Skip to main content

Richard E. Filipowski papers, 1940-1995

Richard E. Filipowski papers, 1940-1995

Filipowski, Richard E., 1923-2008

Sculptor, Educator


Collection Information

Size: 4.0 linear ft.

Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, teaching files, writings, project files, subject files, printed material, works of art, photographs, slides, microfilm reels, and an audio tape.

Biographical material includes resumes, a completed Bauhaus Archiv questionnaire, a student visa, 1944, and identification cards. Correspondence, 1940-1989 and undated, mostly relates to his teaching and sculpture, including letters from collector Herbert M. Agoos, Lawrence B. Anderson, Pietro Belluschi, Serge Chermayeff, Stuart Davis, Garrett Eckbo, Walter and Ise Gropius, Thomas Howgarth, Gyorgy Kepes, William H. Kessler, Thomas M. Messer, Laszlo and Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Joan Peterson, Robert O. Preusser, Kevin Roche, Julian Rowan, Crombie F. Taylor, and Konrad Waschman.

Teaching files from the Institute of Design (later the Illinois Institute of Technology), 1946-1950, the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, 1950-1952, and the Dept. of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1953-1989, containing syllabi, faculty meeting minutes, sketches for lectures, and blueprints, notes and drafts for lectures, school catalogs and schedules, and files on student exhibitions and projects, including two films, "Do Not Disturb, with Moholy-Nagy, 1943-1946, and "Hearts and Arrows," 1948. Writings include notes, drafts, and typescripts of lectures and speeches, as well as an audio recording of a lecture delivered in Oneonta, N.Y., 1969, "Art Phobia in our Society."

Project files contain correspondence, business records, notes, printed material, sketches and photographs for 18 commissions in architecture, sculpture and furniture design, among them projects with Moholy-Nagy, 1946, Temple Emanu-El with letters from William W. Wurster, 1956-1957, Temple B'rith Kodesh with letters from Belluschi, 1962-1963, Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church with letters from Otto E. Reichert-Facilides, 1963-1965, the Art in the Embassies Program, 1965-1970, and design for the RKO General Building, 1973. There are also files on programs which Filipowski assisted in planning and organizing, including the ICA's "Design in Industry" exhibition, 1952, the Boston Art Festival, 1954-1955, he ACSA-AIA Teacher's Seminar in Aspen, CO, 1957, and an exhibition of Filipowski's work at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 1968-1969.

Art work includes sketches, 1945-1980, a print, 1943, sketches and cardboard studies for his sculpture, ca. 1945-1961, Christmas card designs, 1974-1977, 3 sketchbooks, 1960, 1961, and 1967, a notebook of computer generated patterns by a MIT student, 1966 and 2 reels of microfilm containing computer generated designs.

Printed material consists of exhibition catalogs, 1946-1988; clippings about his designs, teaching, students and colleagues; lecture programs; and reproductions of his designs and illustrations.

Photographs and slides are of Filipowski and others, ca. 1943-1989, including a group photo for the Architecture of Crow Island School with Bill Kessler, Johannes Molzahn and others, works of art including sculptures, paintings and furniture designs and a negative of his award winning World War II poster, 1942; slides of his exhibitions at the Nexus Gallery, 1959 and the Joan Peterson Gallery, 1961, works of art by his students from Harvard and MIT.

ADDITION: Biographical data; vital documents; personal and professional correspondence; sketches and designs; writings; Laszlo Maholy-Nagy -- script notes for student film, Do Not Disturb, Institute of Design, Chicago, July 1945; teaching files; photographs and negatives of Filipowski and his work; slides of work; exhibition material; clippings and printed material; and four sketches by Patricia Parker (Mrs. Richard E.) Filipowski.

Biographical/Historical Note

Designer, sculptor, painter, filmmaker, educator; Massachusetts. Born in Poland and as a child moved to Ontario, Canada. Studied under Laszlo Moholy-Nagy at the Institute of Design 1942-1946 and taught there after graduating, 1946-1950. Invited by Walter Gropius to organize and teach Design Fundamentals at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, 1950-1952. Taught as an Associate Professor of Visual Design in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1953-1989.


Donated 1989-1998 by Richard Filipowski.

How to Use This Collection

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Richard E. Filipowski papers, 1940-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.