Guide to The California Shop Records
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0572
Creators:
California Shop.
Kemp, Helen Misch, 1894-1948 (store owner/manager)
Kemp, Barbara
Dates:
1938-1942
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
1 Cubic foot
2 boxes
Repository:

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
Collection consists of a bound volume used as both a log of visitors to the shop and a scrapbook containing newspaper clippings, ephemera, magazine articles, announcements, and invitations to fashion shows. The first few pages of the volume are the guest book. The remaining pages were used as the scrapbook and is in reverse chronological order. There are also loose pages from the volume and its wooden covers, with a portion of a map of the Audencia of Guadalajara used as the cover illustration. Of particular interest are the typewritten manuscripts documenting Kemp's ideas for starting the California Shop. In addition, there are photographs of the shop, possibly in 1941, and Helen Kemp.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Materials are arranged as a single series.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Helen Misch Kemp opened the California Shop on November 15, 1938 at 677 Madison Avenue in New York City. Kemp was born April 22, 1894 in New York to Moses and Jennie Misch but had moved to California in 1936 where she worked in the women's clothing trade. Some time later she moved back to New York and noticed a distinction between the clothing and merchandise created in California as opposed to what was being offered in New York. California was also gaining a reputation in the fashion industry for its women designers who were combining chic styles, comfort, and unique colors for the American female market. Armed with a keen eye for fashion and shrewd business sense Kemp opened her shop to provide California craftsmanship to an eastern market. Kemp took annual trips to California to select what she considered was the best for her customers. While the California Shop sold mostly women's clothing it also offered products such as preserves, copper household utensils, cookware, trays, wastebaskets, spice jars, wall pockets, flower containers, pottery, and jewelry. On October 15, 1940, the shop moved to 674 Madison Avenue, where it occupied a larger space. Kemp closed her shop in 1942 due to war time difficulties in getting merchandise from California. Helen Kemp died on February 13, 1948, at the age of fifty-four.

Administration
Processing Information
Collection processed by Vanessa Broussard- Simmons, August 1997.
Author
Vanessa Broussard-Simmons
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
Barbara Kemp

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation
The California Shop Records, 1938-1942, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Barbara Kemp.

Related Materials
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Collections relating to women in business and fashion industry
Estelle Ellis Collection (AC0423)
Brownie Wise Papers (AC0509)
Dorothy Shaver Papers (AC0631)
NW Ayer Advertising Agency Records (AC0059)
Division of Costume Audiovisual Collection (AC0801)
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (AC0060)
Ming-Ju Sun Garfinckel's Fashion Drawings (AC0897)
Carolyn and Donald Grepke Paper Doll Collection (AC752)
Virginia "Jimmie" Booth Collection (AC0729)
Joseph Magnin Poster Collection (AC0355)

Ownership and Custodial History
Ownership and Custodial History
Donated by Barbara Kemp, 1997.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Women in business -- 1930-1940 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women -- Employment Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women -- History -- 1930-1940 -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
advertising -- 1930-1940 -- California Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
advertising -- Clothing and dress -- 1930-1940 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
advertising -- Clothing trade -- 1930-1940 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
advertising -- Fashion -- 1930-1940 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
California -- Fashion -- 1930-1940 Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings -- 1930-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York (N.Y.) -- Fashion -- 1930-1940 Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1930-1940 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives