Known for his arts patronage, educational charities, and community leadership, George Kravis is an art collector and prominent philanthropist that has cultivated one of the world’s largest personal collections of industrial design.
Kravis grew up in a household full of Russell Wright tableware and Tommi Parzinge furniture. He developed an attraction for the stylish allure of everyday objects at an early age:
“I’ve always been interested in anything with a cord, a plug, a battery, or a light,” stated Kravis.
At the age of 10, he made his first purchase of an RCA 45-rpm record changer. This purchase also launched the beginning of his radio fascination. Kravis established one of the first radio stations in his hometown Tulsa, Oklahoma in his early twenties.
As Kravis’s passion for design grew, he expanded his art collection beyond American electronic devices to include industrial design and home and office furnishings from Asia and Europe. Many pieces of his collection were later donated to the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York, including furniture, textiles, tableware, and various graphics. You can find many of his items from his collection in the “Energizing the Everyday” art exhibit, which is on view through March 2017.
Kravis furthered his educational mission in the industrial design field by creating the Kravis Design Center and making his collection available to the public. He’s currently on the boards of the Price Tower Art Center in Bartlesville, the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture, and the Collections Committee of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
For George Kravis, art is a lifestyle.