Nathan George Horwitt
Nathan George Horwitt (1898-1990) was an American designer of many talents, vocations and interests. Born in Russia, the man behind Movado’s legendary Museum dial was a writer, photographer, inventor, political activist, teacher, farmer, authority on mushrooms, and humanitarian, as well as a designer of books, advertisements, interiors, graphics and objects.
Horwitt considered himself neither an artist nor a sculptor. His stated intent was always a practical one: he designed to fill a need. “My task was to understand how the object could be used most efficiently and devise a design that enhanced that use. This process of understanding and purifying is Bauhaus, basically.”
Conceived in 1947, Horwitt’s stark watch dial design, with a solitary dot at 12 o’clock representing the sun at high noon, evolved through a series of experiments seeking the most economical way to conceptualize time. Today it is regarded as an icon of Modernism.
Horwitt, who lived the second half of his long life on a 400 acre dairy farm in Lenox, Massachusetts, held numerous patents. Several of his designs are in the permanent collections of prominent museums – the most famous being the watch dial in the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York.
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