Skip to main content

Robert L. Gruen Papers

Identifier: MS-0061

Scope and Contents

This small set of papers created by an industrial designer largely document his glass tableware designs for Sweden House, Inc. created in the 1940s. Materials include photographs Gruen's glassware, as well as and photocopies and photographs of his design drawings. The papers also include Sweden House, Inc. glassware advertisements and articles about Gruen and his design work in and beyond the glass industry. Of particular note is a charming press release about Gruen's interest in designing a glass-bottomed airplane.


  • 1940-1990


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view the collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

Robert L. Gruen was an American industrial designer and package designer based in New York City. He studied illustration at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and began his career as a set designer in 1935.

Gruen and his wife, Marian, opened a design firm in New York City in the late 1930s. Robert Gruen Associates provided product, packaging, and business interior design. The firm's clients included Sweden House, Inc., Parker Pen, Pan-American Coffee Bureau, Moniteau Mills, Etched Products Corporation, Marlin Firearms Company, and Cronin China Company.

Gruen designed glassware early in his career. In the 1940s and early 1950s, he designed glass tableware primarily for Sweden House, Inc. He was elected a Fellow of the International Designers' Institute in 1948 and served as its president in 1953 and 1954. He was also a founding member of the Package Designers' Council.

Gruen died in 1999.


1.6 Linear Feet (1 flat box)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Andrea Lombardini in 2008.

Processing Information

Processed by Colleen McFarland Rademaker in 2020.

Robert L. Gruen Papers, 1940-1990
A Guide to the Collection
Colleen McFarland Rademaker
August 14, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA