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Gyorgy Kepes papers

Creator:
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Names:
Center for Advanced Visual Studies  Search this
Illinois Institute of Technology  Search this
Saidenberg Gallery  Search this
Triennale di Milano (Milan, Italy)  Search this
Arnheim, Rudolf  Search this
Bertoia, Harry  Search this
Blee, Michael  Search this
Boghosian, Varujan  Search this
Brazdys, Konslancija  Search this
Burgess, Lowry, 1940-  Search this
Burnham, Jack, 1931-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-  Search this
Dreyfuss, Henry, 1904-1972  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Egawa, Kazuhiko  Search this
Entwhistle, Clive  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-  Search this
Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Kepes, Juliet  Search this
Kowalski, Piotry  Search this
Lynch, Kevin, 1918-1984  Search this
McLuhan, Marshall, 1911-1980  Search this
Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl, 1905-  Search this
Nusberg, Lev, 1937-  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Piene, Otto, 1928-  Search this
Read, Herbert Edward, Sir, 1893-1968  Search this
Richards, I. A. (Ivor Armstrong), 1893-1979  Search this
Rickey, George  Search this
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961  Search this
Sonfist, Alan  Search this
Steinberg, Saul  Search this
Tacha, Athena, 1936-  Search this
Takis, Vassilakis  Search this
Tange, Kenzō, 1913-  Search this
Thiel, Philip  Search this
Tovish, Harold, 1921-2008  Search this
Tsʻai, Wen-ying, 1928-  Search this
Wolff, Robert Jay, 1905-  Search this
Wurster, William Wilson  Search this
Zvilna, Jēkabs, 1913-1997  Search this
Faculty:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Search this
Extent:
21.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Caricatures
Designs
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Sound recordings
Place:
Times Square (New York, N.Y.)
Date:
1909-2003
bulk 1935-1985
Summary:
The papers of Hungarian-born artist, art theorist, and educator, Gyorgy Kepes, measure 21.2 linear feet and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1935-1985. The papers document Kepes's career as an artist and educator, and as founder of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), through biographical material, correspondence, writings by Kepes and others, project files, exhibition files, printed material, sketchbooks, artwork, sound recordings and motion picture films, and photographic material.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Hungarian-born artist, art theorist, and educator, Gyorgy Kepes, measure 21.2 linear feet and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1935-1985. The papers document Kepes's career as an artist and educator, and as founder of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), through biographical material, correspondence, writings by Kepes and others, project files, exhibition files, printed material, sketchbooks, artwork, sound recordings and motion picture films, and photographic material.

Correspondence provides a wide range of documentation on all aspects of Kepes's career including his collaborations and friendships with artists, architects, writers, scientists, and fellow educators including Rudolf Arnheim, Alexander Calder, Henry Dreyfuss, Charles and Ray Eames, Clive Entwhistle, R. Buckminster Fuller, Walter Gropius, S. W. Hayter, Jean Hélion, Laszlo and Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Lev Nussberg, Robert Osborn, George Rickey, Saul Steinberg, Kenzo Tange, Robert Jay Wolff, and Jekabs Zvilna. Correspondence also documents the evolution of Kepes's vision for the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, which he established in 1967, and his subsequent leadership of CAVS at M.I.T. Records document his collaborations with students and fellows including Lowry Burgess, Jack Burnham, Piotry Kowalski, Margaret Mead, Otto Piene, Alan Sonfist, Athena Tacha, Vassilakis Takis, Philip Thiel, Harold Tovish, and Wen-Ying Tsai. Correspondents also include people who contributed to Kepes's Vision + Value series, including Michael Blee, Kazuhiko Egawa, Jean Hélion, and others. Correspondence includes three motion picture films, including what appears to be an early version of Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames.

Writings include notes and manuscripts for articles and essays in which Kepes explored ideas evident in his books The New Landscape and Language of Vision, and submitted to publications such as Daedalus, Design, Domus, and Leonardo. Writings also include manuscripts for lectures, and draft manuscripts documenting Kepes's collaborative work with fellow M.I.T. professor Kevin Lynch on city planning, which culminated in Lynch's research project "The Perceptual Form of the City."

A small group of "Times Square Project" files documents Kepes's proposal for a lightscape in Times Square that was ultimately not realized.

Teaching files include sound recordings of circa five symposia and discussions held at M.I.T., the Illinois Institute of Technology, and elsewhere, some featuring Kepes and including Philip Johnson, Eero Saarinen and others.

