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Fall 2014 Exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design

New York, NY (September 4, 2014)

Upcoming Exhibitions

What Would Mrs. Webb Do? A Founder's Vision
September 23, 2014 through February 8, 2015

Featuring a range of objects created over the past 60 years, the exhibition What Would Mrs. Webb Do? A Founder’s Vision celebrates Aileen Osborn Webb, who established the Museum of Arts and Design, then the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, in 1956. The exhibition explores how Webb, through her advocacy work at MAD and other leading institutions across the country and internationally, championed the skilled maker as integral to America’s future.

With over 100 works encompassing glass, ceramics, wood, metalwork, and fiber, nearly all from the Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition pays tribute to Webb while also illustrating the ongoing impact of her advocacy. Represented makers – all of whom directly benefitted from the support of Webb and others who shared her ideals -- include Sam Maloof and Joris Laarman (furniture); Jack Lenor Larsen and Lia Cook (textiles); Peter Voulkos and Jun Kaneko (ceramics); Harvey Littleton and Judith Schaechter (glass); and John Prip and Myra Mimlitsch-Gray (metal). What Would Mrs. Webb Do? also explores the contributions of Nanette L. Laitman and the Windgate Foundation, two key proponents for skilled makers today.

What Would Mrs. Webb Do? A Founder's Vision is organized by adjunct curator Jeannine Falino and curatorial assistant Barbara Gifford.

Support for What Would Mrs. Webb Do? A Founder's Vision is provided by Barbara Nitchie Fuldner, Barbara G. Fleischman, and Martha J. Fleischman. Additional support is made possible in part through the Collectors Circle, one of the Museum's upper level support groups.

Maryland to Murano: Neckpieces and Sculptures by Joyce J. Scott
September 30, 2014 through March 15, 2015

Bringing together Scott's neckpieces and blown glass sculptures for the first time, Maryland to Murano: Neckpieces and Sculptures by Joyce J. Scott examines Scott's prolific career, defined by her ever-evolving techniques, continued exploration of provocative narratives, and commitment to her craft. Maryland to Murano will be the first exhibition to examine the relationship between Scott's beaded and constructed neckpieces created in her Baltimore, Maryland studio and her more recent blown glass sculptures crafted in the Berengo Studio on Murano Island in Venice, Italy. On view from September 30, 2014 to March 15, 2015, this exhibition demonstrates the interplay between these two bodies of work and reveals the range of Scott's technique and skill as well as the complex relationship she has shaped among adornment, content and methodology.

Organized by MAD's Chief Curator Lowery Stokes Sims and curatorial assistant Sophia Merkin, the exhibition features 34 of Scott's neckpieces, including a collaboration with noted jeweler Art Smith, 3 beaded wall hangings, and 13 glass sculptures, most of which were created since 2009.

Maryland to Murano: Neckpieces and Sculptures by Joyce J. Scott is made possible through the generous support of The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation; Christopher K. Ho; the Rotasa Foundation; Constance R. Caplan, Mark Caplan, Cathy Caplan, and Jonathan Caplan; and Marcia and Alan Docter.

LOOT: MAD About Jewelry
October 6 through 10, 2014

This October, the Museum of Arts and Design presents LOOT: MAD About Jewelry, its annual exhibition and sale featuring a broad cross-section of designs from emerging and acclaimed international jewelry artists. Now in its 14th edition, LOOT has become a platform for new trends and innovations in studio and art jewelry across the globe, as well as the ultimate pop-up shop for contemporary artist-made jewelry, where collectors and jewelry enthusiasts have the rare opportunity to meet and acquire pieces directly from some of the most skilled creators in the field.

LOOT: MAD About Jewelry is in keeping with the Museum of Arts and Design's commitment to the exploration of materials and process, as well as its long-standing presentation of jewelry as an art form. MAD is the only American museum with a gallery dedicated to the display of both temporary jewelry exhibits and its own collection of contemporary and modern studio and art jewelry. Proceeds from LOOT: MAD About Jewelry benefit the Museum's exhibition and education programs.

