The "Norman Bel Geddes: I Have Seen the Future" exhibition will open at the Museum of the City of New York starting Oct. 16. Presented by MCNY and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, it will be the first major exhibition to explore the life and multi-faceted career of the man whose futuristic designs shaped the image of modern America during the early half of the 20th century.
This event is also in promotion through Archtober, a festival of architectural and design programs, exhibitions, and activities happening throughout New York City in the month of October.
Curated by MCNY's Donald Albrecht (Curator of Architecture and Design), the five-part exhibition will begin with Bel Geddes' birth in 1893 and the early stages of his creativity, then delve into his prime decades from the 1920s-1940s, and finally end with his post-war-period works until his death in 1958.
Receiving barely any academic training, Bel Geddes created revolutionary theatrical, industrial, and domestic architectural designs. On top of that, he worked in urban planning and advertising. It's no surprise he was dubbed by The New York Times as the "Leonardo da Vinci of the 20th Century."
Bel Geddes' numerous stage production sets and streamlined industrial designs will be part of the exhibition's collection of over 200 artifacts like drawings, photographs, models, and products--both realized and not. Other notable features will include: footage of visitors attending his most well-known exhibition, "Futurama," at the 1939-40 New York World's Fair; a model of his visions for America's modern home; and his drawing of the proposal for the Brooklyn Dodgers stadium.
The exhibition will also be accompanied by "Norman Bel Geddes Designs America," a compilation book with an introduction by curator Donald Albrecht and 17 scholarly essays regarding topics like Bel Geddes and American consumer culture, the business of design, and how Bel Geddes popularized the notion of modernism.
"Norman Bel Geddes: I Have Seen the Future" will be at the MCNY until Feb. 10, 2014. Visitors will have access with Museum admission.
Browse the thumbnail gallery below or click here for more info.
All images provided by MCNY.