Posts tagged ‘Century of the Child’
October 25, 2012  |  Behind the Scenes, Century of the Child
Sometimes It Takes a Child to Design a Title Wall

MoMA Design Studio‘s little designer, Sky Chu. Photo by Martin Seck

A few months ago, my team and I here at MoMA had the challenge of designing the title wall for the exhibition Century of the Child: Growing By Design, 1900–2000, a broad survey of 20th-century design for children with “children and childhood as a paradigm for progressive design thinking.” When we met with the curators, Juliet Kinchin and Aidan O’Connor, they suggested trying a less formal approach for the design of the title wall, perhaps using handwriting. So two of our experienced designers spent two days experimenting with every type of handwriting font and non-digital handwriting they could think of. The results were good, but not quite right. It was clear to us that we needed to take a different approach. That’s when we suddenly realized, what could be better than having an actual child help us? And that’s how my 6-year-old son Sky became a MoMA designer. He sat down at the dinner table one night, wrote out the title of the exhibition three times, and then said, “done.” So it was. And after we enlarged the text, we realized the average letter height is as tall as Sky himself—3 feet, 9 inches!


The little designer leaping in front of his work, and one of his own alphabets. Photos by Martin Seck and Ingrid Chou


October 24, 2012  |  Century of the Child, Events & Programs
The Child in the City of Play

Tottenville High School Marching Band leading the audience out of the Child in the City of Play symposium through MoMA Studio: Common Senses. Photo by Sarah Kennedy

It’s not often that you leave a symposium feeling more awake than when you started, but that was certainly the case for every attendee and participant of last week’s The Child in the City of Play: Growing by Design Read more

October 11, 2012  |  Century of the Child
Boy Meets Wall: Hanging Out with Jens S Jensen

Jens S Jensen. Boy on the Wall, Hammarkullen, Gothenburg. 1973. Gelatin silver print, 9 7/16 x 11 3/4″ (24 x 29.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist. © 2012 Jens S. Jensen

The first major research trip we undertook for Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000 was, appropriately, through the historically child-centric Nordic countries. It was then, in 2009, that we first encountered Jens S Jensen’s 1973 photograph Read more

October 3, 2012  |  Century of the Child
“Finnish” Your Lunch

Lunch is served: this week we’re eating creamy salmon soup, crispy rye bread with Finnish cheese and butter, sweet and sour dill cucumbers, and whipped lingonberry porridge

MoMA exhibitions rarely end at the gallery doors. There are publications and websites, symposia, family programs, and special events that extend the life, the interactivity, and the scope of projects big and small. Read more

September 21, 2012  |  Five for Friday
Five for Friday: School Desks Do Not a Prison Make

Five for Friday, written by a variety of MoMA staff members, is our attempt to spotlight some of the compelling, charming, and downright curious works in the Museum’s rich collection.

Labor Day is in the rear-view mirror, and millions of children have been forced to say goodbye to the halcyon days of summer and trudge listlessly back to school. Read more

September 20, 2012  |  Library and Archives
The Tyranny of the Alphabet Book

Mary Mills Lyall and Earl Hargvey Lyall. The Cubies’ ABC (New York: Putnam, 1913. Reprint, 2010)

A is for A show I just Assembled About Artists’ Alphabet books. Read more

September 19, 2012  |  Century of the Child
Height of Achievement: Tom Luckey, In Memoriam

A Luckey Climber at Columbus Commons, Columbus, Indiana. Image © Luckey LLC

The name Luckey invites wordplay too tempting to avoid; in the case of Tom Luckey, a Yale-educated architect known for the kind of lofty play structures shown above, the children who ascend his Luckey Climbers could be called just that. Read more

September 13, 2012  |  Artists, Century of the Child, Videos
Manufacturing Poetry: The Toys of Libuše Niklová

Libuše Niklová. Sound-producing animals in their original packaging. 1963–65. Hand-painted polyethylene, paper, PVC. Manufactured by Fatra, Napajedla, Czechoslovakia (est. 1935). Archive Fatra, Napajedla, Czech Republic. © From the book Libuše Niklová by Tereza Bruthansová, published by Arbor vitae societas in 2010. Photograph by Studio Toast

The plastic toys designed by Libuše Niklová—original, artistically conceived, and technically ingenious—are a firm favorite with visitors to MoMA’s Century of the Child exhibition. They remind us that many toys manufactured in Soviet Bloc countries like Czechoslovakia during the 1960s and 1970s were anything but pedantic and dreary. Read more

September 11, 2012  |  Events & Programs
Pop-Up Play @ MoMA

Pop-Up Play @ MoMA. Photo: Kirsten Schroeder

How often do kids get to hear, “You can do whatever you want with any of the materials you see”? Well that was the case one Friday in August for visitors to Pop-Up Play @ MoMA. Read more

A Sterling Collection: Japanese Tin Toys and Century of the Child

Bruce Sterling with his collection. Photo courtesy of Bruce Sterling

As adults, many of us hold onto a favorite toy or object associated with our childhood—a testament to the power of material objects to trigger memories and feelings. For some people the fascination becomes an obsession. In the case of Bruce Sterling, it was tinplate cars. Read more