Exhibition files include documentation of three exhibitions, including Light as a Creative Medium (1968) and a Kepes exhibition at Saidenberg Gallery (1968). They also record Kepes's involvement in designing the 1968 Triennale di Milano.

Printed material includes a substantial collection of announcements and catalogs for Kepes exhibitions, lectures, and other events, and includes catalogs and announcements for scattered exhibitions of his wife, artist and illustrator, Juliet Kepes. Clippings from newspapers and magazines include articles about Kepes, and contain some copies of published writings and designs by him. The series also includes sound recordings and motion picture films containing original material for a CBS television series "The 21st Century," probably as part of the episode "Art for Tomorrow," which appear to feature M.I.T. fellows Jack Burnham and Vassilakis Takis. Another motion picture film of an Italian documentary "Operazione Cometa" can also be found here.

Two sketchbooks contain pen and ink and painted sketches by Kepes. Artwork by Kepes includes original poster designs, caricatures, and many pencil, and pen and ink sketches and paintings on paper and board, including designs for stained glass. Artwork by others includes ink on mylar sketches by D. Judelson and Konstancija Brazdys, and a sketch by Harold Tovish. Also found are circa seventeen motion picture films and four sound recordings, the majority of which are untitled and by unidentified artists, but include films by M.I.T. fellows Otto Piene, Vassilakis Takis, Philip Thiel, Harold Tovish, Wen-Ying Tsai, and others.

Photographs are of Kepes, Juliet Kepes, and other family members; students, colleagues, and friends, including R. Buckminster Fuller, Serge Chermayeff, Harry Bertoia, Varujan Boghosian, Alexander Calder, Marchall McLuhan, Margaret Mead, Herbert Read, I. A. Richards, Saul Steinberg, and William Wurster; and of Kepes in his studio. There are also photos of exhibition installations in which Kepes's work appeared or which he designed, and photos of his artwork and of images for publications which he wrote or edited. Photos by others include artwork by established artists and work by students, as well as photographs arranged by subjects such as cityscapes, forms found in nature, light patterns, mechanical devices, and photomicrographs. A collection of lantern slides with similar content to the photos of artwork and photos by subject is also found in this series and includes a lantern slide of Picasso creating a design with light.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as eleven series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1940-circa 1980 (0.25 linear feet; Boxes 1, 28)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1936-1984 (5.7 linear feet; Boxes 1-7, 28 OV 33, FCs 39-41)

Series 3: Interviews and Transcripts, 1954-1970 (4 folders; Box 7)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1948-circa 1980s (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 28)

Series 5: Times Square Project Files, 1972-1974 (6 folders; Box 9)

Series 6: Teaching Files Sound Recordings, circa 1953-1972 (0.7 linear feet; Box 9)

Series 7: Exhibition Files, 1958-1973 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 9-10)

Series 8: Printed Material, circa 1922-1989 (3.6 linear feet; Boxes 10-12, 28-29, OVs 35, 37, FCs 42-49)

Series 9: Sketchbooks, circa 1940s-circa 1970s (2 folders; Box 12)

Series 10: Artwork and Moving Images, circa 1924-2003 (2.5 linear feet; Boxes 12, 13, OVs 33-36, 38, FCs 50-62)

Series 11: Photographs, 1909-1988 (10.4 linear feet; Boxes 13-32)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, designer, art theorist, and educator, Gyorgy Kepes (1906-2001), was born in Selyp, Hungary, and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest. He worked with Moholy-Nagy in Berlin and London before joining him at the New Bauhaus (later the Chicago Institute of Design) in 1937.

Kepes taught courses at the New Bauhaus from 1937 to 1945, and published Language of Vision in 1944, summarizing the educational ideas and methods he had developed during his time at the institute. In 1946 he accepted a teaching position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) where he initiated a program in visual design.

In 1956 Kepes published The New Landscape in Art and Science, in which he presented images from nature that were newly accessible due to developments in science and technology, and explored his ideas for a common language between science and the visual arts.

In 1965, these ideas were apparent in Kepes's proposal of an expanded visual arts program at M.I.T., which would "build new as yet undetermined bridges between art and engineering and science," according to the minutes of an M.I.T. Art Committee meeting in March of that year. Kepes's vision dovetailed with M.I.T.'s vested interest in promoting the arts, and faculty and administrators were open to the argument that "The scientific-technical enterprise needs schooling by the artistic sensibilities." In 1967, they appointed Kepes Director of M.I.T.'s Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS).

