Medal Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of General Motors

Designer: Norman Bel Geddes (American, Adrian, Michigan 1893–1958 New York)

Date: 1933

Medium: Silver

Dimensions: 3in. (7.6cm)

Classification: Medals and Plaquettes

Credit Line: Gift of General Motors Corporation (through Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., President), 1933

Accession Number: 33.150.1,2


This medallion, commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of General Motors, is an example of the Streamlined style that dominated architecture and design in America from the late 1920s to the end of the 1930s. With its abstracted, teardrop-shaped vehicle form depicted in motion, with the tall winglike element rising from its center, the overall effect is one of speed and movement-characteristic of the Streamlined style and appropriate to the automobile and airplane age. Norman Bel Geddes was trained as a theatrical set designer but best known for another project for General Motors, the Futurama exhibition at the 1939 New York World's Fair. This exhibit, through which visitors were propelled on a giant conveyor belt, depicted a utopian vision of America in the near future, a world dependent on the speed and efficiency of the automobile for work and recreation.