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Raymond Loewy- Designs for a Consumer Culture


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#1 SpaceAge

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Posted Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 1:12 AM

The Raymond Loewy exhibition has made it to Houston and is on display through March 20 at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston Central Campus.
Following is a story about Loewy and the exhibit from CNN:


ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — They’re items you see every day. Air Force One?
His design.
Streamlined locomotives?
His doing.
The logos for Nabisco, Exxon, Shell and Sealtest?
His, his, his and his again.

Raymond Loewy is called “the father of industrial design” for a reason. He took
ugly consumer items — pencil sharpeners, refrigerators — and made them
beautiful. He designed cars that were a decade or more ahead of their time. He
created kitchen appliances, crockery and furniture, and did design work for
Greyhound, the U.S. Postal Service and NASA.

Posted Image
Loewy Designed Pencil Sharpener, 1933

It’s not for nothing that Loewy, who was born
in Europe in 1893 and died in 1986, titled
one of his books, “Never Leave Well Enough
Alone.” “Raymond started industrial design
and the streamlining movement,” architect
Philip Johnson once said. “He designed
everything from lipstick to locomotives,”
observes Laura Moody of the Museum of
Design Atlanta, which is showing an exhibit
of his work, “Raymond Loewy: Designs for a
Consumer Culture,” through the end of
December. After its Atlanta stop, the
exhibition will work its way across the United
States over the next two years.

Posted Image
Loewy and the K4S Locomotive

Even today, his work — which dates back
to the 1920s — looks startlingly modern,
with clean lines, minimal fussiness and
creative use of color. “When he was a young
boy, he was inspired by beauty and speed,”
says his daughter, Laurence Loewy, who
watches over her father’s estate.

“[He said that] good design was not a veneer. It was
an integral part of the project.”
‘Most advanced, yet acceptable’
The exhibit features a number of Loewy’s
greatest hits. There’s a mid-1930s Sears
Coldspot refrigerator, a sleek white appliance
that won an award from a Paris design fair.
(One interesting touch: Instead of pulling a
handle, you push a large rectangular button
to open the door.)

There’s Melamine dishware by Lucent —
mid-’50s plates and saucers made from a
form of plastic, yet delicately designed by
Loewy to give the appearance of china —
and 1950s color charts and posters
showcasing Loewy’s work for Formica
(including countertops with the popular
Googie forms of the time) and Arvin (a
“Loewy-designed dinette set,” trumpets an
advertisement, illustrating the value of the
Loewy name).

Against one column is a futuristic 1946
television that looks like an oscilloscope, and
one area is dominated by vintage Coca-Cola
materials designed by Loewy, including a
fountain, a jukebox and some Coke bottles.
And all along the walls are many photos of
Loewy’s creations and the man himself,
including the October 31, 1949, cover of Time
magazine.

“He always intuited what the customer
wanted,” says Laurence Loewy, her house
in suburban Atlanta lined with Loewy
paraphernalia. “He always had good taste,
and the sense not to push the envelope too
far.” His motto, she adds, was “MAYA” —
“most advanced, yet acceptable.”

‘Always bringing home a new toaster’
Ironically, though Loewy received constant
commissions and accolades from
manufacturers, he found it hard to obtain
work on some of his favorite machines —
automobiles. “Detroit considered him a
renegade,” says his daughter.

He did get work from the Indiana-based
Studebaker auto company, and his early ’50s
Studebakers are models of grace: the 1953
Starliner, which some consider the first
American sports car, was voted one of the
10 most beautiful designs in an auto writers’
poll and is now featured on a stamp.

Posted Image
Studebaker Avanti designed by Loewy
Shown at his Palm Springs house (designed by Albert Frey, 1946).

But Loewy was constantly pushing for lighter,
safer and more efficient at a time when the
American auto business was dominated by
heavy, chrome-laden powerhouses with
portholes, torpedoed bumpers and fins.
“Dad called [General Motors designer]
Harley Earl’s designs ‘chrome-plated
barges,’ “ chuckles Laurence Loewy. “He said
that, if left to his own devices, Harley Earl
would put fins on a TV or refrigerator.”

As a person, she says, he liked “a stiff drink, a
good smoke and a hearty laugh.” He had a
fondness for antiques, and when he was
away from his studios, he enjoyed himself,
she remembers — he had houses in Palm
Springs, California, and the French Riviera,
was a gourmet cook and took time for
reflection.

