Arens, Egmont, 1889-1966

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Egmont Hegel Arens, industrial designer, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on 15 December 1889, the son of Franz Xavier and Emma (Huegal?) Arens. He was a leading design pioneer in the fields of packaging and plastics and is credited with introducing "appetite appeal" in packaging design. From 1911 to 1914 he attended the University of New Mexico and in 1915-1916 the University of Chicago. Before beginning his career in design, he was a sports editor for the Albuquerque (N.M.) Tribune-Citizen, a bookseller in his own Washington Square Bookstore in New York's Greenwich Village (1917-1923), a salesman of fine printing produced by his own Flying Stag Press (1918-1927), and editor for the periodicals Vanity Fair (1922-1923) and Creative Arts (1925-1927), and the printer, publisher, and editor (1919-1925) of the artistic and literary periodical Playboy, which published works by D.D. Lawrence and Max Weber, among others.

In 1929 he entered the field of industrial design as the founder and director of the division of industrial styling at Calkins and Holden, and in 1935 he established his own New York design office. As an industrial designer his activities included product design, plastics research, product development, color consultation, office and industrial interior design, store planning, and package and trademark design. He designed business machines, electrical appliances, radios, furniture, toys, and boats for such diverse clients as Reynolds Metals, Philip Morris, A & P, and the Columbian Rope Company.

Egmont Arens was manager (1917-1920) and director (1920) of the Peoples Symphony Concerts in New York, which had been founded by his father. Besides serving as president (1929) of the American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen, he was a member (1946) of the planning committee for the Center for Graphic Industries of New York University, president (1949-1950) of the Society of Industrial Designers, a member (1952) of the advisory committee of Pratt Institute, and a member of the United States delegation to the International Trade Fair, held in Liege, Belgium, in 1955. He was the co-author with Roy Sheldon of the 1935 book Consumer Engineering . From 1962 until his death he held the position of chairman of the board of Egmont Arens - DeRaffel, Inc. in New York. Egmont Arens died in New York City on 2 October 1966.

From the guide to the Egmont Arens Papers, 1883-1966, 1880-1966, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Arens, Egmont, 1889-1966. Egmont Arens : artist file, miscellaneous uncataloged material. Baltimore Museum of Art Library & Archives
creatorOf Arens, Egmont, 1889-1966. Correspondence with Wanda Gág, 1926-1927. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Davied, Camille. Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1945, n.d. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Arens, Egmont, 1889-1966. Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1921-1963, n.d. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf Egmont Arens Papers, 1883-1966, 1880-1966 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Witter Bynner papers, 1829-1965. Houghton Library
creatorOf Arens, Egmont. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1917. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Arens, Egmont, 1889-1966. Letter, 1936, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Marin, John, 1870-1953. Research by Carl Zigrosser, 1900. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf Hartmann, Sadakichi, 1867-1944. Papers. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, 1841-1992, bulk 1845-1849, 1854-1857, and 1864-1892 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Arens, Egmont, 1889-1966. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1926-1945. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Century Company records New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Renee Prahar papers Archives of American Art
referencedIn Kaj Klitgaard Papers, 1914-1966 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Arens, Josephine Bell. person
associatedWith Arens, Ruth. person
associatedWith Ballets russes. corporateBody
correspondedWith Bynner, Witter, 1881-1968 person
correspondedWith Century Company corporateBody
associatedWith Columbian Rope Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Davied, Camille. person
correspondedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
associatedWith Fletcher, John Gould, 1886-1950. person
associatedWith Flying Stag Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Hartmann, Sadakichi, 1867-1944. person
associatedWith J. C. Penney Company, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971. person
associatedWith Klitgaard, Kaj. person
associatedWith Marin, John, 1870-1953. person
associatedWith Prahar, Renee, 1880-1962. person
associatedWith Reynolds Metals Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Stout, Rex, 1886-1975 person
correspondedWith Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Art and industry
Industrial design
Design, Industrial, United States
Industrial designers United States
Vertical files (Libraries)
Industrial designers


Birth 1889-12-15

Death 1966-10-02




Ark ID: w6j67kh8

SNAC ID: 20954281