Naiad and Walter Einsel

2008 Hall of Fame Inductee: Naiad and Walter Einsel

Naiad and Walter married in 1953. Their similar styles of work enabled them to work collaboratively on book and magazine illustrations, posters, advertisements, package designs and collage boxes. They met while both were art directors - Naiad at CBS, and Walter at NBC. Walter arrived at CBS to apply for an opening, later commenting, “I didn’t get the job but I got the girl.”

Born in Philadelphia, Naiad's interest in art began in her father's grocery store where she drew on the brown wrapping paper. Rubber stamps used in his store also fascinated her. Later she began collecting and using them in her artwork.

After attending the High School of Music and Art in New York City, she graduated from Pratt Institute. Her illustrations have appeared in Redbook, Collier's, Look, Good Housekeeping, The Ladies' Home Journal, Woman's Day, Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, and Smithsonian Magazine. She has designed record album covers, movie posters and TV commercials. Clients include M&M, Xerox, Proctor & Gamble, and Chase Manhattan. Naiad has also illustrated books for Doubleday, Macmillan, Random House, Harcourt Brace & Jovanovich, Clarkson Potter, and Workman Press. She designed towels for Fieldcrest, dishes for Dansk, games for Colorforms and Reader's Digest. She also designed and directed the production of the 76 by 104 inch award-winning Westport Bicentennial Quilt, sewn with the assistance of 33 women, which began in October 1974 and was finally put on display in January 1976.

Walter Einsel, a native New Yorker, attended the Art Students League, The Brooklyn Museum School, and graduated from Parsons School of Design. After NBC, his career took off with an illustration for The New York Times Magazine, followed by Life, Look, TIME, Boys' Life and The Saturday Evening Post. He also designed corporate symbols for Merrill Lynch, Bilbey's Vodka, Macy's, and Continental Baking.

Walter and Naiad worked together in their Victorian farmhouse. They made inventive collage cards for each other that soon became animated. Walter began working with moving parts. His wooden sculptures were considered to be a 20th century form of folk art and were exhibited in galleries. One of his commissions was a 40-foot animated AT &T exhibit at Walt Disney World EPCOT Center featuring 55 intricately mechanized figures describing "The Age of Information."

In 1998 Walter died of a mysterious illness. A collection of their Valentines was featured in a local paper, entitled "Westport's Most Romantic Couple." In tribute to her memories and love for Walter, Naiad wrote a book, Art From the Heart, depicting the 46 years of hand-crafted Valentines that she and her husband exchanged.