Biographical / Historical
Viktor Schreckengost (1906-2008) was an industrial designer, teacher, and sculptor in Cleveland, Ohio.
Schreckengost was born in Sebring, Ohio--a major dinnerware manufacturing community. He began odd jobs at the potteries as a child and created his first dinnerware design while still in high school. After attending the Cleveland School of Art (now Cleveland Institute of Art), he studied in Vienna, Austria under Michael Powolny. Returning to Cleveland, Schreckengost accepted a teaching position at the institute. Also, he worked at Cowan Pottery located in Rocky River, Ohio where he designed the Jazz Bowl commissioned by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Schreckengost remained an instructor at the Cleveland Institute of Art for over seventy years as faculty and professor emeritus and founded the CIA's school of industrial design. He was equally prolific in design and produced a body of work consisting of fine art ceramics, every day kitchen and dinnerware, sculpture, watercolor and industrial designs including a pedal car and a bicycle. At thirty-seven, he enlisted in U.S. Navy and fought in World War II. He designed prosthetics to help his fellow soldiers.
For the American Limoges China Company (Sebring, Ohio) and the Salem China Company (Salem, Ohio), Schreckengost designed dinnerware for the everyday American table. Influenced by the Great Depression, he believed good design did not need to be expensive. Additionally, he created complimentary design lines so that different patterns and styles could be mixed together.
He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2006. A lifelong Clevelander, Viktor Schreckengost passed away in Tallahassee, Florida while on vacation in 2008.