Cyrus Sutherland : Architect, Educator and Preservationist

This digital exhibit is intended to provide a glimpse into the work of Cyrus Sutherland, Architect and Educator. Through these images, Sutherland is revealed as a thoughtful student, a gifted practitioner, a knowledgeable educator and a passionate hands-on preservationist.

Selections from the Cyrus Sutherland Papers

Cyrus Sutherland

This digital exhibit provides a glimpse into the work of Cyrus Sutherland, architect and University of Arkansas professor. Special Collections is pleased to make these digital resources available in conjunction with the opening of the Cyrus Sutherland Papers. Through these images, Sutherland is revealed as a thoughtful student, a gifted practitioner, a knowledgeable educator, and a passionate hands-on preservationist.

Cyrus Arden Sutherland was born in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1920. He served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, studied radio broadcasting at the University of Arkansas and the University of Iowa, and earned a Master of Architecture degree at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. After practicing architecture in the Boston area and in Europe, Sutherland returned to his home state in 1958 with his wife, the former Martha Slocum, to teach at the University of Arkansas’s Department of Architecture, forerunner to today’s Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. Sutherland earned the rank of University Professor and was awarded emeritus status upon retirement from the School of Architecture in 1990.

Sutherland’s contributions took many forms. He sparked enthusiasm for architectural history for hundreds of students and provided leadership in the documentation of thousands of buildings, of which nearly 150 were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. He was recognized for his work in architectural preservation numerous times. Among the prestigious awards he received were the Parker Westbrook Award for Distinction in Historic Preservation Advocacy from the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas (1988) and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arkansas Historical Association (2002).

Sutherland was an early advocate for architectural preservation in Arkansas, combining his discerning eye with his passion for classical architecture and knowledge of architectural history. In addition, he recognized the formal compositions and origins of humble Arkansas vernacular building types, buildings that might otherwise have been easily dismissed. Arkansas is richer for Sutherland’s persistence and dedication to both education and architectural preservation.

This digital exhibit represents a fraction of the materials found in the Cyrus Sutherland Papers. The collection include drawings, correspondence, and other material on Sutherland’s architectural projects; notes and materials for his manuscript, Buildings of Arkansas; and materials from his tenure at the University of Arkansas, including student projects, photographs related to architectural preservation, and architectural history. The finding aid for the Cyrus Sutherland Papers contains more biographical information in addition to detailing the collection content and its organization:

Cyrus Sutherland Papers Finding Aid

The Cyrus Sutherland Papers enhance the holdings of the Arkansas Architectural Archives. These archives house the collections of architects and landscape architects with significant connections to the state and document the designed environment in Arkansas. Please visit the Arkansas Architectural Archives page to learn more about these collections:

Arkansas Architectural Archives

For questions about this digital project or the Arkansas Architectural Archives, please contact us at or 479-575-5577.

Technical Information

Images were digitized and processed by Digital Services personnel utilizing an Epson Expression 1000XL scanner, and a HD Ultra series Wide Format Scanner. Optical Character Recognition was added using ABBYY FineReader. CONTENTdm digital asset management software from OCLC was used for creating metadata, using Dublin Core standards, Library of Congress Name Authorities, and the Art and Architectural Thesaurus.

The project was completed in December 2015 and was coordinated by Angela Fritz and Catherine Wallack with additional collaboration by Deb Kulczak, Martha Parker, Lee Holt, Rebehak Garrett, and Dylan Hurd.

Project Citation

“Cyrus Sutherland: Architect, Educator and Preservationist.” Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, December 2015.