Production archive of contact prints, original photographs, page mock-ups, ephemera, typescript, and other primary materials from INTERIORS MAGAZINE editor Olga Gueft (1915-2015).
Very good plus.
Gueft, a highly influential figure in the history of 20th century design, joined INTERIORS as managing editor in 1945 and ascended to editor in 1953, remaining in that position through 1974. Her eye for promising designers led her to commission early cover artwork from Andy Warhol, and under her guidance the magazine showcased the work of Florence Knoll, Vladimir Kagan, and Edward Wormley, among many others. Tucked inside a 1966 Knoll Leisure Collection catalog is a 17-page typescript article on the history and contemporary design direction of the Knoll company, titled NEW HANDS FOR THE TORCH and most likely intended for publication in INTERIORS. Gueft, always an editor with strong opinions, begins by reviewing the unspeakable ugliness of the early 1940s — "Most disgusting of all were the chairs" — as a reminder to the reader of what horrors preceded the midcentury modern aesthetic and what a great and gracious service Hans and Florence Knoll did for America and for the world. The article then details the several periods of Knoll through Hans's death and Florence Knoll's departure in 1965, concluding with an overview of the then-current design and development team. The remainder of the archive consists of 65 photographs, with contact sheets, negatives, and other notes and ephemera, all associated with Knoll. A memo from Gueft to "Christine" specifies that none of her photos may be used without credit, or without payment outside of "a Knoll or Knoll International in-company house organ or newsletter." A few of the photographs thus have "Not Gueft Photo / Can Be Used" scrawled on the back. The East Greenville, Pennsylvania workshop described in the article is the setting and subject of the majority of the photographs, many of which include identified or identifiable designers and other figures at Knoll — Warren Platner, Don Albinson, Richard Schultz, Don Pettitt, William Stephens — and their work, both in progress and in finished form. The remarkable series of photographs shows Knoll workers assembling furniture, some in extreme close-up or documenting technical details. Another group focuses specifically on the Platner chair, both in the process of assembly and finished. Gueft cites Platner's wire furniture, Richard Schultz's "elegant aluminum frames," Albinson's "remarkably strong, remarkably elegant" stacking chair, all pictured in photographs, as exemplars of "the continuity of the Knoll ideal [...] maintained without a break." A detailed portrait of midcentury design from the height of perhaps its greatest practitioner: Knoll.
(New York and East Greenville, PA): n.p, (ca. 1967). Production archive for a 1967 article on the Knoll company by Olga Gueft. Collection includes 65 original photographs of the Knoll workshop and designs, with contact prints (dated 7/66) and negatives; several production sheets with layout and markup; notes and ephemera; a 1966 Knoll catalog with color and black-and-white photography and price list; and one complete 17-page typescript article draft by Olga Gueft dated 3/27/67. About a quarter of the photographs have numbers or notes on the back identifying the subject or photographer (either Gueft herself, or as "Not Gueft Photo.") Most are approx. 10'' by 7'' with a few others in smaller sizes. A few photographs thumbed at corners; otherwise very good or better. All housed in large archival box.
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