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

Collection Overview


Kellen Design Archives

Collection Identifier


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 New School Archives collection consists of seventy illustrations in watercolor and marker depicting residential and commercial interiors and exteriors.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Harry Marinsky interior design illustrations, KA.0030, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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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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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Kellen Design Archives - May 4, 2011

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

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Harry Marinsky interior design illustrations, KA.0030, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research use. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School 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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Related Materials

Three publications included with the donation of the Harry Marinsky interior design illustrations will be found in the New School Archives and Special Collections. They are: The Woman's Day Book of House Plants (illustrated by Marinsky);  The Sculpture of Harry Marinsky; and  Harry Marinsky, Recent Sculpture.

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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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Other Finding Aids note

For selected item-level description and images from the Harry Marinsky interior design illustrations, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/KA0030.

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Collection Inventory

Map-case Folder
Department stores and restaurant 
C 2 1-6
Residential interiors and exteriors 
OSxxx-1 1-5
OSxxx-2 1-7

Collection Guide Last Updated: 02/28/2017

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