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Guide to the Harry Marinsky interior design illustrations, circa 1953-1988

Collection Overview

Kellen Design Archives
Creator - Illustrator
Marinsky, Harry
Harry Marinsky interior design illustrations, circa 1953-1988, (Bulk, 1953-1969)
9.4 linear ft : 2 oversize boxes, 1 map case drawer
In the 1950s and 1960s, Harry Marinsky (1909-2008) illustrated for many publications, including House and Garden,  House Beautiful and  Woman's Day. The Kellen Design Archives collection consists of seventy illustrations in watercolor and marker depicting residential and commercial interiors and exteriors.

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Biographical note

Born in London, Harry Marinsky (1909-2008) studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and Pratt Institute. He began his career as an artist in 1934 making costumes and papier mâché masks for a dance recital at New York City's Guild Theatre. He soon turned to the illustration of interiors, and served for three years as art director for Country Life and  American Home, producing watercolor renderings for the magazines' covers. Marinsky supported a burgeoning interest in sculpture through commercial illustration for several decades; publications such as the  New York Herald Tribune,  House and Garden,  House Beautiful, and  Woman's Day commissioned work from him. During the administration of President Richard M. Nixon, Marinsky designed a rug for and helped to redecorate the Oval Office. In 1972, Marinsky moved to Italy to pursue his interest in bronze sculpture at the Tomassi Foundry in Pietrasanta.

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Scope and Contents note

The bulk of the collection consists of watercolor and marker illustrations. Also included are two catalogs from the 1980s for exhibitions of Marinsky's sculpture, and a guide to houseplants (1963) illustrated by him.

The majority of the seventy illustrations depict residential interiors, although six drawings depict retail spaces and a restaurant (it is unclear if all six depict different views of the same department store). Another five depict the exteriors of houses. Living rooms, sitting rooms, and bedrooms are most frequently depicted. The drawings are prominently signed "Marinsky" and most are undated.

According to the donor, artwork was either created for use in magazine advertising layout or as illustrations for articles. In some cases, an editor would present Marinsky with a sample item, such as wallpaper, and ask him to design a room around it. In others, he visually documented an existing interior.


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Organization and Arrangement

Organized in 2 series.

  1. Illustrations
  2. Publications

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Kellen Design Archives May 4, 2011

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

The bulk of the collection was donated by Harry Marinsky to Parsons School of Design in 1972. Marinsky donated an additional ten drawings in 2000.

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects


  • Drawings.
  • Periodical illustrations.


  • Illustrators.


  • Interior decoration in art.
  • Interior decoration -- Periodicals.
  • Magazine illustration -- United States -- 20th century.

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Collection Inventory

Series I. Illustrations circa 1953-circa 1975 
Title Map-case Folder
Department stores and restaurant  C 2 1-6
Title Box Folder
Residential interiors and exteriors  OSxxx-1 1-5
OSxxx-2 1-7

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Series II. Publications 1963-1988 
Title Box Folder
Hammer Galleries exhibition catalogs, 1982, 1988  1 1
The Woman's Day Book of House Plants, 1963  1 1

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Collection guide Last Updated: 08/30/2012

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