Kepes retired from the regular faculty at M.I.T. in 1967, to focus on his role as director of CAVS, where he worked to provide artists with opportunities for exploring new artistic forms on a civic scale through a working dialogue with scientists and engineers. Early fellows of the center included Maryanne Amacher, Joan Brigham, Lowry Burgess, Jack Burnham, Piotry Kowalski, Otto Piene, Vassilakis Takis, and Wen-Ying Tsai.

In 1965-1966 Kepes edited a six-volume series entitled Vision + Value, published by George Braziller, Inc. Each volume featured essays that centered around a core theme: The Education of Vision; Structure in Art and Science; The Nature and Art of Motion; Module, Symmetry, Proportion, Rhythm; Sign, Image, Symbol; and Man-Made Object. Contributions came from prominent artists, designers, architects, and scientists of the time including Rudolf Arnheim, Saul Bass, Marcel Breuer, John Cage, R. Buckminster Fuller, Johannes Itten, Marshall McLuhan, and Paul Rand.

Kepes experimented widely with photography, producing abstract images through the application of fluids and objects to photographic paper. He also took commercial work throughout his career, producing designs for all kinds of objects, including books and stained glass windows for churches. He returned to painting in the 1950s, and his development as a painter continued throughout his career at M.I.T., where he remained until his retirement in 1974, and beyond. His paintings, which were abstract and often incorporated organic shapes and hints of landscapes, can be found in museums such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Kepes received many awards during his lifetime, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1958); the Gold Star Award of the Philadelphia College of Art (1958); the National Association of Art Colleges Annual Award (1968); the California College of Art Award (1968); and the Fine Arts Medal from the American Institute of Architects (1968). In 1973 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an associate member, and became a full academician in 1978. He was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Related Materials:
Additional papers of Gyorgy Kepes can be found at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel 1211) including ninety-eight letters to Kepes from colleagues, 1946-1974. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Gyorgy Kepes lent papers for microfilming in 1974 and donated material to the Archives of American Art in a series of gifts between 1974 and 1993.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Rights:
Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce requires written permission from Juliet Kepes Stone or Imre Kepes. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Artists' studios--Photographs  Search this
City planning  Search this
Educators--Massachusetts--Cambridge  Search this
Motion pictures (visual works)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Caricatures
Designs
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Sound recordings
Citation:
Gyorgy Kepes papers, 1909-2003, bulk 1935-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kepegyor
See more items in:
Gyorgy Kepes papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kepegyor

Anton Refregier papers

Creator:
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Names:
ACA Galleries  Search this
Bard College -- Faculty  Search this
Gosudarstvennyĭ Ėrmitazh (Russia)  Search this
National Council of American-Soviet Friendship (U.S.)  Search this
New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Woodstock Artists Association (Woodstock, N.Y.)  Search this
World Peace Council  Search this
De Diego, Julio, 1900-  Search this
Dreyfuss, Henry, 1904-  Search this
Elisofon, Eliot  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Fast, Howard, 1914-  Search this
Geddes, Norman Bel, 1893-1958  Search this
Greenwood, Marion, 1909-1970  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Morley, Eugene, 1909-1953  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo, 1904-  Search this
Packard, Emmy Lou, 1914-1998  Search this
Randall, Byron, 1918-1999  Search this
Refregier, Lila  Search this
Siqueiros, David Alfaro  Search this
Yavno, Max  Search this
Extent:
35.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Travel diaries
Greeting cards
Interviews
Cartoons (working drawings)
Scrapbooks
Transcripts
Photographs
Diaries
Sketches
Place:
Chile
Soviet Union
Guatemala
Mexico
Date:
circa 1900-circa 1990
Summary:
The papers of Woodstock area painter, muralist, and designer, Anton Refregier (1905-1979) date from circa 1900 to circa 1990 and measure 35.9 linear feet. The collection records Refregier's early commercial work and murals for the Works Progress Adminstration (WPA) and documents his career through to the 1970s with records of commissions for many public and private buildings, exhibitions in the United States and abroad, teaching positions, essays and publications, and extensive travel, particularly to the Soviet Union and Mexico. The collection contains scattered biographical material, personal and business correspondence, notes and writings, 15 diaries and journals, mural and tapestry files, exhibition files, personal business records, printed material, 10 scrapbooks, artwork including sketches and cartoons for murals, and photographs of Refregier, his friends, family and travels.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Woodstock area painter, muralist, and designer, Anton Refregier (1905-1979) date from circa 1900 to circa 1990 and measure 35.9 linear feet. The collection records Refregier's early commercial work and murals for the Works Progress Adminstration (WPA) and documents his career through to the 1970s with records of commissions for many public and private buildings, exhibitions in the United States and abroad, teaching positions, essays and publications, and extensive travel, particularly to the Soviet Union and Mexico. The collection contains scattered biographical material, personal and business correspondence, notes and writings, diaries and journals, mural and tapestry files, exhibition files, personal business records, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork including sketches and cartoons for murals, and photographs of Refregier, his friends, family and travels.

