I am really looking forward to all of the museum/gallery/ fair openings within the next few weeks. There is lots to see for design lovers this month with great exhibitions focusing on decorative arts and design opening not just on both coasts but also abroad. I also really like that museum’s are no longer just focusing on the exhibition but carefully plan extracurricular events surrounding the show. Sometimes it is better than the main event.
Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design, Museum of Arts and Design, October 12-January 15, 2012. The show explores the rich interplay of art and design in all craft media that exploded across the United States during the postwar era. The exhibition and catalogue focus on the protagonists of this period, its rapid growth and development within a changing American culture, and its international context. Crafting Modernism covers a 25-year period that begins with the craftsman-designers of the 1940s and 1950s, and concludes in 1969 with innovative works that upended traditional concepts of craft, and included humor, psychological content, and social commentary in provocative and unique works of art. Visit www.madmuseum.org
Cecil Beaton: The New York Years, Museum of the City of New York, Oct 25- Feb 20, 2012. From the 1920s through the ‘60s, Manhattan’s artistic and social circles embraced British-born photographer and designer Cecil Beaton (1904-80). Cecil Beaton: The New York Years brings together extraordinary photographs, drawings, and costumes by Beaton to chronicle his impact on the city’s cultural life. Beaton’s relentless energy and curiosity spurred him to pursue new fields, from fashion and portrait photography to costume and scenic design for Broadway, ballet, and opera, and to put his own aesthetic stamp on each of these endeavors. Visit www.mcny.org
Pacific Standard Time, Various Locations, Opening October 2011. Pacific Standard Time is an unprecedented collaboration of cultural institutions across Southern California coming together to celebrate the birth of the L.A. art scene. Over 60 cultural institutions will make their contributions to this region-wide initiative encompassing every major L.A. art movement from 1945 to 1980. Celebrate the era that continues to inspire the world. 12 exhibitions will be dealing with design. I will post separately a run-down of these shows. For more information visit: http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/
Modern in the Past Tense: Revisiting the Landmark Exhibition “Design 1935-1965:
What Modern Was” at Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, NYSID, 170 East 70th Street, NYC, October 26- January 12, 2012. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the landmark exhibition and publication, Design 1935-1965: What Modern Was, NYSID will pay homage to an event that became a touchstone of modern design, and a catalog that is widely regarded as the bible for understanding mid-century design. It was the first scholarly assessment of an area of design that has subsequently become a popular market and collecting favorite. What Modern Was, formed entirely from works in the Stewart Collection in Montreal, was the result of four years of research by a team of sixteen scholars under the direction of Martin Eidelberg, currently Professor Emeritus of Art History at Rutgers University. The startling revelation of the exhibition and book was that the so-called Modern period was over. As Eidelberg’s catalogue essay described it, one could speak of “Modern in the past tense.” Furthermore, the Modern period was seen as being composed of multiple Modern styles—International Style Modernism, Biomorphic and Streamlined Modernism, Postwar Modernism, and Postmodernism, and these subdivisions provided the themes of the exhibition. In the NYSID exhibition, giant screens will show continuous projections of images from the What Modern Was exhibition as well as photographs of interiors and iconic architectural landmarks of the period. The exhibition will also feature a selection of furniture borrowed from private collectors to echo what was shown in the original exhibition and a timeline that will put the mid-century objects in context of the history, culture, entertainment, and fashion of the period.
WRAPPED: Featuring works by Adnet, Quinet, Leleu & Royere. Maison Gerard Gallery, 43 East 10th Street, NYC, Open now. Since it opened in 1974, Maison Gerard, named after its owner the dashing Gerardus Widdershoven, has been a premier source for the best French Art Deco furniture and decorative objects this side of the Atlantic. Widdershoven and his partner Benoist Drut have published extensively on Jules Leleu but now comes a new show on French master’s of the 1930’s Jacques Adnet, Jacques Quinet, Jean Royere, and of course their favorite, Jules Leleu.
Design with the Other 90%: CITIES, United Nations Visitors Lobby, Main Gallery , First Avenue between 45th and 46th Streets, October 15, 2011–January 9, 2012, Admission is free. Learn more at cooperhewitt.org/exhibitions. Cooper-Hewitt’s groundbreaking 2007 exhibition Design for the Other 90% explored design that focused on solutions that address the 90% of the world’s population not traditionally served by the professional design community. Design with the Other 90%: CITIES, the second exhibition in the ongoing series, examines the complex issues arising from unprecedented urban growth in informal settlements and slums and presents a range of design solutions in emerging and developing economies of the Global South.
