Seymour Robins was a graphic and industrial designer. Born in Canada, he lived most of his life in New York City and had his design practice there. Although locking together slotted pieces of paper was done for many years, Robins developed them into a unique art form in itself. He had successful design assignments for AT&T, Diamond International Corporation, Genesco, Mohawk Paper Mills, Neenah Paper, Creative Playthings, and a host of other names in American industry. Robins designed the complex and precise Armillary Sphere for the Smithsonian, and has done paper sculptures for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Whitney Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Philadelphia Museum, and others. Over the years his demands and guidance for perfection in production have forced graphic arts suppliers into innovative improvements that have raised the level of die-makers' and the die-cutters' crafts. His work appears regularly in international design journals and is in the permanent collection at the Cooper-Hewitt Archives.
Original acquisition: Project catalogs for Mohawk Paper Mills and Neenah Paper, a division of Kimberly-Clark. The collection documents Robins' work as a graphic and industrial designer.
2016 addendum: Biographical information; an armillary sphere constructed of paper; lecture notes; writings and articles; a few documents from Robins's military career; correspondence, mostly with social historian Hadley Cantril; photographs; conference programs and booklets; and books, apparently from Robins's own library.
Seymour Robins Papers, 1944-2004, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
2012.3088 (NMAH Acc.)
2016.3036 (NMAH Acc.)
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