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Harry Marinsky interior design illustrations

Identifier: KA-0030-01


In the 1950s and 1960s, Harry Marinsky (1909-2008) illustrated for many publications, including House and Garden, House Beautiful and Woman's Day. The New School Archives collection consists of seventy illustrations in watercolor and marker depicting residential and commercial interiors and exteriors.


  • circa 1953-1988
  • Majority of material found within 1953 - 1969



4.7 Cubic Feet (2 oversize boxes, 1 map case drawer)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of watercolor and marker illustrations. Also included are two catalogs from the 1980s for exhibitions of Marinsky's sculpture, and a guide to houseplants (1963) illustrated by him.

The majority of the seventy illustrations depict residential interiors, although six drawings depict retail spaces and a restaurant (it is unclear if all six depict different views of the same department store). Another five depict the exteriors of houses. Living rooms, sitting rooms, and bedrooms are most frequently depicted. The drawings are prominently signed "Marinsky" and most are undated.

According to the donor, artwork was either created for use in magazine advertising layout or as illustrations for articles. In some cases, an editor would present Marinsky with a sample item, such as wallpaper, and ask him to design a room around it. In others, he visually documented an existing interior.

Conditions Governing Access

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. Please contact:

Biographical note

Born in London, Harry Marinsky (1909-2008) studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and Pratt Institute. He began his career as an artist in 1934 making costumes and papier mâché masks for a dance recital at New York City's Guild Theatre. He soon turned to the illustration of interiors, and served for three years as art director for Country Life and American Home, producing watercolor renderings for the magazines' covers. Marinsky supported a burgeoning interest in sculpture through commercial illustration for several decades; publications such as the New York Herald Tribune, House and Garden, House Beautiful, and Woman's Day commissioned work from him. During the administration of President Richard M. Nixon, Marinsky designed a rug for and helped to redecorate the Oval Office. In 1972, Marinsky moved to Italy to pursue his interest in bronze sculpture at the Tomassi Foundry in Pietrasanta.


Renderings are organized into two series by function of the space depicted: commercial and residential.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of the collection was donated by Harry Marinsky to Parsons School of Design in 1972. Marinsky donated an additional ten drawings in 2000.

Related Materials

Three publications included with the donation of the Harry Marinsky interior design illustrations will be found in the New School Archives and Special Collections. They are: The Woman's Day Book of House Plants (illustrated by Marinsky); The Sculpture of Harry Marinsky; and Harry Marinsky, Recent Sculpture.

Guide to the Harry Marinsky interior design illustrations
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
May 4, 2011
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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