Biographical material contains legal records such as Refregier's will and marriage and death records, passports, resume material and 2 interview transcripts.

Correspondence, both chronological and alphabetical, constitutes almost a third of the collection and documents all aspects of Refregier's career including his work for the WPA, private commissions, representation by ACA Galleries, his involvement with groups such as the Woodstock Artists Association and his teaching work for institutions such as Bard College. Also documented are his involvement with local political groups and international organizations such as the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship and the World Peace Council, and travels including visits to the Soviet Union. Notable correspondents include Henry Dreyfuss, Philip Evergood, Rockwell Kent, Emmy-Lou Packard, and Byron Randall. Correspondence also includes family letters written primarily by Refregier to Lila Refregier, in addition to greeting cards received by the Refregier family, many of which contain original arwork.

Writings are primarily by Refregier and include drafts of many essays and autobiographical writings, in addition to copies of published works including Natural Figure Drawing, An Artists Journey and Sketches of the Soviet Union.

The collection contains diaries and journals from 12 years in various formats including published and handmade day planners and typed and handwritten journal entries. They include sketches and primarily record travel and daily activities including specific projects such as the New York World's Fair mural (1938-1939).

Mural and Tapestry files document individual commissions bid on and/or completed by Refregier. The creation of the Rincon Annex Post Office mural and subsequent controversies over its subject matter are well-documented here, as are many of Refregier's commissions for banks, hospitals, hotels, shopping centers, and schools.

Exhibition files document at least 15 of Refregier's exhibitions, including his first one-man show at ACA Galleries (1942) and his exhibition of paintings at the Hermitage Museum (1967) in what was then Leningrad.

Personal business records contain addresses of contacts. Scattered records referencing market values for Refregier's work can be found throughout the series in records such as bills and receipts, financial notes and tax records.

Printed material provides extensive coverage of Refregier's entire career through announcements, invitations, catalogs, and news clippings. His interests in art, literature, music, theater and politics are also well-represented in these files.

The collection contains 10 scrapbooks, mostly in fragmented condition, which contain a mixture of photographs, sketches and other artwork, notes and fragments of writings, and printed material. The scrapbooks document a variety of subjects including Refregier's family life, travels to Guatemala and the Soviet Union, and the artist at work.

Artwork consists primarily of artwork by Refregier in the form of mural design sketches and cartoons in various media, including pencil, ink and pastel, in addition to 21 sketchbooks, many of which also contain journal entries and notes. Also found here are prints and reproductions of Refregier's "Peace card" block engravings for every year from 1950-1973, with the exception of 1970.

Photographs document all phases of Refregier's career and include family photographs dating from circa 1900, photos of Refregier in the studio including work for the WPA, Refregier and other artists and individuals at events and parties from the 1940s-1970s, travel snapshots probably taken in Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, and the Soviet Union, and photographs of artwork and installations. Individuals pictured include Julio de Diego, Marion Greenwood, Rockwell Kent, Pablo O'Higgins and David Siqueiros; also, a series of press photographs by Albert A. Freeman pictures Refregier with Howard Fast, Norman Bel Geddes, Marion Greenwood, John Kingsbury, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Harry Stockwell. One photograph by Eliot Elisofon, 2 by Eugene Morley and 4 by Max Yavno can also be found here.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1925-1980 (Box 1; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1912-circa 1990s (Boxes 1-11, 36, OVs 38, 45; 10.2 linear ft.)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1930s-circa 1970s (Boxes 11-14, OV 45; 3.3 linear ft.)

