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Drawing of Nude by Van Day Truex

Identifier: KA-0120-01


A drawing of a male nude by Parsons School of Design alumnus and president Van Day Truex, formerly owned by Harry and Dorothy Kneedler Lawenda.


  • before 1980



1 Items (1 drawing)

Scope and Contents

The ink wash drawing is of a seated male nude with torso twisted so the subject faces away from the viewer. The drawing measures 19 inches in width by 25 inches in height. Formerly framed, there is some discoloration to the paper. The work is signed "Truex" in the lower right corner.

It is unknown how the drawing came into the possession of the Lawendas, whether it was a gift from Van Day Truex, a purchase, or acquired by some other means. Harry Lawenda attended Parsons School of Design during Truex's presidency and records indicate that he donated to the school's library shortly after graduation.

Language of Materials

No linguistic content.

Access Restrictions

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

Use Restrictions

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

Biographical Note

Van Day Truex (1904-1979) was an American designer and former president of Parsons School of Design, as well as an alumnus of the school. Born in Kansas, Truex came to New York City in 1922 or 1923 to attend the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later, Parsons School of Design) from which he graduated in 1926. Frank Alvah Parsons and William Odom hired Truex as a faculty member and he became director of the school's Paris Ateliers in either 1933 or 1934. Truex served as president of Parsons School of Design following Odom's death from 1942 until a disagreement with the Parsons School of Design Board of Trustees led to his demotion from president in 1952. He is perhaps most well known for his design consulting and direction for Tiffany & Company, following his academic career.

While he worked as a designer and design director, Truex was also an adept artist who taught advertising illustration and served as head of the Department of Costume and Stage Design as well as head of Advertising Illustration for the Paris Ateliers. Student work collections in the New School Archives indicate that Truex took students on sketching excursions, and Adam Lewis, in his biography of Truex, provides numerous examples of Truex's artistic works. During his lifetime, the Carstairs and Wildenstein galleries exhibited his paintings and drawings.

Harry Lawenda was a 1947 graduate of Parsons School of Design's Interior Design Department. Born in New York, he moved to San Francisco, California in 1949 where he married Dorothy Kneedler the following year. The Lawendas owned a design firm, Kneedler Fauchere, named for Dorothy and her first business partner, Lucienne Fauchere, with showrooms in Los Angeles and Denver. Dorothy Kneedler Lawenda died in 2008 and Harry Lawenda died in 2011.


Lewis, Adam. Van Day Truex, the Man Who Defined Twentieth-century Taste and Style. New York: Viking Studio, 2001.

Parsons School of Design course catalogs. PC.05.01.01. New School Archives and Special Collections. The New School, New York, NY.

"Passings." November 2, 2011. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 24, 2017:

"Salute to Parsons." Interior Design, Volume 26, Number 11.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to The New School by the Harry and Dorothy D. Lawenda Trust, May 5, 2012.

  • Drawings (Type of Material) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
  • Human figure in art (Subject) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
Guide to the Drawing of Nude by Van Day Truex
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
April 4, 2017
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