Design Classic – Influential and important design
Nocturne, model 1186
Standing over four feet tall, this towering console of satin chrome and mirrored cobalt glass is a commanding example of the styling of items to meet the Machine Age ideal of the 1930s. The Nocturne radio, built by Walter Dorwin Teague, one of the premier industrial designers of the 1930s, is one of the most striking manifestations of the merger of art and technology. Teague’s use of a formalist aesthetic, emphasising the appropriateness of geometry derived from machines, resulted in the design of the radio. The massive mirrored disc creates a beautiful façade that covers an otherwise plain wooden casing housing the radio receiver and its components, rather than the design pertaining to the operation of the radio.
Title: Nocturne, model 1186, From the Lobby of the Park Central Hotel, Miami Beach
Creator: Walter Dorwin Teague (American, 1883–1960), Sparton Corporation
Date: c. 1935
Location created: Jackson, Michigan, United States
Rights: The Wolfsonian–FIU, The Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection
Art form: Radio
Material: Mirrored glass, chrome-plated metal, wood
Bonnie Pitman, ed. “Nocturne radio (Model 1186)” in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art; New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012), 262.
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