Sunday, January 4, 2015


Decorated brass mailboxes and their mail shuts may be relics of the past but to the cognoscenti they are beautiful urban art objects that are coveted by antique and Art Deco enthusiasts. Just recently I discovered one of these exquisite objects in the Fairmont Building at 240 West 30th Street. On a wall in the vestibule by the elevators stands a lonely sentinel a medium size brass mailbox sculpted with an American eagle and attributed to the Cutler Mail Chute Company. It was no longer in use, its mail cute and inside quite empty, but still it makes one pause to wonder what happened to result in their demise.
  The answer to this question is best explained in the book Art Deco Mailboxes, An Illustrated Design History by coauthors Karen Greene and Lynne Lavelle, published by W.W. Norton & Company. The heyday of the mailboxes was initiated when American Art Deco architecture flourished in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. By the way, if you did not know already, Art Deco originated in France and the term Art Deco came into general use  in 1966. It was inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris, France in 1924..
  In America, while Busby Berkeley was building a staircase to heaven, architects were elevating Art Deco style and mailboxes became focal points in landmark buildings and public spaces. From our glittering ever- changing skyline, to graphic arts, fashion, interior design, jewelry, music and motion pictures that broad and innovative style captivated the collective sensibilities of architects and designers. Art Deco mailboxes were part of the modern movement and were an important mode of public mail convenience in the GE building, Grand Central Terminal, the Woolworth Building, 29 Broadway, the St. Regis Hotel, York & Sawyer Salmon Tower, the Waldorf Astoria. Next time you visit one of these building seek out the mailbox which may reveal some stunning sculptural elements, like eagles, frescoes, the figure of Hermes and the iconic Art Deco fountain design often embellished with streamlined shapes or decorative elements.. 
   While many mailboxes have been removed, forgotten or disused, or even, my goodness, imagine the ignorance, they were painted over, others are still in use. They are faithfully polished daily, and hold a place of pride in lobbies throughout the country.
   Although instant communication and overnight delivery are necessities in our era and these traditional mailboxes no longer serve their original purpose their history and development; however, mark a fascinating period in our country’s architectural history.
   This tome with its full-color photographic survey of early mailboxes highlights those of the grand Art Deco period, together with a brief history of the innovative mailbox-and-chute system patented in 1883 by James Cutler of Rochester, New York.
   Art Deco Mailboxes features dozens of the best examples of this beloved, dynamic design’s realization in the mailboxes of New York City, as well as those of Chicago, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and beyond.
    Incidentally the author Karen Greene is a lover of Art Deco architecture and design and Lynne Lavelle, is editor of Period Homes magazine. That leads me to remind you that you, too, can share your passion for Art Deco by joining the Art Deco Society of New York (ADSNY), which was founded in 1980 to both celebrate and preserve our Art Deco heritage, and offers educational lectures, bus and walking tours, and celebrates the architecture, decorative arts, fashion, culture and fine arts of the Art Deco era in New York. Visit 

Friday, February 21, 2014


Art Deco antiques with their streamline chic, geometrics and distinctive art forms are still highly sought after and resonate as the antique of choice today to integrate with modern interiors. Art Deco has become an eternal part of our culture and never goes out of fashion.
   The lure of the search is one of the most interesting and entertaining ways to become a collector and the first consideration is ‘know your merchandise.”
   In other words narrow down your interest, be specific about a genre, go to the auctions, frequent the antique shows, get to know the dealers and do not be fooled by reproductions of similar design. To avoid such pitfalls when possible check the provenance of a piece before making a purchase.
   Become the best collector that you can be; hone your skills and subscribe to art and antique magazines, build an Art Deco library and join a Deco-centric organization such as the Art Deco Society of New York, which has frequent meetings that both educate and entertain in numerous venues around New York City.
   What it takes to become a collector is an eye for beauty, an appreciation of the streamlined simplicity of great design and an understanding of modernism in its varied styles of interpretation. 

