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L. Garth Huxtable papers, 1913-2012

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Finding aid for the L. Garth Huxtable papers, 1913-2012

Biographical/Historical Note

The industrial designer L. Garth Huxtable (1911-1989) was born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He graduated from the Massachusetts School of Art in 1933 with a degree in design. After working in several advertising art studios in New York City at the beginning of his career, Huxtable was hired in 1934 as a design assistant in the office of Norman Bel Geddes. Following his work at Norman Bel Geddes & Company, Huxtable went on to work for the offices of several other notable designers including Egmont Arens, Albert Kahn, Benjamin Webster and Henry Dreyfuss. Between 1941 and 1952 Huxtable worked for two large institutional planning offices, first as assistant architectural design supervisor for Sperry Gyroscope, planning their new plant in Nassau, NY, and then as research designer at the United Nations headquarters.

Huxtable married Ada Louise Landman in 1942. In 1946 he was accepted into the Society of Industrial Designers, a new and prestigious professional association based in New York. By 1948 he established his independent office, L. Garth Huxtable Industrial Design, quickly earning contracts with the Millers Falls Company and Restaurant Associates. Ada Louise Huxtable, who worked as the architecture critic for the New York Times, also collaborated with her husband on projects, including the Four Seasons Restaurant service and the Stamp Village model town.

Throughout his career Huxtable worked on a wide variety of project types. However, his most extensive work was with designing tools, cookware, and tableware. For Huxtable, a well-designed product should be simple and direct in concept, with form, function, and construction being soundly integrated. This approach to design was recognized at the Triennale di Milano, where Huxtable twice won the silver award, and subsequently by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which acquired 18 items from the Four Seasons Restaurant service. Patents were awarded for several Huxtable designs, including the Millers Falls Plane-R-File and the United States Army Quartermasters Corps ski harness release. Huxtable closed his office in 1980.

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