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Simon Lissim Papers, 1924-1981

Collector:
Lissim, Simon 1900-
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive
Donor:
Dee, Elaine Evans
Author:
Philip Prince, consort of Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain 1921-
Subject:
Boulme, Claude
Manufacture nationale de Sèvres
Lenox China (Firm)
Castleton China, Inc
Georg Jensen, inc
City University of New York City College
Claude Boulme, Inc
Carl Sorensen & Son
Jonals & Co
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive
Physical description:
1.6 cu. ft.: 10 boxes
Type:
Correspondence
Collection descriptions
Contracts
Scrapbooks
Clippings
Photographs
Slides
Photostats
Drawings
Catalogs
Brochures
Invoices
Press releases
Place:
France
Date:
1924
1924-1981
20th century
Notes:
Porcelain, theater, and metalwork designer. Born, Kiev, Russia, 1900. Lissim left Russia in 1919 and moved to Paris where he resided until 1940. In all of Lissim's designs, his appreciation for nature is apparent in his use of fish, birds, flowers, and other motifs.
In 1921, he began designing scenery and costumes for the Theatre de l'Oeuve in Paris. In 1924, he created his first designs for the Sevres porcelain factory. His relationship with Sevres lasted for more than 40 years and some of his designs are still being produced. His work achieved a gold medal at the 1929 Exposition Internationale Des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Barcelona. Lissim made his first journey to the United States in 1935, and by 1936, his designs for the theater were featured in exhibitions in this country. His porcelains were featured in exhibitions at The Smith College Museum of Art, 1939, and Georg Jensen, Inc., 1941.
Lissim became Head of the Art Education Project at the New York Public Library in 1942. In 1947 he began teaching at the City Univerity of New York's City College campus, where he also designed commencement costumes for the Chancellor, President, and Chief Marshal. In 1952, Lissim became an art consultant for Castleton China, Inc. in New Castle, Pennsylvania. His work was featured in the exhibition, "A Designer's Interpretation of Nature", held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York in 1953. In 1954, Lissim created his first silver pieces of jewelry and flatware manufactured by Carl Sorensen & Son, Copenhagen, Denmark. In the early 60s, Lissim created three designs for plates that were executed by Claude Boulme. He continued to work and hold exhibitions at his studio in Dobbs Ferry, New York, until his death in 1981.
Summary:
Exhibition catalogs, correspondence, photographs, slides, drawings, photostats, contracts, book proofs, and related biographical material on Lissim. Extensive material on the designer's work for the Sevres porcelain factory includes correspondence, original contracts, photographs of porcelains and designs for porcelains, slides, drawings, and invoices.
A copy of the brochure for the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, 1925, is included, which features many of Lissim's designs. Also included are his designs for commencement caps and gowns, and other related ephemera for the City University of New York's City College.
The collection contains a mock-up of his 1952 publication, "How to be an Artist", which describes different techniques and how to apply them to greeting cards, porcelains, and textiles. Copies of the introduction and biographical sections of his book "An Artist's Interpretation of Nature", published in 1958 are included.
One scrapbook contains articles, reviews, personal correspondence, press releases, and brochures. Among Lissim's personal correspondence are letters exchanged with Prince Philip of England, an avid collector of his work. Material on Lissim's work for the theater consists of exhibition brochures, correspondence, and lists of institutions in possession of his work. In addition, the collection contains photographs of Lissim's designs for jewelry, flatware, and textiles.
Cite as:
Simon Lissim Papers, 1924-1981, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Topic:
Designers--Porcelain
Porcelain design--History
Theater design--History
Theater designers
Local number:
2012.3086 (NMAH Acc.)
1997-13-1
Data Source:
Archives Center - NMAH

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