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Guide to the Lea Hoyt papers and design work, 1933-1998

Collection Overview

Kellen Design Archives
Hoyt, Lea, 1912-1998
Lea Hoyt Designs.
Creator - Correspondent
Neumann, Vera
Lea Hoyt papers and design work, 1933-1998
1.8 linear ft: 1 box, 10 folders
Lea Hoyt (1912-1998) received a degree in graphic design from the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later, Parsons The New School for Design) in 1933, and went on to a six decade career as a graphic and textile designer. The collection includes biographical material, correspondence, design drawings, photographs, and examples of Hoyt's work, represented by napkins and paper plates, among other items.

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Biographical note

Lea Hoyt (1912-1998) created original batik, silk screened, and hand-painted designs for paper goods (greeting cards, wrapping paper, plates and napkins), textiles, and clothing.

After attending Textile High School in New York, Lena Roberta La Rue Hoyt (at some point she began using Lea) enrolled in a three-year program at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (now, Parsons The New School for Design). She graduated in 1933 from the Graphic Advertising and Illustration Department. Hoyt was later hired as a stylist by the textile converting firm of Cohn-Hall-Marx, Inc., where she worked for thirteen years. She was then offered a position with "Scarves by Vera" for whom she designed linens, blouses, and Vera Neumann's trademark scarves in the early 1960s. While designing for Vera, Hoyt won a Louis Comfort Tiffany award, which she used to finance a study trip to Scandinavia and Positano, Italy.

Hoyt later worked as a designer for Ameritex and for Burlington Industries. She retired in 1978 and moved from Fairlawn, New Jersey to Punta Gorda, Florida where she became an artist and freelance designer of clothing, textiles, and paper goods. Hoyt joined the Sea Grape Gallery, an artists' co-operative, where she taught batik and silkscreen techniques, and during this period, expanded into new media, studying ceramics and stained glass.


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Scope and Contents of Collection

The Lea Hoyt papers include biographical materials, textile design drawings executed in a variety of media, photographs, printed materials, and samples of products created using Hoyt's designs.

Biographical materials include Hoyt's diploma from the New York School of Fine and Applied Art, copies of her school transcript, clippings about her, and correspondence regarding the Tiffany Foundation award. This series also includes a letter from Vera Neumann.

The design drawings are comprised of drawings in a variety of media. Although some depict flowers and animals, the majority feature geometric shapes, patterns, and abstractions. The drawings do not indicate how the design would eventually be used, nor are the items dated. The collection includes one example of Hoyt's student work, an advertising illustration for R. H. Macy's department store.

Photographs and slides depict artwork, women's apparel, and Hoyt displaying her work in a gallery and working on batik designs outdoors at her home in Florida. With the exception of a black and white photograph of Hoyt dated 1964, all photographic materials date from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.

Printed materials and textiles consist of finished products incorporating Hoyt's designs. These include greeting cards, paper napkins and plates, batik-patterned wrapping paper, and a fabric sample. The series also includes commercial paper goods catalogs from the 1970s featuring Hoyt's work. Textiles employing a lady bug motif may have been designed by Hoyt, or may represent a gift from Hoyt's former employer, Vera Neumann.


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Organization and Arrangement

Organized in 4 series:

  1. Biographical materials, 1933-1990s
  2. Design drawings, circa 1933, undated
  3. Photographs, 1964-1994
  4. Printed materials and textiles, 1972-1986, undated

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Kellen Design Archives November 9, 2010

66 5th Ave./
lobby level/
New York, NY, 10011

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the Kellen Design Archives. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated by Earl Hoyt, Lea Hoyt's son, 1999.

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects


  • Christmas cards.
  • Drawings.
  • Mock-ups.
  • Photographs.
  • Screen prints.
  • Slides (photographs).
  • Textiles.


  • Graphic designers.


  • Artists -- Florida -- 20th century.
  • Batik.
  • Commercial art -- United States -- 20th century.
  • Graphic design.
  • Silk painting.
  • Textile design -- United States -- 20th century.

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Collection Inventory

Series I. Biographical materials 1933-1990s 
Title Box Folder
Clippings, 1950s, 1980s-1998  1 1
k_11 2
Correspondence, 1962-1977  1 2
Diploma from New York School of Fine and Applied Art and reproduction of personal statement, 1933, 1978  k_11 2
Transcript from New York School of Fine and Applied Art, 1933  1 3

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Series II. Design drawings circa 1933, undated 
Title Box Folder
General  1 4
k_11 3
k_OSx-3 2-3
k_OSxx-5 7-8
Abstractions and patterns  1 5-6
Floral  1 7-8
Holiday  1 9
Student work, circa 1933  k_OSx-3 4

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Series III. Photographs 1964-1994 
Title Box Folder
Photographs  1 10
Slides  1 11

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Series IV. Printed materials and textiles 1972-1986, undated 
Title Box Folder
Catalogs, 1972-1976, 1986  1 12
Greeting cards and envelopes, undated  1 13
Napkins, undated  1 14
Paper plates and wrapping paper sample, undated  k_11 1
Scarves [?] by Vera, circa 1977  k_OSx-3 5
Textile sample, undated  k_OSx-3 6

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Collection guide Last Updated: 08/30/2012

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