University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
School of Architecture College of Design

Karen Tokar

Date of Interview:


Location of Interview:



Length of Transcript:



Audio Clips:


February 19, 2012


Kay Marquez's Residence

New York, New York


20 pages

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Biographical Summary

Karen Tokar grew up in Queens, New York. She graduated from Long Island University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pre-Med. Tokar lived in Italy for five years before returning to New York and taking up the position of Customer Service Manager at Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated. Tokar was later promoted to Textile Division Director and ultimately to Vice President of Operations. Tokar remained at Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated for 17 years. 


Interview Topics

Tokar speaks about her first impression of Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated; her career progression and the range of responsibilities she had; insights into the everyday operation of the company; Jack Lenor Larsen’s contribution to the development of the mills through his innovative textile design; her affection for the close-knit culture at Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated.; and her sadness when Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated was bought out.



Summergarden (1978)
Crystal Palace Collection

Borealis (1987)


Funding for these oral histories was provided by a Craft Research Fund Grant from the University of North Carolina, Asheville Center for Craft, Creativity & Design.

Contact Information

Goldstein Museum of Design

364 McNeal Hall,

1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-624-7434 |

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