That’s So Ebendorf: Pieces Past and Present. Gallery Loupe for Contemporary Art Jewelry, 50 Church Street, Montclair, NJ. October 11- November 6, 2011. Robert Ebendorf began recycling the ordinary things that society discards long before “re-purposing” became a fashionable buzzword. His jewelry charms and delights the eye and the mind without the need for the use of precious materials. For more information visit: http://www.galleryloupe.com
LOOT 2011: MAD about Jewelry, Museum of Arts and Design, October 11- 14, 2011. A juried selling exhibition of contemporary studio art jewelry now, in its 11th edition, LOOT has earned the reputation of being the ultimate pop-up shop for this one-of-a-kind jewelry among artists and collectors alike, mostly because it affords the public the rare opportunity to acquire pieces directly from the artists. This year there will be an international array of 45 on hand, both emerging and acclaimed. Prices for their works range from $200 to $18,000, with $1000 the average. Proceeds benefit the Museum’s exhibition and education programs. For information on the participating artists visit http://madforjewelry.tumblr.com/
The International Fine Art + Antique Dealers Show, The Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, NYC, October 21 – 27, 2011. Established in 1989 The International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show is recognized the world over as a premier showcase for exceptional quality works of art from antiquity to the present day. Featuring some of the world’s top dealers, The International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show consistently attracts large crowds to enjoy and buy from a superb variety of items, including sculpture, bronzes, furniture, carpets and textiles, jewellery, pictures, ceramics and glass. All works are for sale under the strictest vetting conditions. For more information visit their site: The International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show
Pavilion Art + Design London, 12-16 October 2011, Berkeley Square, London. PAD London, as it is known, boasts 57 prestigious exhibitors, coming together from Europe, Asia and North America, to convert Berkeley Square into an elegant and diverse emporium of the most covetable works of art within the genres of Modern Art, Design, Decorative Arts, Photography and Tribal Art from 1860 to today. For more information visit http://www.padlondon.net/
Avedon Behind the Scenes 1964-1980 ~ Gideon Lewin, F.I.T., Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, first floor, Wednesday, October 19, 6pm,
Meet Gideon Lewin, Richard Avedon’s assistant and “right hand man” from 1964 to 1980. Lewin will unveil his new book, Avedon Behind the Scenes 1964-1980, featuring previously unpublished photographs and surprising, exotic details about the fashion and art worlds of the 1960s and 70s. He will also discuss solarization, the process he used on Avedon’s iconic portraits of the Beatles that were published in Look magazine in 1966.
Alexander McQueen ~ Andrew Bolton, F.I.T., Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, first floor, Tuesday, October 25, 6pm
Join Andrew Bolton, curator of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as he discusses his groundbreaking exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, which celebrated the late Alexander McQueen’s extraordinary contributions to fashion. McQueen challenged how fashion is understood, and he expanded fashion, taking it beyond utility to a conceptual expression of culture, politics, and identity. A signing of Bolton’s companion book to the exhibition follows the lecture.
The “Lady’s Eye”: More than Walls and Beyond the Fringe, MCNY, October 11, Tuesday, 6:30 PM. Between the two world wars, at the same time that pioneering female interior designers like Dorothy Draper and Elsie DeWolfe were making a name for themselves using a modernist aesthetic, another group of women active in design and preservation were promoting the Colonial Revival style as a hallmark of profession. Discover the influence of women like Bertha Benkard and Nancy McClelland, in a discussion with Pauline Metcalf, author of “Syrie Maugham” (Acanthus Press, 2010) and Sarah D. Coffin, Curator and Head of the Product Design and Decorative Arts Department at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, as they explore the roles that women played in making the Colonial Revival and that the Colonial Revival played in creating the field of interior design.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill, MCNY, Wednesday, October 26 at 6:30 pm. In 1926, then soon-to-be First Lady of New York State—and, eventually, the nation—Eleanor Roosevelt founded Val-Kill Industries, dedicated to crafting replicas of early American furniture, pewter, and weavings, as a way to provide jobs and training to local men and women. Val-Kill’s reproductions were carried by leading department stores and specialty shops in various American cities and were the subject of a 1927 exhibition and sale in Mrs. Roosevelt’s East Side townhouse. Maurine H. Beasley, professor and author of Eleanor Roosevelt: Transformative First Lady (University Press of Kansas, 2010), takes a closer look at the story of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill and its cultural relevance then and now. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition The American Style: Colonial Revival and the Modern Metropolis. Co-sponsored by the Roosevelt Institute.
** I will post events surrounding Crafting Modernism separately.
Architecture and Design Film Festival, October 19–23, Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street, NYC
See a dynamic selection of feature length films, documentaries and shorts—plus lively discussions with filmmakers, architects, and designers. For details and to purchase tickets visit adfilmfest.com.
NATIONAL DESIGN WEEK October 15–23, Saturday–Sunday
Launched in 2006, National Design Week is held each year in conjunction with the National Design Awards program. Cooper-Hewitt hosts a series of free public programs based on the vision and work of the National Design Awards honorees. National Design Week culminates with the National Design Awards gala ceremony. All events are free and open to the public. For more information and to register visit cooperhewitt.org/calendar or contact the Education Department at 212.849.8353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Target Design Kids: Kid Made Modern Workshops October 15, Saturday | 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 2:00 p.m., Cooper- Hewitt, 2 East 91st Street
Teen Design Fair | October 18, Tuesday | 4:00–6:00 p.m. The Altman Building | 135 West 18th Street
National Design Awards Winners’ Panel | October 18, Tuesday | 7:00–8:30 p.m. The Altman Building | 135 West 18th Street