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World War II, the shoah and the confrontation of the atomic powers in the Cold War in the face of these singular events, art and culture pale into insignificance. A statement that isn't only applicable to the forties. Design in this decade took up the theme of pre-war formalism and propagated the ideology of simplicity, staked its hopes on re-use and the optimism inherent in reconstruction; it alternated between retrospective and preparation.

Not everywhere did war and destruction influence the designers work. They often succeeded in ignoring the reality of their society, under a dictatorship as much as in a democracy. Thus, with his "Bluebird"; radio of 1936,

Walter Dorwin Teague

carried on Art deco traditions uninterrupted and in the USSR locomotive builders followed the example set by

Otto Kuhler


Raymond Loewy's

streamlined American designs.

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