On Sunday, April 12, Judith Gura, cherished design historian and writer, died in New York from cancer.
Gura's career spanned many years and professions, all within the design field. Armed with an MFA from Bard’s Decorative Arts, Design & Culture department, Gura was a thoughtful critic, an insightful and informed writer, and a beloved teacher. She was a design history professor at the Pratt Institute and the coordinator of the Design History program at the New York School of Interior Design, where she also held the title of consultant for exhibitions and public programs. Passionate about design education, Gura took her lessons beyond the classroom, giving lectures and conducting public programs at the New York Public Library and Scandinavia House, among other institutions.
For the past 20 years Gura was a staple at NYSID, both in and out of the classroom. Her course subjects included Scandinavian design, Art Deco, and design theory, to name a few. Gura co-curated several exhibitions hosted by NYSID, drawing on her curatorial experience the Brooklyn Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and more.
Gura also authored several books and innumerable articles on her areas of expertise. Her published works include Interior Landmarks: Treasured of New York; A History of Interior Design, with John Pile; Design After Modernism: Furniture and Interiors, 1970-2010; New York Interior Design, 1935-1985; Sourcebook of Scandinavian Furniture: Designs for the 21st Century; and Guide to Period Styles for Interiors, now in its second edition. A longtime contributor to Interior Design, Gura also wrote many articles for Art + Auction and Art & Antiques magazines.
Says NYSID president David Sprouls, “The design community lost a colleague and friend with Judith’s passing. At NYSID, where she taught for almost two decades, she touched the lives of many students through the courses she taught as well as the exhibitions she curated. Through her articles and books she contributed much to the design history canon. Her enthusiasm for design and passion for imparting knowledge made her an ideal educator, while her sparkling spirit made her a good friend. She will be dearly missed.”