'Zephyr' Clock, Model P40, Style 304

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'Zephyr' Clock, Model P40, Style 304

circa 1938
Furnishings; Accessories
Bronze, brass
3 5/8 x 8 x 3 1/8 in. (9.21 x 20.32 x 7.94 cm)
Purchased with funds provided by Maura and Mark Resnick (M.2010.125)
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

One of the most successful product designs created in California in the 1930s, the ‘Zephyr’ Clock epitomizes the glamour and speed of modern life....
One of the most successful product designs created in California in the 1930s, the ‘Zephyr’ Clock epitomizes the glamour and speed of modern life. The clock’s low, horizontal emphasis, curving silhouette, and contrasting metals are characteristic of streamlining, a popular mode of design during the Great Depression for buildings, trains, cars, and industrial design objects. In 1934, the Burlington Railroad introduced the streamlined Burlington Zephyr train and displayed it at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago, and it could be from this source that the clock was named. The clock’s futurism is not just superficial, though – it was promoted as one of the first digital clocks, allowing one to read “exact time at a glance!” Despite being introduced in the midst of the Depression, the clock was commercially successful. The Lawson Time ‘Zephyr’ Clock is a masterpiece of California streamline design, and complements LACMA’s collection of streamline design made in California and elsewhere. (Bobbye Tigerman, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design)
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Bibliography

  • Kaplan, Wendy, ed. California design, 1930-1965: living in a modern way. Los Angeles: Los  Angeles County Museum of Art; Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2011.

Exhibition history

  • California Design, 1930–1965: "Living in a Modern Way" Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, October 1, 2011 - June 3, 2012
  • California Design, 1930–1965: "Living in a Modern Way" Tokyo, Japan, The National Art Center, Tokyo, March 20, 2013 - June 3, 2013
  • California Design, 1930–1965: "Living in a Modern Way" Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, October 1, 2011 - June 3, 2012
  • California Design, 1930–1965: "Living in a Modern Way" Tokyo, Japan, The National Art Center, Tokyo, March 20, 2013 - June 3, 2013
  • California Design, 1930–1965: "Living in a Modern Way" Auckland, New Zealand, Auckland Art Gallery, July 6, 2013 - September 29, 2013
  • California Design, 1930–1965: "Living in a Modern Way" South Brisbane, Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, November 2, 2013 - February 9, 2014
  • California Design, 1930–1965: "Living in a Modern Way" Salem, MA, Peabody Essex Museum, March 29, 2014 - July 6, 2014
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