LOOT 2014 is made possible through the generous support of Barbara Tober, Chairman Emerita and Chairman of the International Council at the Museum of Arts and Design; Silver Institute| Silver Promotion Service; and Carnegie. Opening event sponsored by the Consulate General of Argentina in New York. Travel generously supported by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft, and Art in Latin America
November 4, 2014 through April 6, 2015

The term "new territories," as evoked by Italian architect and designer Gaetano Pesce, refers to the state of making in today's globalized society, a phenomenon that has helped to spur a confluence of art, design, and craft. The exhibition New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft, and Art in Latin America examines this trend in several distinct cities throughout Latin America—including Mexico City and Oaxaca, Caracas, San Juan and San Salvador, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Havana and Santiago and Buenos Aires—where some of the most pertinent new directions in arts and design are emerging today.

Among the issues that New Territories explores is the commitment of young artists and designers to work with small manufacturing operations, and indigenous and folk craftspersons to foster skills in a given society. The specific collaborations among these entities have the effect of addressing issues of commodification and production, but also of urbanization, displacement, and sustainability. The exhibition will explore a number of key themes, including: the dialogue between contemporary trends and artistic legacies in Latin American art; the use of recycled and repurposed materials and objects; the blending of digital and traditional skills; and the reclamation of personal and public space.

New Territories is organized by MAD's Chief Curator Lowery Stokes Sims, who worked with a curatorial advisory committee of noted experts on Latin American art and design. The exhibition follows on MAD's groundbreaking 2010 exhibition The Global Africa Project, which presented new craft, design, and art in a format that transcended nationality and regionalism and affirmed the existence of new nomadic identities. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated, full color catalogue that will be published by Turner Libros of Madrid and Mexico City.

Major support for New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America is provided by the Ford Foundation and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. Additional support is provided by Karen and Charles Phillips, Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund, The Venezuelan American Endowment for the Arts, the Consulate General of Brazil in New York, The Louise D. and Morton J. Macks Family Foundation, the Mex-Am Cultural Foundation, the Consulate General of Argentina in New York, and Ch.ACO, Contemporary Art Fair of Chile. Support for the exhibition website is provided by Phillips.

Ongoing Exhibitions 

NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial
Through October 12, 2014

NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial spotlights the creative communities thriving across the five boroughs today. The exhibition showcases the work of approximately 100 makers—highly inventive artisans, artists, and designers who create objects or environments through exquisite workmanship and skill. Exemplifying the Museum's ongoing commitment to craftsmanship across all creative fields, the exhibition serves as a platform not only for makers who typically display their work in a museum setting, but also those who operate behind the scenes.

The 21st-century maker has flattened traditional hierarchies and escaped rigid categories of production through post-disciplinary practices and the innovative application of skill and technique. NYC Makers presents a sweeping cross-section of the cultural production of these inventive individuals, living and working within a single city. Makers were nominated by a pool of over 300 New York City-based cultural leaders and civic figures from a range of trades and disciplines, including museum curators, choreographers, academics, chefs, musicians, and journalists, with final participants selected by a jury led by Adamson and exhibition curator Jake Yuzna. From world-renowned cultural leaders to emergent enfants terribles, every maker selected demonstrates the highest level of skill in their respective field, whether by fabricating furniture or fashion; creating artworks, films, and architecture; inventing new possibilities for food; or reshaping educational and social gatherings.

The exhibition is structured as a series of immersive tableaus that presents the diverse creative output of makers alongside one another. These environments house live programs throughout the exhibition's run, including fashion shows, performances, social practice projects, and culinary explorations, which underline the relationship between material and immaterial making found in New York City today. Through this approach, NYC Makers transforms MAD into a production studio that links creative, innovative, and skillful makers into one immense collaborative undertaking: an undertaking that manifests the cultural capital of New York.

