Carder Steuben and Modern Steuben From Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum|
Posting Number 3385 Date: 04/15/20 Return to Posting List
Designs By Walter Dorwin Teague
This is a Bowl. It was designed by Walter Dorwin Teague. It is dated 1932. Its medium is mold-blown, sand-blasted, acid-etched, and wheel-cut glass. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.
In late 1931, Amory Houghton, then president of Steuben Division, Corning Glass Works, appointed Walter Dorwin Teague as design consultant to Corning and Steuben under a one year contract commencing in February 1932. From his Madison Avenue office in New York City Teague worked out a series of new modern designs for Steuben tableware, visited the Corning plant monthly to observe production. In addition to contributing thirty-two new patterns to the Steuben offerings, Teague also analyzed production and sales problems, offering possible solutions at the factory level.
Teague specified colorless glass in his designs for Steuben, reflecting a trend exhibited by Scandinavian glass of the period that was often pale in color or colorless with simple decoration.
This bowl is marked with elegant cross-hatched decoration that lends the bowl pattern as well as texture. The elegance of this bowl reflects Teagues goal of shifting Steubens consumer target to a higher status customer. He wrote to Armory Houghton in October of 1932, We must work to establish Steuben as the finest glassware in America, worth all we ask for it. I believe we can make the ownership of Steuben glass one of those evidences of solvency like the ownership of a Cadillac sixteen or a house in the right neighborhood. While Teague had admirable ambitions for Steuben, he was not retained as a design consultant beyond the expiration of his first years contract. Most of his designs were discontinued in 1933.
This object was donated by George R. Kravis II. It is credited Gift of George R. Kravis II.
This is a Bowl. It was designed by Walter Dorwin Teague. Its medium is mold-blown glass. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.
For the year of 1932 that Teague was engaged on a design contract with the Steuben Division of Corning Glass Works, he primarily worked from his office in Manhattan and sent his designs to be carried out on the factory floor. Once a month, Teague visited the town of Corning.
Riding by train, it is likely that Teague would have observed the pressed-glass lenses that Corning Glass Works produced for railroad signals and locomotive lights. Or once he arrived at Corning he may have also seen these designs in production. The concave shape of this shallow stepped lens was designed to disperse light so that it could be seen from a distance. This design was patented in 1877 by Charles F. Houghton. The concentric lines and simple geometry of the bowl appealed to Teague, who adapted it for domestic use. This design concept must have been particularly appealing to Steuben since it took advantage of design tools and materials already in production, therefore making its overall cost comparably low. Teague used the same molds as the factory did for the railroad signal lights. The original patent number from the mold has been ground off at the bottom of this bowl, leaving a visible spot on its base.
This object was donated by George R. Kravis II.
DINNER FORK (USA), CA. 1934
This is a Dinner fork. It was overseen (as design director) by Walter Dorwin Teague. It is dated ca. 1934 and we (Cooper Hewitt) acquired it in 2005. Its medium is silver-plated metal, glass. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.
It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.
More On Designer Walter Dorwin Teague from Cooper Hewitt
Industrial designer, architect, graphic designer, illustrator, writer and entrepreneur, Walter Dorwin Teague is noted as one of the founders of the industrial design profession in the United States. He is also considered an influential figure among the pioneering designers who introduced modernism to America through product and exhibition design as well as writings. Teague was born and raised in Indiana. Influenced by architecture books he read in high school, he decided to become an artist. At the age of nineteen Teague moved to New York, where he studied at the Art Students League and eventually went into commercial illustration, and later, advertising, graphic and package design. After traveling to... more.
We(Cooper Hewitt) have 20 objects that Walter Dorwin Teague has been involved with.
Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
As one of her research interests, Gail Bardhan, retired librarian from the Rakow Research Library at CMoG, kept a list of American museums with Carder glass in their collection. I have used her research to find examples of Carder glass in the collection of the Cooper Hewitt. Scott Hansen
Click to view image one: Teague Bowl.jpeg
Click to view image two: Lens Bowl1.jpeg
Click to view image three: Dinner Fork.jpeg
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