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Abe Grubère Papers

Identifier: YUM 01

Scope and Content Note

The Abe Grubère Collection is composed of materials pertaining to Grubère's professional and business activities. This collection documents the work of one of the major American-Jewish garment industry designers during the time period between 1920s and 1960s and provides a very extensive artistic record.

By and large the collection consists of original designs done in ink, pencil, or watercolour created by Abe Grubère at various fashion studios, either under his name or under the name of the fashion studio. (Series I, Subseries I)

Additionally, there is a wealth of original designs done by other studios such as Du Barry Fashion Studios, Andre Studio, Berley Studio and other studios and designers active in the field of coats and suits fashion (Series II).

Other materials found in the collection include account ledger books, certificates, correspondence, patents, patterns, photographs, and student papers from the Textile High School. Clippings, fashion magazines, and scrapbooks are separated into a different series that consists of materials collected and compiled by Grubère as well as scrapbooks compiled by others.

Materials pertaining to Gru-Bo-Mode and Kanowitz Brothers, (some of the companies that Grubère worked for) are not represented in the collection at all.


  • 1841-1949, 1921-1966
  • Majority of material found within 1930-1959


Language of Materials

The collection is in English with some French and Swedish.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Yeshiva University Museum, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note

Abraham Gruber, who later changed his name to Abe Grubère, a designer in the women's fashion, was born on November 25, 1899. He had a long and illustrious career as a coat and suit designer and worked as a consultant to many leading coat and suit manufacturers. From 1938 to 1945, he worked for Morris W. Haft & Bros., the country's largest manufacturer of women's and misses' coats and suits. During the same period Grubère was elected President of the Guild of Designers (1943) and also served on Mayor La Guardia's Committee on Creative Industry.

In the year 1940 Grubère took part in an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art along with Alice Perkins, Elizabeth Crawford and Michelle Murphy (Curator of the Industrial Division of the Brooklyn Museum of Art). Costumes from the collections from BMA frequently served as an inspiration for Grubère's designs, most notably in his Fall, 1947 collection of coats, suits, and furs.

In addition to his involvement with the field of fashion as a designer he was also involved in teaching. Between 1943 and 1944 Grubère helped to organize and became the first director of a two-year course at the Straubenmuller Textile High School. The course, the first of its kind in New York, was designed for high school graduates. Studies included practical dress designing, sketching, technical and historical studies of costumes, textiles, and colours.

In 1945 Grubère left Morris W. Haft & Bros. to open his own couture firm of Grubère, Inc. in July of 1945. Grubère, Inc. served as a model house for the coat and suit trade. Later it was expanded to include fur and then to include the dress industry. Models were produced in each of these types of garment and then presented in fashion showings.

The firm Grubère, Inc. was liquidated in January 1948, when Abe Grubère re-joined Morris W. Haft & Bros., to be in charge of designing of all fashions for Swansdown. At the same time Morris W. Haft & Bros., gained the rights to use the name 'Grubère originals'. After Morris W. Haft & Bros., Grubère joined the Youth Guild division of Jonathan Logan.

Grubère also worked for other companies, such as Gru-Bo-Mode of Memphis, Tennessee, Marcus-Grubère of New York, and Kanowitz Brothers.

Abe Grubère died in Brooklyn on August 2, 1970.


27.5 Linear Feet (large) + 3 oversized boxes (small)


The Abe Grubère collection documents the work of Abe Grubère (also known as Abraham Gruber), a New York City fashion designer, active in the field of fashion from the 1920s to the 1960s. The papers reflect the work of Grubère as a designer and also document his involvement with the Central High School for Needle Trades, where he helped to organize a class that was held at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in the summer of 1942. Although the bulk of the documents found in the collection consists of sketches, the collection also includes clippings, booklets, correspondence, financial documentation, and materials pertaining to Grubère's teaching activities.

Custodial History

Grubère papers were donated in 1970 by his firm to the Library of the Brooklyn Museum of Art. In 1996 bigger part of the collection was deaccessioned and transferred to Yeshiva University Museum.

Alternative Form

Most documents in the collection have been digitized

Related Material

Several Record Groups at the Brooklyn Museum of Art are considered to be related records to the Abe Grubère Collection. They are:

Processing Information

The Abe Grubère Collection was originally surveyed and boxed, but not catalogued, by the BMA staff in the 1970s. An initial Box List was created at the same time. Additional physical arrangement was done in January 2006. Further intellectual arrangement, which tries to recreate the logical and intellectual content of the collection, was done in May 2006. Intellectual arrangement included breaking down the folder order and creation of new Series and Sub-Series on intellectual rather than physical level. Processing of the collection involved encapsulating photos, photocopying fragile newsprint, refoldering and reboxing using acid-free archival supplies, removing rubber bands, paperclips (and other metal fasteners) where appropriate.

Guide to the Papers of Abe Grubère (1899-1970), 1841-1849, 1921-1966 (bulk 1921-1966)
Processed by Yakov Illich Sklar
© 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Yeshiva University Museum Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States