Becoming a Collector
   Art Deco has both feminine and masculine appeal and should be evaluated based on condition and rarity of the item. When it comes to furniture Benoist F. Drut, partner of Maison Gerard Ltd. recommends: “Go for the best that you can afford.  Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann furniture epitomizes the glamour of French Art Deco style of the 1920s and would fit into any environment. However he cautions: “The really fine pieces go quickly and once those pieces are out of the picking their availability is lost.”
   Michael Smith of Adelaide adds: “To find and afford a Donald Deskey console or a Warren McArthur aluminum chair, for example, is to invest in objects of flawless beauty, artifacts of a glamorous past that are timeless and will never go out of style.”
   If you are interested in furniture look for large armoire or cabinet to display your collection of smaller artifacts.  Remember that Art Deco pieces use exotic wood grains, often with a black or red lacquer finish, which add to the beauty of a collection.
    Dealers will authentic pieces by the provenance, which comes from the French word “to come from.” Such documentation of furniture, an object d’art or art work is the chronology of the ownership or location of a historical object. A good provenance increases the value of an object and therefore gives great value to your collection.

Pictured opposite: For example, for the exceptional Art Deco Lacquered Room by Jean Dunand, France, circa 1928, Maison Gerard authenticates its origin, “Provenance: Designed as a breakfast room for the penthouse apartment of Mr. Templeton-Crocker in 1928, San Francisco, California.”

Developing a Collection

Narrowing down your interest in Art Deco to a specific genre makes it easier to develop a collection. William W. Crouse, a private collector recalls: “After selecting Art Deco as the focus of my collections, I decided to concentrate on vintage advertising posters. A well designed poster immediately captures one’s eye and instantly conveys its’ message.”
    When it comes to being selective Mr. Crouse gives the following sound advice: “I also collect Art Deco cocktail shakers and barware from the same era. With both my posters and shakers, I have always tried to buy the rare, important and best conditioned items I could find.”
    Buy the best that you can afford seems to be the best advice and Mr. Crouse adheres to this adage: “I always attempt to purchase quality, iconic items made by the best designers whenever they appeared on the market. I have rarely, in the long run, felt that I overpaid or made a big mistake by buying the best. By sticking to a relatively narrow area of focus, and by studying to gain as much knowledge as possible, I have been able to amass an important collection.”

Art Deco-Specific

   The key to collecting is specializing in one area and collecting the very best, be it $10 or a million. That is confirmed by Leonard Fox, Leonard Fox Rare Books, Ltd., who advises that getting to know your dealer is a sure way towards getting more insight into a specific genre. The dealer can also alert a collector when an important item comes in that might be the perfect addition to a collection. Mr. Fox advises: “Scattered collections do not have a focus. Become an expert in a specific genre. It not only increases the quality of a collection and its value, but it also increases the pleasure of ownership.”  He further advises, “It doesn’t have to be a well known artist. Trust your eye, buy what you like and put trust in the dealer to make decisions.”
   Jack Rennert is a collector, dealer and author, and director of Poster Auctions International and organizer of the International Poster Museum in New York. He adds: “My advice to collectors to specialize and to start collecting early. I’ve heard ‘I wish I had started collecting that ten years ago,’ too many times.  Look around at books and exhibitions and determine which poster arts or style or period speaks most directly to you. Then stick with that and build a specialized collection and it will give you a great deal of pleasure and make you an expert in the field.”
  Becoming a collector can also lead your on an unexpected ventures. Mr. Rennert recounts; “My own early collecting, going back more than fifty years, involved the Art Deco artist, Paul Colin. As a result I had the honor to meet him, writing two books about his work, and now I am the proud owner of one of the largest collections of his posters.”

Art Deco Books/Printed Matter

   Christine von der Linn, Senior Specialist of Art, Modern Press and Illustrates Books, Swann Auction Galleries suggests that for those interested in learning about Art Deco they should attend exhibitions at auction houses like Swann Galleries and book and print fairs. “I would suggest that anyone interested in becoming a collector of Art Deco books and printed matter to explore the genres and artists that speak to you, whether that be fashion, theater design, decorative and graphic arts, book illustration or poster art.”
   One may gravitate to a specific genre simply because they are drawn to its great beauty.  Such is the case, Miss von der Linn points out, “With classic and collectible fashion magazines such as Costumes Parisiens, Gazette du Bon Ton to mention two of these high influential journals, which set fashion trends in France and abroad, the gorgeous illustrations (known as ‘plates’) feature the works of artists including Paul Poiret, Georges Lepape and George Barbier.” Collectors can readily find any of these Art Deco works through auctions or retail dealers.

