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Guide to the René Bouché fashion illustrations, 1949-1957, 1974

Collection Overview

Kellen Design Archives
Bouché, René, 1905-1963
Vogue (New York).
René Bouché fashion illustrations, 1949-1957, 1974, (Bulk, 1949-1957)
12.6 linear ft: 5 oversize boxes
A celebrated portraitist and leader in fashion illustration, René Robert Bouché (1905-1963) was a visiting lecturer at Parsons School of Design in 1947. The Kellen collection consists of 104 of Bouché's fashion illustrations, as well as a poster from a 1974 exhibition of his work at Parsons.

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Biographical note

René Robert Bouché was born in Prague in 1905 or 1906. He later moved to Berlin where, despite a lack of formal training, he worked as an illustrator. In 1933, he moved to Paris, and by the late 1930s his fashion illustrations were being published in French Vogue.

Motivated by the war, Bouché immigrated to the United States in 1941, and began illustrating for American Vogue. Saks Fifth Avenue, Elizabeth Arden, and CBS commissioned works by Bouché during the next two decades. He was also a special lecturer at Parsons School of Design during the 1947-1948 academic year. Beginning in the early 1950s, he painted oil portraits of notables from the art, fashion, literature, and media worlds.

In 1962, Bouché moved to England, where he died on July 3, 1963.


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Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of 104 drawings by renowned artist and illustrator René Robert Bouché. American Vogue magazine commissioned many of the illustrations in the 1950s, with the bulk of the dated illustrations executed between 1952-1954. Almost all of the items in the collection are signed "RRBouché."

The majority of the drawings are executed in watercolor and ink. The collection contains one pencil sketch and an illustration that appears to be a silk screen print. These two items are unsigned.

The collection also includes a poster designed by Cipe Pineles (Box OSxxx-1, Folder 26) publicizing an exhibition of selected original Bouché drawings "presented to Parsons School of Design by Jerry Silverman and Shannon Rodgers." A program for the exhibition lists fifty items, dated between 1949 and 1957, the majority of which were commissioned by Vogue. The September 12, 1974 exhibition is advertised as being the "inaugural exhibition" of the Adam L. Gimbel Design Library at Parsons. The collection consists of drawings featured in this exhibit. Library records indicate that the drawings were considered part of the library's holdings.


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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Kellen Design Archives August 2, 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.

Custodial History note

Donated to Parsons School of Design by Board of Trustee member Jerry Silverman and Shannon Rodgers of Jerry Silverman, Inc., prior to the establishment of the Kellen Design Archives.

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Related Materials

Materials related to the 1974 exhibition of René Bouché illustrations at Parsons School of Design may be found in the Parsons Institutional Collections (PIC) Printed materials record group, Exhibitions series.

An illustration by René Bouché is present in the Kellen Design Archives' Juke Goodman collection of fashion illustrations (KA.0112).

A portait of Sophie Gimbel executed by René Bouché is also owned by the Kellen Design Archives (KA.0113).


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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects


  • Drawings.
  • Fashion illustrations (layout features).
  • Posters.


  • Fashion illustrators.


  • Costume -- United States -- 20th century -- Pictorial works.
  • Fashion drawing.
  • Women's clothing -- United States -- 20th century -- Pictorial works.

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Collection Inventory

Title Box Folder
Fashion illustrations  k_9 5
OSxx-1 1-18
OSxxx-1 1-29
OSxxx-2 1-26
OSxxx-3 1-18
OSxxx-4 1-12

Collection guide Last Updated: 08/30/2012

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