Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Gene Moore, Tiffany & Company Photographs


Collection ID:
Moore, Gene, 1910-1998
Physical Description:
10 Cubic feet
39 boxes
Collected display window photographs assembled by Gene Moore, artistic director of Tiffany & Company from 1955 to 1995, documenting window displays at Tiffany & Company's flagship store in New York City, New York.

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
This collection of photographs originally consisted of 78 notebooks containing approximately 50 8" x 10" photographs each.This photographic record was compiled by Tiffany & Company artistic director Gene Moore. These photographs document window displays of Tiffany & Company, 5th Avenue, New York City, New York during Moore's tenure as artistic director from 1955-1994. Nearly all of the imaginative and inventive window displays created by Moore and other designers during his almost 40-year association with Tiffany's are documented in these photographs. Many of the photographs are dated in the lower right corner and in some instances divided by designer. The "Original Archive Box" notation that appeared on the spine of each notebook has been copied in the container listing under each entry. These entries include the names within the notebooks. While the majority of the photographs are in black and white, there are a few color images for later window treatments. Photographers credited on the reverse of some of the photographs are Virginia Roehl, Nick Malon, Malon Studios Incorporated, and Fifth Avenue Display Photographers. The collection does not include any supporting documentation for these photographs. None of Moore's displays for other clients is included.


The collection is arranged in one series.
Series 1, Display Window Photographs, 1955-1995.

Biographical / Historical

Biographical / Historical
Gene Moore was born in Birmingham, Alabama on June 10, 1910. Although Moore studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago, he was mainly self-taught in design. His first display job was with I. Miller in New York from 1936-1938. Moore became a display assistant at Bergdorf Goodman (Delman Shoe division) in New York in 1938. Moore then became display manager at Bonwit Teller in New York City in 1945, where he frequently collaborated with well-known artists of the Pop Art movement including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg.
During this time, the profession of window display was gaining acceptance with the work of Moore and his contemporaries Henry F. Callahan at Lord & Taylor, Sidney Ring at Saks Fifth Avenue, and John R. Foley at Macy's, among others.
Moore joined Tiffany & Company in 1955 and is best known for his highly acclaimed work as Display Manager, Artistic Director, and Vice President. Walter Hoving, Chairman of the Board of Tiffany, charged Moore with the following mission: "I want you to make our windows as beautiful as you can according to your own taste ... Above all, don't try to sell anything; we'll take care of that in the store." There he created innovative, imaginative window displays for almost 40 years, from 1955 to 1994. His designs were famous for combining and juxtaposing common, everyday objects with exquisite pieces of fine jewelry.
Moore selected each object to echo the shapes, forms, and textures of the others. In addition, he designed jewelry and silver objects for Tiffany, most notably, his 1988 "Tiffany Circus" which featured 28 miniature circus animals and performers. Moore also worked as a freelance designer, starting in 1955, for Clarence House, Seagram Building, Delmar Shoe Salon, Madison Avenue Bookstore, American Museum of Natural History, Museum of Modern Art, Castelli Gallery, and Paul Taylor Dance Company, among others. In addition, he is credited with the design of the lobby of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. His autobiography, My Time at Tiffany's, was written with Jay Hyams and published in 1990. His work was the subject of the 1996-1997 exhibition, "Moon Over Pearls, Gene Moore's Tiffany Windows and Beyond"; held at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
"Gene Moore, 88, Window Display Artist, Dies"; The New York Times, November 26, 1998, page C17.


Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.
Collection processing and image scanning funded by donors William Rondina and Daniel Gelman (President and CEO of Lighting Services Inc), with perseverance from Gene Moore's protégé Thomas Beebe.
Custodial History
The collection was transferred to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution in 2012.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These photographs were donated to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution by Gene Moore in 1997.
Processing Information
Processed by Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., archives specialist, supervised by Vanessa Broussard-Simmons, archivist, 2016.

Using the Collection

Conditions Governing Use
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.
Conditions Governing Access
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 or 202-633-3270.
Preferred Citation
Gene Moore, Tiffany & Company Photographs, 1955-1995, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Additional material on Gene Moore's work for Tiffany & Company may be found at the Tiffany & Company Archive in Parsippany, New Jersey.


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Scrapbooks -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Show windows Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Display of merchandise Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Window display designers Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tiffany and Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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