Wolfsonian Museum

Modernism in American Silver: 20th Century Design Through March 25th, 2007The Wolfsonian Museum is presenting Modernism in American Silver: 20thCentury Design, a major survey exhibition on modern silver design in America between 1925 and 2000. The exhibition features more than two hundred works designed by widely recognized designers such as Eliel Saarinen, Robert Venturi, Michael Graves, Elsa Peretti, and Richard Meier among many others. The exhibition overviews the modern history of silver industry in America and the economic and cultural factors that influenced the design, manufacture and marketing of its products for more than seven decades. One more time, the museum offers the opportunity to explore an art discipline that few consider among the arts. Design, however, has played a significant roll in our private lives, a lot more than art itself. Marianne Lamonaca, chief curator at the museum has noted, “The show’s focus on one industry allows the visitor to explore how designers and manufacturers adapted their designs to suit changing social, economic, and cultural currents. Then, as now, the growing awareness of style among consumers determined how a company could market its products.” Then, as now, Design was the true link between the industry and us. It was through Design that many necessities were created and later solved with beautiful utilitarian objects. The ones at Modernism in American Silver: 20thCentury Design are magnificent examples. The exhibit charts the stylistic history of this industry in America and has been organized around several thematic areas, including Art Moderne, the Avant Garde, the Machine Age, Modern Classicism, Free Form, the 1950s, the Space Age, Architecture and Fashion Design. There is a particular piece in the exhibition that adds a local flavor to the show. The K. K. Culver Trophy, designed by the influential American industrial designer Viktor Schreckengost in 1938 was presented to the winner of the Miami All-American Air Maneuvers air race for female pilots. The silver-plated bronze piece, formerly owned by museum founder and collector Mitchell Wolfson Jr., has been acclaimed – according to Jewel Stern in his text in the exhibition’s catalogue – as “one of the finest examples of twentieth-century modern presentation silver, streamlining in a symbolic culmination of the aesthetic thrust of the decade”. Modernism in American Silver: 20th Century Design will be on view at The Wolfsonian Museum through March 25th, 2007. For more information, please call: 305.531.1001

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