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Terence Harold Robsjohn-Gibbings papers, 1915-1977

Biographical Note

Terence Harold Robsjohn-Gibbings (1905-1976) was a furniture and interior designer who lived and worked in New York City and Athens, Greece.
Robsjohn-Gibbings was born in England and studied architecture at London University. In 1930, he immigrated to America, and six years later opened his own interior decorating firm, Robsjohn-Gibbings Ltd., on Madison Avenue. Throughout the 1940s and 50s, he was one of the most recognized decorators in America and designed homes for Doris Duke, Alfred Knopf, and Thelma Chrysler Foy. One of his earliest commissions was Hilda Boldt Weber's 43 room Casa Encantada mansion in Bel-Air, for which he created more than 200 custom pieces of furniture between 1934 and 1938.
From 1943 to 1956, Robsjohn-Gibbings was the principal designer for the Widdicomb Furniture Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. These residential furnishings reflected an elegant, simplistic aesthetic and were regularly showcased in the magazines Town and Country, Interior Design, Vogue, and House Beautiful.
He was a critic of the prevailing taste in Bauhaus modernism and Queen Anne, Georgian, and Spanish extravagance and expressed these views on design and aesthetics in the books Goodbye, Mr. Chippendale (1944), Mona Lisa's Moustache (1947), and Homes of the Brave (1953).
In 1960, he and his collaborator, Carlton Pullin, met the Greek furniture makers Susan and Eleftherios Saridis, who commissioned Robsjohn-Gibbings to design a line for their company, Saridis of Athens. These pieces were modeled after classical Greek forms and aesthetics, and are detailed in Robsjohn-Gibbings' Furniture of Classical Greece (1963).
In 1965, Robsjohn-Gibbings moved to Athens, Greece and continued designing residential and commercial spaces until his death in 1976.