  Collectors be cautious: Many cute Art Deco ceramic pieces flooding the market are made in Japan. Bakelite jewelry may likewise be imitations.  Deco costume jewelry pieces may also not be original. You can tell because in the Art Deco tradition the setting of the stones were created by artisans who worked in the fine jewelry trade. It is wise to take a small magnifying glass with you to scrutinize the back of the item to see the inscribed maker’s name to determine its authenticity.  Finally, if you really know your genre you may even spot a ‘find” in a garage sale, but it is becoming less and less common.

Polly Guerin
Polly Guerin is a member of the Art Deco Society of New York’s Advisory Board, and is the former Editor-in Chief of the Modernist magazine, Collector’s Edition 2000, published by ADSNY. Ms. Guerin writes on antiques, decorative arts and collectibles for magazines including Art & Antiques. Among the eight books Ms. Guerin has written, the eighth, The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York will be published in 2015.



Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Ah!!! The sound of ice cubes dancing in a cocktail shaker. Nothing is more welcome than that rhythmic sound which signals the hour before dinner when the appetite is whetted by the brew as liquors, fruit juices, syrups mix with various alcoholic beverages are vigorously shaken into libations for the cocktail hour.  My aunt Virgie’s husband Bruce, who prized among his possessions a cocktail shaker that looked like an airplane, was a master of the art and his airplane-inspired cocktail shaker went beyond the call of duty.  Pictured here: the Duel-Fuel Cocktail Shaker with two side wings that double as flasks. 
A POPULAR ARTIFACT The 1920’s prohibition era in the United States. The quintessential era of cocktail shaker history, produced many different cocktail shaker shapes and designs including zeppelins, lighthouses, penguins and towering bullet shaped or skyscraper models. These were the icons of the Jazz Age when they reached their zenith of popularity. The leading expert on these sophisticated and stylish artifacts is Stephen Visakay, a collector and dealer of cocktail shakers and bar accoutrements, and whose fascinating collection numbers over 1,400. These winsome artifacts became celebrities in their own right and were associated with the glamorous lives of movie
stars and took star billing in numerous movies. 

SOPHISTICATED CHIC Cocktail shakers became symbols of sophistication and the good life for the cognoscenti and everyone else wanted to get into the act, even some Art Deco devotees who attended a recent vernissage.  Visakay introduced some of the cocktail shakers from his rare collection at a meeting /cocktail reception of  (ADSNY) the Art deco Society of New York. A lively gathering of Art Deco enthusiasts joined in the social amenities at an ADSNY member’s Deco- inspired apartment furnished with Art Deco artifacts and a spectacular cocktail shaker bar---truly we were in a stratospheric Art Deco venue with magnificent views.  For information about ADSNY visit:
COCKTAIL SHAKER LORE Visakay has been featured in numerous magazines and he has been named one of America’s top 100 collectors so anything you want to know about cocktail shakers can be had in his book Vintage Bar Ware –Identification and Value Guide or visit:  With the advent of WWII the cocktail shaker had a brief demise because all non-essential uses of metal were redirected towards the war effort. However, the cocktail shaker was never forgotten and it had a brief resurgence in the 1950’s in “rec rooms” with bars. Then the electric blender was the final blow.  However, the innkeeper who invented the cocktail shaker as we know it can be rest assured that in bars and in private homes the cocktail shaker is holding its own today as a symbol of acquired taste and sophistication.
Polly Guerin is author of the book THE COOPER-HEWITT DYNASTY OF NEW YORK (HISTORY PRESS 2012)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

MAGNUSSON-GROSSMAN, GRETA: A Pioneering Modernist (c) By Polly Guerin

Greta Magnusson Grossman
In the hallmark of women designers of the Deco era, Swedish born, Greta Magnusson Grossman’s work may never have achieved the same level of fame as that of many of her contemporaries, but she was a woman determined to succeed in a world dominated by men. A Swedish furniture designer and architect her work appeared alongside other midcentury greats such as Charles and Ray Eames and her prolific oeuvre continues to attract a loyal following. She designed in diverse genres with achievements in industrial design, interior design and architecture. Later in life she received two prestigious Good Design Awards from MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and yet for a time she faded into relative obscurity, until now, as some of her iconic pieces are being brought back into production.  
SUCCESS IN SWEDEN In 1930 Greta opened her first store/workshop called
American Modern: Lightweight Furniture
“Studio” in Stockholm with classmate Erik Ullrich, where she took numerous commissions, including a crib for Sweden’s Princess Birgitta.  Accolades and recognition poured in and she became the first woman to receive a prize for furniture design from the Swedish Society of Industrial Design. Greta’s success followed her to California and by this time she had married jazz bandleader Billy Grossman. Greta opened her second shop, Magnusson-Grossman Studio, on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. Her shop with its avant guard design appealed to the rich and famous and  became  popular with design cognoscenti and stars of the silver screen like Greta Garbo, Joan Fontaine and Gracie Allen . 
WEIGHTLESS DESIGN Celebrities were not her main clients. Grossman’s compact, functional and visually lightweight modern aesthetic appealed to a previously ignored, but every-growing demographic: single, savvy, career-minded women. Her walnut and iron desk for Glenn of California, an icon of California modern, reflects Greta’s ability to mix heavy materials in designs that seem weightless; even a box for supplies appears to float above the work surface.  Some pieces, like her Cobra Lamp has recently been brought back into production by Gubi.  Among her clients were several famous furniture companies, including Barker Brothers and Ralph O. Smith &Co. and Glenn of California.
AMERICAN MODERNISM  In California Greta became a prominent figure in the experimental architecture world and was known for building homes on “difficult plots.” She designed at least fourteen homes defined by their diminutive scale and lightness of form, some balanced perfectly on the edge of a hillside. Only several of these houses do remain but they are a testament to Greta’s use of rich woods, and natural light to create warmth. She crafted these homes of classic modern materials like steel and stone. Her first villa in Beverly Hills was a major breakthrough for her as an architect and published in the magazine Arts & Architecture.
GRETA MAGNUSSON-GROSSMAN:  Recently renewed interest in this pioneering modernist sheds light on a female designer who has become an integral part of the design genre called “American Modernism.”

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Susan Claassen Channeling Edith Head
If you are an aficionado of old movies (circa 1927 through1982) the chances are you probably have seen the fashionable costumes, worn by the stars,  that dominated the silver screen for sixty years, but you may not have realized that the tantalizing garments were created by the quintessential costume designer, Edith Head, who worked for the top Movie Studios throughout her career.  I met Edith Head, when she was Paramount’s chief designer, par excellence, in Hollywood and remember her classic black bangs and big eyeglasses staring at me with inner calm. She was modest and amazing and her design oeuvre was a prolific testament to her genius. However, Edith Head could be all but forgotten today, but one enterprising performance artist, Susan Claassen, is channeling the life of Edith Head in solo performances around the country in a show entitled “A Conversation with Edith Head.” 
BOOK INSPIRATION Ms. Claassen’s show does Edith Head a qualified service by dressing the part while her impersonation of the design star is candidly true-to-life.  Ms. Claassen was inspired to write and star in her show while watching a TV biography of Ms. Head.  Ms. Claassen said, “Not only do I bear a striking resemblance to Edith, but we share the same love for clothes and fashion. There are many myths about her but she was a discreet, tenacious personality. She knew which star’s hips needed clever disguising and made sure that those legendary stars always looked the part.” Much of the dialogue in “A Conversation with Edith Head" comes directly from the famed designer including Edith’s own saying; “Good clothes are not a matter of good luck.”.
DRESSING THE STARS Head outfitted a roster of stars that chronicles Hollywood’s golden age, and she was best known as a brilliant problem solver. She stitched Dorothy Lamour into her sarong; created Margo Channing’s glamorous silk gown worn by Bette Davis when she delivers her famed line, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”  I remember best Elizabeth Taylor’s gorgeous white strapless gown in the movie, “A Place in the Sun.” The gown was immediately copied by clothing manufacturers just in time to satisfy every young girl’s desire to wear it to her prom. The list of Head’s design proliferation overwhelms but another highlight was Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief and Sean Connery in “The Man Who Would be King.” No wonder Edith Head won a record eight Academy Awards for costume design and to amaze even further she earned 35 Oscar nominations.
CLAASSEN’S VERSION The performance artist Susan Claassen does a remarkable take on Edith Head, one that captures the audience with her engaging performance. Claassen cultivated Edith’s distinct look: round glasses, severe bangs, and crisp, tailored clothes. She is an artist who has researched her subject to authenticate Edith and highlights the famed costume designer’s career channeling her life with tempered dialogue. "Conservation with Edith Head” premiered at the Invisible Theater in Tucson, Arizona and has given more than 250 performances coast to coast in the United States. The production has also toured internationally including Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia to a sold out audience.
Susan Claassen’s show is presented in association with the Motion Picture and Television Fund and is based on the book, “Edith Head’s Hollywood,” by Edith Head and Paddy Calistro. Claassmen will be showcasing Edith Head on June 21 for the fashion committee at the National Arts Club in New York City and has upcoming performances at Citrus College, Glendora, CA, October 2013 and Sheldon Theatre, St. Louis, MO, December 2013and will be on the North Carolina Stage May/June 2014.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Djuna Barnes’s extraordinary career as a journalist and illustrator deserves revisiting primarily because she made an important contribution in the development of 20th century English language modernist writing. She was born in a log cabin in 1892 and lived through the Deco years and became one of the key figures in 1920s and ‘30’s bohemian Paris and fulfilled a similar role in Greenwich Village. Though her upbringing in an unconventional household was fraught with incest, rape and hardship, Barnes developed an outsider’s perspective on ‘normal’ life that served her well as a writer. As a woman determined to succeed much of Barnes’s journalism was subjective and experiential. An early twentieth-century advocate for women’s rights Barnes also wrote interviews, features, theatre reviews, and a variety of news stories, often illustrating them with her own drawings.
Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913-1919, an exhibition of 45 objects including drawings, works on paper, documentary photographs, and stories in newsprint by the celebrated writer Djuna Barnes will be presented in the Herstory Gallery of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art from January 20 through October 28, 2012 at Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York.
GREENWICH VILLAGE Barnes’s liberal sexuality fit in perfectly with the bohemian lifestyle of Greenwich Village and, later, the lesbian expatriate community in Paris. From her first articles in 1913 until her departure for Europe in 1921, she specialized in a type of journalism that was less about current events and more about her observations of the diverse personalities and happenings that gave readers an intimate portrait of her favorite character-New York City. Attempting to capture its transition from turn of the century city to modern metropolis, Barnes developed her unique style of “newspaper fictions,” offering impressionistic observations and dramatizing whatever she felt to be the true significance of subtexts of a story. Prior to publishing the modernist novels and plays for which she is now remembered, such as Ryder (1928), Nightwood (1936) and The Antiphon (1958), which present complex portrayals of lesbian life and familial dysfunction, Barnes supported herself as a journalist and illustrator for a variety of daily newspapers and monthly magazines including the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, McCalls, Vanity Fair, Charm and the New Yorker.
THE BOHEMIAN LIFESTYLE In 1915 Barnes moved to a flat in Greenwich Village, where she became part of a thriving Bohemian community of artists and writers counting among her social circle Dadaist artists and poets. One supporter was Guido Bruno, an entrepreneur and promoter of published magazines and chapbooks out of his garret on Washington Square. He was willing to risk prosecution by publishing Barnes’s 1915 collection, The Book of Repulsive Women, with its explicit poetic descriptions of sex between women, at a time when lesbianism was virtually invisible in American culture. Barnes was unusual among Villagers in having been raised with a philosophy of free love, espoused both by her grandmother and her father. She retained sexual freedom as a value and had a number of affairs with both men and women during her Greenwich Village days.
PARIS SOJOURN (1921-1930) Barnes first traveled to Paris on assignment for McCall’s Magazine, where she soon became a well-known figure on the local scene; her black cloak and her acerbic wit are remembered in memoirs of the time. She was part of the inner circle of the influential salon hostess, Natalie Barney, who would become a lifelong friend and patron, as well as the central figure in Barnes’s satiric chronicle of Paris lesbian life, Ladies Almanack, which was published under the pseudonym “A Lady of Fashion.” However, the most important relationship of Barnes’s Paris years was with the artist Thelma Wood, a Kansas native who had come to Paris to become a sculptor. Driven by Barnes’s influence Wood took up silverpoint instead, producing animals and plants that one critic compared to Rousseau. By 1922 they moved in together in a flat on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. In 1928 Barnes dedicated Ryder and Ladies Almanack to Thelma Wood the year that both books were published and the year that she and Wood separated.
NEW YORK CITY AGAIN Barnes published little journalism in the 30s and was largely dependent on the largesse of the art patron, Peggy Guggenheim. Barnes was constantly ill and drank more heavily. After an attempted suicide Guggenheim funded hospital visits and doctors, but finally lost patience and sent be back to New York. During her Patchin Place years, Barnes became a notorious recluse. E.E. Cummings, who lived across the street, checked on her periodically, other put roses in her mailbox. It is at this time that Barnes stopped drinking in order to begin work on her verse play The Antiphon, that drew heavily on her own family history, the writing was fueled with anger. Although Barnes had other female lovers, in later years she was known to claim, “I am not a lesbian; I just loved Thelma.” BARNES WAS ELECTED TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ARTS AND LETTERS IN 1961. SHE WAS THE LAST SURVIVING MEMBER OF THE FIRST GENERATION OF ENGLISH-LANGUAGE MODERNISTS WHEN SHE DIED IN NEW YORK IN 1982.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

