Skip to main content

Interior Design Collections in the Kellen Design Archives

An overview of materials available for researchers interested in exploring the history of interior design using the Kellen Design Archives.

Helpful Searching Tip

If you are searching for library or archives materials about interior designers and interior design in a library catalog, try using the terms interior decorators or interior decoration.

The Library of Congress Subject Headings, which librarians use to catalog resources, does not recognize the terms "interior designers" or "interior design."

Stereo slide viewing kit from the Melvin Dwork papers

Collections of Interior Designers

Collection titles in red indicate a collection guide is available online. Click on the title to open a guide in a new window.

 

In 1960, Bess Bernard established her own company, Bernard Design International, Ltd., specializing in interior design projects for commercial and residential spaces. The collection (1960s-1980s) consists of 42 watercolor and pencil renderings produced by various artists for Bernard Design International.

Mary Largent Brandt was an interior decorator, author, lecturer, and merchandising expert. In the 1940s, she developed a training course for retail sales staff to promote more effective merchandising of home furnishings. Included in this collection are Home Furnishings Training Course: Handbook of Home Furnishings (1946) and a binder entitled, Home Furnishings Training Course: Summary of Visual Chart Materials for Home Study and Reference (undated).

Interior decorator Bruce Buttfield (1897-1969) made his mark in the 1930s by creating distinctive furniture and rooms. In 1931, he designed the interior of the original Whitney Museum building on Eighth Street in New York City. The collection includes photographs and color renderings of Buttfield interiors.

Named one of Architectural Digest’s top 100 designers in 1990 and 2002, Melvin Dwork (1922-  ) attended Parsons School of Design in the 1940s, and later served on the Parsons Advisory Committee. The collection (1930s through the 2000s) includes student work, slides, photographs, news clippings, press releases, brochures, showroom catalogs, personal correspondence and awards.

Albert Hadley (1920-  ) graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1949 and served on the faculty from 1949 through 1954. Hadley later joined Dorothy "Sister" Parish to form the design firm Parish-Hadley. The collection (1947-1999) includes correspondence, design and lecture notes, student work and a mock-up for a booklet.

After graduating from the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later, Parsons The New School for Design) in 1936, Eleanor Horst (1892-1995) led a long career as an interior decorator. The collection includes photographs and slides of Horst projects, as well as numerous renderings of Horst designs, several by fellow Parsons graduate Lyman Martin.

Lyman Martin (1908-2003) graduated from Parsons in 1939 and went to work for Thedlow, a prestigious interior decoration firm. After serving in World War II, Martin returned to Thedlow, where he created interiors, produced watercolor renderings, designed rugs and painted murals for clients. In 1969, Martin was appointed president of Thedlow and stayed until the company closed in 1979. The collection (1928-1992) includes student work, renderings and drawings of interiors, sketches, an illustrated European travel diary, floor plans, photographs, news clippings, and exhibition records.

Violet Holsinger Mueller (1907-2003) studied fashion design at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later, Parsons School of Design) from 1926 through 1929. She worked as an interior designer for the St. Louis-based department store, Stix, Baer & Fuller for over two decades, and also established her own design consultancy in Belleville, Illinois. Her papers include personal materials, as well as documentation created over the course of her education at Parsons and her professional career. Student work includes a number of assignments demonstrating the principles of Dynamic Symmetry in design education.

Ranging from the 1920s through the 1960s, the Jessica Rummel interior decoration working files consist of the files Rummel kept for her New York City-based interior decoration business, which operated during at least part of this period as Harding & Rummel, Inc. The files, which Rummel arranged under subjects such as "Fireplace equipment," "Quilting," "Decorative motifs," and "Egyptian," include small drawings, watercolors, site plans, and tracings of decorative elements, furniture, textiles, and interior layouts produced by Rummel in the course of doing business. The collection also includes vendor literature, magazine and catalog clippings, postcards, price lists, and business correspondence. Rummel was on the faculty of the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later, Parsons The New School for Design) in the Interior Architecture and Decoration Department from 1921 through 1934.

Raymond S. Waldron, Jr. (1913-2002) attended the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (which became Parsons School of Design) from 1938-1941. After serving in World War II, Waldron worked for Lord & Taylor. In 1965, he established his own interior decoration firm. The Raymond Waldron papers include student work, a travel sketchbook, and professional files. Work from Waldron's years at New York School of Fine and Applied Art include notebooks with graded assignments, instructor handouts, sketches, and tracings; and larger-format renderings of European interiors and sites. A travel sketchbook reflects Waldron's later design studies in New York, France and Italy. Materials from Waldron's professional career include project files, design research, stereo slides of the Blair House, among other projects, and publicity for his business.

Giuseppe Zambonini (1942-1990) was an Italian-born and, for much of his life, New York-based, architect, interior designer, theater director, and teacher. This collection contains project material in a variety of mediums pertaining to Zambonini’s architectural and design career, as well as items related to his tenure as dean of the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID), founder and head of the Open Atelier of Design (OAD), and director of the architecture program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dating primarily from the 1960s through the late-1980s, materials in the collection include sketches, drawings, plans, and blueprints of Zambonini’s architecture and interior design projects, as well as photographs of the building sites and finished work. Also included are correspondence, photographs, and printed material related to the institutional functioning and teaching at NYSID and OAD. Zambonini’s work as a theater producer and director in Italy is represented by photographs, scripts, audio, and a variety of posters and programs. Finally, the collection contains a small selection of Zambonini’s writings and lectures.