Series 4: Diaries and Journals, 1923-1979 (Box 15; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 5: Mural and Tapestry Files, circa 1930s-circa 1970s (Boxes 15-18, 36, OVs 38, 45, 46, RD 42; 3.65 linear ft.)

Series 6: Exhibition Files, 1942-1981 (Boxes 18-19; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 7: Personal Business Records, 1920s-1980s (Boxes 19-20; 1.8 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, circa 1920s-1980s (Boxes 21-28, 36; 7.4 linear ft.)

Series 9: Scrapbooks, 1930s-1960s (Boxes 28, 37, BV 47; 1.1 linear ft.)

Series 10: Artwork, circa 1930s-circa 1970s (Boxes 28-30, 36, OVs 40, 41, RDs 42-44; 3.5 linear ft.)

Series 11: Photographic Material, ca. 1900-1980s (Boxes 31-35, 39; 4.5 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Russian-born Woodstock painter Anton Refregier (1905-1979) immigrated to the United States in 1920. Refregier was well-known for his sometimes controversial social realist murals for the WPA.

After an apprenticeship to the sculptor, Vasilief, in Paris, Anton Refregier attended the Rhode Island School of Design from 1920-1925 and studied with Hans Hofmann in Germany in 1927. He had his first one-man show at ACA Galleries in New York City in 1942 and settled in Woodstock, New York, with his wife, Lila, and three children Anton, Jr., Brigit and Aleksandre, where he became a prominent member of the artist community.

Refregier completed several social realist murals for the federal Works Progress Adminstration (WPA) program, including one at the New York Worlds Fair in 1939 and the controversial Rincon Annex Post Office mural in San Francisco begun in 1941. He also completed interior design installations for businesses such as the nightclub, Cafe Society Uptown, and the restaurant, The Cookery, in New York City. In addition to being an easel and mural painter Refregier worked in tapestry, mosaic, ceramic, and collage, and completed many commissions for hotels, banks, hospitals, restaurants, synagogues, supermarkets and deparment stores throughout the country.

Refregier taught at various institutions including Stanford University, the University of Arkansas, and Bard College and his publications inlcude Natural Figure Drawing (1948), An Artist's Journey (1965), and Sketches of the Soviet Union (1978). He traveled regularly to the Soviet Union to explore and exchange ideas about art and culture and as a representative of the World Peace Council.

Anton Refregier died in Moscow in October 1979 while visiting the Soviet Union. His work can be found in many museums including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are an oral history interview with Anton Refregier, 1964, Nov. 5 by Joseph Trovato; and Papers regarding Anton Refregier mural controversy, 1953.
Provenance:
Donated 1983 by Lila Refregier, widow of Anton Refregier, and in 1992 by Brigit R. Sutton, Refregier's daughter.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
Authorization to quote or reproduce for purposes of publication requires written permission from Bridget R. Sutton via Bridget's son, Tim Sutton. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Tapestry  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Political clubs  Search this
Muralists -- New York -- Woodstock  Search this
Art -- Commissioning  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Woodstock  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- Archival resources -- 20th century  Search this
Designers -- New York (State)  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Travel diaries
Greeting cards
Interviews
Cartoons (working drawings)
Scrapbooks
Transcripts
Photographs
Diaries
Sketches
Citation:
Anton Refregier papers, circa 1900-circa 1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.refranto
See more items in:
Anton Refregier papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-refranto

Oral history interview with Niels Diffrient

Interviewee:
Diffrient, Niels  Search this
Interviewer:
McQuaid, Matilda, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Bassett, Chuck  Search this
Dreyfuss, Henry, 1904-1972  Search this
Hernmarck, Helena, 1941-  Search this
King, Bob  Search this
Knoll, Florence, 1917-  Search this
Knoll, Hans  Search this
Loewy, Raymond  Search this
Magnusson, Carl G., 1940-  Search this
Rowland, David Lincoln, 1924-2010  Search this
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961  Search this
Saarinen, Eliel, 1873-1950  Search this
Whelan, Elizabeth  Search this
Wolf, Henry, 1852-1916  Search this
Extent:
55 Pages (Transcript)
4 Items (Sound recording: 4 sound files (2 hr., 58 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Italy -- description and travel
Michigan -- Detroit -- Description and Travel
Mississippi -- Description and Travel
Date:
2010 July 28-August 31
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Niels Diffrient conducted 2010 July 28 and August 31, by Matilda McQuaid, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Diffrient's home and studio, in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Diffrient speaks of growing up in Detroit while spending his summers with his mother's family in Mississippi; the value of growing up on a farm; attending Cass Technical High School in Detroit; realizing that he did not want to work in a factory; learning about crafts at Cranbrook Academy; travelling to Italy on a Fulbright Grant; working with Italian versus American designers; designing office chairs; the state of education in America. Diffrient's wife, Helena Hernmarck, contributes to the discussion of craft, weaving, and textiles. Diffrient also recalls Hans and Florence Knoll, Eero Saarinen, Eliel Saarinen, Chuck Bassett, David Rowland, Henry Dreyfuss, Bob King, Carl Magnusson, Raymond Loewy, Henry Wolf, Elizabeth Whelan, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Niels Diffrient (1928-2013) is an industrial designer in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Matilda McQuaid (1958-) is deputy curatorial director, Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 memory cards. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 58 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Industrial designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.diffri10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-diffri10

Henry Dreyfuss collection

Topic:
McCall's magazine
Creator:
Dreyfuss, Henry, 1904-1972  Search this
Names:
Bell Telephone Laboratories  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
Deere & Company  Search this
General Electric Company  Search this
Henry Dreyfuss Associates  Search this
Honeywell Inc.  Search this
Hoover Company  Search this
Industrial Designers Society of America  Search this
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation  Search this
New York Central Railroad Company  Search this
Polaroid Corporation  Search this
Royal Typewriter Company  Search this
Singer Sewing Machine Company  Search this
Westclox  Search this
Dreyfuss, Henry, 1904-1972  Search this
Extent:
130 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Biographies
Slides
Drawings
Photographs
Reports
Clippings
Client lists
Correspondence
Book drafts
Mechanicals
Renderings
Journal
Speeches
Date:
1927-1972
Summary:
This material does not cover all clients and projects undertaken by Dreyfuss. This collection consists of theater design materials, industrial design materials, primarily, though not exclusively, from the 1950s and 60s, draft copies of his books, including extensive research files for the "Symbol Sourcebook," texts of lectures delivered by Dreyfuss, and biographical material. Included is Dreyfuss's Brown Book which provides an outline of his achievements. Photographs and slides of many of his designs are included. Materials relating to three publications include original drafts of the books with author notes, drawings, photographs, correspondence, and research materials. Also contains materials relating to the symbols exhibition held at the Hallmark Gallery in New York City in 1972.This collection was the source of many of the objects and issues addressed in Cooper-Hewitt's 1997 exhibition, "Henry Dreyfuss: Directing Design", and companion book, "Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Designer: The Man in the Brown Suit", both conceived by Russell Flinchum. 311 reels of microfilm documenting most of the projects undertaken by Dreyfuss Associates were created by the firm and added to the collection later.
Arrangement note:
Materials are arranged into four record groups: 1) Biographical information; 2) Theater design; 3) Industrial design; and 4) Publications.

The biographical material is arranged into four sub groups:1) Lectures and Articles by Dreyfuss; 2) Articles about Dreyfuss; 3) Dreyfuss firm promotional mailings; and 4) Other material (photos, awards, etc.).Each sub-group is filed chronologically.

The Industrial Design records are divided into two sub groups:Early Industrial Design, 1929-1935, and Industrial Design, 1936-1969, and arearranged alphabetically by client name.

The publication materials arearranged alphabetically by title of publication.
Biographical/Historical note:
Industrial and stage designer. Born New York, March 2, 1904. Attended Society for Ethical Culture High School in New York. Apprenticed to designer Norman Bel Geddes, 1922-1924. Established his own industrial design firm in 1929. His clients included Bell Telephone Laboratories, Deere & Company, Honeywell, Inc., Polaroid Corporation, General Electric, the 1939-40 and 1964-65 New York World's Fairs, New York Central Railroad, Hoover Company, Singer Sewing Machine Company, Royal Typewriter Co., Lockheed Aircraft, McCall's magazine, and others.

