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Ziva S. Gruber papers

Identifier: KA-0147-01


Ziva S. Gruber (née Margalith) is an interior designer and former student at Parsons School of Design. This collection contains Gruber's student notebooks from her classes at Parsons in the early 1960s and documentation of her professional design work. Also included is material related to a 1971 Parsons student project on the redesign of the Central Park Zoo, which Gruber worked with students on as a voluntary instructor.


  • 1962 - 1994



0.4 Cubic Feet (1 box; 4 folders; 1 rolled item)

Language of Materials


Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of documents connected to Ziva Gruber’s work at professional interior design firms in the 1970s and early 1980s, and eight notebooks from interior design courses Gruber took while a student at Parsons School of Design.

Two of the student notebooks are from spring 1962, Gruber’s first year at Parsons. These notebooks contain basic studies in color, perspective, and layout, lecture notes, and notes from field trips to New York-based institutions. Gruber used a range of materials for the studies, including watercolor, pencil, and pen, on paper and vellum. The remaining six notebooks Gruber made her second year at Parsons. These notebooks, numbered one through six, are period studies. The illustrations are felt-tipped pen on mylar. Notes from lectures by Robert Castle, chairperson of the Interior Design department, James Woodruff, and Stanley Barrow are included.

The majority of documents from Gruber’s career in interior design are dated 1971-1981. This material relates to Ford and Earl’s partnership with Parsons to redesign the Central Park Zoo, design procedures internal to Stanley Felderman, photographs and correspondence connected to the 1979 Hexter Awards (Gruber won honorable mention), and clippings. A catalog for RCA’s art collection, which Gruber designed, is included.

The series also contains a set of rolled blueprints. After 1982, Gruber worked as a private contractor for luxury residential and commercial buildings, until her retirement in 2011. One of Gruber's projects was to remodel the Schneider residence in 1994. The blueprints are from this remodel.

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

Ziva S. Gruber (née Margalith) was born in Jerusalem, Israel. Her parents encouraged her to pursue a career in either medicine or law. To that end she studied chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. However, in 1960 Gruber moved to New York to pursue studies in interior design at Parsons School of Design. She graduated from Parsons' Interior Design program in 1964. In 1965, Gruber took a job with an architectural firm where she learned technical drafting. In 1968, she moved to Ford and Earl Design Associates, a firm at which she would work for the next eight years. During this period Gruber participated in critiques at Parsons.

In 1971, the Friends of Central Park Zoo approached Ford and Earl to redesign the zoo pro bono. Gruber brought the project to Parsons and worked as a voluntary instructor and liaison between Ed Frank and Tom Gould (Parsons faculty) and the firm. “The Central Park Redevelopment Study” was completed by nineteen students as their senior project, and was Parsons’ first community design workshop.

Between 1977 and 1982, Gruber worked as a designer at a number of firms: Daroff Design, Fulton & Partners, Luss Kaplan & Associates, and Stanley Felderman Ltd. After 1982, Gruber worked as a private contractor for high end residential buildings and speciality shops, until her retirement in 2011.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject in 2 series: 1. Parsons School of Design, 1962-1971 2. Professional work, 1971-1994

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to The New School Archives and Special Collections by Ziva S. Gruber in 2016.

Related Materials

The New School Archives holds an oral history interview with Ziva S. Gruber, part of the Parsons School of Design oral history program (PC.07.01.02) and a poster for the Central Park Zoo competition can be found in the Parsons School of Design Poster Collection (PC.05.07.01.) The New School Archives also holds numerous interior design collections from Parsons alumni, including Dero Darwin (KA.0051), Melvin Dwork (KA.0034), Francis J. Geck (KA.0052), and Lyman Marin (KA.0031), among others. An oral history project on the history of the interior design department, "Radical Shifts: Reshaping the Interior at Parsons (1955-1985)," is also held by The New School Archives.

Guide to the Ziva S. Gruber papers
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
November 5, 2019
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