STAMPS OF APPROVAL Honors Pioneers of American Industrial Design By Polly Guerin

A traveling exhibition featuring the work of American Industrial designers, who helped to shape the look of everyday life in the 20th centurym have been given their due recognition by the U.S. Postal Service in a new series of Forever stamps.
The exhibition, organized by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, will continue on to the Philbrook Museum of Art in 2012.
It was an era of modernism characterized by horizontal lines and round shapes projecting an image of speed and efficiency and emerged as a profession in the United States in the 1920s. Industrial design gained prominence during the Great Depression and evoked the streamlined sensibilities of a new era, often referred to as Art Deco.
The stamps include:
Walter Dorwin Teague’s 1934 “Baby Brownie” camera was made of black Bakelite with Art Deco details on the box-shaped box. Teague viewed industrial design as both an art and an integral part of contemporary life, and was one of the founders of the American Society of Industrial Designers.
Peter Muller-Munk’s 1935 “Normandie” pitcher’s simple curves and form were characteristic of the streamlined modern style. The pitcher was constructed of chromium-plated brass, an alternative to silver that was easier to care for and more affordable.
Frederick Hurten Rhead’s 1936 “Fiesta” pitcher, from the widely popular dinnerware transformed the look of domestic interiors across America. Introduced by the Homer Laughlin China Col, the ceramic tableware was moderately priced and available in brightly colored and durable glazes.
Henry Dreyfuss’ 1937 Model 302 Bell telephone set the standard for telephone design in the U.S. Dreyfuss was among the first to apple the principles of ergonomics to product design and considered the user to be the center and focus of his work.
Norman Bell Geddes’ 1940 “Patriot” radio featured a red-and-white grille representative of the American flag. Geddes was a noted champion of streamlining and created visionary new looks for cars, trains, planes and building, in addition to everyday objects.
Russel Wright’s 1951 “highlight/Pinch” flatware featured an organically shaped handle and no applied ornament. Wright created affordable modern furniture and tableware characterized by minimal but elegant forms.
Greta von Nessen’s 1951 “Anywhere” lamp featured a tubular aluminum base and an adjustable shade made of enameled metal. The versatile lamp could be mounted on the wall, suspended from the ceiling or used on the table.
Eliot Noyes’ 1961 “Selectric” typewriter for IBM, for whom he designed buildings, interiors and a range of office equipment, encouraged corporate clients to adopt long-lasting design principles, rather than changing a product’s design each year.
Other designers honored as “Pioneers of American Industrial Design” are Dave Chapman, Donald Deskey, Gilbert Rohde and Raymond Loewy.
The groundbreaking work of these designers transformed the look of homes and offices across the country and celebrates the integral role these industrial designers played in American manufacturing and daily life. Modern design became still more popular after World War II, when manufacturers again turned to industrial designers to focus on mass production for the American consumer.
The stamps were dedicated June 29, 2011 at a ceremony at Cooper-Hewitt. Pioneers of Industrial Design Forever stamps are available at most U.S. Post Offices or online at

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