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"20th Century Limited"

Henry Dreyfuss (American, New York 1904–1972 South Pasedena, California)

Manufacturer:
Buffalo China (Buffalo, New York) (American)
Date:
1938
Medium:
Earthenware
Dimensions:
1 1/8 x Diam. 10 5/8 in. (2.9 x 27 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Pottery
Credit Line:
John C. Waddell Collection, Gift of John C. Waddell, 2002
Accession Number:
2002.585.2
  • Description

    As a pioneering industrial designer in America, Henry Dreyfuss created a number of consumer products that were nearly ubiquitous in American homes: telephones, vacuum cleaners, and cameras were among his most successful designs. In the 1930s, railroad companies competed for passengers by upgrading their services. Dreyfuss designed every aspect of New York Central's luxury long-distance train, the 20th Century Limited, the name embodying its advanced technology and modernity. In addition to redesigning aspects of the train's exterior to give it a sleeker, more streamlined appearance, Dreyfuss attended to every detail of the interior, making it more efficient and comfortable. The result was a complete corporate branding, as well as a much improved train design. These dinner plates and letterhead, in coordinated shades of buff and taupe, project a unified vision of simple, elegant modernity, appropriate to a luxury train like the 20th Century Limited.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Marking: Bottom: (a) BUFFALO/CHINA/DESIGN COPYRIGHTED/MADE ESPECIALLY FOR/NEW YORK CENTRAL; (b) D-9

  • Exhibition History

    Newport Beach, California: Orange County Museum of Art, May 25 - August 19, 2001. Flint, Michigan: Flint Institute of Arts, September 14 - December 16, 2001. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, January 11 - April 7, 2002. Charlotten, North Carolina: Mint Museum of Craft and Design, May 3 - July 28, 2002. Tulsa, Oklahoma: The Philbrook Museum of Art, August 23 - November 17, 2002. ¦American Modern¦.


    New York, New York: MMA, May 16, 2000 - February 4, 2001. ¦American Modern, 1925-1940: Design for a New Age¦.

  • References

    Johnson, J. Stewart. American Modern, 1925-1940: Design for a New Age. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with the American Federation of Arts, 2000. P. 128.

  • See also
490725

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