But he was always curious about
the practical uses of his work, she says.
“He was always bringing home a new toaster,
a new mixer, for the staff to use and critique,”
Laurence Loewy says. “He had his own inhouse
focus group.”

At their peak, designers such as Loewy,
Norman Bel Geddes and Henry Dreyfuss
were household names. Then, for decades,
design was something often taken for
granted by the public. It wasn’t until recently,
with Target’s focus on Michael Graves and
Philippe Starck, that design has become
celebrated again.

“[The exhibit] showcases a time when
design had come to the forefront,” says
MODA’s Moody. “I think we’re seeing that
resurgence again.”

Indeed, the Raymond Loewy Foundation offers
several awards to design professionals, and
works to bring design and related issues to the
attention of the public, Laurence Loewy says.
Her father would find much to admire today,
she says. “He would admire [car designer] J
Mays’ work — the Volkswagen [New] Beetle,
the Mustang, the Thunderbird ... He’d own a
Macintosh laptop and would listen to an iPod.

But,” she adds, “he would complain that cell
phones are too small, that an aging population
would have problems using the devices.”
As the exhibit of his work shows, it just takes
a desire to get it right — for the product and
the public, she says. “There are some simple
requirements,” she says. “A little logic, some
good taste and the willingness to cooperate.”

The world Raymond Loewy created
By Todd Leopold, CNN
Monday, November 14, 2005; Posted: 10:03 a.m. EST (15:03 GMT)
Planes, trains, automobiles, Coke bottles
End

Following is a local article:

Exhibit on Celebrated Industrial Designer to Open
January 26, 2009 - Houston -


He was the most prominent industrial designer of the 20th century. Images from the career of Raymond Loewy, whose firms created everything from lipsticks to locomotives, are the subject of a new exhibit at the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture.

“Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture,” opens with a lecture by Glenn Porter, an expert on Loewy’s work and the curator of the exhibit, at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 5 in the college’s first floor gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

Loewy was a celebrated industrial designer from the 1930s to the 1970s and appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1949. He spent more than 50 years streamlining and modernizing silverware and fountain pens, supermarkets and department stores. Among his best-known designs are several automobiles for Studebaker, including the Avanti sports car, and corporate logos for Nabisco, Exxon, Shell Oil and the U.S. Postal Service.

"This exhibit illustrates the importance of industrial design in our daily lives," said Stephen James, Gallery Curator for the college. "UH is a leader in this field and offers the only industrial design program in Texas and surrounding states.”

The UH exhibit features a collection of images and information not previously available to researchers or the public such as original drawings, models, products, advertisements, photographs and rare film footage of Loewy at work.

"Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture" will be on view through March 20.

"Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture" is organized by the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware. The exhibition is made possible by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Texas Commission on the Arts and is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

For high resolution images, contact Marisa Ramirez, 713-743-8152 or mrcannon@uh.edu.

WHAT: "Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture"
WHEN: 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 5
Exhibit on view through March 20,
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
WHERE: College of Architecture, gallery (first floor)
For directions and parking information, visit www.uh.edu/campus_map/buildings/ARC.php.
WHO: Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture

Posted Image
Indoor/Outdoor Swimming Pool and other photos at the Loewy House in Palm Springs, California
600 Panorama Road

#2 lwood

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Posted Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 9:25 AM

The Raymond Loewy exhibition has made it to Houston and is on display through March 20 at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston Central Campus.
Following is a story about Loewy and the exhibit from CNN:


ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — They’re items you see every day. Air Force One?
His design.
Streamlined locomotives?
His doing.
The logos for Nabisco, Exxon, Shell and Sealtest?
His, his, his and his again.

Raymond Loewy is called “the father of industrial design” for a reason. He took
ugly consumer items — pencil sharpeners, refrigerators — and made them
beautiful. He designed cars that were a decade or more ahead of their time. He
created kitchen appliances, crockery and furniture, and did design work for
Greyhound, the U.S. Postal Service and NASA.

