 1942-1990), although limited in quantity, is the portion of the collection that offers the widest overview of Muschenheim's life and work. Researchers will find fairly detailed material useful for becoming familiar with accomplishments at various stages of his career. Particularly valuable are the files regarding nomination for Fellowship, American Institute of Architects. Nomination materials include comprehensive biographical statistics (to 1961); descriptions of achievements in design work, exhibitions and jury participation; detailed data regarding publications; and achievements related to initiatives in education. Also important is a file with material about Peter Behrens and his school in Vienna, Austria, where Muschenheim was immersed in modern theory from 1925 to 1929. Additionally, the series includes a folder with various "lists of work," created at different times for different purposes and a transcription of an interview conducted by the Oral History Research Office of Columbia University in 1987 (a copy of the finding aid, "The William Muschenheim Architectural Drawings and Papers, 1902-1990," Avery Library, Columbia University, is also included in the series). A folder containing obituaries is an excellent source for studying how Muschenheim's career was assessed at the time of his death in 1990.
Muschenheim arrived at the University of Michigan as a visiting professor in 1950, but stayed after one semester to become professor of architecture in the same year. Material in the University of Michigan Teaching Career, College of Architecture and Design Series (1.5 linear feet, 1951-1989) sheds light on the level of enthusiasm and depth of thinking he brought to teaching. Close inspection of the series will reveal some of the ways his integrated and universal approach to life and work manifested itself in the academic world. Essentially comprised of course materials -- syllabi, lecture notes, handouts, reading lists, and exam questions, a large portion (.75 linear ft.) contains student papers from Architecture 523, "Theory and Philosophy in Architecture," arranged topically. Students in this class analyzed aspects of philosophical and intellectual attitudes that prevailed in various time periods and in various parts of the world, writing papers that described "aspects which have universal validity in providing guidance towards the solution of contemporary architectural problems." [Architecture 523, Box 2, Muschenheim Papers] The other course most fully documented is Architecture 82, "History of Design." Its emphasis was on the recognition of the historic role of the designer to "crystallize in visual symbols what poets and philosophers were crystallizing verbally." The purpose, however, was "to bring bearing on a more complete evaluation of the contemporary scene...to become clearer as to what led up to the present circumstances." [Architecture 82, Box 1, Muschenheim Papers] Additional material in the series includes the doctoral work of Maggi Jonsson, leading Icelandic architect, committee participation (including the Theater Building Committee for the University of Michigan's Power Center) and correspondence.