Design Meriden at artdesigncafé

Do you know how all of the artworks and designs shown above relate to historical Meriden? If not, click the photos and be directed to sources where you can learn more, and click here to discover the Obama and Dutch connections.

The Design Meriden online platform focuses on historical design from the area of Meriden, Connecticut, USA and its national discourse. Several designs are featured in museum collections including those at the Corning Museum of Glass, Dallas Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute museum, Smithsonian Institution, and Yale University Art Gallery. Historical Meriden design is known for the high-quality production of silver, glass, lamps and Art Brass— as well as the 20th century art-collecting Tremaines, the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art (c. 1950), the art/design book publisher Meriden Gravure, and Meriden’s International Silver (Company) Theater in Hollywood (c. 1937-50).

Through research, communications and this online platform, Design Meriden has helped enable a new, recent wave of appreciation and discoveries about historical Meriden design at a local, regional, national and international level since the summer of 2015. See Wikipedia’s Meriden page for some art/design highlights that were added at that time as initial discoveries, realizations and excitement took place. Prior to this, like too many, we were absolutely clueless about the historical design and art achievements produced in the area.

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See our extensively researched compilations ft. historical Meriden-area design

A. Miller Co. - B. ISC - C. Other companies

B. ISC, predecessors & divisions

ISC predecessors & divisions

C. Other companies


C. General resources

  • > Historical books on the Meriden area, many online, including information on companies
  • > Historical maps of the Meriden area, many online, showing locations of historical companies

  • We encourage you to also explore other historical Meriden companies online including the Aeolian Company (player pianos), E. A. Bliss Co. (jewelry), Boardman companies (silver), Chandler-Evans Corporation (industrial design), Connecticut Telephone and Electric Company (industrial design), Chapman Manufacturing Co., Cuno Engineering Corporation (industrial design), Foster, Merriam & Co., Helmschmied Mfg. Co., Kelsey Press, Meriden Fire Arms Co., Meriden Gravure (art / design book printer), Meriden Machine Tool Co., Julius Pratt-related companies, Preisner Silver Company (Wallingford), M.B. Schenck, Silver City Glass Co., Simpson Nickel Company (ISC predecessor; Wallingford), Walter Webb & Co. (ivory products), Jedediah Wilcox-related companies, Wilcox & White (player pianos) and many more.

See Design Meriden magazine issues online

Design Meriden 1(2)
> Check out our "Modernism in Meriden" issue, featuring an interview of Jewel Stern, a Miami-based curator / writer / collector who put Modernist silver from Meriden-Wallingford on the national stage in grand style. Also, learn about the spectacular 25-venue Painting toward architecture exhibition organized by the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art (1947-52).

Design Meriden 1(1)
> Read about the B&H crisis state, the Wilcox mansion, the noteworthy Cambridge-Tremont Street area, the Tremaines and Philip Johnson. Plus check out the floating proposal to thoroughly inform culturally-interested Meriden area high school students about the area's acclaimed art/design legacy.

Meriden-area design in museum exhibitions

From New York to Dallas, to Paris, Lisbon, and Melbourne, historical Meriden design has been spotlighted in museum and exposition shows since at least the 1860s.

18 NOV 16 - 12 NOV 17
Napier Penguin to star in Dallas Museum of Art show

30 SEP 2006 - present
Chicago: Crossroads of America (permanent exhibition) at Chicago History Museum (ISC for Illinois Central Railroad)

8 NOV 15 - 31 JAN 16
St. Louis Modern at St. Louis Art Museum (Wilcox Silver Plate Co. / International Silver Company)

5 JUL 13 - 6 DEC 15
19th-Century Modern at Brooklyn Museum, New York (Bradley & Hubbard; Napier)

15 JAN 15 - 5 JUL 15
Rogers, Smith & Co. in Egyptian Revival at SFO Museum, San Francisco

> See the historical Meriden design exhibition list (1867-present)

Meriden-area design at auction

Some historical objects from the Meriden area do rather well at auction. Check out some of the auction results below.

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About Design Meriden

The Design Meriden online platform aims to provide the fastest and easiest access to historical Meriden area design resources and documentation, which are located across North America and into Europe. We are actively requesting for as much out-of-copyright material to become available online as possible. Why? Because it's about the design legacies of this group of historical designers and entrepreneurs that earned national attention for their work. To further strengthen a fragile, developing discourse of their achievements both now-- and for the future.

24 APRIL 2016: We respectfully request that any current owners of numerous historical works by Meriden area designers and entrepreneurs-- and their historical documentation-- if they have not done so already, begin to take clear steps to declare their holdings to national researchers. This could be done online or making offline lists available. This assumes that the material has not already been hard-copy card catalogued and available this way. Design Meriden gladly lists historical Meriden design material that IS offline at several sites nationwide, that we become informed about. Currently an estimated several hundred objects and design trade catalogues in Connecticut are not visible online in any concrete form. As can be imagined, this constrains a fragile, developing discourse.