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Steinberg Meets the Eameses

Industrie und Handwerk Schaffen neues Hausgerät in USA Catalog

Saul Steinberg


The exhibition Industrie und Handwerk schaffen neues Hausgerät in USA, which can be translated as “Industry and Craft Create New Home Furnishings in USA,” traveled to West Germany in 1951 as part of the Marshall Plan’s efforts to support economic recovery in Europe after WWII. One aspect of the plan entailed promoting US products to European consumers, achieved in part through exhibitions like this one. The show was organized by curator Edgar Kaufmann Jr., director of the Industrial Design Department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and a leading voice in promoting modern design in the US and beyond. As architectural historian Greg Castillo has shown, the exhibition was remarkably cost-effective, largely because Kaufmann reused material he had assembled for an earlier show at MoMA. The Steinberg drawings on the cover of the exhibition catalog were similarly repurposed; they had previously appeared in the catalog for the 1949 An Exhibition for Modern Living show at the Detroit Institute of Arts, in which work by both Steinberg and the Eameses was displayed. The upper drawing, which represents a woman directing the installation of an ornate fireplace, was reproduced faithfully from the earlier publication. The lower one, however, was inverted, so that its depiction of a living room packed with modern and historical future styles, contorted lamps, and an Alexander Calder–-like mobile appears as white lines on a black background.

  • Manufacturer: Landesgewerbeamt
  • Medium:Exhibition catalog
  • Dimensions:7 1/4 x 7 1/2 x 1/4 in. (18.4 x 19.1 x 0.6 cm)
  • Item:A.2019.1.080