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Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000

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Stephanie Ashley
Scope and Contents
The papers of architect, and interior designer and planner Florence Knoll Bassett, measure approximately 2 linear feet dating from 1932 to 2000. The collection selectively documents Knoll Bassett's education and her career at Knoll Associates, Inc. from the 1940s until her resignation in 1965, in addition to personal design projects and other activities after leaving the company. It is an important source of information on the development of interior architecture and design from the 1940s to the 1970s, chronicling the Knoll mission to synthesize space, furniture, and design by creating interiors based on practical use, comfort, and aesthetics.
The collection documents the growth of Knoll's international reputation for its modern furnishings and interiors and the impact of a business philosophy that encompassed design excellence, technological innovation, and mass production. The material includes a chronology of Knoll Bassett's career; a portfolio of sketches, drawings and designs; photographs of Knoll Bassett and others; subject files containing sketches and photographic material; letters from friends, colleagues, clients and others; awards received by Knoll Bassett throughout her career; and printed material.
Much of the material is annotated with historical and biographical notes written by Knoll Bassett which provide invaluable contextual information for the materials found therein. The notes are dated 1999 in the Container Listing, under the assumption that they were written by Florence Knoll Bassett as she was arranging her archival papers.
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Florence Knoll Bassett in 2000.
Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Processing Information
Florence Knoll Bassett arranged the papers and designed their storage units before donating them to the Archives of American Art. Stephanie Ashley conducted minimal processing work on the collection in 2001, retaining the original order of the papers, the labels, and the containers provided by the donor. The collection was digitized in 2007 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.