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Donald Osborne on The Look of Things: Selling Design to the Masses in the ‘50s

February 17, 2018 | 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm |


Join Donald Osborne as he shares a look into how consumers shopping for new automobiles in the 1950s were first introduced to the role design played in the creation of vehicles as well as other everyday household products, furniture and interiors. The impact of making style a key factor in the buying habits of consumers was important in establishing ever-changing design trends to encourage buyers to shop more frequently than had been habitual before the war, and was vital in promoting “planned obsolescence.”

Based on a ground-breaking booklet published by General Motors Public Relations in 1955, this presentation expands the view to include designers, companies and products from across America and Europe. The role of technology and the development of new “space age” materials in styling and design will also be explored and how they inspired designers and impacted the products consumers brought into their garages and homes.

Donald Osborne is a classic car historian, consultant and writer, host of “Assess & Caress with Donald Osborne” on the CNBC Primetime TV show “Jay Leno’s Garage.” An author of the book “Stile Transatlantico / Transatlantic Style – A Romance of Fins and Chrome,” he is also an Editor at Large for Sports Car Market magazine and been published in The New York Times, BusinessWeek Online, the Wall Street Journal, Art & Antiques and Palm Springs Life among others. In 2016 he curated “Ferrari and Futurists – An Italian Look at Speed” at Heather James Fine Art in Palm Desert, CA and in 2017 the exhibition “Transatlantic Style,” based on his book, at the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, CA.


February 17, 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Additional Information

All ages.
Things to Know
A book signing with the presenter and author will immediately follow.
Photography Credits
Images courtesy of General Motors Public Relations.


Modernism Week


Modernism Week CAMP
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