Posted Image
Loewy Designed Pencil Sharpener, 1933

It’s not for nothing that Loewy, who was born
in Europe in 1893 and died in 1986, titled
one of his books, “Never Leave Well Enough
Alone.” “Raymond started industrial design
and the streamlining movement,” architect
Philip Johnson once said. “He designed
everything from lipstick to locomotives,”
observes Laura Moody of the Museum of
Design Atlanta, which is showing an exhibit
of his work, “Raymond Loewy: Designs for a
Consumer Culture,” through the end of
December. After its Atlanta stop, the
exhibition will work its way across the United
States over the next two years.

Posted Image
Loewy and the K4S Locomotive

Even today, his work — which dates back
to the 1920s — looks startlingly modern,
with clean lines, minimal fussiness and
creative use of color. “When he was a young
boy, he was inspired by beauty and speed,”
says his daughter, Laurence Loewy, who
watches over her father’s estate.

“[He said that] good design was not a veneer. It was
an integral part of the project.”
‘Most advanced, yet acceptable’
The exhibit features a number of Loewy’s
greatest hits. There’s a mid-1930s Sears
Coldspot refrigerator, a sleek white appliance
that won an award from a Paris design fair.
(One interesting touch: Instead of pulling a
handle, you push a large rectangular button
to open the door.)

There’s Melamine dishware by Lucent —
mid-’50s plates and saucers made from a
form of plastic, yet delicately designed by
Loewy to give the appearance of china —
and 1950s color charts and posters
showcasing Loewy’s work for Formica
(including countertops with the popular
Googie forms of the time) and Arvin (a
“Loewy-designed dinette set,” trumpets an
advertisement, illustrating the value of the
Loewy name).

Against one column is a futuristic 1946
television that looks like an oscilloscope, and
one area is dominated by vintage Coca-Cola
materials designed by Loewy, including a
fountain, a jukebox and some Coke bottles.
And all along the walls are many photos of
Loewy’s creations and the man himself,
including the October 31, 1949, cover of Time
magazine.

“He always intuited what the customer
wanted,” says Laurence Loewy, her house
in suburban Atlanta lined with Loewy
paraphernalia. “He always had good taste,
and the sense not to push the envelope too
far.” His motto, she adds, was “MAYA” —
“most advanced, yet acceptable.”

‘Always bringing home a new toaster’
Ironically, though Loewy received constant
commissions and accolades from
manufacturers, he found it hard to obtain
work on some of his favorite machines —
automobiles. “Detroit considered him a
renegade,” says his daughter.

He did get work from the Indiana-based
Studebaker auto company, and his early ’50s
Studebakers are models of grace: the 1953
Starliner, which some consider the first
American sports car, was voted one of the
10 most beautiful designs in an auto writers’
poll and is now featured on a stamp.

Posted Image
Studebaker Avanti designed by Loewy
Shown at his Palm Springs house (designed by Albert Frey, 1946).

But Loewy was constantly pushing for lighter,
safer and more efficient at a time when the
American auto business was dominated by
heavy, chrome-laden powerhouses with
portholes, torpedoed bumpers and fins.
“Dad called [General Motors designer]
Harley Earl’s designs ‘chrome-plated
barges,’ “ chuckles Laurence Loewy. “He said
that, if left to his own devices, Harley Earl
would put fins on a TV or refrigerator.”

As a person, she says, he liked “a stiff drink, a
good smoke and a hearty laugh.” He had a
fondness for antiques, and when he was
away from his studios, he enjoyed himself,
she remembers — he had houses in Palm
Springs, California, and the French Riviera,
was a gourmet cook and took time for
reflection.

But he was always curious about
the practical uses of his work, she says.
“He was always bringing home a new toaster,
a new mixer, for the staff to use and critique,”
Laurence Loewy says. “He had his own inhouse
focus group.”

At their peak, designers such as Loewy,
Norman Bel Geddes and Henry Dreyfuss
were household names. Then, for decades,
design was something often taken for
granted by the public. It wasn’t until recently,
with Target’s focus on Michael Graves and
Philippe Starck, that design has become
celebrated again.

“[The exhibit] showcases a time when
design had come to the forefront,” says
MODA’s Moody. “I think we’re seeing that
resurgence again.”

Indeed, the Raymond Loewy Foundation offers
several awards to design professionals, and
works to bring design and related issues to the
attention of the public, Laurence Loewy says.
Her father would find much to admire today,
she says. “He would admire [car designer] J
Mays’ work — the Volkswagen [New] Beetle,
the Mustang, the Thunderbird ... He’d own a
Macintosh laptop and would listen to an iPod.