Dreyfuss was a founding member of the Society of Industrial Designers, and the first president of the Industrial Designers Society of America. He is best known for his designs for the Bell 500 and Trimline telephones, the Westclox Big Ben alarm clock, Deere & Company tractors, Polaroid's Automatic 100, Swinger, and SX-70 Land Cameras, and New York Central Railroad's 1938 Twentieth Century Limited. In the 1950s, Dreyfuss was one of the pioneers in the application of anthropometrics (the study of human dimensions and capabilities) in his designs. In 1969, Dreyfuss retired from his firm, but remained active as a corporate consultant. He was the author of several important books including: "Designing for People", 1955; "Measure of Man", 1959; and "Symbol Sourcebook", 1972.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note:
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Applied Arts Department. Models and realized objects including control knobs for GM and Deere vehicles, plastic plates and various ceramic pieces with international symbols, Trimline telephones, an RCA Victor radio, a Westclox "Big Ben" alarm clock, and a Presco "AirClip" hair clipper.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Drawings and Prints Department. Hundreds of drawings of designs for tractors, train, plane, and ship interiors, television and radio cabinets, product labels, logos, packaging, office buildings, and costumes.
Other archival repositories containing Dreyfuss materials include: AT&T Archives, Warren, New Jersey; Deere & Co. Archives, Moline, Iowa; Honeywell Archives, Minneapolis, MN; Hoover Company, Canton, Ohio; Polaroid Archives, Cambridge, MA; Billy Rose Theater Collection, New York Public Library; Ethical Culture/Fieldson School Archives, New York; New York Central System Historical Society, Inc.
United Scenic Artists Local 829 Archives, New York; New York World's Fair 1939-40 Archives, Manuscript Division, New York Public Library; and San Diego Aerospace Museum Archives.
Provenance:
Henry Dreyfuss and Doris Marks donated his papers to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, in the fall of 1972.

Additional materials were transferred to the museum in 1973 from the University of California at Los Angeles, which held a small collection of material deeded by Henry Dreyfuss in 1962.

311 reels of microfilm were donated to the museum in 1992.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use onsite by appointment. Permission of staff required to photograph material.
Occupation:
Theater designers -- United States  Search this
Industrial designers -- United States  Search this
Topic:
Measure of Man  Search this
Symbol Sourcebook  Search this
Trimline telephone  Search this
Designing for People  Search this
anthropometry  Search this
Design, Industrial -- United States  Search this
Thermostats  Search this
Tractors -- United States -- History  Search this
20th Century Limited (Express train)  Search this
Human engineering  Search this
telephone  Search this
Signs ad symbols  Search this
Set design -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Biographies
Slides
Drawings
Photographs
Reports
Clippings
Client lists
Correspondence
Book drafts
Mechanicals
Renderings
Journal
Speeches
Identifier:
SIL-CH.1972-88-332-4
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sil-ch-1972-88-332-4

Industrial design : Volume 5 / Henry Dreyfuss

Title:
Industrial design
Author:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972-  Search this
Henry Dreyfuss Associates  Search this
Book designer:
Young, Doyald  Search this
Typographer:
Adtype Service Co.  Search this
Printer:
Comet Press  Search this
Subject:
Henry Dreyfuss Associates  Search this
Physical description:
[52] p. ill. ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
196u
196-?]
Topic:
Industrial design  Search this
Call number:
TS149 .D685 1960z
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_820002

Industrial design : the art of being practical / by Henry Dreyfuss

Title:
Industrial design
Author:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972-  Search this
Doriot, Georges F (Georges Frederic) 1899-1987  Search this
Printer:
Dahlstrom, Grant Edward  Search this
Physical description:
15 p. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1954
1954]
Topic:
Industrial design--Management  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Call number:
TS171.4 .D74 1954
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_820109

Industrial design : profile of an organization / by Henry Dreyfuss

Title:
Industrial design
Author:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972-  Search this
Doriot, Georges F (Georges Frederic) 1899-1987  Search this
Former owner:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972 DSI  Search this
Printer:
Dahlstrom, Grant Edward  Search this
Subject:
Henry Dreyfuss Associates  Search this
Physical description:
14 p. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1955
1955?]
Topic:
Industrial design--Management  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Call number:
TS171.4 .D745 1955
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_820148

What's happening to public taste / by Henry Dreyfuss

Author:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972-  Search this
Illinois Institute of Technology Institute of Design  Search this
Former owner:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972 DSI  Search this
Physical description:
8 p. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1956
1956]
20th century
Topic:
Aesthetics, Modern  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Call number:
BH201 .D74 1956
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_820185

L'aspirateur Hoover one-fifty : designer: Henry Dreyfuss, Etats-Unis 1956, dans la collection Design durée 26 minutes / un film de Danielle Schirman.b

