The Exhibit: The Texas and Dallas History Collection houses the Neiman Marcus Archive Collection (MA 82.5) covering 1907 to 2002. The collection contains over 320 cubic feet of material, including the NM Christmas Books. Our 2012 Christmas exhibit displays the catalogues covering the first twenty years of His and Her Gifts, from 1960-1981 (1961 did not have his and her gifts).
The Christmas Book: The world famous Neiman Marcus Christmas Book began in 1915 as a Christmas card, inviting customers to the store to start their holiday shopping. The next Christmas catalog didn’t appear until 1926 and consisted of 16 pages. In 1939 it became a magazine-size holiday catalog that became an annual event, establishing a lasting tradition of showcasing the unusual, the humorous, and the beautiful in a wide variety of prices, with keen emphasis on selectivity and taste. During the 1950s, Neiman Marcus began to capitalize on their national reputation. In 1959, in answer to press inquiries about unusual Christmas gifts, Stanley Marcus came up with an extraordinary gift that gained plenty of press: a Black Angus steer, delivered on the hoof or in steaks, complete with a silver-plated outdoor cooker. The response was tremendous, and the following year a world-famous retailing phenomenon was born – his and her gifts.
His and Her Gifts: In 1960 the first his and her gifts, Beechcraft airplanes, gained so much fame that even renowned journalist Edward R. Morrow and his assistant Walter Cronkite called Stanley Marcus every year to learn about the latest outrageous gift offerings from Neiman Marcus. Over the years, the creative gifts became even more exotic and fantastic.
This exhibit can be seen on the 7th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library (Downtown).