modernism

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1985-98-1
The ES 108 Sofa
Ray Kaiser and Charles Eames met in 1940 after Ray entered the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Charles Eames was there studying with fellow modernist designer Eero Saarinen and would soon become head of the industrial design department.  Eames and Saarinen were working on a design for a molded plywood chair to...
1991-59-178
Jens Risom: Master of Scandinavian Furniture
The Model 666WSP Chair, from 1943, is an example of the furniture designed by Danish-American designer Jens Risom, who died at 100 on December 9, 2016. Risom was the son of a prominent Danish architect and he, himself, is often regarded as one of the founders of midcentury modern design in America. He came to...
1991-26-1
In Good Time
Recognizable for its resemblance to an atomic model with wooden spheres attached to the metal rods jutting out from its face, the Ball Clock (model 4755) is, unsurprisingly, sometimes called the “Atomic” clock. Designed by George Nelson Associates for the Howard Miller Clock Company in 1949, the Ball Clock was made by the company through...
deskey light
Drumming Up A Streetlight
Despite the presence of over 300,000 streetlamps in at least 30 distinct designs, few of the millions who visit Manhattan’s bustling streets every year take note of these integral pieces of city life. The lights have not, however, completely escaped notice: this design drawing by Donald Deskey, one of the most influential Industrial Designers of his era, represents one of many...
Two white, stylized female figures and one black, stylized male figure on purple ground, with horizontally printed black and white sans-serif text
A Teetering Trio in a Pastel Void
Alvin Lustig designed numerous book covers for New Directions Publishing over the course of his prolific career, including several for Tennessee Williams’s plays. Lustig’s modernist designs, characterized by their dramatic simplicity, contrast with the voluptuous poetry and unapologetic melodrama of Williams’s writing. For this cover for A Streetcar Named Desire, Lustig choreographed a three-way dance...
1990-2-1
Addition By Subtraction
2003 National Design Award winner Lella Vignelli passed away December 21, 2016. In honor of her memory, we are sharing an Object of the Day blog post from earlier this year dedicated to her design philosophy. Lella Vignelli has spent a lifetime as a designer examining the ongoing expressions of pure, modern form. Working in...
This is a Telephone. It was designed by Johan Christian Bjerknes and Jean Heiberg and made for Norsk Elektrisk Bureau. It is dated 1931. Its medium is bakelite.
Phone Finds Its Iconic Form
Informally known as the Bakelite telephone, the sculptural Ericsson DBH 1001 was a groundbreaking design that set the standard for the shape of the modern plastic telephone. The telephone was a collaborative project between the Electrisk Bureau of Oslo, Norway and the Swedish firm LM Ericsson and Televerket. In 1930 Ericsson hired engineer Christian Bjerknes...
This is a clock. It was designed by Gilbert Rohde and manufactured by Herman Miller Clock Company. It is dated 1933. Its medium is glass, chrome-plated metal, enameled metal.
True Blue
The Model 4083A clock made its debut at the 1933 A Century of Progress Chicago World’s Fair. Designed by Gilbert Rohde and manufactured by the Herman Miller Clock Company, a division of the Herman Miller Furniture Company, this sleek circular clock was one of seven modernist clocks designed by Rohde that were on display in...
This is a Vase. It was designed by Margarete H. L. Marks and manufactured by Haël-Werkstätten. It is dated ca. 1930. Its medium is glazed earthenware.
A Stroke Of Color
Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein-Marks, also known as Grete Marks, was a German ceramicist and painter who studied at the Bauhaus School of Arts in Weimer in 1920–21, alongside Paul Klee and Georg Muche. Prior to this, she had attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Cologne and studied painting at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Düsseldorf. Her time at...