On February 13, 2011, Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, OK, will open American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow. The exhibit focuses on a design era that emerged during the 1930s and 1940s, characterized by curving forms and smooth, clean silhouettes.
The exhibit showcases American design in the post-Depression era when hopes rested onPresident Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal and glossy streamlined products were identified with progress and economic recovery. Now retro-looking, this scientific, sleek style then represented hope for a better future.
American Streamlined Design is organized thematically around the spheres of American life in the 1930s-50s: the office and workroom, the living room, kitchen, and bath, recreation and transportation.
This exhibit is just one of Philbrook's recent initiatives to establish itself as a relevant destination for 20th century design. The acquisition of the George R. Kravis world-class industrial design collection as well as its strategic partnership with the Vitra Design Museum (Weil am Rhein, Germany) are also bold strides towards this goal.
Rand Suffolk, Director of the Philbrook Museum of Art says, "The quality and scope of this exhibition does much to place Philbrook's emerging commitment to industrial design. It's a great show for our audience and a springboard to Philbrook's future design initiatives."