Organized by Jake Yuzna, Director of Public Programs, NYC Makers inaugurates a new series of MAD exhibitions that will examine the culture of making and highlight the contributions of the makers who shape contemporary life.

Support for NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial is provided by Autodesk; AlixPartners; Jack and Shirley Silver; Zabar's; Tiffany & Co.; Dan Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser; Goldman Sonnenfeldt Foundation; Siegelson, New York; Ken Spitzbard; and Jill Bokor and Sanford Smith. In-kind support for the exhibition has generously been provided by Maharam. Additional thanks to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the Official Airline of MAD.

Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography
Through September 14, 2014

Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography is the first museum exhibition to explore how contemporary jewelry artists transform and add new meaning to the pervasive images of this digital age. Drawing inspiration from historic daguerreotypes to manipulated digital images, international jewelry artists explore changing views of beauty and the human body; examine social, political, and cultural issues; probe perceptions of memory and desire; and question the broader relation of jewelry to society and personal identity, issues central to the contemporary experience.

More than 80 renowned artists from over 20 countries are represented—including Gijs Bakker, Wafaa Bilal, Jordan Doner, Mari Ishikawa, Jiro Kamata, Sooyeon Kim, Iris Nieuwenburg, Kara Ross, Gabriela Sanchez, Bernhard Schobinger, Bettina Speckner, Joyce Scott, Kiff Slemmons, Andy Warhol and Noa Zilberman.

The connection between photography and jewelry extends back more than 150 years to the invention of the photographic process. The exhibition will provide historical context for this evolving relationship by presenting outstanding nineteenth-century pieces, many of which have never before been exhibited. In recent years, both photography and art jewelry have changed dramatically, and the exhibition will present cutting-edge videos and installations that will provide viewers a broader perspective of contemporary jewelry now.

Support for Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography has been provided by Hasselblad, Kara Ross NY, Betsy Z. and Edward E. Cohen, Washington Square Hotel, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, Creative New Zealand, Janet Kardon, and Frame Finland, as well as through the generosity of the Inner Circle, one of the Museum's leadership support groups. Additional thanks to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the official airline of MAD.

Re: Collection
Through September 7, 2014

MAD celebrates the fifth anniversary of its move to 2 Columbus Circle with the special exhibition Re: Collection. The exhibition surveys Chief Curator Emeritus David McFadden’s sixteen years at MAD through objects acquired during his tenure. During McFadden’s years at MAD, the permanent collection has grown from 800 objects to more than 3,000; In the past 5 years alone, since MAD’s move to 2 Columbus Circle, approximately 730 objects that exemplify the imaginative transformation of materials have been added to the collection.

Working in coordination with former Exhibitions Curator Dorothy Twining Globus, McFadden has selected approximately 68 works of sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, furniture, and textiles, many of which are definitive works by key postwar American and international makers. The selection ranges broadly, from well-known figures such as Robert Arneson, Judy Chicago, Vincent Dubourg, Kim Schmahmann, and James Turrell to cutting-edge makers like Sebastian Brajkovic and Jennifer Trask, among many others.

Re: Collection also explores some of the material and process-centered themes of McFadden’s exhibitions, such as Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting; Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary; Dead or Alive: Nature Becomes Art; Slash: Paper Under the Knife; Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities; and Swept Away: Dust, Ashes, and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design. These successful exhibitions have allowed MAD to reveal how the creative process firmly links formal concerns with social, political, narrative, and autobiographical content. In a cultural moment defined by its openness, McFadden has provided a cogent method for rethinking narratives around the specific possibilities of materials and making. Re: Collection examines this curatorial methodology, presenting it as a series of personal recollections drawn from the MAD permanent collection.

Major support for Re: Collection has been provided by the Windgate Charitable Foundation, with additional support from the Collectors Circle, a leading Museum support group. Additional thanks to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the official airline of MAD.


The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields, presenting artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill to their work. Since the Museum's founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum's curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving 21st-century innovation, fostering a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design.

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