Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Eisner Museum, 06-04-03

I had some vacation time this week, so we got out to some of the local sights. On Wednesday, June 4, we went over to the east side of Milwaukee, did some shopping, and had a lovely lunch at Coquette Cafe, a restaurant we highly reccommend. After lunch, we strolled a couple blocks to the William Eisner Advertising Museum, which is operated by the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, our local art college. The Advertising Museum (named for the long-time head of a well-known local ad firm) has had a number of surprisingly interesting exhibits since opening a couple of years ago, and the attraction this time was an exhibit on the work of Brooks Stevens.

You are probably more familiar with Steven's work than you know. He began a career in Industrial Design in the 20's that lasted into the 1970's, so he has helped shape a lot of our modern world. Indeed, his reach extended futher than that, since his firm still exists, and he taught at both Milwaukee School of Engineering and Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design into the 1990's. At the height of Stevens's career, he worked extensively for major companies throughout the Midwest and designed everything from beer bottle labels (Miller Brewing) and tape dispensers (3M Company) to cars (Jeep, Studebaker, Excalibur) and trains (The Milwaukee Road Hiawatha). When you call up the mental image of a steam iron, an electric dryer, an outboard motor, or a tractor, the odds are you are visualzing a Stevens design. The Eisner Museum show concentrates on his work in advertising, packaging, and labeling, and complements a new show at the Milwaukee Art Museum which will showcase more actual artifacts of his work, including cars and motorcycles. We have that show on our list of things to see later this summer.
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