Corn Set

Designed by Russel Wright, Manufactured by Chase Brass and Copper Company, Inc.


Russel Wright was one of the most significant American industrial designers of the 20th century. He received his early artistic training while still a high school student in Cincinnati, where he studied with the eminent painter Frank Duveneck. Following family tradition, Wright matriculated at Princeton to study law, but left after two frustrating years to pursue his artistic career in earnest. Moving to New York, Wright worked as a Broadway set designer. At the urging of his wife, Wright began to design giftware that she could sell to boutiques on Madison Avenue. These items—fashioned in sleek, geometric form—established Wright as an important designer and eventually led to commissions from major manufacturing firms, such as the Conant-Ball Company and Steubenville Pottery. Between 1935 and 1946, Wright designed several items for the Chase Brass and Copper Company of Waterbury, CT, including this stunningly modern, chrome-plated corn set, with spherical salt and pepper shakers and a pitcher for melted butter. An identical example can be found in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum, and the corn set has been included in several major retrospectives of Wright’s work.