New exhibition brings industrial design to Figge

A new exhibition at the Figge Art Museum will showcase the work of one of the most influential industrial designers of the 20th century.

From the 1920s to the 1960s, Henry Dreyfuss designed a wide range of products with one priority, the user. He worked closely with John Deere and designed tractors, telephones, thermostats and even the interior of Davenport’s own Adler Theater during his prolific career.

Assistant curator Vanessa Sage explains that the wide range of items on display include sketches, letters between Dreyfuss and Deere, a finished tractor and other household items that provide insight into her design philosophy.

“What I hope they get out of this is to think about how the design of objects is both creative and practical,” Sage said. “It brings all of these things together and their impact on the products we use.”

Several special events will be organized around the exhibition. A Dreyfuss expert will speak on Thursday, February 27, and a professor at the University of Illinois will speak about the exhibit on April 16.

“Henry Dreyfuss: Designs for the Modern Age” opens Saturday February 22 and runs through May 24 in the third floor gallery of the Figge Art Museum in Davenport.

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