Christie’s Los Angeles will be offering approximately 75 lots of project drawings and designs from the archives of Raymond Loewy, one of the founding fathers of industrial design, as part of the Innovators of Twentieth Century Style auction on May 16.
Among the many highlights of the Christie’s sale: one of two specially designed wool rugs bearing a new, Loewy-styled presidential logo for U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One and a design sketch of the commemorative five-cent U.S. stamp of Kennedy, which includes the French-born design legend’s notes for Jacqueline Kennedy’s personal preference.
Loewy, who began his unique career as a fashion illustrator for Vogue magazine and a window-dresser for upscale department stores in the 1920s, quickly became recognized for his talents in graphic and product design, and by the 1970s he had sketched drawings for a myriad of products—cars and speedboats to space station concepts for NASA. Companies looking to reignite their image in the competitive Depression-era marketplace enlisted Loewy to redesign the packaging of a multitude of products. Such iconic contributions as the Lucky Strike cigarette pack and the logos for Shell and Exxon are as instantly recognizable today as they were at their inception more than half a century ago.
Also up for auction will be a clay model of the Avanti, sketches of other cars, including the Studebaker, numerous habitability-study diagrams for Apollo, Skylab and Saturn Five and, an icon that’s familiar to all of America, the eagle design for the United States Postal Service’s mail logo.