Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

email signup Blog Video Facebook Twitter Instagram

Norman Bel Geddes (American, 1893-1958)
Earring design for Trifari, Krussman & Fischel
Graphite and gouache on paper

Close Window

Norman Bel Geddes Database

Job 630, Jewelry, 1940-1942, 1949-1950

Summary: The Bel Geddes's firm's first commission for costume jewelry designs came from Trifari, Krussman & Fischel, for whom the firm designed a Lucite and gold fish brooch that is now a vintage classic.

In 1949 Geddes and his third wife, Anne Howe Hilliard, worked together on designs for a line of costume jewelry for Rice-Weiner & Co. Geddes and Howard Weiner did not often agree on which designs should be manufactured. Weiner was disappointed that early designs submitted by Geddes did not convey “the lines and the flow of motion which you had captured and practically developed in the design field in some of your modern structural designs.” Geddes, in turn, was puzzled by Weiner’s preference for “gadgets in the form [of] recognizable objects.”

Geddes’s “flow-motion” designed jewelry ensembles (based largely on architectural and floral motifs) were launched enthusiastically in summer 1950. By year’s end, Rice-Weiner reported disappointing sales and abruptly discontinued the use of Geddes’s name in connection with the line.

(click image for description)

Box/Location Folder Description
box 48 630.1a Trifari, Krussman, & Fischel, Inc. --- Agreement, estimate, memo 1940, 1942. 1 Sketch, 24 photostats of sketches.
box 48 630.1b Trifari, Krussman, & Fischel, Inc. --- 18 sketches of jewelry designs, 1 sketch of title page [?], "Designs by / Norman Bel Geddes / For / Trifari, Kaussman (sic) & Fishel (sic)".
box 48 630.1c Trifari, Krussman, & Fischel, Inc. --- 17 sketches of jewelry designs, 1940-1941.
box 48 630.1d Trifari, Krussman, & Fischel, Inc. --- 18 photostats of jewelry designs dated 1940-1941.
damaged flat box 20 630.1 Trifari, Krussman, & Fischel, Inc.--- 13 Sketches.
photo box 19 630.1 Trifari, Krussman, & Fischel, Inc.--- 4 Photographs of jewelry.
negative box 31 630.1 Trifari, Krussman, & Fischel, Inc.--- 2 Negatives.
box 48 630.2 L. Heller & Son, Inc.--- Agreement, correspondence, memo 1942.
box 48 630.3 Rice-Weiner & Co. --- Correspondence 1949-1950.
box 48 630.4 Rice-Weiner & Co.--- Data - Correspondence, drawings schedule 1949. McClelland Barclay label. Clippings 1949.
box 48 630.5 Rice-Weiner & Co.--- Publicity - Press release, brochure, advertisement clipping.
photo box 19 630.2 Rice-Weiner & Co.--- Data - 3 Photographs McClelland Barclay design.
photo box 19 630.3 Rice-Weiner & Co.--- Publicity --- 5 Photographs NBG designs.
box 48 630.6-8 Rice-Weiner & Co.--- Ca. 30 Sketches, 225 Positive and negative photostats.
box 49 630.9 Rice-Weiner & Co.--- Ca. 30 Sketches, 225 Positive and negative photostats (continued).