20.11.2015 – 10.06.2018 Nuremberg

East and West: USA

View across the Atlantic to the “land of opportunity“
View of the exhibition, East and West: USA.
Photo: Rainer Viertlböck

About the Exhibition

After World War II, the USA developed into the world’s leading design nation, and started to set the trends. As a political and economic powerhouse, it influenced design and thus also consumerism in post-war Germany: Coca-Cola, Hollywood and Rock ’n’ Roll all conveyed the American way of life.

Successful designers such as Raymond Loewy or Walter Dorwin Teague propagated streamline design – as of the 1930s such streamlining was brought to bear by applying a dynamic shape on trains, cars, buses, not to mention on radios, toasters and cameras. It was a new, consumer-oriented take on design in line with Loewy’s maxim that “Never leave well enough alone”.

This very commercial approach to design was criticized for being mere ‘drapery’ or ‘styling’. The opposite movement went by the name of organic design, which not only pursued functionalist and ethical aspects such as ergonomics and cost-benefit ratios but also had a social thrust. “The best for the most for the least” – was the motto of Ray and Charles Eames, and insisted that sound, consistent and well-designed products should be accessible to the broad American public in the post-war era.

Starting in architecture, in the 1960s postmodernism emerged, with ironic and provocative answers to the predominant creed of functionalism, which it sought to overcome.

Typical of American society is people’s mobility, something that expanded in the 1980s to include things at the digital level: The PC became the most important tool of the service society – and an equally indispensable part of private households.

The display for the presentation of USA was designed by the artist Tilo Schulz (born 1972 in Leipzig).

Plan your visit at Neues Museum Nürnberg


Klarissenplatz, 90402 Nuremberg


Daily 10 a.m. – 06 p.m.

On Mondays closed

On Thursdays 10 a.m. – 08 p.m.

Cardboard bases with objects, color gradient on the wall
View of the exhibition, East and West: USA.
Photo: Rainer Viertlböck
Toaster on a cardboard base
View of the exhibition, East and West: USA.
Photo: Rainer Viertlböck

Curated by:

Angelika Nollert, Xenia Riemann, Josef Straßer

Cooperation of:

Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum and
Neues Museum – Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design Nürnberg