Skip to main content

Bruce Buttfield renderings and photographs

 Collection
Identifier: KA-0007-01

Summary

Interior decorator Bruce Buttfield (1897-1969) made his mark in the 1930s by creating distinctive furniture and rooms. In 1931, he designed the interior of the original Whitney Museum building on Eighth Street in New York City. The collection includes photographs and color renderings of Buttfield interiors.

Dates

  • circa 1930s - 1950s

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.

Biographical note

Arthur Bruce Buttfield (1897-1969) was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. He is known for his decoration of the original Whitney Museum, including furniture and administrative offices. The interior of the museum was unusual for its time in its resemblance to a private residence more than an institution. In 1929, Buttfield decorated rooms in the New York Junior League headquarters. Among his residential clients were Juliana R. Force, Charles S. McVeigh, G. Macculloch Miller, and John Nickerson.

The offices of Bruce Buttfield, Inc. -- billed as "interior architects and decorators"-- were located on East 73rd Street. Buttfield designed original furniture for clients.

Extent

1.1 Cubic Feet (2 boxes, 4 oversize folders)

Language of Materials

English

Scope and Contents of Collection

The collection consists of photographs and renderings of residential spaces and furniture. The collection also includes a certificate from the American Institute of Interior Decorators, a client list, and a clipping about a residential project. The collection is divided into two main series by format.

The photographs are black and white prints, many by Samuel H. Gottscho. They depict bathrooms, bedrooms, decorative elements and furnishings, and living rooms. There is also one photograph of a swimming pool area. Many of the photographs and renderings in this collection are unidentified and undated. Identified photographs include Buttfield's clients: the Whitney Museum, Charles S. McVeigh, and G. Macculloch Miller, the architect of the Whitney Museum. Photographs of the Whitney feature various areas of the facility.

Renderings consist primarily of small-scale interior elevations, furniture, and three exploded plans. Several are signed, "F. Haag." Many of the elevations are unidentified by project, although furniture renderings are identified by client. Clients include the architect J. Lakin Baldridge, Madame Helena Rubinstein, and Lady Holton. None of the renderings feature dates.

Organization and Arrangement

Organized in 3 series: I. Biographical, 1931-1935; II. Photographs, circa 1930s-circa 1940s; III. Renderings, circa 1930-circa 1950s

Other Finding Aids

For selected item-level description and images from the Bruce Buttfield renderings and photographs, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/KA0007.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection donated to the Gimbel Library of Parsons School of Design prior to the establishment of the New School Archives.

Two renderings and a photograph received with donation of Stanley Barrows papers (KA.0002). These materials possibly constituted part of the original donation to Gimbel Library.

Related Materials

The Museum of the City of New York holds photographs taken in the early 1930s of interiors designed by Bruce Buttfield.
Title
Guide to the Bruce Buttfield renderings and photographs
Status
Completed
Author
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
Date
August 31, 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English