But,” she adds, “he would complain that cell
phones are too small, that an aging population
would have problems using the devices.”
As the exhibit of his work shows, it just takes
a desire to get it right — for the product and
the public, she says. “There are some simple
requirements,” she says. “A little logic, some
good taste and the willingness to cooperate.”

The world Raymond Loewy created
By Todd Leopold, CNN
Monday, November 14, 2005; Posted: 10:03 a.m. EST (15:03 GMT)
Planes, trains, automobiles, Coke bottles
End

Following is a local article:

Exhibit on Celebrated Industrial Designer to Open
January 26, 2009 - Houston -


He was the most prominent industrial designer of the 20th century. Images from the career of Raymond Loewy, whose firms created everything from lipsticks to locomotives, are the subject of a new exhibit at the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture.

“Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture,” opens with a lecture by Glenn Porter, an expert on Loewy’s work and the curator of the exhibit, at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 5 in the college’s first floor gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

Loewy was a celebrated industrial designer from the 1930s to the 1970s and appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1949. He spent more than 50 years streamlining and modernizing silverware and fountain pens, supermarkets and department stores. Among his best-known designs are several automobiles for Studebaker, including the Avanti sports car, and corporate logos for Nabisco, Exxon, Shell Oil and the U.S. Postal Service.

"This exhibit illustrates the importance of industrial design in our daily lives," said Stephen James, Gallery Curator for the college. "UH is a leader in this field and offers the only industrial design program in Texas and surrounding states.”

The UH exhibit features a collection of images and information not previously available to researchers or the public such as original drawings, models, products, advertisements, photographs and rare film footage of Loewy at work.

"Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture" will be on view through March 20.

"Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture" is organized by the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware. The exhibition is made possible by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Texas Commission on the Arts and is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

For high resolution images, contact Marisa Ramirez, 713-743-8152 or mrcannon@uh.edu.

WHAT: "Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture"
WHEN: 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 5
Exhibit on view through March 20,
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
WHERE: College of Architecture, gallery (first floor)
For directions and parking information, visit www.uh.edu/campus_map/buildings/ARC.php.
WHO: Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture

Posted Image
Indoor/Outdoor Swimming Pool and other photos at the Loewy House in Palm Springs, California
600 Panorama Road


Thanks for posting this. I would have misssed the exhibition otherwise. I understand he had a hand in designing the interior of the Foley's store downtown.

#3 infinite_jim

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Posted Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Recommended.

The lithograph prints are a real treat to see (& these phone pics does not do justice)

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

edit: Does anyone know where to find the jukebox he designed?

Edited by infinite_jim, Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 2:31 PM.

Architecture should have a responsibility to speak to the strengths of humankind, in the same way that men should have a responsibility to other men. In this way, architecture plays a moral role in our life. It is not just a protection, but an inspiration. - Tadao Ando


#4 musicman

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Posted Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 6:27 PM

edit: Does anyone know where to find the jukebox he designed?

at UH. there was one there part of the exhibit.
The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. -- Ronald Reagan
I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -- Winston Churchill

Willomena Slater goin ghetto on Betty Suarez..."come on girl, i'm black and you're mexican. let's not talk around it like a couple of dull white people"

#5 SpaceAge

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Posted Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 12:39 AM

Posted Image
Jukebox Designed by Loewy

#6 dbigtex56

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Posted Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Years ago I was employed at Taylor Instruments in Rochester, NY. I happened to mention Raymond Loewy and some of the old timers mentioned that Mr. Loewy had designed some of Taylor's products.

Unfortunately, Taylor had moved some of its operations just a few months before I began working there. The company librarian said that about a hundred years of records ("old junk") had been discarded during the move, and that she could find no records of designs that Loewy may have done for Taylor.

What a shame. There were a couple of scientific instruments (pressure gauges?) in the storeroom which looked like something he may have designed but I have no way to verify that.

#7 musicman

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Posted Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 10:24 PM

This is a great exhibit. his influence is really underestimated. air force one, many kitchen appliances, avanti, etc.
The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. -- Ronald Reagan
I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -- Winston Churchill

Willomena Slater goin ghetto on Betty Suarez..."come on girl, i'm black and you're mexican. let's not talk around it like a couple of dull white people"

#8 sdmarc

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Posted Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Bump for last day. Exhibit open Friday 10-5.