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Lissim, Simon, 1900-1981  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
Carl Sorensen & Son  Search this
Castleton China, Inc.  Search this
City University of New York. City College  Search this
Claude Boulme, Inc.  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
Georg Jensen, Inc.  Search this
Jonals & Co.  Search this
Lenox China (Firm)  Search this
Manufacture nationale de Sèvres  Search this
Boulme, Claude  Search this
Dee, Elaine Evans  Search this
Philip, Prince, consort of Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain, 1921-  Search this
1.5 Cubic feet
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Press releases
1924 - 1981
Scope and Contents:
This collection covers the period 1924-81 and consists of 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. Most of the material relating to Sevres is in French. A copy of the brochure for the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, 1925, is included, which features many of his 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. A scrapbook consists of 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.
Biographical / Historical:
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.
Related Archival Materials:
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Applied Arts Department A Lenox vase, plates, cups, and saucers. A sterling silver pin, paperweight, and cutlery. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Department of Drawings and Prints Designs for plates, vases, and other porcelain pieces, silver cutlery, stage designs, playing cards, and greeting cards. Drawings of commencement robes, a gavel, and a mace designed for City College. Poster for the Musée Céramique de Sévres. Additional archival materials can be found at The New York Public Library, Theater Division; City University of New York, City College Archives; and Columbia University Libraries, Bakhmeteff Archive, New York City. Porcelains designed by Lissim are in the collections of the following museums: Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York; and The Museum of the City of New York, New York City, among others.
These materials were donated to Cooper-Hewitt by the museum's former Curator of Drawings and Prints, Elaine Evans Dee, in 1996. Transferred to the Archives Center in 2012.
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at or 202-633-3270.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Theater designers  Search this
Theater design -- History -- 20th century  Search this
Porcelain design -- History -- 20th century -- France  Search this
Designers -- Porcelain  Search this
Photographs -- 20th century
Press releases
Simon Lissim Papers, 1924-1981, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Simon Lissim Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History