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 Walter Dorwin, Sr. Teague  (1883 - 1960)

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Lived/Active: New York/New Jersey/Indiana      Known for: industrial design, glass

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Ad Code: 3
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from Auction House Records.
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Walter Dorwin Teague (December 18, 1883 - December 5, 1960) was an American architect, designer and one of the most prolific American industrial designers in terms of volume of completed work. Teague's name and vision lives on through the legacy of his company.

Teague was raised in Pendleton, Indiana, the son of a Methodist minister, and left for New York City in 1902. For five years he painted signs and drew for mail-order catalogues while he attended the Art Students League of New York at night with the idea of pursuing a career in magazine illustration. He then joined the art department of Calkins and Holden and produced commercial magazine illustration. In 1926, while in Europe, he discovered the work of Le Corbusier and decided to design or restyle products for manufacturers. Returning to New York, he joined a group of individuals interested in establishing industrial design as a separate occupation.

In 1927, he was contracted by Eastman Kodak to design cameras. Kodak would remain his client for 30 years. Between 1934 and 1937 Teague designed several models of streamlined Texaco gas stations, and the company had built 500 of these buildings by 1940. These porcelain-clad Texaco stations became an Art Deco icon of war-era America, as much as the original Polaroid Land Camera. Over 20,000 of the stations had been built worldwide by 1960.

His company's work with Boeing began in 1946 with the design of the Stratocruiser's passenger aircraft interior. This relationship with Boeing has lasted more than 60 years with Teague's Aviation Studios work on every Boeing aircraft including the 707, 737, 747, 777 and 787.

Teague's son, Walter Dorwin Teague, Jr. (1910–2004), joined his father's firm in 1934. Together they made contributions to many basic industrial and consumer products, including the A.B. Dick Mimeograph to Cold War missiles like the Lark and Loki. Teague's son won an award from the Industrial Designers Institute for a fully reclinable dentist's chair, which allowed dentists to sit while working on patients. His firm's Steinway Peace Piano, built for the 1939 New York World's Fair, is now at the Smithsonian.

Teague's architecture work included the Texaco exhibition hall at the 1935 Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas, Texas, the Ford pavilion for the California Pacific International Exposition (1935) in Balboa Park in San Diego, structures in the Soviet Union for the United States Information Agency, and the 1961 Civil War Centennial Dome in Richmond, Virginia. In 1940 he articulated his own view of the industrial design profession, Design This Day.

Teague's legacy continues today as his company Teague, which remains an important industrial design consultancy. Based in Seattle, Washington, Teague has worked with clients such as Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Boeing.

Teague's product designs are in major museums around the world including the Wolfsonian and Cooper-Hewitt. In Virginia Roanoke’s Art Museum of Western Virginia held an exhibition, sponsored by Norfolk Southern, that included the firm’s work.


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