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Norman Bel Geddes Theater and Industrial Design Papers

Watercolor rendering.

Norman Bel Geddes. "Two Winged Guardians of
Purgatory." Watercolor rendering for The Divine
, 1921. Image courtesy of the Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Foundation.

Finding Aid
Searchable Database
Bel Geddes's Library

Norman Bel Geddes (1893-1958) was a visionary stage designer, director, producer, theater architect, industrial designer, producer of model photography, and author. The Ransom Center's voluminous Bel Geddes collection documents his industrial design and theater work in equal measure and, frequently, in great detail. More than 500 projects are documented, with coverage ranging from a single folder to hundreds of items.


The collection is accessible weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. An appointment is required to view flat files, models, and other oversize materials in the Reading Room. Negatives and damaged materials will not be paged.

For an overview of the collection, please refer to the finding aid. Project summaries and detailed descriptions of holdings are available in the Bel Geddes database. Theater holdings are often described in more detail in Frederick J. Hunter's Catalog of the Norman Bel Geddes Theatre Collection, but please note that the database must be used to request materials. See also Katherine Feo Kelly and Helen Baer, "A Visionary's Archive: The Norman Bel Geddes Papers at the Harry Ransom Center," in Journal of Design History 25, no. 3 (August 2012).

Norman Bel Geddes Bibliography

Books about Bel Geddes

Albrecht, Donald, ed. Norman Bel Geddes Designs America. New York: Abrams, 2012. -Q- NK 1412 G43 N67 2012 HRC

Bogusch, George Edwin. Unity in the New Stagecraft: A Study of Productions Designed and Directed by Norman Bel Geddes. Indiana University thesis, 1968. PN 2096 G433 B638 HRC-TA

Brown, Kristen Noel. House Designs of Norman Bel Geddes: Four Projects from the Collection of the Harry Ransom Center. University of Texas at Austin thesis, 2007.

Hunter, Frederick J. Catalog of the Norman Bel Geddes Theatre Collection. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1973. PN 2096 G37 T4 HRC-TA REF

Johnston, Hugh C. Norman Bel Geddes: A Study of Three Unproduced Designs. Southwest Texas State University thesis, 1976. PN 2091 S8 J56 1976 HRC-TA

Mecham, Eldon James. Norman Bel Geddes, Artistic Lighting Designer. University of Texas at Austin thesis, 1966. T1966 M464 Fine Arts Library, PCL Stacks

Meikle, Jeffrey L. The City of Tomorrow, Model 1937. London: Pentagram Design, 198-. NA 9031 M44 1980Z Architecture Library

Rider, Joseph K. Norman Bel Geddes: The Theory and Practice of Theatrical Scene Design. University of Texas at Austin thesis, 1964. T1964 R435 PCL Stacks

Roberts, Jennifer Davis. Norman Bel Geddes: An Exhibition of Theatrical and Industrial Designs, Michener Galleries, Humanities Research Center. Austin: University of Texas, 1979. N 6537 G42 A4 1979 HRC-TA

Books and Articles by Bel Geddes

College Readings on Today and Its Problems. Ed. Dudley Chadwick. New York: Oxford University Press, 1933. Includes two essays by Norman Bel Geddes, "Ten Years from Now" and "The House of Tomorrow." PS 688 C644 1933 HRC-TA

Horizons. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1932. TS 171 G43 1977 HRC-TA

Magic Motorways. New York: Random House, 1940. TE 23 G4 HRC-TA

Miracle in the Evening: An Autobiography. Garden City (N.Y.): Doubleday, 1960. NK 839 G4 A3 HRC-TA

A Project for a Theatrical Presentation of the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. New York: Theatre Arts, 1924. PQ 4327.3 G4 HRC-TA

Streamlining. Concord (N.H.): Atlantic Monthly, 1934. QA 930 G423 1934 HRC-TA


The Reading Room Will Be Closed:

Thursday, July 4, 2019
Monday, September 2, 2019
Thurs–Sat, Nov 28–30, 2019
Sat–Sat, Dec 21–Jan 4, 2020
Monday, January 20, 2020
Monday, May 25, 2020

Always closed on Sundays

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