A Little Taste of Modernity

Almost every era has defining design. The current exhibition at MoMA, “How Should We Live?” curated by Juliet Kinchin, explores the complex collaborations, materials and processes that have shaped the Modernist interior, with a focus on specific environments—domestic interiors, recreated exhibition displays and retail spaces—from the 1920s to the 1950s. It’s a joy to wander through the environments.

I’ve long been fond of Streamline Modernism—the marriage of speed, kinetics, machines and the Avant Garde that manifests in trains, boats, planes and cars. Consider The Twentieth Century Limited, the legendary train with locomotive that Henry Dreyfuss so brilliantly branded. When I hear the word Streamline, I get happy.

Below is a random selection of things streamlined that I like to look at and/or feel and hold. Maybe they’ll make you happy to behold.

 

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Logo for the Twentieth Century Limited train identity program by Henry Dreyfuss.

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Designs for tableware, menus and stationery by Henry Dreyfuss.

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Wrigley’s gum campaign by Otis Shepard.

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The Lincoln-Zephyr V-12 logo based on its aerodynamic design, which influenced the name “zephyr,” derived from the Greek god of wind.

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Brochure Quarterly (published by Société Anonyme). Constructivist cover design by Constantin Alajalov.

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Unnamed modern alphabet.

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Marks by Samuel Welo.

 


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