This collection documents Horwitt's major projects from the 1930s to the 1960s.Project files include drawings, sketches, blueprints, correspondence, patents, legal correspondence, clippings, financial reports, and advertisements for Horwitt's projects. Samples of logos and letterheads he designed are included as well. The most thorough documentation pertains to the Braquette, the Cyclometer, the Museum Watch, and the Beta Chair. Drawings, sketches, blueprints, and plans are boxed separately, mostly flat. Interviews with individuals who worked with and knew Horwitt are on audio cassettes, "Recollections of Nathan Horwitt." Two short videos, "The Legend behind the Museum Watch" and "Movado Worldwide Museum" are stored on 3/4 in. video cassettes.
Arranged in six record groups; 1) Project files; 2) Drawings, sketches, and blueprints; 3) Film and video; 4) Photographs and Transparencies; 5) Sound Recordings; and 6) Reference Material.
Industrial designer. Born Romania, 1889. Horwitt studied at City University of New York, New York University, and the Art Students' League, New York. In the 1920s, Horwitt formed his own, short-lived company, Design Engineers, Inc. He served as an advertising copywriter for the pharmaceutical company, E.R. Squibb, after serving in World War II.
Horwitt is best known for his design of a numberless black-face watch that has become known as the "Museum Watch" and was produced by the Movado Watch Company. He also designed the 1930 Beta chair and the Braquette, a frameless picture frame. His innovative designs for timepieces incorporated the classic elements of modern design while retaining some of the traditional elements of telling time, such as the circular face.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note:
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Applied Arts Department. Models and prototypes of approximately 25 objects, including models of the Museum Clock, the Cyclox clock, the Braquette, and the Beta Chair.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Drawings and Prints Department. Three drawings of Horwitt's designs for perfume bottles.
Movado Web Page. Information on Horwitt's work for the Movado Watch Company can be found on the company's web site, http://www.movado.ch/nhorwit.html.
Hank Horwitt, the designer's son, gave Cooper-Hewitt all his relevant design materials from his home studio in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in 1991.
Unrestricted research use onsite by appointment. Permission of staff required to photograph materials.
This series consists of the business and personal correspondence of Edith Gregor Halpert and the Downtown Gallery. For the most part, this series is general business correspondence concerning routine activities of the Downtown Gallery, including the American Folk Art Gallery and the Daylight Gallery, both operated by the Downtown Gallery on the same premises. Included are correspondence with clients, employees, other galleries, and colleagues concerning sales, loans, purchases, appraisals, and so forth; arrangements for shipping, framing, photography, reproduction permissions, and insurance; and gallery housekeeping and improvements, ordering of supplies, and other administrative concerns.
Also included is personal correspondence of Edith Gregor Halpert. There are letters and greeting cards from nieces, nephews, and other relatives; correspondence with longtime friends, including some who were art collectors, museum curators, or museum directors; and correspondence concerning upkeep and improvement of her Newtown, Connecticut, country home and entertaining there.
See Appendix A for a list of selected correspondents from Series 1
Letters (with enclosures) are arranged chronologically, with those of the same date alphabetized by name of correspondent; undated material is arranged alphabetically, followed by unidentified correspondents and letters bearing illegible signatures.
Box numbers provided in the Container Listing are approximate.
Appendix A: List of Selected Correspondents in Series 1:
Names and titles indicated in this list are those that appear on the letters. Where appropriate, terms have been standardized and cross-referencing provided. Because filing is not always consistent, researchers are advised to check both the name of an individual and the institution that he or she represented.
Abate Associates, Inc., 1956
Abbot and Land, 1965
Abbot, B. Vincent, 1944
Abbot, Bernice, 1957
Abbot, John E., 1945, 1948
Abbot Laboratories, 1950, 1952
ABC Employment Agency, 1951
Richard Abel and Co., Inc., 1968
Abendroth, Robert W., 1966-1967
Abercrombie and Fitch Co., 1962
Abilene Museum of Fine Arts, undated, 1949, 1954
Abingdon Square Painters, 1965
Abraham and Straus, 1930, 1960, 1965-1966, 1968
Abraham, Mae C., 1965
Abrahamsen, Mrs. David, 1962
Abramowitz, M., 1958
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1958-1960, 1965-1966, 1968-1969
[incomplete; without signature], undated, 1953, 1961, 1967, 1968
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
The Downtown Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Prior to publishing information regarding sales transactions, researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from both artist and purchaser involved. If it cannot be established after a reasonable search whether an artist or purchaser is living, it can be assumed that the information may be published sixty years after the date of sale.
Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974, bulk 1926-1969. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing, microfilming and digitization of the microfilm of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.