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Jessica Rummel interior decoration working files

 Collection
Identifier: KA-0084

Overview

Ranging from the 1920s through the 1960s, the Jessica Rummel interior decoration working files consist of the files Rummel kept for her New York City-based interior decoration business, which operated during at least part of this period as Harding & Rummel, Inc. The files, which Rummel arranged under subjects such as "Fireplace equipment," "Quilting," "Decorative motifs," and "Egyptian," include small drawings, watercolors, site plans, and tracings of decorative elements, furniture, textiles, and interior layouts produced by Rummel in the course of doing business. The collection also includes vendor literature, magazine and catalog clippings, postcards, price lists, and business correspondence. Rummel was on the faculty of the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later, Parsons The New School for Design) in the Interior Architecture and Decoration Department from 1921 through 1934.

Dates

  • 1920s - 1960s

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

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.

Historical note

Ranging from the 1920s through the 1960s, the Jessica Rummel interior decoration working files consist of the files Rummel kept for her New York City-based interior decoration business, which operated during at least part of this period as Harding & Rummel, Inc. The files, which Rummel arranged under subjects such as "Fireplace equipment," "Quilting," "Decorative motifs," and "Egyptian," include small drawings, watercolors, site plans, and tracings of decorative elements, furniture, textiles, and interior layouts produced by Rummel in the course of doing business. The collection also includes vendor literature, magazine and catalog clippings, postcards, price lists, and business correspondence. Rummel was on the faculty of the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later, Parsons School of Design) in the Interior Architecture and Decoration Department from 1921 through 1934.

Extent

5.1 Cubic Feet (9.5 boxes, 13 oversize folders)

Language of Materials

English

Scope and Contents of Collection

The Jessica Rummel interior decoration working files consist of original tracings, sketches, rapid watercolor renderings, stencils, floor plans, and other preparatory design work produced on a wide variety of backings, including envelopes, scrap paper, the back side of vendor stationery, paper bags, and other inexpensive papers. Rummel's watercolors, while delicate and revealing her skill as a renderer, are often only partially completed, finished just enough to furnish clients with an idea of their options. These files provide fragmentary evidence of a thriving business in which Rummel traveled around the New York metropolitan area working with auction houses, antique stores, vendors and establishments specializing in a range of decorative elements and furniture. The files also include reference materials, including newspaper, magazine, auction, museum, and other catalog clippings, dealer postcards and photographs. Most of the original work is undated, while published reference materials range from the 1920s through the 1960s. Sketches, paintings, vendor literature, and other materials are often annotated with calculations, dimensions, style numbers, prices, descriptions, and comments on designs. Some files include correspondence between Rummel and clients related to purchases and design decisions. File titles and ordering by subject reflect Rummel's original titling and arrangement.

Organization and Arrangement

The files are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Other Finding Aids

For selected item-level description and images from the Jessica Rummel interior decoration working files, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/KA0084.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Willson Powell, a friend of Jessica Rummel, in 2008.

Related Materials

A 1931 article written by Rummel published in Good Furniture & Decoration may be found in the New School Archives' Designer files collection (PC.08.04.01) under "R."
Title
Guide to the Jessica Rummel interior decoration working files
Status
Completed
Author
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
Date
November 29, 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Revision Statements

  • 2021 January 22: The New School Archives staff added 20 small watercolors by Jessica Rummel to the collection, donated to The New School Archives in 2020. The extent has been updated to reflect this accretion.