Donald Deskey Paintings

 untitled, ca. 1970, oil on masonite, 30 x 27 in.

untitled, ca. 1950's, acrylic on masonite, 20 x 24 in., Matt Murphy Studio (for sale at time of post)

The multi-talented Donald Deskey (1894-1989), most known for his industrial and graphic design work, also created some great paintings during his career.  Many of his pieces depict abstract representations of buildings, possibly influenced by his studies in architecture at UC Berkley.

Urban View,Window, ca. 1960, oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in., Lerebours Antiques (for sale at time of post)

 #83/61, ca. 1960, oil on canvas, 28 x 21 in., Galerie Werner, Pittsburgh, PA

#80/19, ca. 1960, oil on canvas, 30 x 36 in., Galerie Werner, Pittsburgh, PA

#69/52, ca. 1960, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in., Galerie Werner, Pittsburgh, PA

untitled, ca. 1965, oil on canvas, 24 x 20.5 in., LA Modern Auctions (sold for $950 in 2006)

Donald Deskey was born in the small town of Blue Earth, Minnesota in 1894. After graduating from high school in 1912, he moved to California where he studied architecture at UC Berkley and painting at the California School of Design. He was called away from his education in 1919 to serve in WWI.  After the war he moved to Paris where he lived from 1923-1926. During his time in Paris he attended the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts, which had a major impact on Deskey's design and career direction. In 1927, shortly after he returned to the U.S., he co-founded Deskey-Vollmer, a furniture and textile design firm that was influential in establishing the Art-Deco style in America.  During the 1930's the relatively unknown Deskey won a competition to design the interior of the Radio City Music Hall. During the 1940's he focused on graphic design and started the firm, Donald Deskey Associates, which still exists today. During his career with the firm, he created some of the most recognizable brand identities, such as those for Crest, Tide, Aqua-Velva and Jif. Deskey retired in 1975 and lived in Vero Beach, Florida till his death in April of 1989.  Below are some of the brand identities that Deskey helped create.

Product images via Deskey Associates

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