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Key Works From The Collection On View for Special Exhibition Celebrating Sixteen Years of Acquisitions Under Chief Curator Emeritus David McFadden

Featuring Leading Postwar American and International Makers, From Well-Known Figures Such as Robert Arneson, Judy Chicago, Vincent Dubourg, Kim Schmahmann, Cindy Sherman, and James Turrell, to Cutting-Edge Makers Like Sebastian Brajkovic and Jennifer Trask, Among Many Others


New York, NY (March 10, 2014)

Featuring 70 works of sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, furniture, textiles and other media, Re: Collection celebrates the Museum of Arts and Design’s five years at Columbus Circle and Chief Curator Emeritus David McFadden’s sixteen years at the museum through objects acquired during his tenure. During McFadden’s years at MAD, the permanent collection has grown from 800 to more than 3000 objects, approximately 730 of which have been added in the last 5 years. On view from April 1 through September 7, 2014, Re: Collection will feature some of the most emblematic of these acquisitions and highlight the collection’s diversity—of materials and techniques, but also of makers—while revealing the multiple narratives at play behind each object.

A press preview and walkthrough for the exhibition will be held on Monday, March 31 from 5 to 6pm. Chief Curator Emeritus David McFadden and some of the artists will be present. 

"David’s curatorial vision has not only been defining for MAD over the last sixteen years, but also groundbreaking in establishing process and materials as wellsprings for creativity across the arts," says Glenn Adamson, MAD’s Nanette L. Laitman Director. "Re: Collection will highlight his positive impact on the Museum’s collection and acquisitions, and provide an opportunity for the greater public to engage with his singular vision."

Organized around several thematic threads, Re: Collection will examine McFadden’s curatorial methodology through personal recollections drawn from the permanent collection, and showcase acquisitions that embrace both MAD’s founding focus and McFadden’s farseeing vision of contemporary craftsmanship.

“Today, the MAD collection is international in scope and significance. I hope that this selection of works acquired from 1997 to today will engage people on many levels, revealing how and of what they were made, why there were made, and who was the individual who created them.” says David McFadden. “These works are personally very meaningful for me, and I trust that our visitors will share my enthusiasm for them.”

Re: Collection will explore the material and process-centered themes of McFadden’s exhibitions at MAD, 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 reframed the narratives around the specific possibilities of materials by revealing the interplay of formal concerns with social, political, narrative, and autobiographical content.

Highlights from the exhibition include the following works:

  • Terese Agnew’s Portrait of a Textile Worker (2005), sewn together out tens of thousands of donated designer labels, calls attention to the factory garment worker in Bangladesh, and underscores the process of creating while highlighting systems of production and the relationship between people and their “built” environment.
  • Judy Chicago’s huge tapestry The Fall (1993), a central work in Chicago’s landmark The Holocaust Project, addresses both the Holocaust and feminism through intertwined symbolism and imagery.
  • Paddy Hartley’s Lumley (2007), an embroidered World War I soldier’s uniform, incorporates medical and historical personal records, as well as research on facial reconstructive surgeries
  • Jennifer Trask’s exuberant Intrinsecus (2010), a large-scale installation that evokes a seventeenth-century “vanitas” still life, symbolizes the transitoriness of all life. Trask has created baroque flowers and foliage using natural materials that range from bison teeth and deer skulls to antler and cobra ribs.
  • Vika Mitrichenka’s Teaset "Victoria" no. 12 (2008), is a poignant and humorous commemoration of Mitrichenka’s elderly grandmother, who lovingly repaired (often incorrectly) pieces of her prized family china.
  • Kim Schmahmann’s Apart-Hate (2005-10), is a compelling document indicting apartheid as practiced in his native South Africa. The work features complex inlay, as well as original documents from the apartheid era. 
  • Paul Villinski’s Pilot (1995) repurposes workman’s gloves found on the streets of New York to evoke memories of loss and transfiguration, using the combined motifs of a bird’s wing and a broken child’s chair.


Re: Collection is organized by the Museum of Arts and Design and curated by Chief Curator Emeritus David Revere McFadden, in coordination with former Exhibitions Curator Dorothy Twining Globus.

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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