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During Rolph Scarlett's remarkable seventy-five year career he was an avant-garde abstract painter, an innovative set designer, an industrial designer, and the creator of unique sculptural jewellery in American modernist tradition.
Scarlett was born in Guelph, Ontario, in 1889. By the time he moved to the United States in 1918 he had already had some experience with the techniques of painting,jewllery and designing for the stage which he put to good use in his career in New York. During the 1930's and 1940's Scarlett was a leading practitioner of geometric abstraction with sixty of his paintings in the collection of Non-Objective Painting (later the Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum).
As an industrial designer during the 1930's , Scarlett produced a remarkable body of design drawings for everyone from household objects to New York World's Air amusement rides and guided missiles. His streamlined modern designed emphasized efficiency, science, and progress.
His commitment to abstraction never wavered and he continued to explore it, until his death at age 94.
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