Materials consist of project catalogs for Mohawk Paper Mills and Neenah Paper, a division of Kimberly-Clark. The collection documents Robins' work as a graphic and industrial designer.
Biographical / Historical:
Seymour Robins is a graphic and industrial designer.,Born in Canada, he has lived most of his life in New York City and had his design practice there. Although locking together slotted pieces of paper has been done for many years, in the two decades that Robins has been designing these shapes that become forms when opened, he has developed them into a unique art form in itself. Robins' interlocking paper sculptures have been called "magic". He has had successful design assignments for AT&T, Diamond International Corporation, Genesco, Mohawk Paper Mills, Neenah Paper, Creative Playthings, and a host of other names in American industry. Robins designed the complex and precise Armillary Sphere for the Smithsonian, and has done paper sculptures for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Whitney Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Philadelphia Museum, and others. Over the years his demands and guidance for perfection in production have forced graphic arts suppliers into innovative improvements that have raised the level of die-makers' and the die-cutters' crafts. His work appears regularly in international design journals and is in the permanent collection at the Cooper-Hewitt Archives. He now lives and works in Sheffield, Massachusetts, in a barn he has converted into a studio and home.
All materials were donated by Mr. Robins 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 email@example.com 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.
The collection consists of a copy of a studio portrait of Onondaga, Mohawk, and Seneca Chiefs with wampum belts, made on September 14, 1871, for Horatio Hale. Includes Joseph Snow (Hahriron), Onondaga Chief; George H. M. Johnson (Deyonhehgon), Mohawk chief, government interpreter and son of John Smoke Johnson; John Buck (Skanawatih), Onondaga chief and hereditary keeper of the wampum; John Smoke Johnson (Sakayenkwaraton), Mohawk chief and speaker of the council; Isaac Hill (Kawenenseronton), Onondaga chief and fire keeper; John Seneca Johnson (Kanonkeredawih), Seneca chief.
Horatio Emmons Hale (1817-1896) was an American-Canadian philologist, ethnologist, author, and businessman who studied Native American languages. He published the Iroquois Book of Rites in 1883, which documented the history and rituals of the Iroquois Confederacy based on interpretations of the group's wampum belts. In September 1871, he requested that six Iroquois chiefs, with whom he had worked on the wampum belts, come to the Brantford, Ontario, studio of James N. Edy, where this photograph was made.
Hale later sent the photograph to his colleagues with variations on the following inscription: "The wampum belts were explained to me on the reserve, at the residence of Chief G. H. M. Johnson; and at my request the chiefs afterwards came with me to Brantford, where the original photograph . . . was taken.--H. Hale, Clinton, Ont." The photograph from which this copy print was made originally belonged to J. N. B. Hewitt.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 86-58
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Additional James N. Edy photographs can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4751 and the BAE historical negatives.
Vocabularies and correspondence by Horatio Hale can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 7235, MS 7236, MS 4558, MS 772-c, MS 4797, MS 4800, MS 7439, MS 7440, MS 7441, MS 3436, MS 1072, the Bureau of American Ethnology Letters Received, and the J.C. Pilling Papers.