I had the pleasure of checking out the Buriki: Japanese Tin Toys from the Golden Age of American Automobile exhibit at the Japan Society this past weekend. The exhibit was a celebration of Japan’s achievements in tin toy design in the first two decades following World War II. The detail and construction of these is amazing. Some of them even have working lights, doors, horns, and automatic retractable convertible tops. Below are some highlights from the exhibit. All images are from the Japan Society website.

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The Lincoln Futura concept car (This was the inspiration for the Batmobile)

The Lincoln Futura concept car (This was the inspiration for the Batmobile)

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This one had a working horn, lights, and retractable top!

This one had a working horn, lights, and retractable top!

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Ambassador Magma is driving this sweet 1962 Cadillac

Ambassador Magma is driving this sweet 1962 Cadillac

When Disney’s Mary Blair was working to design “It’s a Small World” for the 1964/1965 World’s Fair in New York City, she was incredibly up to date with art and design of the era.  Below are photographs of the ride’s facade at Disneyland.

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Below are concept sketches for the facade by Mary Blair, along with a video where she talks about the design process with Walt Disney prior to moving the ride to Disneyland from the World’s Fair.

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Blair may have been influenced by the work of Charles & Ray Eames, Alexander Girard, and Stig Lindberg; all who were incredibly popular at the time and were working with stacked shapes. Other artists may have included glass artist Georges Briard and fine artist Louise Nevelson.

Artwork by Stig Lindberg which incorporated stacked shapes

Artwork by Stig Lindberg which incorporated stacked shapes

Alexander and Susan Girard at the Herman Miller showroom with stacked shape artwork

Alexander and Susan Girard at the Herman Miller showroom with stacked shape artwork

Mr. Eames at home with stacked shapes

Mr. Eames at home with stacked shapes

Glass tray by Georges Briard

Glass tray by Georges Briard

Louise Nevelson's "Sky Cathedral"

Louise Nevelson's "Sky Cathedral"

Another of Louise Nevelson's wooden sculptures

Another of Louise Nevelson's wooden sculptures

The original World’s Fair ride also incorporated a kinetic sculpture titled “The Tower of the 4 Winds” designed by Rolly Crump. Unfortunately the tower was torn down when the fair ended.

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Crump and Disney with a model of "The Tower of the 4 Winds"

Crump and Disney with a model of "The Tower of the 4 Winds"

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Rolly Crump's "Tower of the 4 Winds" outside of "It's a Small World" at the New York World's Fair

Crump also may have been influenced by the work of Charles & Ray Eames and their solar powered “Do Nothing Machine”

Charles Eames with his solar powered toy

Charles Eames with his solar powered toy

The solar powered toy designed by Charles and Ray Eames

The solar powered toy designed by Charles and Ray Eames

Here are some more Mary Blair-isms that I found at Disneland:

Castle on top of a vendor

Castle on top of a vendor

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Iconic Milton Glaser

February 4, 2009

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Mr. Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser is one of my favorite graphic designers and artists.  Here are some of his iconic images that I love.  The Dylan poster is my favorite.

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The iconic Dylan poster which was inserted into the first issue of "Dylan's Greatest Hits" LP

The Brooklyn Brewery Logo

The Brooklyn Brewery Logo

Seratoga Festival Poster

Saratoga Festival Poster

"I Love New York" logo

"I Love New York" logo