Norman Bel Geddes – design GOD


Babies, I’m feeling lazy. So this is my mute appreciation of a man from the past who shaped the present, design-wise. For further research contact the University of Texas at Austin: Harry Ransom Center.


Norman Bel Geddes (1893-1958) was a visionary stage designer, director, producer, theater architect, industrial designer, producer of model photography, and author. The Ransom Center’s voluminous Bel Geddes collection documents his industrial design and theater work in equal measure and, frequently, in great detail. More than 500 projects are documented, with coverage ranging from a single folder to hundreds of items.

via Norman Bel Geddes Theater and Industrial Design Papers.


Bel Geddes began his career with set designs for Aline Barnsdall’s Los Angeles Little Theater in the 1916-17 season, then in 1918 as the scene designer for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He designed and directed various theatrical works, from Arabesque and The Five O’Clock Girl on Broadway to an ice show, It Happened on Ice, produced by Sonja Henie. He also created set designs for the film Feet of Clay (1924), directed by Cecil B. DeMille, designed costumes for Max Reinhardt, and created the sets for the Broadway production of Sidney Kingsley’s Dead End (1935).

via Norman Bel Geddes – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


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  1. Luanne
    January 23, 2014

    I’d never heard of him, but I recognized the last name of course and went to my friend Wikipedia. So this was Barbara Bel Geddes’ father.

  2. January 23, 2014

    Dearest V (and Luanne)
    So it was the brilliant Barbara’s father!
    I’ve always thought her performance in Vertigo one of the most underrated in all of cinema.
    A foible of mine.
    And now I like papa just fine too!
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  3. January 23, 2014

    Vickie,thank you.I only remember being aware of his work as an Industrial Designer having done some reading{clearly not enough} on his visionary technological projects such as a giant flying wing aircraft that was so huge that it would never have got off the ground with the engines available at the time.I do however have a vague recollection that one of these giant aircraft may have appeared in a science fiction film of the period.Any information on that?

    • January 23, 2014

      Perhaps it’s the sci-fi film Raymond Massey was in, Things to Come (1936)?

  4. January 23, 2014

    Vickie,Just as soon as i have some time off work I have a little project for my self to do some more reading.

  5. George Kaplan
    January 24, 2014

    As soon as I saw Mr Bel Geddes name I felt the compulsion to make a dreadful Miss Ellie or Midge from Vertigo reference but lo and behold he was Barbara’s father, truly you are a fount of knowledge, Ms Vickie! Wow, those designs are fantastic.

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