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Drawing, Design for Greeting Card, "Vanishing"

This is a Drawing. It was designed by Donald Deskey and drafted by Donald Deskey. We acquired it in 1975. Its medium is brush and gray and black gouache, graphite on white wove paper . It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Deskey was one of the leading American industrial designers of the 20th century. His work was strongly influenced by the European Art deco movement, especially after visiting the Paris World Fair of 1925. It was upon returning to America after this event that he became a designer, seeking to bring home some of the innovations he had observed. He is best known for his modernist and streamlined approach to the interiors of Radio City Hall, commissioned in 1930 by John D. Rockefeller, and for his packaging designs which shaped the appearance of American everyday objects from the 1940’s onwards. This greeting card illustrates his purist approach to Art deco, reducing a leaf motif to abstraction. Stylized ovals, straight lines and triangles soberly imitate vegetation in shades of black, grey and white. The diagonals produced by the design cut off the edges of the image, suggesting a larger, broader scale.

This object was donated by Donald Deskey.

Our curators have highlighted 4 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Object ID #18486065
  • white, blue, and red-orange pastel on black wove paper .
  • Gift of Donald Deskey.
  • 1975-11-20

Cite this object as

Drawing, Design for Greeting Card, "Vanishing"; Designed by Donald Deskey (American, 1894–1989); USA; brush and gray and black gouache, graphite on white wove paper ; 1975-11-57

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Drawing, Design for Greeting Card, "Vanishing" |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 February 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>