We applaud the spread of design awareness into small towns, as it oughtn't be just city slickers soaking up the gifts our professions have bestowed. Checking in with the relatively new Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design in tiny Waitsfield, Vermont, we're pleased to learn they're mounting a Walter Dorwin Teague exhibition going live this summer.
Curated by Teague's granddaughter Allison, Walter Dorwin Teague: His Life, Work and Influence will showcase designs from the man design historian Russell Flinchum has called "the most important figure in the professionalization of industrial design in the United States." Writes Flinchum,
What Teague accomplished between 1927 and 1941 was unprecedented in scope. He assembled a consultant design firm that offered a full range of services from architecture to graphic design—with the demonstrated practice to back that claim up. Often the vehicle for persuading Americans to embrace modernism was Teague's own profound understanding of America's design heritage itself. While he greatly admired Le Corbusier's writings and architecture, it was his own tempered approach--always with the general public in mind—that made him perhaps the critical figure in modernism's success in the United States.
Teague not only helped solidify the profession of ID and generated a vast portfolio, but left behind an ID consultancy and served as the first president of the organization that would evolve into the IDSA. His contributions to our field are immeasurable, and creative advice he gave nearly nine decades ago is still relevant in the design-drives-business world of today. "The designer who gets results for the manufacturer," he told Forbes in 1928, "plans with all departments of a business before he ever lays pencil to drawing board."
The exhibit will run from June 1st through August 31st.