Viktor Schreckengost: American Da Vinci

This survey of the work of Viktor Schreckengost – an artistic inventor, an American DaVinci – marks the centenary of his birth. A key figure in the first era of modern design and one of its last living leaders, Schreckengost’s paintings, sculpture, pottery, and industrial designs, are now being exhibited at more than 100 museums around the United States. Throughout his long working career, Schreckengost strove to apply a creative philosophy that liinked artistically dramatic form with an object’s function. The result was design that was nearly always remarkable and very often revolutionary. He created the first cab-over-engine truck, the first modern mass-produced dinnerware, and the first economical pedal-cars for children. He designed stage sets and costumers, flashlights, printing presses, riding lawn mowers, electric fans, and bicycles. At the same time, his work in the fine arts flourished. He won awards for paintings and ceramic sculpture, placed pieces in museums, and won commissions for new sculptures. Somehow he also found time to establish the Industrial Design Department at the Cleveland Institute of Art, the first program of its kind in the U.S., where he helped teach a new generation of designers. This study of the life and work of Viktor Schreckengost includes more than 250 images of his art and design iwth an extensive text by historian Henry Adams. From the ceramic Jazz Bowl to the high speed, sixteen color printing press designed for R.R. Donnelly, Schreckengost demonstrated style an d innovation that have influenced the shapes of things Americans have used for more than two generations.

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