HBL Exhibitions: Crafting Modernism

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Arieto by Harry Bertoia, Knoll International, 1952. Photo courtesy of Museum of Arts and Design

On show now at the Museum of Arts & Design in New York City, Crafting Modernism demonstrates how the period between 1945 and 1969 proved a key transitional era for American craft and design - using furniture, textiles, tableware, ceramics, glass, jewellery, sculpture and painting to make its case.

Blanket Chest by Jan de Swart, 1965. Photo courtesy of Museum of Arts and Design

The exhibition is the fourth installation of a series of ongoing shows for The Centenary Project, the first in-depth examination of American craft in the 20th century. The first section addresses the early post-war years from 1945 to the late 1950s when the independent craftsman lifestyle became a compelling alternative to the anonymity of the corporate world.

Scrap Chair by J.B. Blunk, 1968. Photo courtesy of Museum of Arts and Design
The second half of the exhibition focuses on the emergence of the crafted object as a work of art. Young designers introduced more informal domestic interiors, which were often adorned with crafted objects, giving a more human face to modernism.

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