International Silver Company in Contemporary American Industrial Art at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1934-35)

artdesigncafé - design | Design Meriden | 17 September 2016
This article was previously published in the International Silver Service (International Silver Co. newsletter) with the title "At Metropolitan Museum: Silverware executed by International Silver Co. in Contemporary American Industrial Art Exhibit", 3(4), January-February 1935, pp. 6-7.

Five leading architectural and industrial designers, Donald Deskey, Eliel Saarinen, Paul Lobel, Lurelle Guild and Alfons Bach, selected International Silver Co. to execute in silver their special designs for the Exhibition of Contemporary American Industrial Art.

A few of the designs are illustrated on this page, and, on the page opposite, are several views of the exhibition, which was held during the months of November and December at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

"The exhibition requirements," states Mr. Richard F. Bach, the Director of Industrial Relations of the Museum, "were the most severe that we have ever set: all entries of new design and shown here for the first time, all American designed and American made."

According to the Metropolitan Museum, its service in the development of American industrial art is two-fold.

First, and very directly, it offers the industries and their designers patterns and models for study— not for imitation but for emulation.

Secondly, it offers both to designers and to manufacturers occasional opportunities to display the results of their work, and to demonstrate their abilities under entirely non-commercial auspices.

Thus by means of exhibitions of industrial art limited to objects of contemporary design, the Museum hopes to aid the modern style in arriving at a more definite formulation of principles.

[Photo captions]

Noted designers selected International Silver Co. to execute their silver creations for the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A few of these designs are shown here.

Classical simplicity is the keynote of this well proportioned Fruit Compote (top left). Design by Eliel Saarinen.

Cocktail Shaker, with catalin stone base and cover (top, right). Natural rattan is wrapped around the straight part of the body. Design by Paul Lobel.

Tea Urn and Tray (bottom, left). Eliel Saarinen created this practical urn of globular shape which is fitted with an alcohol burner. The faucet of the urn is truly distinctive and of the best contemporary design.

A Tea Service (bottom, right) of splendid character, exquisite in its simplicity. Handles and tips of black catalin. Design by Paul Lobel.

Right: CENTRAL GALLERY UNIT; Arthur Loomis Harmon, Architect; Shown in center display case, Cocktail Shaker and Vegetable Dish designed by Lurelle Guild, Tea Set and Tray designed by Paul Lobel, executed by International Silver Co.

Left: ROOM FOR A LADY, Eliel Saarinen, Architect; Silver Urn, Tray, Compotes and Vase executed by International Silver Co.

Right: WEST GALLERY UNIT; Ely Jacques Kahn, Architect; Cocktail Shaker and Tray shown on round table made by International Silver Co. The Shaker was created by Paul Lobel and Alfons Bach designed the Tray.

Left: DINING ROOM; Donald Deskey, Designer; Flat Silver, Tea Service, Tray and Bowls executed by International Sterling.

[Also, see "Contemporary American industrial art, 1934" (catalogue). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.]