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Fred Greenhill fashion illustrations

 Collection
Identifier: KA-0022-01

Summary

Fred Greenhill (1925-2007) graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1950. He went on to work as a fashion illustrator for Neiman Marcus in the 1950s, and was the primary artist for Saks Fifth Avenue in the 1960s and early 1970s. Greenhill is most recognized for his Lord & Taylor illustrations, including the company's trademark long-stemmed rose. The New School Archives holds approximately 700 fashion illustrations that Greenhill created from the 1960s through the 1980s.

Dates

  • circa 1960s-1980s

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

Fashion illustrator Fred Greenhill was born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area (different sources give 1925 and 1930 as his year of birth, but the former is more probable). Greenhill briefly studied art and French at the University of Texas in Austin after serving in the army during World War Two. In 1948, Greenhill moved to New York City to attend Parsons School of Design, earning a degree in costume design in 1950. Upon returning to Texas after graduation, Greenhill worked as a freelance designer before eventually finding his vocation and developing a portfolio as a fashion illustrator for local department stores. In 1953, Greenhill was offered a position at Neiman Marcus, which helped him further develop his professional portfolio.

Greenhill returned to New York City in 1957, and landed a permanent position at Saks Fifth Avenue as its primary illustrator. Greenhill’s illustrations began to appear daily in local New York newspaper advertisements, the designs becoming a standard of fashion advertisements in the 1960s. Greenhill began working for Lord & Taylor in 1974, beginning a long relationship with the department store where he created some of his most recognized work, including the “Lord & Taylor Woman” illustrations of the 1970s and 1980s, and the long-stemmed rose design that became Lord & Taylor’s trademark image, emblazoned on their shopping bags for more than a decade.

In addition to his work with Neiman Marcus, Saks and Lord & Taylor, Greenhill illustrated for the cosmetics firms Elizabeth Arden, Revlon and Estée Lauder. His illustrations were featured in advertisements that appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Baazar and The New York Times. After nearly twenty years at Lord & Taylor, and over forty years in the fashion industry, Greenhill left New York City and returned to Texas. He died in his Austin home in August, 2007.

Extent

7.9 Cubic Feet (1 box, 5 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Scope and Contents of Collection

The collection is comprised almost exclusively of fashion illustrations executed by Fred Greenhill, who rendered the bulk of the approximately seven hundred drawings in charcoal and ink washes. Other media include marker and pastels. Unless otherwise noted in a folder title, illustrations are charcoal and ink wash. Some drawings also bear evidence of editorial markings, stamps, and targets. With minimal exception, Greenhill's fashion illustrations depict women's apparel. Jewelry and cosmetics are also represented. Of note are a number of illustrations depicting women engaged in a variety of leisure activities, such as shopping, reading, attending parties, or being waited upon by servents.

Although no illustrations are dated, approximately sixty drawings were clearly executed for Saks Fifth Avenue, including several depicting Saks Fifth Avenue store interiors. While the majority of the drawings were likely executed for Lord & Taylor, most offer no indication of who commissioned the work. Designer and manufacturer names include Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder, Gloria Sachs, J.P. Stevens, and Natori.

In addition to the drawings, the collection includes clippings and tearsheets featuring Greenhill's illustrations, as well as a press kit and a catalog issued by the University of North Texas for an exhibition of the illustrator's work in 1992.

Organization and Arrangement

Loosely arranged by medium.

Other Finding Aids

For selected item-level description and images from the Fred Greenhill fashion illustrations, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/KA0022.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Fred Greenhill, 2000 and 2004.

Related Materials

The New School Archives' Designer files collection (PC.08.04.01) includes a folder of clippings about Fred Greenhill.

Fashion illustrations by Fred Greenhill are also held by the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Title
Guide to the Fred Greenhill fashion illustrations
Status
Completed
Author
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
Date
February 14, 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English