When the US Post Office issued the series of stamps entitled Pioneers of Industrial Design in 2011 (see below), most of the names of those who introduced modern design to America in the 30s was largely unknown. But now, only four years later, many of them have been rediscovered through publications, exhibitions, and museum collections. In the fall, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh will open a monographic show on Peter Muller-Munk (1907-67), whose pitcher “Normandie,” which he designed in 1935 for the Revere Brass and Copper Comapny to celebrate the launching of the French liner has long been considered a touchstone of streamlining design. The show, “Silver to Steel: The Modern Designs of Peter Muller-Munk,” comes to unveil the man behind this pitcher. The first attempt to survey the work of the German-born designer, who like many of his contemporaries emigrated to the US in the 20s, the connection to the Carnegie is clear. Trained as a silversmith in Berlin before emigrating, Muller-Munk’s home in the US was Pittsburgh where he started the program of industrial design at the Carnegie Mellon University, and from 1944 he became involved in a Pittsburgh company, which helped Dow Chemical promote the use of plastics.
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