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Drawing, Design for a Radio, 1946

This is a Drawing. It was from the office of Henry Dreyfuss Associates and made for (as the client) RCA. It is dated 1946 and we acquired it in 2017. Its medium is brush and gouache on illustration board. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Cooper Hewitt is eagerly anticipating the February 2017 opening of the exhibition, World of Radio, which highlights the remarkable body of designs, prototypes, and iconography that flourished in response to demand for radios, whose prominence in twentieth century popular culture knows no parallel. In keeping with the forthcoming exhibition and the goals of Cooper Hewitt’s collecting, we are thrilled to propose an opportunity to bid on five important radio design drawings offered at auction on January 4, 2017 at Blackwood/March Auctioneers of Essex, MA.

Three of the drawings were designed by the office of noted industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss and likely correlate to an important post-war contract with Radio Corporation of America, RCA (1946–55). These three drawings fill important gaps in the museum’s Dreyfuss holdings, which are prescient given Cooper Hewitt’s stewardship of the Dreyfuss Archives.

The first two drawings (Lots 17 and 58) are also design for RCA. The first is designed by John Vassos, by whom Cooper Hewitt has an eye-catching red phonograph recently acquired through a gift of George R. Kravis II. This phonograph (2016-5-11) was also produced for RCA. The drawing is also signed by Lynn Brodton, an industrial designer known for his car design patents. Lot 58, also by Brodton, is captivating for its orb-like shape and relates to several round radios in the collection as well as two photographs of prototypes that will be featured in World of Radio.

This object was purchased from Blackwood/March and fund: General Acquisitions Endowment and catalogued by Julia Pastor. It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 35.6 × 50.2 cm (14 in. × 19 3/4 in.) H x W (Mat): 43.8 × 58.4 cm (17 1/4 in. × 23 in.) Mat: 55.9 × 71.1 cm (22 × 28 in.)

It is inscribed

Inscribed in brown ink, base of radio dial: RCA VICTOR

Cite this object as

Drawing, Design for a Radio, 1946; Office of Henry Dreyfuss Associates (United States); brush and gouache on illustration board; H x W: 35.6 × 50.2 cm (14 in. × 19 3/4 in.) H x W (Mat): 43.8 × 58.4 cm (17 1/4 in. × 23 in.) Mat: 55.9 × 71.1 cm (22 × 28 in.); Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2017-1-3

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