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Object Timeline

-0001

1927

  • Work on this object began.

1931

  • Work on this object ended.

1975

  • We acquired this object.

2010

2015

2021

  • You found it!

Drawing, Screen Design with Cubist-inspired Geometric Forms

This is a Drawing. It was from the office of Donald Deskey Associates and drafted by Donald Deskey. It is dated 1927–31 and we acquired it in 1975. Its medium is brush and gouache, graphite on cream illustration board . It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Donald Deskey was among the earliest group of designers (including Walter Dorwin Teague, Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfuss, and Norman Bel Geddes) to spur modern design in America though After traveling around the US, Deskey worked in a variety of jobs before settling in New York in 1926. Shortly afterwards, Deskey completed this drawing (1927-31) of a Cubist-inspired four-paneled screen, a common accessory to interiors at the time. With overlapping shapes resembling abstracted vases and tables, his simplified, Cubist style makes palpable the impact of the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes widespread in the US. Deskey was a student in Paris until 1923 and revisited the country on a trip in 1925, though it is unclear whether he attended the Exposition in person. While Deskey’s screen does incorporate Cubist decorative geometries, the ornamental exuberance characteristic of French Art Deco is absent — a testament to America’s more conservative aesthetic.

This object was donated by Donald Deskey. It is credited Gift of Donald Deskey.

Its dimensions are

34.3 x 28.2 cm (13 1/2 x 11 1/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Drawing, Screen Design with Cubist-inspired Geometric Forms; Drafted by Donald Deskey (American, 1894–1989); USA; brush and gouache, graphite on cream illustration board ; 34.3 x 28.2 cm (13 1/2 x 11 1/8 in.); Gift of Donald Deskey; 1975-11-17

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18485997/ |title=Drawing, Screen Design with Cubist-inspired Geometric Forms |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=4 December 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>