Author: Caitlin Condell

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Image features a car with bright headlights is shown driving across a bridge at night. Lights in the distance are reflected in the water. A light bulb is encircled in the upper right-hand corner, emphasizing the product the car is utilizing. At the bottom of the poster appears the brand name PHILIPS in large orange block letters with white dashes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Illuminating the Road Ahead
When Louis C. Kalff was hired by Philips in 1925, the company was one of the largest producers of lightbulbs in the world. Kalff created a brand identity for the company, including the iconic logo. For this poster, Kalff illustrated a car whose piercing bright headlights illuminate the scene. The stylized arcs and angles reflect...
Image features a poster design by Lester Beall for the Rural Electrification Administration. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Electrification for a Better Biscuit
This blog post was originally published on January 8, 2014.  By the 1930s, the vast majority of American urban dwellers had access to electricity in their homes and businesses.  But those in impoverished rural areas were often not serviced by private electric companies, who believed that it was not cost-effective for them to invest in...
Image features a poster depicting a triangle made up of colored blocks with a black circle at the top with atomic symbol; above: atoms for peace; lower margin: GENERAL DYNAMICS. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Looking Ahead in the Atomic Age
This blog post was originally published on August 4, 2014. The year is 1955, and Cold War tensions have begun to escalate. General Dynamics is a newly formed parent company overseeing eleven manufacturers, producing cutting edge technology for the defense of the United States. The company is capitalizing on the American policy of nuclear deterrence,...
Image features poster showing close up rendering of colorful layers of diced and sliced vegetables. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Nice Day for a Picnic
Today’s blog post was originally published on June 18, 2013. In 1970, Steven Frykholm was working as the in-house graphic designer for the furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, Inc., when a company vice-president stopped by his desk.  Every summer, the VP said, Herman Miller hosted a company picnic.  Perhaps Frykholm would make up a poster for the...
Image features a poster depicting a series of mixers and sliders that categorize the albums of David Bowie between a set of extremes. Featuring seven columns for each album released between 1976-84, with "DAVID/ BOWIE" printed in silver ink in custom typography. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Less Ziggy, More Stardust
Today’s blog post was originally published on July 10, 2013. There are many ways to celebrate an anniversary.  To commemorate a decade of working together as the design duo Non-Format, Kjell Ekhorn and Jon Forss did not opt for the traditional gifting of tin, pewter, or aluminum.  Instead, they pooled their creative energies towards a personal...
Poster for The Chap-Book, August 1894. A woman dressed in blue at the center of the image stands in a wood, holding a pair of skates. The words The Chap / Book, printed in red cover the lower left portion of the poster.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside!
With the temperature outside at record highs this week, I can’t help but think of William Henry Bradley’s The Blue Lady. Clutching her ice skates in her left hand, she makes a cold winter’s stroll through the thin, bare trees look elegant and placid. The Blue Lady was Bradley’s second poster for The Chap-Book, America’s...
Image features photograph of George “The Iceman” Gervin in a space filled with large ice cubes, holding a silver basketball in each hand, wearing a silver tracksuit with the word: ‘ICE’ embroidered on the chest. He wears white Nike sneakers. In lower margin: ICEMAN; lower left of photograph: NIKE logo. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Ice Ice Baby
Basketball star George Gervin never broke a sweat because he stayed cool under pressure. At least that’s what his teammates Julius Erving and Fatty Taylor thought when they nicknamed him “Iceman” in the early 1970s. But according to Gervin, his ability to remain dry throughout a game had nothing to do with a calm demeanor....
This image features an Axonometric view of living room/bedroom with studio bed and built-in cabinet in upper corner; a square table with retractable shelves and two arm chairs on either side of table; horizontal strip lighting hangs high on wall above cabinet and bed; and glass shelves for plants hang right of the bed; black and white rectangular carpet/linoleum beneath table and chairs. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Room of One’s Own
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. Today’s blog post was written by Caitlin Condell and originally published September 30, 2015. German-born Margarethe (Grete) Fröhlich was a young artist when she moved to Frankfurt, Germany in 1929.  In the early 1920s Frankfurt had experienced a...
Drawing, Concept Car, ca. 1935; Designed by William McBride (American, 1912 - 2000); brush and gouache, pen and ink on illustration board; 16.5 × 54.6 cm (6 1/2 × 21 1/2 in.); Museum purchase through gift of Paul Herzan and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2017-18-14
A Stylist Ahead of His Time
In the early 1930s, the General Motors Art and Colour division was emerging as the most innovative hub of automotive stylists. William McBride was a young man living in Chicago’s South Side, dreaming of fanciful and futuristic cars. As a boy, he “spent sixteen years learning how to design automobiles, to make them real. Cars...