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I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America

June 27–September 28, 2014
The Wolfsonian–FIU @ 1001 Washington Avenue

A visionary who was equally comfortable in the realms of fact and fiction, Norman Bel Geddes (1893–1958) played a significant role in the 1920s and 1930s, shaping not only modern America but also the nation’s image of itself as innovator and leader into the future. Bel Geddes most famously expressed his dynamic vision of this American future—streamlined, technocratic, and optimistic—with his unforgettable Futurama model in the General Motors building at the 1939–40 New York World’s Fair, a display experienced by 27,500 daily visitors, each receiving a pin proclaiming “I Have Seen the Future.”

Bringing together some two hundred never-before-seen drawings, models, photographs and films of theater sets and costumes, housing projects and appliances, airplanes and automobiles, this exhibition underscored that Bel Geddes sought nothing less the transformation of American society through design.

I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America was organized by the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.