Project files containmagazine and newspaper clippings, reviews, correspondence, renderings, floor plans, perspective drawings, site plans, sketches, preliminary drawings, patents, stationery, labels, and technical reports. There is an extensive collection of photographs and slides of many of Deskey's packaging designs, interiors, furnishings, and exhibition installations. The files of Donald Deskey Associates include organizational charts, client files, proposals, and financial records. Some of Deskey's personal correspondence, speeches, articles, and family photographs are included. Materials cover the period from 1927-1975.
Arranged into six records groups: 1) architecture/interiors projects; 2)Donald Deskey Associates; 3) industrial design projects; 4) reference; 5) Donald Deskey's personal papers; and 6) photographs. A special collection of more than one thousand slides of Deskey's work are boxed separately.
Industrial, interior, and packaging designer. Born Blue Earth, Minnesota, November 23, 1894. By 1943, he had established Donald Deskey Associates in New York. Along with Dreyfuss, Bel Geddes, and Loewy, Deskey was one of the great industrial design pioneers in the 1930s.
He is best known for his designs for the furnishings and interiors of Radio City Music Hall in 1932, and for his work for companies such as: Widdicomb Furniture Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan; W & J Sloane, New York; and Estey Manufacturing Company, Owosso, Michigan. Deskey is also known for his familiar packaging designs for Procter & Gamble products, such as Crest toothpaste, Prell shampoo, and Tide detergent.
Donald Deskey Associates also was responsible for lamppost #10, the streetlight still in use today in New York City. Materials from this archival collection were featured in Cooper-Hewitt's 1994 exhibition and accompanying book, "Packaging the New: Design and the American Consumer, 1925- 1975."
Location of Other Archival Materials Note:
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Drawings and Prints Department. Approximately 3,000 drawings for furniture and textile designs.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Applied Arts Department. Two tables, handles, and a glass bottle and box designed by Deskey.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Textiles Department. One textile designed by Deskey.
Other sources of archival information on Deskey include, the Procter & Gamble Archive, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Deskey Associates, New York City.
The Deskey collection was donated to the museum in three installments.
In 1975, Deskey deposited at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum,, hundreds of drawings, 3 four-drawer file cabinets of material, and several oversized packages comprising the bulk of his papers covering the period from 1927-1965. These items were officially donated to the museum in 1988.
In 1992, Deskey Associates of New York made an additional gift consisting of, approximately 1,000 35mm slides that documented projects from the 1960s through 1980s, and focused primarily on designs for packaging.
In 1994, Donald Deskey's nephew, Robert Deskey presented the Museum with, 120 postcards, letters, and family photographs.
Unrestricted research use onsite by appointment. Permission of staff required to photograph materials.
The eleven boxes contain documentation relating to project files including business correspondence, invoices, sketches, contracts and agreements, research materials, brochures, photographs, slides and models.
This collection, which includes some biographical material and which is specifically related to the design process and to the use of plastics, is interesting because it sufficiently covers the work of this inventor and experimenter. This collection includes Winfield's work in plastics in conjunction with architecture, building and design.
Biographical / Historical:
Armand G. Winfield, pioneering plastics researcher and consultant. Throughout the past fifty-six years Winfield has done extensive research and development in the areas of plastics in architecture and building, art, museum work, industry (applications engineering), and low cost housing for developing countries. In addition, he has worked in the entertainment field on the application of plastics for stage sets and amusement parks. His career is documented in over 300 published articles, chapters and books on plastics and other subjects, almost 90 of which are concerned with plastics in building and architecture.
Armand G. Winfield has been involved professionally in the plastics and business fields since 1939. He graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 1941 and did graduate work at the University of New Mexico, the State University of Iowa and at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. He began his career in museum work using synthetic lattices and acrylics for the preservation of specimens. His interest shifted to the plastics materials in the mid-1940s, and he invented the first mass-producible process for embedding specimens in acrylics. As a principal in Winfield Fine Art in Jewelry in New York City, he conducted precursory work for the electronics encapsulation field and pioneered biological, medical and art embedments in the United States.
Professor Winfield has been on the teaching faculties of Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa. (Undergraduate Teaching Fellowship: 1939-1941); Harris Teachers' College (1950) and Washington University School of Engineering (1956) in St. Louis, Mo.; Yale University Art School (1960-1961) in New Haven, Conn.; Pratt Institute Industrial Design Department (1964-1970) in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Visiting Critic in Architecture (Plastics), The College of the City of New York (1968-1969), New York, N.Y.; Adjunct Professor of Plastics Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell (1978-1981), Lowell, Mass.; and Research Professor Mechanical Engineering (Plastics), the University of New Mexico (Appointed 1993), Albuquerque, N.M. He has also been an invited lecture at over 40 other colleges and universities in the United States and abroad.
All materials were donated to the museum by Armand G. Winfield in 1992. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.