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MoMA

EXHIBITIONS

What Was Good Design? MoMA's Message, 1944–56

May 6, 2009–January 10, 2011

Architecture and Design Galleries, third floor

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At mid-century MoMA played a leading role in the definition and dissemination of so-called Good Design, a concept that took shape in the 1930s and emerged with new relevance in the decades following World War II. This installation presents selections from MoMA's design collection that illuminate the primary values of Good Design as promoted (and disputed) by museums, design councils, and department stores. Iconic pieces by designers like Charles and Ray Eames and Hans Wegner are shown alongside more unexpected items, such as a hunting bow and a plumb bob, as well as everyday objects including an iron, a hamper, a rake, a cheese slicer, and Tupperware.

Organized by Juliet Kinchin, Curator, and Aidan O’Connor, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.

The exhibition is made possible by Design Onscreen, the Initiative for Architecture and Design on Film, Denver.

Media support provided by Modern Magazine.
Charles Eames and Ray Eames. Full Scale Model of Chaise Longue (La Chaise). 1948. Hard rubber foam, plastic, wood, and metal, 32 1/2 x 59 x 24 1/4" (82.5 x 149.8 x 87 cm). The Museum of Modern Art. Gift of the designer

Charles Eames and Ray Eames. Full Scale Model of Chaise Longue (La Chaise). 1948. Hard rubber foam, plastic, wood, and metal, 32 1/2 x 59 x 24 1/4" (82.5 x 149.8 x 87 cm). The Museum of Modern Art. Gift of the designer