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Drawing, Design for a Plate

This is a Drawing. It was designed by Simon Lissim. It is dated 20th century and we acquired it in 1974. Its medium is brush and gouache on cream paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Ukrainian-born Simon Lissim found his greatest success in Paris, where he settled in 1921 and immediately began regularly exhibiting his paintings. In 1924, he designed his first piece for Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, and over the next thirty years, he created about 120 more pieces for the company. A versatile designer, Lissom worked not only in elegant tableware, but also in wallpaper, textiles, jewelry, metalwork, graphics, and set and costume design—including projects for the Ballets Russes. Other commissions comprised designs for Martin & Duchet, Limoges, Royal Copenhagen, and Lenox. He maintained the passion for theater and opera instilled in him by his wealthy parents, and paradoxically, his high-end work shows influences of Russia’s colorful folk art. As can be seen on this plate design, he emphasized a harmony of design and form. The abstract design twists inward, embracing the plate’s curve but in an unexpected way and the depiction on the lower right, indicating the backside, suggests the plate would have an all-encompassing design. In 1941, Lissim emigrated to the United States, where he continued to practice design while beginning a career in art education in New York.

This object was donated by Simon Lissim. It is credited Gift of Simon Lissim.

  • Drawing (USA)
  • brush and black gouache, black ink on tracing paper.
  • Gift of Simon Lissim.
  • 1974-82-22
  • Plate (France)
  • glazed, enameled, and gilt porcelain.
  • Bequest of Simon Lissim.
  • 1981-37-2

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Its dimensions are

31 x 30.8 cm (12 3/16 x 12 1/8 in.), irregular

It is signed

Signed in design in blue ink, lower right: Simon Lissim.; signed in margin, in graphite, lower right: Simon Lissim

It is inscribed

Inscribed in black ink, upper left: N34 [crossed out]; lower left: lack on / the plate

Cite this object as

Drawing, Design for a Plate; Designed by Simon Lissim (American, b. Kiev, Russia, 1900–1981); USA; brush and gouache on cream paper; 31 x 30.8 cm (12 3/16 x 12 1/8 in.), irregular; Gift of Simon Lissim; 1974-82-26

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Drawing, Design for a Plate |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=24 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>