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Past Futures

June 2024
1min read

THE HALF-FAMILIAR, WHOLLY ENTRANCING WORLD WE NEVER MADE, AS ENVISIONED BY AMERICAN DESIGNERSS AND ILLUSTRATORS

EVERY MOMENT OF THE PRESENT is aboil with countless potential futures, and Americans—who tend to be future-loving folk—have been trying to limn them for generations. Some of the more extravagant results appear here. They have been assembled by the writer and architect Norman Brosterman, who has long been fascinated by visions of things to come created by illustrators for science fiction and popular science magazines, by industrial designers as prototype studies, and by the occasional newspaper artist in a moment of inspiration. The examples here are gathered in Brosterman’s book Out of Time: Designs for a Twentieth-Century Future , which Abrams will publish in November. The book accompanies a show of the drawings organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service that will tour the country during the next three years.

“THESE ARTISTS CREATED AN ALTERNATIVE TWENTIETH CENTURY WHOSE INFLUENCE ON THE REAL WORLD WAS UNIVERSAL.”

—NORMAN BROSTERMAN

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