Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding aid for the L. Garth Huxtable papers, 1913-2012
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Material
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: L. Garth Huxtable papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1913-2012
    Number: 2013.M.2
    Creator/Collector: Huxtable, L. Garth
    Physical Description: 109.5 linear feet (75 boxes, 24 flatfile folders, 6 rolls)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The papers of the industrial designer L. Garth Huxtable (1911-1989), spans his career from the 1930s to the 1970s. This collection contains Huxtable's design work including drawings, models and tools that comprise his decades-long contribution to American product design.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record  for this collection. Click here for the access policy .
    Language: Collection material is in English.

    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.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers. Access is restricted to Box 60 which contains deteriorated black-and-white negatives.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    L. Garth Huxtable papers, 1913-2012, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2013.M.2

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Ada Louise Huxtable and L. Garth Huxtable. Acquired in 2013.

    Processing History

    Laura Schroffel processed and cataloged the collection under the supervision of Ann Harrison in 2014.

    Related Material

    The Getty Research Library also holds the Ada Louise Huxtable papers 1859-2013, Special Collection accession no. 2013.M.9.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The L. Garth Huxtable papers document the career of the industrial designer beginning in the 1930s, when American awareness of industrial design as a profession increasingly captured public attention. Series I represents Huxtable's extensive contribution to industrial design during this period of flourishing creativity. His design process is well articulated in this series, progressing from product analysis and sketches to drawings and plans and finally to models and product samples. While Series I includes early school work and projects from prominent design offices where Huxtable was an assistant, the bulk of the documentation dates from after Huxtable established his own firm in 1948. This series contains Huxtable's notable long-term project work with the Millers Falls Tool company from 1948 and his Four Seasons Restaurant service designs from 1958.
    Huxtable's resource materials found in Series II contain drafting tools including rulers, French curves, stencils, templates, calipers, and technical guides. This series also contains typography guides that were integral to the design and arrangement of printed text. Color sample books and subject files, which Huxtable compiled on various themes, are also included in this series.
    Series III comprises Huxtable's general professional papers including work records, writings, and portfolio materials, as well as publicity clippings, and negatives that he used for promotional one-sheets. Personal papers include diaries, a sketchbook, his paintings and photographs. General personal and business correspondence is also found in this series.
    The collection contains sketches, drawings, blueprints, renderings, black and white photographs and negatives, color slides and photographs, proofs, models and sample products. Documentation contains materials as large as 22" x 28"; large drawings are up to 36" x 48" and rolled drawings are larger than 36" x 48". Proofs are trial sheets of printed text and images. Renderings are hand-drawings for use in presentations to represent the full conception of a project and typically containing color, shadowing, and textures. Models are three-dimensional scaled representations used as working studies. Sample products are either actual products as they were sold in the marketplace, or final working samples intended for further mass production.


    Organized in three series: Series I. Project files, 1928-2012; Series II. Resource materials, 1913-1976, undated; Series III. Miscellaneous professional and personal papers, 1917-2002.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    Four Seasons (Restaurant)
    Millers Falls Company
    Norman Bel Geddes & Company

    Subjects - Topics

    Industrial design

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Black-and-white negatives--20th century
    Black-and-white photographs
    Blueprints (reprographic copies)
    Color photographs
    Color slides--20th century
    Design drawings
    Drawing instruments
    Drawings (visual works)
    Gelatin silver prints--20th century
    Models (representations)
    Technical drawings


    Huxtable, Ada Louise
    Huxtable, L. Garth