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Harry Bertoia papers, 1917-1979

Creator:
Bertoia, Harry, 1915-1978  Search this
Subject:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc.  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Citation:
Harry Bertoia papers, 1917-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Sculpture, Abstract  Search this
Design  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8885
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211070
AAA_collcode_bertharr
Theme:
Craft
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211070

Lilian Swann Saarinen papers, circa 1909-1977

Creator:
Saarinen, Lilian Swann, 1912-1995  Search this
Subject:
Venturi, Robert  Search this
Saarinen, Loja  Search this
Kreis, Henry  Search this
Milles, Carl  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Saarinen, Eero  Search this
Saarinen, Eliel  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl  Search this
Koch, Carl  Search this
Armitage, Merle  Search this
Crosby, Caresse  Search this
Weese, Harry  Search this
Midtown Galleries (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Reynal & Hitchcock  Search this
G Place Gallery (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc.  Search this
Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Search this
Cambridge Art Center  Search this
Otava Publishing Company  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Type:
Blueprints
Diaries
Illustrations
Sketches
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Lilian Swann Saarinen papers, circa 1909-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Illustrated books, Children's  Search this
Gateway Arch (Saint Louis, Mo.)  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Illustrators -- Massachusetts  Search this
Art, Municipal  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Women illustrators  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Craft  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9049
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211240
AAA_collcode_saarlili
Theme:
Women
Craft
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211240
Online Media:

Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000

Creator:
Bassett, Florence Knoll, 1917-2019  Search this
Subject:
Miller, R. Craig  Search this
Knoll, Walter C.  Search this
Johnson, Philip  Search this
Helm, John  Search this
Graham, Katharine  Search this
Gandhi, Indira  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Cheek, Leslie  Search this
Raseman, Rachel de Wolfe  Search this
Milles, Carl  Search this
Saarinen, Eero  Search this
Reagan, Nancy  Search this
Slavin, Maeve  Search this
Saarinen, Eliel  Search this
Knoll International, inc.  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc.  Search this
Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company  Search this
Cranbrook Kingswood School (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Type:
Sketches
Drawings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Interior decoration firms  Search this
Interior decoration  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Women designers  Search this
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Women  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6312
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)224053
AAA_collcode_knolflor
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Women
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_224053
Online Media:

Pythagoras

Designer:
Sven Markelius, (Swedish, 1889–1972)  Search this
Printer:
Ljungbergs Textiltryck AB, (Floda, Sweden, founded 1949)  Search this
Producer:
Knoll Textiles, New York, New York, USA, founded 1947  Search this
Medium:
Medium: 60% linen, 40% cotton Technique: screen printed on plain weave Label: screen printed on 60% linen, 40% cotton
Dimensions:
H x W: 459.7 x 130.2 cm (181 x 51 1/4 in.)
Type:
printed, dyed & painted textiles
Textile
Object Name:
Textile
Manufactured in:
Sweden
Distributed in:
USA
Date:
1953
Credit Line:
Gift of Knoll Associates, Inc.
Accession Number:
1956-123-1
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Textiles Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq4552e084a-d8b3-4927-9b46-ebfd24e9dd2a
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1956-123-1

Dining Chair

Manufacturer:
Knoll Textiles, New York, New York, USA, founded 1947  Search this
Designer:
Warren Platner, (American, 1919–2006)  Search this
Medium:
Bronze-plated steel, nylon upholstery
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 73.5 x 68 x 54cm (28 15/16 x 26 3/4 x 21 1/4in.)
Type:
furniture
Decorative Arts
Chair
Object Name:
Chair
Manufactured in:
USA
Date:
1966
Credit Line:
Gift of Knoll Associates, Inc.
Accession Number:
1971-16-1
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Product Design and Decorative Arts Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq4f41964f0-d7ae-4169-95e6-929a3b2d0155
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1971-16-1
Online Media:

Knoll Associates, Inc.

Collection Creator:
Friedman, B. H. (Bernard Harper), 1926-2011  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 42
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1951-1955
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is ACCESS RESTRICTED; written permission is required. Use of original materials requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
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.
Collection Citation:
Bernard Harper Friedman papers, 1926-2011, bulk 1943-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Bernard Harper Friedman papers
Bernard Harper Friedman papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d17732c2-39db-4535-b4a0-95cbfa3d92f9
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-friebern-ref337

Oral history interview with Massimo Vignelli, 2011 June 6-7

Interviewee:
Vignelli, Massimo, 1931-2014  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Subject:
De Carlo, Giancarlo  Search this
Domus  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Eckerstrom, Ralph E. (Ralph Eugene)  Search this
Eco, Umberto  Search this
Frau, Poltrona  Search this
Gardella, Ignazio  Search this
Graves, Michael  Search this
Kacik, Walter  Search this
Kahn, Louis I.  Search this
Le Corbusier  Search this
Loos, Adolf  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig  Search this
Pagano, Giuseppe  Search this
Pomodoro, Arnaldo  Search this
Ponti, Gio  Search this
Rams, Dieter  Search this
Scarpa, Carlo  Search this
Terragni, Giuseppe  Search this
Toscani, Oliviero  Search this
Venturi, Robert  Search this
Vignelli, Lella  Search this
Zevi, Bruno  Search this
Benetton (Firm)  Search this
Container Corporation of America  Search this
Herman Miller, Inc.  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc.  Search this
Metron Orts- und Regionalplanung  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
New York City Transit Authority  Search this
New York Herald. (New York.)  Search this
Rochester Institute of Technology  Search this
Sansoni (Firm)  Search this
Steelcase, Inc.  Search this
United States. National Park Service  Search this
United States Postal Service  Search this
Venini International  Search this
Vignelli Associates  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Massimo Vignelli, 2011 June 6-7. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Architectural design  Search this
Architecture, American  Search this
Architecture -- Europe  Search this
Architecture, Italian  Search this
Architecture -- Italy  Search this
Architecture, Japanese  Search this
Architecture -- United States  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Costume design  Search this
Design  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Furniture design  Search this
Postmodernism  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15958
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)302171
AAA_collcode_vignel11
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_302171
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Massimo Vignelli

Interviewee:
Vignelli, Massimo  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Benetton (Firm)  Search this
Container Corporation of America  Search this
Herman Miller, Inc.  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc.  Search this
Metron Orts- und Regionalplanung  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
New York City Transit Authority  Search this
New York Herald. (New York.)  Search this
Rochester Institute of Technology  Search this
Sansoni (Firm)  Search this
Steelcase, Inc.  Search this
United States Postal Service  Search this
United States. National Park Service  Search this
Venini International  Search this
Vignelli Associates  Search this
De Carlo, Giancarlo, 1919-2005  Search this
Domus  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Eckerstrom, Ralph E. (Ralph Eugene), 1921-  Search this
Eco, Umberto  Search this
Frau, Poltrona  Search this
Gardella, Ignazio  Search this
Graves, Michael, 1934-2015  Search this
Kacik, Walter  Search this
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974  Search this
Le Corbusier, 1887-1965  Search this
Loos, Adolf, 1870-1933  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Pagano, Giuseppe, 1896-1945  Search this
Pomodoro, Arnaldo, 1926-  Search this
Ponti, Gio, 1891-1979  Search this
Rams, Dieter  Search this
Scarpa, Carlo, 1906-1978  Search this
Terragni, Giuseppe, 1904-1943  Search this
Toscani, Oliviero  Search this
Venturi, Robert  Search this
Vignelli, Lella  Search this
Zevi, Bruno, 1918-2000  Search this
Extent:
9 Items (Sound recording: 9 sound files (6 hr., 52 min.))
153 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2011 June 6-7
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Massimo Vignelli conducted 2011 June 6-7, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Vignelli's home and office, in New York, New York.
Vignelli speaks of his youth and early start in art design and architecture; his early work at Catiglione architects at the age of 16; his father; his education; meeting his favorite architects; his influences; architecture and design magazines; organic and rationalist architecture in Italy; influence of Ignazio Gardella; Adolf Loos' idea of spoon to the city; European, American, and Italian architecture; education in Milan; his work with Venini Glass; Italian design; his early graphic work; design and vulgarity; marriage and working with Lella Vignelli; graphic design work at the Container Corporation; concept of design as a whole; his work on corporate identities; his establishment of Vignelli Associates; introduction and use of Helvetica in the United States; working with Knoll; choosing clients; design and culture; his work on St. Peter's Lutheran Church; design work for the United States National Parks newspaper design and layout; Unimark; timelessness and design; working with Poltrona Frau, Zero Labor design; major influences; his work for the United States Postal Service; connectivity and context in architecture; his clothing designs and historical perspectives on clothing; postmodernism; his work on the New York Subway; design work before and after computers; Japanese architecture and design; his work as a teacher; Oliviero Toscani and working for Benetton; America and international design; modernism and the office building; modern design and furniture; a timeline of his career; the Vignelli Center at RIT and archiving. Vignelli also recalls, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Giuseppe Terragni, Giuseppe Pagano, Domus, Gió Ponti, Metron, Bruno Zevi, Ignazio Gardella, Ray and Charles Eames, Giancarlo De Carlo, Venini Glass, Carlo Scarpa, Ralph Eckerstrom, Umberto Eco, Sansoni Publishing House, Vignelli Associates, Walter Kacik, Helvetica, Knoll, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, National Parks, New York Herald, Unimark, Lella Vignelli, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Poltrona Frau, Dieter Rams, Louis Kahn, Stendig Calendar, A to Z, Salon de Mobile, Michael Graves, Robert Venturi, Oliviero Toscani, Benetton, Herman Miller, Steelcase, and the Vignelli Center.
Biographical / Historical:
Massimo Vignelli (1931- ) is a designer in New York, New York. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is an independent scholar in San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded as 9 sound files. Duration is 6 hr., 52 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:
Architects  Search this
Topic:
Architectural design  Search this
Architecture, American  Search this
Architecture -- Europe  Search this
Architecture, Italian  Search this
Architecture -- Italy  Search this
Architecture, Japanese  Search this
Architecture -- United States  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Costume design  Search this
Design  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Furniture design  Search this
Postmodernism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.vignel11
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw916685527-6bb7-4c68-bd7f-5aed686eb0fb
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-vignel11
Online Media:

[Trade catalogs from Knoll Associates, Inc.]

Variant company name:
Chicago, IL ; Atlanta, GA ; Dallas, TX ; Boston, MA  Search this
Company Name:
Knoll Associates, Inc.  Search this
Notes content:
1950 catalog ; contemporary furniture and textiles ; chairs ; settees ; sofas ; tables ; chests ; cabinets ; beds ; desks ; office furniture
Includes:
Trade catalog
Black and white images
Physical description:
1 piece; 1 box
Language:
English
Type of material:
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Place:
New York, New York, United States
Date:
1900s
Topic (Romaine term):
Furniture and furnishings  Search this
Textiles and textile machinery  Search this
Topic:
Furniture industry and trade  Search this
House furnishings  Search this
Interior decoration  Search this
Textile fabrics  Search this
Textile machinery industry  Search this
Record ID:
SILNMAHTL_42772
Collection:
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILNMAHTL_42772

KnollTextiles (Firm) [Folder]

Additional name:
Knoll Associates, Inc.  Search this
Knoll International  Search this
Knoll Group  Search this
Knoll Washington D.C.  Search this
Contents:
Folder(s) may include exhibition announcements, newspaper and/or magazine clippings, press releases, brochures, reviews, invitations, illustrations, resumes, artist's statements, exhibition catalogs.
Place:
Washington (D.C.)
Topic:
Art Organizations  Search this
Location:
Art & Artist files at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/ National Portrait Gallery Library
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILAF_105485

Knoll showroom, Madison Avenue

Subject:
Knoll Associates, inc  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1951
Citation:
Knoll showroom, Madison Avenue, 1951. Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Interior design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)12959
See more items in:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_12959
Online Media:

Knoll showroom, San Francisco

Subject:
Knoll Associates, inc  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1954
Citation:
Knoll showroom, San Francisco, 1954. Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Interior design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)12961
See more items in:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_12961
Online Media:

Knoll showroom, Los Angeles

Subject:
Knoll Associates, inc  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1960
Citation:
Knoll showroom, Los Angeles, 1960. Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Furniture design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)12962
See more items in:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_12962

Knoll Associates advertisement featuring the No. 70 chair by Eero Saarinen.

Creator:
Matter, Herbert, 1907-1984  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc  Search this
Subject:
Matter, Herbert  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc  Search this
Type:
Printed Materials
Date:
1950s-1960s
Citation:
Herbert Matter and Knoll Associates, inc. Knoll Associates advertisement featuring the No. 70 chair by Eero Saarinen., 1950s-1960s. Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Advertising  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)14247
See more items in:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_14247

Knoll Associates, Inc. announcement featuring a chair designed by Mies Van Der Rohe.

Creator:
Knoll Associates, inc  Search this
Subject:
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc  Search this
Type:
Printed Materials
Date:
1960s
Citation:
Knoll Associates, inc. Knoll Associates, Inc. announcement featuring a chair designed by Mies Van Der Rohe., 1960s. Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Architect-designed furniture  Search this
Furniture  Search this
Furniture design  Search this
Furniture designers  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)14248
See more items in:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_14248
Online Media:

The Gavina Group page from Knoll Associates brochure

Creator:
Knoll Associates, inc  Search this
Type:
Printed Materials
Date:
1969
Citation:
Knoll Associates, inc. The Gavina Group page from Knoll Associates brochure, 1969. Marcel Breuer papers, 1920-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Furniture design  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19337
See more items in:
Marcel Breuer papers, 1920-1986
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19337
Online Media:

Design for Jack Heinz's office suite

Creator:
Bassett, Florence Knoll, 1917-2019  Search this
Subject:
H.H. Heinz Company  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc  Search this
Type:
Artworks
Date:
1999
Citation:
Florence Knoll Bassett. Design for Jack Heinz's office suite, 1999. Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19682
See more items in:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19682
Online Media:

Frazier Wilde's office in the Connecticut General Building

Subject:
Knoll Associates, inc  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1950
Citation:
Frazier Wilde's office in the Connecticut General Building, ca. 1950. Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Interior design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)9164
See more items in:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_9164

Knoll showroom entrance space

Subject:
Knoll Associates, inc  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1954
Citation:
Knoll showroom entrance space, 1954. Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Interior design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)9247
See more items in:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_9247
Online Media:

Florence Knoll Bassett papers

Creator:
Knoll, Florence, 1917-2019  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Cranbrook Kingswood School (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)  Search this
Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc.  Search this
Knoll International, inc.  Search this
Cheek, Leslie, 1908-  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Gandhi, Indira, 1917-1984  Search this
Graham, Katharine, 1917-  Search this
Helm, John  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Knoll, Walter C.  Search this
Miller, R. Craig  Search this
Milles, Carl, 1875-1955  Search this
Raseman, Rachel de Wolfe  Search this
Reagan, Nancy, 1923-  Search this
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961  Search this
Saarinen, Eliel, 1873-1950  Search this
Slavin, Maeve  Search this
Extent:
2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Drawings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Date:
1932-2000
Summary:
The papers of architect and designer Florence Knoll Bassett, measure approximately 2 linear feet dating from 1932 to 2000. Through correspondence, sketches, drawings, designs, subject files, photographs, and printed material, the collection selectively documents Knoll Bassett's education, her work with Knoll Associates from the 1940s until her resignation in 1965, and projects undertaken since her retirement. It is an important source of information on the development of interior architecture and design from the 1940s to the 1970s.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of architect, and interior designer and planner Florence Knoll Bassett, measure approximately 2 linear feet dating from 1932 to 2000. The collection selectively documents Knoll Bassett's education and her career at Knoll Associates, Inc. from the 1940s until her resignation in 1965, in addition to personal design projects and other activities after leaving the company. It is an important source of information on the development of interior architecture and design from the 1940s to the 1970s, chronicling the Knoll mission to synthesize space, furniture, and design by creating interiors based on practical use, comfort, and aesthetics.

The collection documents the growth of Knoll's international reputation for its modern furnishings and interiors and the impact of a business philosophy that encompassed design excellence, technological innovation, and mass production. The material includes a chronology of Knoll Bassett's career; a portfolio of sketches, drawings and designs; photographs of Knoll Bassett and others; subject files containing sketches and photographic material; letters from friends, colleagues, clients and others; awards received by Knoll Bassett throughout her career; and printed material.

Much of the material is annotated with historical and biographical notes written by Knoll Bassett which provide invaluable contextual information for the materials found therein. The notes are dated 1999 in the Container Listing, under the assumption that they were written by Florence Knoll Bassett as she was arranging her archival papers.
Arrangement:
Before donating her papers to the Archives of American Art, Knoll Bassett organized the material in portfolios and color-coded files and designed four containers for them. Because the method of arrangement in itself provides insight into Knoll Bassett's style and creativity the collection has been minimally processed with the addition of acid-free materials for preservation reasons and the transcription of labels which may, over time, become detached. The original order of the collection has been retained throughout.

The collection was organized into what Bassett termed "storage units," the first container being divided into three units and the collection as a whole being divided into six units. Knoll Bassett supplied a detailed inventory of the contents of each container and the subjects represented in each porfolio or folder. Subject headings from this inventory have been used in the Series Description/Container Listing. Knoll Bassett also supplied a vita summarizing her career and copies of this, and her original container inventory are enclosed with the collection and can be consulted at AAA's research center in Washington D.C.

The collection is arranged as seven series. These series represent the categories into which Knoll Bassett organized the material, with the exception that Letters and Awards are presented as two series in the finding aid. Most of the items in Series 1 to 4 are presented as portfolios in spiral-bound notebooks and the remainder of the collection is organized in folders.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1932-1999 (Box 1; 1 portfolio)

Series 2: Selected Publications, 1946-1990, 1999 (Box 1; 1 portfolio)

Series 3: Drawings, Sketches, and Designs, 1932-1984, 1999 (Boxes 1-2; 2 portfolios)

Series 4: Photographs and Printed Material, 1956-1997, 1999 (Box 2; 1 portfolio)

Series 5: Subject Files, circa 1930s-1999 (Box 3; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 6: Letters, circa 1930s-2000 (Box 4; 7 folders)

Series 7: Awards, 1954-1999 (Box 4; 6 folders)
Biographical Note:
Florence Knoll Bassett (1917-2019) was born Florence Schust and was affectionately known as Shu by her colleagues and friends. She was orphaned at age 12 and then cared for by Emile Tessin, a friend of the family whom her mother had appointed as Florence's legal guardian in the event of her death. When arrangements were being made for Florence to attend boarding school she was given the opportunity to make the selection. Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, held a strong aesthetic appeal for her and she "made an immediate decision that it was the right place for me," beginning her architectural studies under the school's art director, Rachel de Wolfe Raseman.

At Kingswood Knoll Bassett met the Saarinen family, studying under Eliel Saarinen and developing her interest in texture and color through her friendship with Loja Saarinen who supervised the school's weaving studio. Following Florence's graduation from Kingswood in 1934, Eliel Saarinen encouraged her to spend some time at Cranbrook Academy of Art before attending an accredited architecture school. She spent the next two years at Cranbrook working closely with advanced students and artists such as the Saarinens and Carl Milles, and gaining experience in all aspects of design.

Knoll Bassett then studied for two years at the Architectural Association in London, spending summers with the Saarinens in Europe. She completed her formal training at the Illinois Institute of Technology where she studied under Mies van der Rohe, whom she credits with having "a profound effect on my design approach and the clarification of design."

After graduation Knoll Bassett worked for architecture firms in Boston and New York where she met Hans Knoll who was then in the process of establishing a furniture business. In 1943 she began working for him in her spare time as an interior space planner and designer. In 1946 the two were married and formed Knoll Associates, Inc.

As director of the Knoll Planning Unit, Knoll Bassett established herself as one of the most important and influential interior planners and designers of the second half of the twentieth century. Believing that intelligent design "strikes at the root of living requirements and changing habits," she established the practice of working closely with the corporate sector to determine the needs of the people who would actually use the spaces that her company designed. Her connections with leading contemporary architects and designers, and the company's commitment to crediting designers by name and paying them royalties, laid the foundations for the strong working relationships upon which the commercial success of Knoll Associates was built. Drawing on a pool of top architects and designers, many of whom were personal friends, Knoll Bassett directed the company's Bauhaus approach, incorporating design excellence, technological innovation, and mass production in a seamless package of "total design."

While Knoll Bassett oversaw the creative process of the Planning Unit's operations in its entirety, she was also directly responsible for many of the individual elements used in the Unit's projects. During the war years, she worked with her designers to overcome the scarcity of materials, establishing Knoll Textiles in response to the dearth of available fabrics and textile colors, and developing the company's hallmark style of spare clean lines and vibrant colors in a functional, comfortable, and aesthetically appealing space. Finding that much of the "fill-in" furniture, primarily cabinetry, that she envisaged in many of her plans was not available, Knoll Bassett designed the pieces herself. She used the Knoll showrooms as "experimental laboratories" to convince clients to use modern ideas and materials, showcasing and putting into production the classic designs of people such as Eero Saarinen, Mies van der Rohe, Jens Risom, Harry Bertoia, Isamu Noguchi, and Marcel Breuer.

After the war Knoll Associates expanded to Europe through a series of government contracts which resulted ultimately in the formation of Knoll International. When Hans Knoll died suddenly in an automobile accident in 1955 Florence became president of the company. She married Harry Hood Bassett in 1958 and began to divide her time between New York and Florida. In 1959 she sold her interest in Knoll Associates to Art Metal and retired as President of the company the following year, while continuing to work as a consultant and serving as Design Director. In 1961 she became the first woman to be awarded the Gold Medal for Industrial Design by the American Institute of Architects, one of many awards received over the course of her career. In 1965 she resigned from Knoll Associates entirely after completing the interior design for the CBS headquarters in New York.

Following her retirement Knoll Bassett devoted more time to private commissions and other interests such as her campaign against billboards in Miami in the mid 1980s. She spent summers in Vermont and winters in Florida with her husband, until his death in 1991. In July 2001, Metropolis magazine published a rare interview with Knoll Bassett in which she reflects upon the life she so skillfully documented in the extraordinary gift of her archival papers to the Archives of American Art.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Florence Knoll Bassett in 2000.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
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.
Occupation:
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Furniture designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Interior decoration firms  Search this
Interior decoration  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Women designers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Drawings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.knolflor
See more items in:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw92a5be5e6-2fa4-4ce3-ae1d-b36626e44ddc
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-knolflor
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