Installation view of Humble Masterpieces at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: John Wronn

This exhibition features nearly 120 simple objects, from Post-It® notes to paper clips, Band-Aids to Bic pens. We use items like these every day, but chances are we will not pay them much attention. While modest in size and price, these objects are indispensable masterpieces of design, deserving of our admiration.

The Museum of Modern Art currently has close to 3,800 design objects in its collection, ranging from a helicopter to a microchip and including not only precious silverware and furnishings, but also hundreds of objects from the daily lives of people around the world. Among the very first design objects acquired by the Museum, in 1934, was a group of more than one hundred simple industrial objects, such as springs and calipers, that had been shown in the exhibition Machine Art that year. Some of these are on display in Humble Masterpieces, along with other acquisitions made as recently as this year.

Organized by Paola Antonelli, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design.

Installation views

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

If you would like to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA, please contact Scala Archives (all geographic locations) at firenze@scalarchives.com.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.