American da Vinci
April 28, 2008 5:02 PM   Subscribe

Viktor Schreckengost who died last year at the grand age of 101, was regarded by some as the father of industrial design. Every adult in America has ridden in, ridden on, drunk out of, stored their things in, eaten off of, been costumed in, etc… and there is no going past his gorgeous pedal cars. Some of his work can also be seen online at The Cleveland Museum of Art.
posted by tellurian (9 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
oh, wow. I had that pedal tractor when I was about 6 years old...
posted by pjern at 5:11 PM on April 28, 2008

I want this bike.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:35 PM on April 28, 2008

His name is terrifying.
posted by alexei at 5:56 PM on April 28, 2008

as terrifying as this?
posted by yonation at 6:05 PM on April 28, 2008

An old-timer who knew him well back in the 1940s told me that the young Viktor Shreckengost was the very picture of the dashing, successful artist: handsome, well-dressed, grinning with a pipe clenched in his teeth. But very friendly and approachable. His students idolized him. By the time I met Shreck, he was old indeed (although not as old as he would become), and still a few years shy of his re-discovery (which was led by no less than Henry Adams, a curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and a direct descendent the very Adams family everyone's now watching on HBO). At that time, in fact, someone I knew had one of Shreck's now-famous Jazz Bowls, and so little was it valued, that he used it as an umbrella stand in the vestibule of his Cleveland Heights home...
posted by Faze at 6:07 PM on April 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ah, the good ol' Spaceliner. It was actually first issued in '64, not '65. My two '64 Spaceliners are the coolest bicycles I've ever owned even though they are heavy and a bitch to ride.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:51 PM on April 28, 2008

Recently in Cleveland there was a show on the local NPR affiliate that talked about his work and how, when he went to art school, there was an expectation he'd become a ceramics artist because he was from a town that's very well known for ceramics. They said he'd initially rebelled against the thought (I don't blame him -- I'm from a town that's known for making sandstone grindstones, but you don't see me doing that), but once he accepted it, started doing it, and furthered his studies with some of the great modernist Viennese ceramics teachers of the last century, he went on to be one of the most amazing ceramics artists ever. (In addition to all the other cool stuff he did -- ditto the bike -- I want one!)
posted by at 5:48 AM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

What's this 'Internal Server Error' rubbish?
posted by tellurian at 7:34 AM on April 29, 2008

Thanks for the pointer For others, the show is here.
posted by tellurian at 4:12 PM on April 29, 2008

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