Did Designer Toys really begin in… 1915?!?

There was an art movement called Futurism that same prominence between 1909 and 1944, and — living up to its name — the practitioners of within this mentality embraced concepts that would end up defining our modern art lives. They championed graphic design as an art form, they believed artists should have their own stores and not rely on galleries, and they even birthed the manifesto to communicate their ideals to the masses. But, in 1915, one of their members, a man named Fortunato Depero, made a call for artists to make "Futurist Toys", toy-like forms that weren't a simple imitation of reality but rather artistically designed works appropriate for both children and adults alike. Does that sound familiar? Does that sound like a description of designer toys? And, more than just conceiving them, he created them between 1917 and 1930, some of which can be seen in the below-pictured photograph from the Guggenheim's Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe. I'm thrilled to have been given the chance to explore this fascinating piece of history in an article for CoART Magazine, which can be read HERE.

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