Author:
Schirman, Danielle  Search this
Lapsus (Firm)  Search this
Subject:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972-  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (various pagings) : ill. ; 30 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
France
Date:
2004
[2004?]
Topic:
Hoover vacuum cleaners--History  Search this
Vacuum cleaners--History  Search this
Documentary films  Search this
Call number:
TX298 .S35 2005
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_820812

Book of the Century : flagship of New York Central's great steel fleet

Title:
New 20th Century Limited, world premiere 1948, new from diesel to lookout lounge
Author:
New York Central Railroad Company  Search this
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972-  Search this
Physical description:
[17] p. : ill. (some col.) ; 18 x 23 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1948
1948]
Topic:
20th Century Limited (Express train)  Search this
Express trains  Search this
Decoration and ornament--Art deco  Search this
Call number:
TF573 .N49 1948
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_825326

Designing for people / by Henry Dreyfuss

Author:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972  Search this
Physical description:
284 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
2003
Topic:
Industrial design  Search this
Human engineering  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_745987

Styling radios for sales appeal : luncheon clinic, March 20, 1933 / organized by the National Alliance of Art and Industry

Author:
Caldwell, Orestes Hamilton 1888-  Search this
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972  Search this
Teague, Walter Dorwin 1883-1960  Search this
Dargan, Margaret  Search this
National Alliance of Art and Industry (U.S.)  Search this
Physical description:
16 leaves ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1933
Topic:
Radio--Receivers and reception--Design and construction  Search this
Radio--Receivers and reception--Marketing  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Call number:
TK6563 .S79 1933
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_765794

The Toperator : a washing machine, and its design history : luncheon clinic, May 22, 1933 / organized by the National Alliance of Art and Industry

Author:
Jones, Reginald L  Search this
Price, Herman C  Search this
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972  Search this
Upton, Louis C  Search this
National Alliance of Art and Industry (U.S.)  Search this
Physical description:
5 leaves ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1933
Topic:
Washing machines--Design  Search this
Washing machines--Marketing  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Call number:
TT997 .T67 1933
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_765962

Gladys / [Henry Dreyfuss ; foreword by Stanley Marcus and Aline B. Saarinen]

Author:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972  Search this
Marcus, Stanley 1905-  Search this
Saarinen, Aline B (Aline Bernstein) 1914-1972  Search this
Book designer:
Brennan, Francis Edwin 1910-1992  Search this
Subject:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-  Search this
Physical description:
[43] p. : chiefly ill. ; 21 x 26 cm
Type:
Books
Catalogs
Date:
1963
1963]
Topic:
American wit and humor, Pictorial  Search this
Nude in art  Search this
Call number:
NC1429.D74 A4 1963
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_769575

Industrial design, a pictorial accounting, 1929-1957

Author:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972  Search this
Physical description:
unpaged. illus. 25 cm
Type:
Pictorial works
Date:
1957
[1957]
Topic:
Industrial design  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_771188

Henry Dreyfuss, industrial designer : the man in the brown suit / Russell Flinchum

Author:
Flinchum, Russell  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Museum  Search this
Subject:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972  Search this
Physical description:
222 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 27 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
1997
Topic:
Industrial designers--Biography  Search this
Industrial design--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_511177

10 years of industrial design: Henry Dreyfuss, 1929-1939

Author:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972  Search this
Seldes, Gilbert 1893-1970  Search this
Subject:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972  Search this
Physical description:
[32] p. illus. 25 x 21 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1939
1939]
Topic:
Industrial design  Search this
Industrial designers  Search this
Call number:
TS140.D77 S46 1939
TS140.D77S46 1939
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_415326

The Henry Dreyfuss Archive [microform.]

Subject:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904- Archives  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (100 microfiches : ill. ; 11 x 15 cm.) ; 32 cm. + 1 leaf
Type:
Microforms
Microform catalogs
Place:
United States
Date:
1986
Topic:
Industrial design--Archives  Search this
Industrial designers--Archives  Search this
Call number:
TS140.D77 H52 1986
TS140.D77H52 1986
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_369282

TEN YEARS OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

Author:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972-  Search this
Type:
Books
Trade catalogs
Date:
1939
Topic:
Industrial design  Search this
Call number:
016726
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_224895

A record of industrial designs, 1929 through 1947

Author:
Dreyfuss, Henry 1904-1972  Search this
Physical description:
unpaged. illus. 25 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1900
[19--]
Topic:
Industrial design  Search this
Call number:
TS149.D69X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_179026

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