The first design in the Smithsonian collection by Retro 51 is the Corona twist-top rollerball pen. Its deeply etched barrel is reminiscent of the ornamental bronze-colored metal lattice that covers the outside of the National Museum of African American History and Culture building in Washington D.C.. Lead designer David Adjaye pays homage to the intricate ironwork crafted by enslaved African Americans in Louisiana, South Carolina, and elsewhere through the use of this design. Each rollerball pen is numbered on the top ring and complete with matte black nickel accents and loaded in a commemorative Smithsonian NMAAHC tube.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this pen will support and further the Museum’s educational mission on what it means to be an American, and to share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture.