MoMA
Posts by Aidan O’Connor
December 1, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
Rabbit, Rabbit

One of a series of WWII propaganda posters in MoMA's collection encouraging the British home front to raise rabbits at home on a diet of kitchen scraps...and then eat them. Poster designed by Frederick H. K. Henrion (British, 1914–1990), c. 1941

Everyone likes rabbits. Their fluffy tails. Their twitchy noses. From Peter Rabbit to Roger Rabbit, Bugs Bunny to the Easter Bunny, Watership Down to David Lynch’s surreal 2002 series Rabbits, the creatures have been anthropomorphized constantly in literature, film, and popular culture. Because they are so widely appealing, we feel extremely uncomfortable when we see rabbits encounter cooking pots, like in Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero, or at the hands of Glenn Close as manic bunny boiler in Fatal Attraction. Small wonder then that during World War II the British Government had to persuade reluctant consumers about the nutritional and money-saving benefits of raising rabbits for food.

November 10, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
What Shall I Cook? The Dessert Competition

Contestants competing in the Pillsbury Bake Off baking contest in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York. 1949. Source: Google/LIFE Photo Archive. Photograph by Lisa Larsen

At our recent Kitchen Culture event, a public program in conjunction with the Counter Space exhibition, over 100 people enjoyed an amazing dinner prepared by Executive Chef Lynn Bound of the Art Food cafés and the Cafe 2 team. (Video of the dinner and accompanying entertainment, plus an interview with Chef Lynn, to come in future posts!) The delicious meal was inspired by a recipe book, shown here, with significant ties to the centerpiece of our exhibition, the Frankfurt Kitchen.

November 3, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
In the Bag

Brown Bag

The research subject: a brown paper bag. Simple, right? Nope.

After Counter Space opened, an AP reporter brought it to our attention that a reader was disputing the attribution of a brown paper bag on display in the exhibition.

October 20, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
Mystery Solved: Counter Space Film Stills Identified!

Many thanks to the Counter Space fans who contributed over the past few weeks to our Mystery Film Still Contest. We were thrilled by the speed and enthusiasm of your responses! Now we are happy to announce—and sincerely congratulate—the winner, Richard Finegan of Framingham, MA, who identified ALL of the film stills.

October 13, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
Juliet Kinchin on The Martha Stewart Show: It’s a Good Thing!

Juliet Kinchin with Martha Stewart on the set of The Martha Stewart Show last week (October 6)

Here’s a fun update: Counter Space Curator Juliet Kinchin recently made an appearance on The Martha Stewart Show! The episode that aired on Wednesday, October 6, was dedicated to modern kitchens and kitchen organization, and Juliet starred in a seven-minute segment to discuss the exhibition, with a focus on the Frankfurt Kitchen. You can watch the video on Martha’s website, and read her review of the show in the Observer.

October 6, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
Mystery Film Still Contest!

Mystery Film Still No. 1

We are very lucky to have the resources and colleagues we do here at MoMA, but sometimes we need extra help. For example, our much-loved exhibition title, Counter Space—to give credit where credit is due—was provided by Architecture & Design superfan Andrew Ashwood. Now we need YOUR help with another kitchen-y project…and why not add some fun by making it a contest?

September 28, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
The Curse of the Kitchen

Still from the music video The Frankfurt Kitchen. 2008. Black and white, sound. 3:42 min. Music, words, paintings, and script by Robert Rotifer. Animation, camera, and production by Lelo Brossmann and Stefan Csaky (Shock & Awe Video Productions, Vienna). Courtesy Robert Rotifer and Lelo Brossmann

In our last post, we highlighted the larger-than-life lady at the entrance to the Counter Space gallery. Now we’d like to give some background on the music video on the opposite side of the entrance. Juliet and I came across the music video for Robert Rotifer’s “The Frankfurt Kitchen” (2008) early in our research and were thrilled to make contact with the artist, who incidentally will be coming to perform the song at our public program Kitchen Culture on October 28.

Now to Rotifer in his own words…

September 22, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
Kitchens of the Future

Barnes & Reinecke (Chicago, established 1934). Publicity photo for Future Kitchen scale model. c. 1946. Silver gelatin print. The Museum of Modern Art. Architecture and Design Study Collection. Photo: Charles McKinney, Chicago

If you have been to visit Counter Space here at the Museum, then you have already met this woman. We do not know her name—though we’d welcome any information out there!—but her image, blown up from floor to ceiling, provided a perfect photo-mural for our title wall.

September 13, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
There Will Never Be Enough Counter Space…

Hello, Juliet and Aidan here. We’ll be posting here regularly to share behind-the-scenes stories and to expand on themes and objects explored in the Counter Space exhibition, as well as to feature some bits that did not make the final cut.