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Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Man Who Designed Everything

posted by on July 19 at 10:20 AM


Raymond Loewy designed trains, planes, cars, desks, lipsticks, jukeboxes, dishes, refrigerators. He created the logos of Lucky Strike, Hoover, Shell, Exxon—even the US Postal Service. He was a Frenchman, born in 1893, but he came to the United States in 1919 (after both his parents died in the worldwide influenza epidemic of 1918-19). Once here, he changed the look of modern American life completely, streamlining everything from the Greyhound Bus to Air Force One.


There’s an exhilarating show about him at Bellevue Arts Museum. If you’re in the area for the art/craft fair this weekend, don’t miss it. (Drawings for failed designs—it is barely believable that someone ever proposed a fecal unit remover—are fascinating, too.)


This is a perfect show for Bellevue Arts Museum, although it’s presented terribly on the disjointed spaces that act as galleries on the second floor, instead of on the unified third floor.

It made me wish that this museum that has struggled so much to get its mission right would drop the art angle completely and limit itself to industrial design and craft instead of trying to exploit old ideas about art and design and art and craft. (As for the permanent Pilchuck glass galleries at BAM, they rightly belong at the Museum of Glass.)

My visit also made me hope that BAM will dust the bronze stack of chairs by Peter Pierobon in the middle of its lobby. It is covered—covered—in dust.

RSS icon Comments


The Studebaker Avanti was so cool!

Posted by monkey | July 19, 2007 10:52 AM

Agreed on all points except one: the Pilchuck glass should be moved to the bottom of Lake Sammamish, and every glass artist within a thousand miles of here should be shipped off to Italy or China to work in a souvenir factory.

Posted by Fnarf | July 19, 2007 11:10 AM

-- Great post for a wonderful designer... I'm all about this. Thanx Jen!

Posted by Aaro)))n Edge | July 19, 2007 11:17 AM

The BAM(!) has such a bangin' name that I wish it was cooler too

Posted by fun shaped | July 19, 2007 2:57 PM

For a minute there I thought you were in Brooklyn.

Posted by Soo | July 19, 2007 7:48 PM

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