The collection
Set of four identical knives with sleek brushed-metal handles and slender steel blades.

Steak Knives, Miming

Designed by
Dean Pollock (1897–1971)
Steel, aluminum alloy
Produced by
Gerber Legendary Blades, Portland, Oregon
Length: 21.7 cm (each)

The Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design, 2014.10

These sleek steak knives were compared in a MoMA exhibition catalogue to a Constantin Brancusi sculpture: “The love of perfect shapes which Brancusi lavished on his Bird in Flight echoes softly but clearly in the molded knife handle and in the knife’s proportion.” The effort to raise well-designed everyday objects to the level of fine arts stems from the Arts and Crafts Movement in the early twentieth century, which advocated eliminating the meaningful distinction between art and craft.

These knives were also low cost, available at retail stores when they were introduced for under $10. The manufacturer named these knives Miming after a character in Norse mythology.

The Stewart Program for Modern Design, photo: Denis Farley.