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From the Cataloger’s Desk: Celebrating Indiana Designers

November 8, 2016

Commercial Article is published by Commercial Artisan, an Indianapolis-based graphic design studio founded by brothers Jamesand Jon Sholly. Issues of their visually stunning publication highlight designers from Indiana, as well as their work. Those held by the IHS library feature Gene and Jackie Lacy, Fred Bower, Avriel Shull, Leslie Ayres, Norman Norell, Walter Dorwin Teague, and the Meiers of Tuckaway.

Gene and Jackie Lacy were successful graphic designers and illustrators in Indianapolis from the 1950s to 1980s. Thehusbandand wife duo created a substantial body of work that infused the local design scene with vibrant colors and modern sensibilities. (Commercial Article [01])

Fred Bower is a Muncie-based graphic designer and educator who uses illustrations, photography, text and his own commentary to solve design challenges. His unique work can be found in various publications, and he has found success as both a commercial designer and freelance artist. (Commercial Article 02)

Avriel Shull, a native of Carmel, was a colorful character whose name became synonymous with modern architecture. From the 1950s until her death in 1976, Avriel made her mark on central Indiana, designing and building futuristic homes that continue to captivate the imagination today. (Commercial Article 03)

ArchitectLeslie Ayres also left central Indiana with a stylish legacy of modernism. He was the driving force behindtheIndianapolis Home Show for many years, and his beautiful charcoal and colored pencil renderings brought vibrancy to the thoroughfares, corners, and side streets of the city from the 1920s to 1950s. (Commercial Article 05)

Noblesville native Norman Norell is credited with bringing Paris couture to the American ready-to-wear woman. He is best known for elegant suits and tailored silhouettes. His designs were seen onfilm, in magazines, and on catwalks, and they have even been worn by first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy and Michelle Obama. (Commercial Article 06)

Walter Dorwin Teague, from Pendleton, came to be known as the father of industrial design. In fact, he is regarded by many to be the most significant industrial designer of his era. From cameras to vacuum cleaners, automobiles to airplanes, and glassware to beer bottles, his firm brought beautiful and efficient designs to American products. (Commercial Article 07)

Tuckaway, an Indianapolis home, was most recently owned by interior designer Ken Keene. However, its previous owners, George Philip Meier, a prominent fashion designer, and Nellie Simmons Meier, a scientific palmist, were the true designers of the home. The Meiers enjoyed an active social life, and Tuckaway became a hub of art, design, and celebrity. (Commercial Article 08)

If you have an interest in Indiana art and design (Like I do!), please visit the IHS library and view our inspiring issues of Commercial Article. The catalog record can be found here.

Lindsay Borman is the cataloger of Printed Collections at the Indiana Historical Society. Her claim to fame: She can name all of the U.S. presidents ... in order!

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