Industrial Designer Raymond Loewy Subject of New Exhibition at the National Heritage Museum, Lexington, MA

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"Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture" on view October 13, 2007 through March 23, 2008.

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Loewy has probably affected the daily life of more Americans than any other man of his time.

From lipsticks to locomotives, Raymond Loewy and his industrial design firms created some the most important design innovations in the 20th century. "Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture," opening on October 13, 2007 at the National Heritage Museum, showcases his work, placing it in the wider context of the shaping of a modern look for consumer culture. His career is brought to life by an array of original drawings, models, products, advertisements, photographs, and rare film footage of Loewy at work. The exhibition is on view through March 23, 2008.

Raymond Loewy became involved in the emerging world of industrial design in the 1920s after a successful career in commercial illustration. He eventually would become the best-known industrial designer in the world. He spent more than five decades streamlining and modernizing silverware and fountain pens, supermarkets and department stores. Loewy and his teams designed the color scheme and logo for Air Force One, the John F. Kennedy memorial stamp, the Greyhound Scenicruiser, and the interiors for NASA's Skylab. Clients included such icons as Coca-Cola, Exxon, and Lucky Strike cigarettes.

On view is the sleek model of the 1951 "bullet nose" Studebaker Champion. The Champion represents the first of the Studebaker line to have that particular style front end. The circular design that was mimicked in the interior instrument panel and dashboard was meant to convey the look and feel of an airplane. The more than five-foot tall, stunning UPB 100 Jukebox was designed for United Music Corporation. Introduced in 1958, it was offered in five color schemes. Raymond and his wife Viola Loewy placed one of these machines in their Fifth Avenue apartment for their guests' enjoyment. Visitors will also enjoy the GG1 locomotive model designed by Loewy to launch an effort to modernize the railroad's image. Streamlining began as an attempt to shape and smooth transportation vehicles along aerodynamic lines for greater operating efficiency, but in reality it was almost always done for the sake of appearance. It soon became the dominant visual style of the 1930s.

"Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture" draws heavily on Loewy's personal archives, a treasure collection of images and information not previously available to researchers or the public. A national magazine said of him in 1950, "Loewy has probably affected the daily life of more Americans than any other man of his time." Many of his designs are still in use today.

"Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture," is made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is organized by the Hagley Museum and Library and toured by ExhibitsUSA.

The National Heritage Museum is dedicated to presenting exhibitions and programs on a wide variety of topics in American history and popular culture. The Museum is supported by the Scottish Rite Freemasons in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States. The National Heritage Museum is located at 33 Marrett Road in Lexington, at the corner of Route 2A and Massachusetts Avenue. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 am-5 pm, and Sunday, noon-5 pm. Admission and parking are free. Heritage Shop and Courtyard Café on site. For further information contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559 or visit the web site at

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Linda Patch
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