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René Bouché fashion illustrations

Identifier: KA-0038-01


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 collection, assembled by Jerry Silverman and Shannon Rodgers, consists of over 100 of Bouché's fashion illustrations, as well as a poster from a 1974 exhibition of his work at Parsons.


  • 1949 - 1974
  • Majority of material found within 1952 - 1954



11.9 Cubic Feet (7 oversize boxes, 1 folder)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 133 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.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment.

Photographs of all illustrations in this collection are available online through The New School Archives Digital Collections database. If you wish to visit the archives to view any of the illustrations in person, schedule an appointment with us, specifying the unique identification number of the online image that you would like to see.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives. Please contact:

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.

Custodial History

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 an archives.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to the New School Archives in multiple accretions, the latest in 2013 during the closure of the Fashion Education Center, located at 560 Seventh Avenue.

Related Materials

Materials related to the 1974 exhibition of René Bouché illustrations at Parsons School of Design may be found in the New School exhibitions and public programs collection (NS.05.03.01).

An illustration by René Bouché is present in the New School Archives' Juke Goodman fashion illustration collection (KA.0112).

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

Guide to the René Bouché fashion illustrations
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
August 2, 2010
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