This past summer when Chris and I were in Dallas, Texas one of the places that was high on our list to visit was the Dallas Museum of Art. After walking around the grounds of Fair Park in the 103 degree heat it was a very pleasant relief to get inside this wonderful museum. Located in the heart of downtown Dallas, admission is free and only eight dollars for special exhibits. Among the items on display are two Art Deco gems created by the dean of industrial designers, Walter Dorwin Teague (1883 – 1960), best known for the Kodak Bantam Special camera and the Ford Pavillion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
Teague was commissioned by the Eastman Kodak Company in the late 1920’s to design cameras with modernistic designs. The Gift Kodak No. 1 was introduced in the Christmas season of 1930 and was discontinued the following year. The camera came in a cedar lined box that was a work of art in itself. The original cost of the camera and box was $15.00 ($213.00 in 2013 dollars). Today if one is lucky enough to find one for sale expect to pay anywhere between $600.00 to as high as $6,500.00 (which is way too high in my opinion.)
The Sparton Radio Company commissioned Teague in the mid-1930’s to design a series of radios. This collaboration produced some of the most spectacular Art Deco radios ever made. All of Teague’s radios for Sparton are recognizable by the use of blue mirror and chrome. The Nocturn was the console model of these radios. Standing nearly four feet high and almost two feet wide it certainly was a statement piece. It was also costly, $350.00 ($6,100.00 in 2014), when it went on sale at the end of 1935. Produced for just a couple of years, only 25 are known to exist today.
So if you are ever visiting Dallas stop by the Dallas Museum of Art and see these and other Art Deco treasures.
Chris & Anthony (The Freakin’ Tiquen’ Guys)
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