Donald Deskey collection,
1927-1989
SIL-CH.1975-11-77

Summary
Collection ID:
SIL-CH.1975-11-77
Creators:
Deskey, Donald, 1894-
Dates:
1927-1989
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
75 cubic feet
Repository:
Smithsonian Libraries
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
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
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
Location of Other Archival Materials Note
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Drawings and Prints Department. Approximately 3,000 drawings for furniture and textile designs.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Applied Arts Department. Two tables, handles, and a glass bottle and box designed by Deskey.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Textiles Department. One textile designed by Deskey.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note
Other sources of archival information on Deskey include, the Procter & Gamble Archive, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Deskey Associates, New York City.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Unrestricted research use onsite by appointment. Permission of staff required to photograph materials.

Other Finding Aids note
Other Finding Aids note
File folder list.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Centre de recherche en économie et statistique (Paris, France). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Charak Furniture Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Deskey Associates, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Deskey, Donald, 1894- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Deskey-Vollmer, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Donald Deskey Associates, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Johnson & Johnson, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York World's Fair (1939-1940). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Procter & Gamble Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Radio City Music Hall (New York, N.Y.). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Widdicomb Furniture Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art deco--United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Buildings, Prefabricated--United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Client lists Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Design, Industrial--United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Financial records Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Furniture design--United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Industrial designers--United States Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interior decoration--United States--20th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interior designers--United States Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Labels Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lantern slides Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Letters patent Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Organizational charts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Packaging designers--United States Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Packaging--Design Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Patents Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Plastics--Design Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Proposals Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Renderings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reviews Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slides Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stationery Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Street lighting--New York (State)--New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Technical reports Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Libraries
Smithsonian Libraries
P.O. Box 37012
NMAH 1041, MRC 672
Washington, DC, 20013-7012
Phone: (202) 633-3872
AskaLibrarian@si.edu