J. Herbert Newport, Jr. 1907-1991
|J. Herbert Newport, Jr. -
February 22, 1907- June 3, 1991
The original designer of the two SSJ Duesenbergs for Clark Gable and Gary Cooper, J. Herbert Newport designed this body.
A major lifetime collection of J. Herbert Newport, Jr., Chief Designer of Duesenberg, including original artwork, together with files, photographs, sound recordings, his personal scrapbook, and more.
Among the items are an original, oversize, signed rendering of the "Mormon Meteor," a Duesenberg he designed in
1934 for famed racer Ab Jenkins, which for a brief time was the fastest car on earth; his original color oil
painting of his first successful design for Duesenberg, and much more.
The archive begins with a retained copy of his very first letter seeking employment at the age of 21, progresses through the many marks that he left on America and its automotive landscape, including some original artwork of the greatest importance and most singular rarity, and concludes with more original drawings dated in the last years of his life. In all, he spent some 52 years in the field of industrial design.
CONTENTS OF THE ARCHIVE
Two massive-folio cases custom-constructed by Newport himself of wood, to store original artwork, sketches, renderings, blueprints, india-ink overlays, color proofs, and other oversize items. In all, well over 150 items, representing the five decades in which he was active; obviously, his period with Duesenberg was only a small portion of this time, and while the Duesenberg motif was frequently revived, especially in his custom stylings of the 1960's and '70's, there are wonderful original pencil studies of ultra-streamlined cars, futuristic color presentation renderings on black board, and other items relating to Hudson, Nash, Chrysler, Hupmobile Skylark, Checker Cab, plus non-automotive designs for Coca-Cola, Revlon, Kelvinator refrigerators and televisions, luxury boats, soft drinks, and more. Overwhelmingly apparent is the conclusion that in the most flamboyant expression of Art Deco, Newport was truly a star.
Newport's personal scrapbook, containing photographs of his work from his very first credited design, a fender for the 1928 Stearns-Knight Brunn salon car, done at the age of 21, through the 1940's, together with clippings and other items.
Suite of oversize rolled items, including original drawing for the Duesenberg Mormon Meteor, dated in his hand 1934, on vellum, comprising three views of the car, and measuring several feet in length.
Original oil rendering, executed in color, done while working at Floyd-Derham Coachbuilders in the late 1920's, depicting a breathtaking Duesenberg convertible. The Duesenberg-Indianapolis factory label is affixed to verso. Probably the smallest, shortest-lived, and lowest-production of all coachbuilders that supplied Duesenberg, their total output for them is believed to have been this one car! (It was completed prior to the Crash of '29, and survives today.) At this point in time, the young Newport probably never dreamed that he would one day become Duesenberg's Chief Designer. In double-glass frame. Believed the only surviving original work from Floyd-Derham.
Files on over 300 Duesenberg Model J's, arranged by car number. Containing from one to many items per file, including notes on build histories, chain of ownership, engine swaps, restoration, and other vital facts. Largely built upon by a friend of Newport, and including hundreds upon hundreds of photographs from a large number of sources, many obscure, and many irreplacable.
Filecard drawer containing over 400 additional small photographs of Duesenbergs in later sightings, arranged by car number. Many are amateur snapshots, unpublished, and of value to the historian.
Binder of oversize photographs, most believed contemporary, including manufacturing scenes.
Binder of 31 different Duesenberg magazine advertisements, personally collected by Newport.
Old photographic negatives of Duesenberg proposals and finished cars, from Murphy (Pasadena) and Gleisner (Manhattan) Coachbuilders, the latter a very small New York City firm, their work virtually uncollectible. Over 400 in all.
Quantity of audio tapes of Newport speaking on Duesenbergs and classic cars.
Original edited manuscript of his book, together with copies of both editions, and copies of other works on the marque.
Large quantity of files of correspondence, reference materials on Duesenberg, coachbuilders, and Duesenberg technical information, all neatly organized and ready to use. Much interesting, useful, and important content, including correspondence with Harold Ames, President of Duesenberg, correspondence on the 1960's Duesenberg II, and much shedding light on Newport's incessantly poor finances and difficult personality. Many photographs bearing notations by Newport on versos.
Exquisite miniature Duesenberg radiator shell, handmade by Newport. Description below.
In all, thousands upon thousands of pieces, reflecting the life, times, and work of J. Herbert Newport, Jr.
The most important automotive and industrial design property that we have offered in our 52 years in business, without regard to marque. No images have been released by us, offering an undiluted opportunity for exhibition, scholarship, publication, or merchandising.
Popular literature is rich with Duesenberg's place in the psyche of America and of the world. Here, then, we
offer the archive of the one man most responsible for creation of that living dream, the Duesenberg.
Inspection by appointment. Price on request.
One of the most remarkable items in the field of industrial design and automotive history we have ever had: A miniature precision display model of the complete radiator shell of the Duesenberg - made by hand by its designer, J. Herbert Newport, Jr.
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