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The Value of Good Design

February 10 – June 15, 2019

The Museum of Modern Art

Floor Three, The Philip Johnson Galleries

Featuring objects from domestic furnishings and appliances to ceramics, glass, electronics, transport design, sporting goods, toys, and graphics, The Value of Good Design explores the democratizing potential of design, beginning with MoMA’s Good Design initiatives from the late 1930s through the 1950s, which championed well-designed, affordable contemporary products. The concept of Good Design also took hold well beyond the Museum, with governments on both sides of the Cold War divide embracing it as a vital tool of social and economic reconstruction and technological advancement in the years following World War II. The exhibition also raises questions about what Good Design might mean today, and whether values from mid-century can be translated and redefined for a 21st-century audience. Visitors are invited to judge for themselves by trying out a few “good design” classics still in production, and exploring how, through its design stores, MoMA continues to incubate new products and ideas in an international marketplace.

Organized by Juliet Kinchin, Curator, and Andrew Gardner, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.

The exhibition is supported by the Annual Exhibition Fund with major contributions from the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, Alice and Tom Tisch, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı.

Images

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Peter Schlumbohm (American, born Germany. 1896–1962). Chemex Coffee Maker. 1941. Pyrex glass, wood, and leather, 9 1/2 × 6 1/8″ (24.2 × 15.5 cm). Manufactured by Chemex Corp. (New York, NY, est. 1941). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lewis & Conger. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Greta Von Nessen (American, born Sweden. 1898–1978). Anywhere Lamp. 1951. Aluminum and enameled steel, 14 3/4 × 14 1/4″ (37.5 × 36.2 cm). Manufactured by Nessen Studio, Inc (New York, NY, est. 1927). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Architecture and Design Purchase Fund. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

John R. Carroll (American, 1892–1958). Presto Cheese Slicer. c. 1944. Cast aluminum and steel wire, 4 1/2 × 3 3/4″ (11.4 × 9.5 cm). Manufactured by R.A. Frederick Co. (United States). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Lina Bo Bardi (Brazilian, born Italy. 1914–1992). Poltrona Bowl chair. 1951. Steel and fabric, 21 5/8 × 33 1/16 × 33 1/16″ (55 × 84 × 84 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Architecture and Design Funds. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar

Sori Yanagi (Japanese, 1915–2011). Butterfly Stools. 1956. Molded plywood and metal, each: 15 1/2 × 17 3/8 × 12 1/8″ (39.4 × 44.1 × 30.8 cm). Manufactured by Tendo Co., Ltd., (Tokyo, Japan, est. 1940). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the designer. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Swift & Anderson, Inc. (Boston, MA, est. 1926). Outdoor Thermometer. Before 1946. Metal, painted metal, and glass, diam. 4 1/8″ (10.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lewis & Conger. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Otto J. Kuker (American). Plumb Bob. c. 1948. Brass and steel, l. 7 3/8″ (l. 18.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Arthur Brown, Inc. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Vera Lisková (Czech, 1924–1979). Bowl. 1947. Crystal, 3 7/16 × 8 1/4″ (8.7 × 20.9 cm). Manufactured by Lobmeyr (Kamenický Šenov, Czechoslovakia, est. 1823). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of A. J. Van Dugteren & Sons, Inc. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Corning Glass Works, (Corning, NY, est. 1851). Double Boiler. c. 1938. Borosilicate glass and steel, .a (bottom pot): 5 1/2 × 11 × 5 3/4″ (14 × 27.9 × 14.6 cm); .b (top pot): 5 7/8 x 11 × 5 3/4″ (15 x 27.9 × 14.6 cm); .c (lid): 5 7/8″ (15 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Charlotte Perriand (French, 1903–1999). Low chair. Designed 1940, manufactured 1946. Bamboo, 28 1/2 × 24 1/4 × 30 3/8″ (72.4 × 61.6 × 77.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lisa Tananbaum, Susan Hayden, Alice Tisch, and Committee on Architecture and Design Funds. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar

Dante Giacosa (Italian, 1905–1996). 500f city car. Designed 1957 (this example 1968). Steel with fabric top, 52 × 52 × 116 7/8″ (132.1 × 132.1 × 296.9 cm). Manufactured by Fiat S.p.A. (Turin, Italy, est. 1899). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Heritage. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar

