|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
Table of Contents
Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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Series I: Book Design, 1930-1994
Series II: Project Files, 1940s-1994, undated
Series IV: Personal Papers, 1937-1996
Series V: George Salter Collection, 1920s-1960s
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in six series and several subseries.
Scope and Content
Philip Grushkin (1921-1998) was a book designer, educator, and art director. He is best known for his book design work for publishers such as Alfred A. Knopf, Random House, Abbeville, and Harry N. Abrams, where he also worked as Art Director and Vice President. The collection includes material related to his design work and a collection of book jackets by George Salter.
The materials related to Grushkin's career in book jacket design are primarily found in Series I: Book Jacket Design. These materials consist of final printed book jackets, as well as related comprehensives, mechanicals, and roughs. Small book jackets and related comprehensives are filed alphabetically by title and these are not listed by item in the contents list. Oversized book jackets, comprehensives, mechanicals, and roughs are listed individually in the contents list due to the variation in their condition and size. There is also a small set of catalogs from Dial Press and the Marboro Book Club. Grushkin's collection of Salter's book jackets can be found in Series V: George Salter Collection.
Series II: Project Files contains records related to specific projects that were maintained as individual files. The projects include professional book design, book jacket design, and graphic design projects, as well as personal projects such as announcements, greeting cards, invitations, and presentation pages.
The collection also includes Grushkin's collection of book jackets by George Salter. These are filed in Series V: George Salter Collection. This collection consists primarily of Salter's finished book jackets, but also includes a printed piece, a mechanical for Josephine Johnson's Wildwood, and an article and an item from Salter that were given to Grushkin.
Grushkin also kept files of his lettering experiments, unused book cover backgrounds, and many samples of advertisements, catalogs, and pamphlets from paper and typeface companies, book jacket and title designs by others, paper samples, and a catalog of book fabrics. These files can be found in Series III: Design Experiments, Samples, and Supplies.
There are few personal papers in the collection; what exists is filed under Series IV: Personal Papers. The personal papers include a small folder of correspondence, a self-portrait, personal logos, and a small collection of signed keepsakes and other printed materials.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
The following boxes are located off-site: Boxes 1-4, 6-7, 15-24. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Philip Grushkin Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
No additions are expected
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers processed by Catherine C. Ricciardi and Elizabeth McIntosh (GSAS), 2016-2017.
Finding aid written by Catherine C. Ricciardi, February 2017.
2017-02-07 File created.
2017-02-07 xml document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Philip Grushkin was born on June 1, 1921 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Jewish Russian immigrants who had come to the United States to escape the pogroms in their home country.
Grushkin became interested in art and book design as a teenager. He studied calligraphy and book design with George Salter (1897-1967) at Cooper Union, graduating in 1941. Grushkin served as a cartographer in the United States Army from 1943-1945; afterwards he became a freelance book jacket designer in New York.
Grushkin focused on book jacket design during the 1940s and 1950s, working for nearly all the major publishers in New York, including Alfred A. Knopf, Random House, Harper and Brothers, Harcourt, Brace, and Company, MacMillan, and Doubleday, as well as smaller publishers, including Farrar Strauss, John Day, and Crown. Gruskin was also active in the Book Jacket Designers Guild during this period, until it disbanded in mid-1950s.
During the mid-1950s, Grushkin's interests shifted from book jacket design to book design. He became assistant book designer to Abe Lerner at World Publishing in 1956, and moved to Harry N. Abrams, a pioneering art book publisher, in 1958. At Harry N. Abrams, Grushkin became Art Director in 1959, and Vice President in 1960. Working with Editor Milton Fox, Grushkin oversaw many important art book projects during the 1960s, including The History of Art by H.W. Janson (1962). Grushkin left Harry N. Abrams in 1969, and worked as a freelance book designer and publishing consultant for the rest of his career.
During the final thirty years of his career, Grushkin worked for several art book publishers and museums, including the New York Graphic Society, Rizzoli, and Abbeville Press. These projects included The Art of Rock, by his son, Paul Grushkin (1987), Atlas of Human Anatomy by Dr. Frank Netter (1989), and a joint project between the United States and Russia on Impressionism and Post-Impressionism (1986). He also operated a hobby press called the CapGee Press out of his home, and printed announcements, business cards, holiday cards, invitations, and other personal commissions.
In addition to his own design work, Grushkin taught design to students. Grushkin taught calligraphy at Cooper Union from 1946-1968, and also taught book design at New York University from 1948-1970s. He also served as the Director of Book Design for the Radcliffe Course in Publishing Procedures for the Harvard Summer School.
Grushkin died of heart failure on September 25, 1998, in New Jersey.