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Collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Russel Wright

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Russel Wright, who was born in Lebanon, Ohio on April 3, 1904 and died in 1976, was one of the most important pioneers in American design, especially in his efforts to revolutionize how people live and relate to their domestic environment. As Donald Albrecht wrote in his 2001 exhibition Russel Wright Creating American Lifestyle, Wright’s “inexpensive, mass produced dinnerware, furniture, appliances, and textiles were not only visually and technically innovative but were also the tools to achieve his concept of ‘easier living’, a unique American lifestyle that was gracious yet contemporary and informal.” The Cooper-Hewitt has over one hundred works in the collection by Wright, from a design drawing for flatware to extensive examples from his American Modern line of tableware and serving accessories.