Saara Hopea (Finnish, 1925–1984). Stacking Glasses. 1951. Blown glass, .1‑.2 (blue): 3 3/8 × 2 7/8″ (8.6 × 7.3 cm); .3 (yellow): 2 15/16 x 2 3/8″ (7.5 x 6 cm); .4 (turquoise): 1 7/8 x 1 9/16″ (4.7 x 4 cm). Manufactured by Nuutajärvi Glass Works (Wärtsilä, Finland, est. 1793). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Barbro Kulvik and Antti Siltavuori. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Sony Corporation (Tokyo, Japan, est. 1946). Television (TX8-301). 1959. Plastic, metal, and glass, 8 1/2 × 8 1/4 × 10″ (21.6 × 21 × 25.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Irwin Gershen (American). Shrimp Cleaner. 1954. Plastic and metal, 8 1/2 × 3 1/4 × 3/4″ (21.6 × 8.3 × 1.9 cm). Manufactured by Plastic Dispensers Inc. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Department purchase. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Vera (Vera Neumann) (American, 1909–1993). Stone on Stone. c. 1950–55. Screenprinted silk, 64 1/2 × 48″ (163.8 × 121 cm). Manufactured by Printex Corporation of America (Ossining, NY, est. 1946). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the manufacturer. Photo by Jonathan Muzikar © The Museum of Modern Art

Max Bill (Swiss, 1908–1994). Kitchen Clock. 1956–57. Ceramic, metal, and glass, 10 1/4 × 7 5/16 × 2 1/4″ (26 × 18.5 × 5.7 cm). Manufactured by Gebrüder Junghans AG (Schramberg, Germany, est. 1861). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Architecture and Design Purchase Fund. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Thomas Griesel

Joel Robinson. Ovals textile. c. 1951–55. Screenprinted linen, 34 × 50″ (86.4 × 127 cm). Manufactured by L. Anton Maix Fabrics (New York, NY, est. 1948). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Architecture and Design Funds. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar

Charles Eames (American, 1907–1978), Ray Eames (American, 1912–1988). Prototype for Chaise Longue (La Chaise). 1948. Hard rubber foam, plastic, wood, and metal, 32 1/2 x 59 x 34 1/4″ (82.5 x 149.8 x 87 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the designers. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar

Hiroshi Ohchi (Japanese, 1908–1974). Mitsubishi Sewing Machine. c. 1950s. Silkscreen, 28 1/4 × 20″ (71.8 × 50.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the designer. © 2017 Hiroshi Ohchi. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Lucienne Day (British, 1917­–2010). Mezzanine. 1958. Screenprinted cotton crepe, 95 1/2 × 48 1/4″ (242.6 × 122.6 cm). Manufactured by Heal Fabrics (London, United Kingdom, est. 1810). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Jill A. Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown III. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar

Zeiss-Werk (Jena, East Germany/DDR). Werra 1 35mm film camera. c. 1955–60. Aluminum body with vulcanite surface, 3 × 4 1/2 × 2 1/2″ (7.6 × 11.4 × 6.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Michael Maharam. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Photo: Thomas Griesel

Giovanni Pintori (Italian, 1912–1999). Olivetti Lexikon. 1954. Lithograph, 27 3/4 × 19 1/2″ (70.5 × 49.5 cm). Printed by Industrie Grafiche N. Moneta S.p.A. (Milan, Italy). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the designer. © Olivetti S.p.A. and the Estate of Giovanni Pintori. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

L.M. Ericsson Telephone Company, (Swedish, est. 1876). Hugo Blomberg (Swedish, born 1897), Ralph Lysell (Swedish, born 1907), Hans Gösta Thames (Swedish, born 1916). Ericofon Telephone. 1949–54. ABS plastic, rubber, and nylon housing, .1 (white): 8 1/2 x 3 7/8 x 4 3/8″ (21.6 x 9.8 x 11.1 cm); .2 (yellow): 9 1/8 x 3 7/8 x 4 3/8″ (23.2 x 9.8 x 11.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Given anonymously Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Abram Games (British, 1914–1996). Festival of Britain. 1951. Lithograph, 10 1/8 × 12 1/2″ (25.7 × 31.8 cm). Printed by The Baynard Press (London, United Kingdom, est. 1894). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © Estate of Abram Games and Transport for London. Photo by Denis Doorly © The Museum of Modern Art Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

Installation view, The Value of Good Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (February 10–June 15, 2019). Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn