Walter Paepcke, IDCA, and the Challenge of Design in Post-War Corporate Culture
Having experienced first-hand that hiring contemporary artists to design his company’s advertising was good for his Chicago-based cardboard business, Walter P. Paepcke (1896-1960) became a true “born-again” modernist. He was involved in the founding of not only the New Bauhaus in Chicago in 1937, but also in 1951 the International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA), an annual gathering of modern designers and corporate managers. Although highly successful when judged by the numbers of those who attended, these meetings did not live up to Paepcke’s expectation that they would bring designers and managers closer together. My paper will expose their mutual distrust and examine the role of the post-World War II designer in Chicago and elsewhere in the country.
Respondent: Michaelangelo Sabatino, Illinois Institute of Technology
The Chicago: City of Commerce and Design, 1890-1990 Seminar is part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.