It's been sixty years since Raymond Loewy was on the cover of Life Magazine, but they're still holding exhibitions on the man. The latest retrospective is up in Houston:
A gem of an exhibit at the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture combines window shopping with a sense of time travel to show how a pioneer of industrial design helped shape and stoke the modern consumer culture that still largely defines American life.
Visiting Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture is a complicated pleasure, one laced with equal parts "they don't make 'em like they used to" nostalgia and "we brought climate change on ourselves" guilt. But it's a pleasure nonetheless, because this traveling show is packed with objects reflecting the vision of an undeniably brilliant designer who, although he grew up in France, may have understood Americans better than anyone.
...One of Loewy's many magazine profiles went so far as to declare that "Loewy has probably affected the daily life of more Americans than any other man of his time." He still casts a long shadow, one worth pondering as we confront the growing consequences of our decades-long embrace of the doctrine of endless consumption.