Hagley Museum and Library and will present a conference, “The Loewy Style: Designs for a Modern America,” on Saturday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The conference will explore the life and work of Raymond Loewy (1893-1986), perhaps the world's most successful and best-known industrial designer. Open to the public and free of charge, the conference will be held in Hagley’s Soda House. Advanced reservations are required.
The morning session will focus primarily on architecture. William Green, an architectural historian from Virginia Tech, will talk about the restoration of the Pennsylvania Railroad Station in Roanoke, Virginia. Green is involved with the restoration of the station that was designed by Loewy. Christine O’Malley, associate professor of art history at Ithaca College, will talk about the retail architecture division of Loewy’s business and the important role architect William Snaith played in that effort. The morning’s final talk will be on Leisurama by historian Jake Gorst. Hundreds of so-called Leisurama homes were built in Montauk, Long Island, by All-State. These were affordable properties designed by Loewy’s firm and fully furnished and stocked by Macy’s Department Stores. Gorst, and his documentary short, will detail how the Leisurama house sparked international controversy and pushed the bounds of consumer marketing.
The afternoon session of the conference will open with a talk by Hagley Director Emeritus Glenn Porter. Porter was the chief curator for Hagley’s current exhibit, ”Raymond Loewy: Designs for A Consumer Culture” and also authored the book of the same title. Porter’s talk will cover Loewy’s work on commercial interior design and touch on some biographical information as well.
The conference will conclude with a panel discussion featuring four designers who have worked for the Loewy firm. Led by moderator Phillip Scanton, director of Hagley’s Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society, panelists Evert Endt, an industrial designer and former head of Loewy’s Paris office; Andrew Geller, architect and former head of Loewy’s New York City architecture department; Patricia Moore, former industrial designer at Loewy’s New York office; and Ken White, a former Loewy industrial designer specializing in graphic identity and merchandising programs will talk about their work and experiences with Loewy. Questions from the audience will also be taken.
Immediately following the conference, a reception will be held in Hagley’s Henry Clay Mill building where the Loewy exhibit will be open and authors who spoke at the conference will be available to sign books.
Hagley’s exhibit on Loewy is open through August 3 and features artifacts, photographs, advertisements, drawings, and films that trace his fifty-year career. Loewy designed streamlined locomotives for the Pennsylvania Railroad (the Hagley Library has extensive records from the Pennsylvania Railroad), the Lucky Strike cigarette packet, the postwar Studebaker, and countless more. The Philadelphia Inquirer described the exhibit as “one of the most enjoyable exhibitions of its kind that one could ever expect to see.” Hagley acquired at auction approximately fifty linear feet of materials from the archives of Raymond Loewy. The Loewy papers will be opened for research as soon as they are organized and conserved, in 2005.
The Delaware Humanities Forum, a state agency of the National Endowment for the Humanities, provided some funding for the conference.
Conference registration is free but required. Lunch will be available for a $10 charge. Contact the address or email below. To attend the conference, use Hagley’s Buck Road East entrance off Route 100 in Wilmington, Delaware, to the Soda House.
Hagley Museum and Library is a nonprofit education institution dedicated to the preservation and understanding of America’s business and technological history. Visit Hagley at our website.
Hagley Museum and Library
P.O. Box 3630
Wilmington, DE 19807-0630
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