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Donald Deskey collection

Creator:
Deskey, Donald, 1894-  Search this
Names:
Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company  Search this
Centre de recherche en économie et statistique (Paris, France)  Search this
Charak Furniture Company  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
Deskey Associates, Inc.  Search this
Deskey-Vollmer, Inc.  Search this
Donald Deskey Associates, Inc.  Search this
Johnson & Johnson, Inc.  Search this
New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Procter & Gamble Company  Search this
Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Widdicomb Furniture Company  Search this
Deskey, Donald, 1894-  Search this
Extent:
75 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Proposals
Labels
Clippings
Renderings
Slides
Stationery
Letters patent
Financial records
Photographs
Drawings
Client lists
Correspondence
Organizational charts
Reviews
Patents
Lantern slides
Technical reports
Date:
1927-1989
Summary:
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.
Arrangement note:
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.
Biographical/Historical note:
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.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use onsite by appointment. Permission of staff required to photograph materials.
Occupation:
Packaging designers -- United States  Search this
Interior designers -- United States  Search this
Industrial designers -- United States  Search this
Topic:
Packaging -- Design  Search this
Street lighting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Buildings, Prefabricated -- United States  Search this
Plastics -- Design  Search this
Interior decoration -- United States -- 20th century  Search this
Design, Industrial -- United States  Search this
Furniture design -- United States  Search this
Art deco -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Proposals
Labels
Clippings
Renderings
Slides
Stationery
Letters patent
Financial records
Photographs
Drawings
Client lists
Correspondence
Organizational charts
Reviews
Patents
Lantern slides
Technical reports
Identifier:
SIL-CH.1975-11-77
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Libraries
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sc2dc69717a-7af5-4385-91a8-73b28e077a18
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sil-ch-1975-11-77

Saul Nesbitt Papers

Creator:
Nesbitt, Saul, 1920-1993  Search this
Names:
Archway Cookies, Inc.  Search this
Borden's Farm Products Co. of Illinois  Search this
Campbell Soup Company  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
Eastman Kodak Company  Search this
Florists' Telegraph Delivery Association  Search this
Franco American Food Co.  Search this
Lever Brothers and Unilever, ltd.  Search this
National Distillers and Chemical Corporation  Search this
Nesbitt Associates, Ltd.  Search this
P. Ballantine & Sons  Search this
Philip Morris Incorporated  Search this
Revlon, Inc.  Search this
Schick (Firm)  Search this
Scott Paper Company  Search this
Seagram Company  Search this
Collector:
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
Extent:
3.5 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Slides
Sketches
Transparencies
Press releases
Correspondence
Photographs
Media lists
Blueprints
Drawings
Clippings
Client lists
Date:
1951-1984
Scope and Contents:
Background and biographical information consists of Nesbitt's resume, an artist/designer statement, list of clients and accomplishments of Nesbitt Associates, Ltd., press releases, articles, and photographs of the designer.,The materials in this collection document Nesbitt's work from 1951 through 1984.
The records of the office of public relations cover the years 1955-1963 and include press releases and clippings describing some Nesbitt's products, his theories on consumer motivation, and the results of his surveys, as well as correspondence with members of the press. General office correspondence is boxed separately.
Color slides, color and black & white transparencies, and black & white photographs of most of Nesbitt's designs for packaging from 1951-1981 are included. Oversized materials include books jackets and booklets designed by Nesbitt, as well as some renderings for packaging designs done in color.
Three samples of fitted presentation boxes designed by Nesbitt are included, as well as a prototype for a design award for Parsons School of Design in New York, and two "Multiplication" cubes commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Arrangement:
This collection has been reboxed in archivally-sound containers, but the materials have only been partially processed and arranged. Record groups include: 1) Backgound and Biographical Information; 2) Records of the Public Relations Office, 1955-1963; 3) Correspondence; 4) Slides, Transparencies, and Photographs; 5) Oversized Materials; and 6) Samples.
Biographical / Historical:
Packaging, industrial, and graphic designer. Born in New York City, August 10, 1920. Nesbitt was a student of sculptor Chaim Gross and studied art at many New York institutions including: Art Students League; New York University; Columbia University; Pratt Institute of Art; and the New School.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945 where he worked as a cartographer and as the head of the visual aid section in a military intelligence training center. In 1945, he joined the staff of Harper's Bazaar magazine where he was an illustrator assisting art director Alexey Brodovich. In 1946, Nesbitt was hired by the industrial design studio of Raymond Loewy as a handletterer and packaging designer.

He worked with Lippincott Industrial Design from 1948 to 1951. Nesbitt opened his own design studio, Nesbitt Associates, Ltd. in 1951. The firm specialized in package design, trademarks, and corporate identities. Some of his most recognizable designs were for the label for Campbell's Soup and the Florists' Telegraph Delivery (F.T.D.) Winged Mercury 'Interflora' figure, still used today. Nesbitt's other clients included: Franco American; Revlon; Ballantine Beer; Borden; Champion spark plugs; Kodak; Philip Morris cigarettes; Schick razors; and Archway cookies. In addition, Nesbitt developed the "Karry Kit" for Ballantine Beer which came to be widely used and known as the six pack.

Nesbitt was known for his revealing studies and surveys of the buying needs and preferences of the "average American housewife" and consumers in general. His opinions on what he referred to as "underpackaging" were widely publicized in professional magazines and journals. In 1984, Nesbitt retired from the design field and went to California to resume his career as a sculptor until his death in 1993.
Provenance:
Collection donated by the designer's wife, Mrs. Saul Nesbitt, in 1994.
Restrictions:
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 archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
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.
Occupation:
Industrial designers  Search this
Packaging designers  Search this
Graphic designers  Search this
Topic:
Consumers -- Research  Search this
Consumers' preferences -- United States  Search this
Housewives as consumers  Search this
Labels -- Design  Search this
Corporate image -- Design  Search this
Logos (Symbols) -- Design  Search this
Graphic arts -- United States  Search this
Design, Industrial -- United States  Search this
Packaging -- Design  Search this
Genre/Form:
Slides
Sketches
Transparencies
Press releases
Correspondence
Photographs -- 20th century
Media lists
Blueprints
Drawings
Clippings
Client lists
Citation:
Saul Nesbitt Papers, 1951-1984, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1275
See more items in:
Saul Nesbitt Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep857e2f039-d3d5-4307-a474-a5e5072e4e74
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1275

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