Philbrook Museum of Art Spotlights American Streamlined Design
by Sheila Kim | Wednesday, February 2, 2011 | 1 Comment
A scientific-inspired and progressive style born out of rough economic times sounds more like a current trend given the climate today. But it’s actually the era during and following the Great Depression that is taking center stage at Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art in the exhibition “American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow.”
In the U.S., the 1930’s and ’40s ushered in design characterized by curving forms and clean silhouettes—style that evoked speed and glamour to suggest progress, economic recovery, and the hope of the future. This trend was widely applied to new forms of architecture, interiors, and, particularly, everyday household goods. “American Streamlined Design” will feature over 185 such objects organized thematically around spheres of American life in the 1930’s to ’50s: the office and workplace, the living room, kitchen, bath, recreation, and transportation.
Highlights include work by Raymond Loewy, Norman Bel Geddes, and Henry Dreyfuss, among others. Expect to see materials that were new to or popular in those days like Bakelite and stainless steel. The finale for the exhibition, titled “Streamlining Now,” will explore how streamlining still influences design today.
The show opens February 6 and runs through May 15.