This week we are introducing a new, reoccurring feature, Eye on Design, with American Industrial Design Legend Raymond Loewy (1893 – 1986). Loewy was a French-born American industrial designer who achieved fame for the magnitude of his design efforts across a variety of industries.
Among Loewy’s designs were the Shell, turning Esso into Exxon, TWA and the former BP logos, the Greyhound Scenicruiser bus, Coca-Cola vending machines, the Lucky Strike package, Coldspot refrigerators, the Studebaker Avanti and Champion, and the Air Force One livery. He was involved with numerous railroad designs, including the Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 and S-1 locomotives, the color scheme and Eagle motif for the first streamliners of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and a number of lesser known color scheme and car interior designs for other railroads. Raymond Loewy’s career spanned seven decades.
Loewy’s popular design for the Lawn Chef Portable Grill revolutionized outdoor cooking and greatly enhanced the leisure time of the American family of the 1950s.
Raymond Loewy’s Lawn Chef Portable Grill (1950) was photographed at MOMA in NYC, where it is on currently view on the 3rd Floor, in the Architecture and Design Lobby.
Julius Shulman Photo of Richard Nuetra’s Kaufman House in Palm Springs, CA (All Photos by Gail. Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)
Anyone smitten with Midcentury Design (as encapsulated and popularized by the Mad Men aesthetic) should plan a visit to the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, for their fantastic exhibit Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism. I was fortunate to attend a private preview of the exhibit the evening before it opened to the public, and was not only visually thrilled by this comprehensive showcase of vintage furnishings, housewares, graphics, and architecture, but I really learned a lot about the people behind these great designs.
Midcentury Furniture Featuring George Nelson’s Marshmallow Sofa by Herman Miller
Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism explores how Jewish emigrants and American-born designers and architects helped spark America’s embrace of midcentury modernism — forging a bold new direction in design and thought. The exhibit focuses on the roles of more than 30 Jewish architects, designers, and patrons, including Anni Albers, George Nelson, and Richard Neutra; as well as others whose fascinating life stories and important contributions have received less acclaim.
Here are some favorite highlights from the exhibit!
Furniture by Harry Rosenthal, William Schiff House by Richard Neutra, (San Francisco, CA)
Exterior of X-110 House (Right), Interior of X-110 House (Center and Left). Prototype developed by Joseph Eichler. Designed by A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons (Photos By Ernest Braun)
Richard Neutra’s Kaufman House (1946), Palm Springs CA, (Above and Below Photos by Julius Shulman, 1949)
Kaufman House Pool
Banner in Exhibition Hall Featuring Modern Kitchen Appliances of the Day
The opening reception featured an open bar where they served this delicious classic vodka cocktail, the Modtini!
Lark Cigarette Packages By George Tscherny, 1968
Book Covers By Alvin Lustig (1943, 1945)
Above and Below, Household Items by Henry Dreyfuss Thermostat, Pink Princess Phone, Alarm Clock
Ernest Sohn, Esquire Coffee Pot with Lid, Creamer, Sugar Bowl with Lid, Small Casserole Dish with Lid (1963). (Center) Esquire Large Casserole Dish with Lid (1963). (Lower) Doric Coffee Urn with Lid and Stand, Creamer, Sugar Bowl with Lid, and Tray (1959)
Album Covers By Alex Steinweiss
In 1939, Alex Steinweiss (a graduate of NYC’s Parsons school of Design) designed what is recognized as the first example of album cover art and soon became the art director at Columbia Records. During the 1940s, he was asked to develop a packaging solution to protect a new product: the long playing 133 1/3 rpm vinyl record. Steinweiss designed a paper jacket that quickly became the industry standard. He oversaw cover art for Columbia up until the 1070s, designing thousands of album covers.
Steinweiss’s covers combine witty cartoon figures, abstract shapes, bright colors and his signature, curly hand-drawn lettering.
Corporate Logos by Saul Bass, Louis Danziger, Paul Rand
Movie Ad for the Man with the Golden Arm By Saul Bass
There is so much to see and learn at the Designing Home exhibit and I really cannot recommend it highly enough. Aside from this one show, the museum hosts many other permanent exhibits and is situated right on the water in Battery Park City, which means spectacular views!
Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism is Currently on Exhibit at The Museum of Jewish Heritage, A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Located at Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place, Battery Park City, New York, NY 10280 (By Subway: Take the 4 or 5 Train to Bowling Green and walk west along Battery Place). Admission is Free on Wednesday Evenings, and you can visit them online at MJHNYC for Admission, Hours and Other Exhibit Information. I’m not quite sure when the Designing Home Exhibit ends, so maybe give them a call at 646-437-4202 before you plan your visit!
Cey Adams, a New York City native, is an icon of Hip Hop and graphic design. Trusted Brands is an exhibition of his new collage works on canvas examining branding in contemporary culture. Adams‘ use of collage and design principles creates rich textures of easily recognizable logos structured along subtle grids, which are becoming comparable to his signature. Adams’ delicate technique and balanced compositions celebrate the history of graffiti, graphic design, Pop Art and Hip Hop.
Trusted Brands explores icons of brands that have impacted his thinking and ideology from youth. Adams emerged from the downtown graffiti movement and exhibited alongside fellow artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. He appeared in the historic 1982 PBS documentary Style Wars that tracks subway graffiti in New York. He was the Creative Director of Russell Simmons’ Def Jam Recordings and co-founded the Drawing Board an in-house visual design firm. He created visual identities, album covers, logos, and the differences here of advertising campaigns for Run DMC, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and many others.
Cey draws inspiration from 60’s pop art, sign painting, comic books, and popular culture. His work focuses on themes including pop culture, race and gender relations, cultural and community issues. Trusted Brands transforms images and graphics that he grew up with. “These are all brands that my parents trusted and then I ended up trusting. I wanted to do something that really kind of revisits that.”
Trusted Brands by Cey Adams will be on Exhibit only through March 28th, 2015 at Rush Arts Gallery, Located at 526 W26th St Suite 311, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
When I saw the above graphic, featuring a collection of black and death metal band logos, I immediately recalled my reaction every time I open a package of promo CDs from Earache, and chagrin to myself over how impossibly difficult it is to even decipher the name of the band. Hilariously enough, Viceland.com discusses this very phenomena in an Interview with Christophe Szpajdel, a 37-year-old Belgian artist living in the UK. During the last 20 years, Szpajdel has designed more than 7,000 logos, mostly for black and death metal bands from all over the world, including Emperor, Moonspell, Nachtmystium and Enthroned. Nearly as entertaining as the interview itself are the passionately dimwitted comments from readers. Enjoy!