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Oscar A. Turner papers, 1945-1957

Identifier: 038.01.31

A manuscript by Oscar A. Turner entitled "A Prelude to an Unknown Designer in Industry: A Missing Chapter of Industrial Design of Industrial Art, the New Fine Art Profession of Industry Unveiled" and correspondence related to it.

The manuscript is an oversize (13x18") handwritten 33-page document, in which Turner campaigns for the use of the word "fabritecture" to replace the term "industrial design." The first 31 pages are dated 1956, and three additional pages, titled "What Research in the Industrial Fine Arts means," were added in 1957.

Paragraph 75 notes, "I therefore give this thesis to the Art Institute of Chicago and to the Institute of Design of the Illinois Institute of Chicago...". Laszlo Moholy-Nagy is mentioned in the paragraphs preceding and following this one. Accompanying correspondence concern Turner's effort to interest others in his cause, including letters to Joseph Palma, Jr. of Palma Knapp Design, Jared S. Moore of Western Reserve University, John E. Alcott of Rhode Island School of Design, and Illinois Institute of Technology president John Rettaliata who referred the matter to Jay Doblin of the Institute of Design.


  • Creation: 1945-1957


Language of Materials

Records are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Research

Collection Size

2 Folders

Biographical Note

Oscar A. Turner was the director of Fabritecture Institute, which provided "research service in the industrial fine arts." It was established 1922 in Chicago. Turner is identified as a "fabritect," i. e., an "artist in industry."

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Formerly 2004.037


Catherine Bruck, University Archivist

Part of the Paul V. Galvin Library. University Archives and Special Collections Repository

35 West 33rd Street
Chicago IL 60616
(312) 567-5993

Paul V. Galvin Library

35 West 33rd Street | Chicago, IL | 60616