In postwar America, everything pointed to a bright, shiny future. Sheer optimism and opulence informed everything from automobile design to architecture, infusing design with larger-than-life planes and curves. Storefront design of the era is particularly indicative of this phenomenon, incarnated here in an extensive collection of hand-illustrated shop window designs from 1938 to 1950. These spectacular, often grandiose plans for grocery stores, shoe shops, beauty salons, bakeries, and more are reminders of a time when stores were sacred shrines for the congregation of American shoppers—impressive and even slightly intimidating, just like the future itself. In addition to an extensive selection of drawings are historical black and white photographs of actual shops built in a similar style.
Shop America: Mid-Century Storefront Design, 1938-1950.
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