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Drawing, Textile Design: Drop-Motif Pattern

This is a Drawing. It was from the office of Donald Deskey Associates and drafted by Donald Deskey. It is dated ca. 1930 and we acquired it in 1975. Its medium is brush and gouache, graphite on off-white illustration board. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Inspired by art deco style of the early twentieth century, Donald Deskey was an indelible influence in helping to define an American modern design aesthetic. (His inclusion as one of twelve designers to the USPS Pioneers of American Industrial Design stamp collection of 2011 — featuring a zig-zag metal table lamp from around 1927-1929 — is but one testament to his life’s achievements.) Deskey’s work embodies the complexity of American design of that period, running the full spectrum from extravagant Art Deco-inspired works, such as the lavish interiors for Radio City Music Hall, to the less decorative products that abandoned excessive ornamentation in response to new developments in materials and technologies. A repeat drop-motif pattern shown in a 1930-31 drawing by Deskey superimposes geometric and curvilinear shapes that carry strong ties to mechanical reproduction. The regimented textile in a muted palette visualizes the flow of progress by using a rhythmic vertical format, projecting a sense of efficiency and speed.

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

Its dimensions are

56 x 43.3 cm (22 1/16 x 17 1/16 in.) Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22 in.)

It is inscribed

Inscribed in graphite by a later hand, on verso: Deskey / 630 Fifth Ave

Cite this object as

Drawing, Textile Design: Drop-Motif Pattern; Drafted by Donald Deskey (American, 1894–1989); Office of Donald Deskey Associates; USA; brush and gouache, graphite on off-white illustration board; 56 x 43.3 cm (22 1/16 x 17 1/16 in.) Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22 in.); Gift of Donald Deskey; 1975-11-32

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Drawing, Textile Design: Drop-Motif Pattern |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=20 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>