New York – Designing Modern Women, 1890-1990

Place: New York, United States
MoMA Museum of Modern Art - New York
Museum of Modern Art, New York
"Designing Modern Women, 1890-1990"
October 5, 2013 – September 21, 2014
Organized by MoMA, Department of Architecture and design
Curator: Juliet Kinchin
Curatorial Assistant: Luke Baker.
Images courtesy of Museum Of Modern Art

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Installation view of the exhibition  “Designing modern women, 1890-1990”.
On view until September 21, 2014. © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

“Designing Modern Women, 1890-1990” exhibition at MoMA – New York 

Through which modalities and forms of women’s creativity have influenced the evolution of design during the 20th century?
Although today we take for granted that the design of the last century has been deeply marked by women’s contribution, it is nevertheless fascinating to discover such a story from a new point of view,  an original perspective focused on the peculiarity of women’s creativity, which has always been characterized by an approach blurring the boundaries between art and craft, small series and mass production, passion, and profession.

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Magda Mautner Von Markhof (1881–1944) Kalenderbilderbuch (Calendar picture book), c.1905 Woodcut 4 x 9 1/4 x 1/2″ (10.2 x 23.5 x 1.3 cm).

The set of objects, drawings, graphics, and videos forming the content of the exhibition “Designing Modern Women, 1890–1990”, testifies to the contribution of women’s creativity to modernity, not only by highlighting female designers’ work but also by depicting their influence as clients, performers, and educators. In a historical context characterized by rapid political, social, lifestyle, and cultural changes, women defied conventions and explored disciplines traditionally reserved for men, thus becoming protagonists of modernity also because of the new needs and ways of living they introduced.

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Top Left: Adolph Treidler(1886–1981), For Every Fighter a Woman Worker. Care For Her Through the YWCA, c. 1918, Gouache-lithograph 40 x 30″ (101.6 x 76.2cm).
Top Right: Helene Haasbauer-Wallrath (1885–1968) Die Praktische Küche (The Practical Kitchen),1930 Poster for an exhibition at the Gewerbemuseum Basel, Lithograph Sheet: 50 × 35 1/2″ (127 × 90.2 cm)

Designing Modern Women, 1890–1990, features projects such as the first version of the innovative kitchen designed in 1952 by Charlotte Perriand for Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation; pieces of furniture and objects by Eileen Gray, Lilly Reich, Eva Seizel, Ray Eames, Denise Scott Brown; textiles by Anni Albers; ceramics by  Lucy Rie, graphic designs documenting the political and cultural transformations of the 20th century as well as an interesting collection of punk era posters, exposed here for the first time.

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Top left: Marianne Brandt (1893–1983) Teapot, 1924, Nickel silver and ebony
Top right: Karin Schou Andersen (born 1953) Flatware, 1979. ABS polymer and stainless steel
Bottom: Eileen Gray (1879–1976)
Left: Screen, 1922. Lacquered wood and metal rods

Right: Adjustable Table,1927.Chrome-plated tubular steel, sheet steel, and glass

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Top: Grete Jalk (1920–2006) Lounge Chair, 1963. Teak plywood
Bottom: Eva Zeisel(1906–2011) Folding Chair,1948-49. Chrome-plated tubular steel and cotton

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Foreground: the kitchen unit designed by Charlotte Perrand for  Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation

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Top left: Bonnie Maclean (born 1949) The Yardbirds, The Doors,1967. Offset lithograph. 21 1/4 x 14″ ( 54 x 35.5 cm)
Top right: Luba Lukova (1960), There Is No Death for the Songs.1987 Silkscreen 25 1/2 x 38″ (64.8 x 96.5 cm)

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Installation views of the exhibition  “Designing modern women, 1890-1990”.
On view until September 21, 2014. © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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