James Bliss Dies at 85; Ex-Window Designer
James Albert Bliss, the former head of the Bliss Display Company, died of complications from cancer of the pancreas Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital. He was 85 years old and had residences in Manhattan and on Fire Island.
Mr. Bliss, a former scenic artist, was commissioned by Dorothy Shaver of Lord & Taylor to design and build some window settings in 1924. Like Miss Shaver, Mr. Bliss regarded deparment store windows as theater proscenia and one result was a striking series of mechanical Christmas windows with moving floats.
In 1929, he formed the Bliss Display Company, of which he was president. The company did similar designs for B. Altman & Company, Macy's, Abraham & Straus and other major Manhattan stores. His designs were also used in department stores throughout the United States, Cuba, Venezuela and Brazil.
Mr. Bliss taught window design at the Parsons School of Design and the New York University School of Retailing. He was a consultant on trade fairs for the Federal Department of Commerce Office of International Trade.
He was born in Abington, Mass., and was a graduate of the Parsons School of Design. He studied drafting at Columbia University and painting at the Art Students League with John Sloan.
He is survived by his wife, the former Astrid Statland; two daughters, Patricia Rome of Long Beach, L.I., and Karen Stockbridge Jolis of Manhattan, and five grandchildren.
Parsons School of Design Alumni Association records