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Museum of Arts and Design Commissions Artist Bennett Bean to Design Limited Edition Rug Series for Museum Store

New York, NY (May 14, 2009)

In celebration of MAD’s inaugural year at 2 Columbus Circle, artist Bennett Bean, best known for his work as a ceramic artist, has turned the same breathtaking design and color sensibility found in his vessels to create “9 for ‘09”, a limited edition rug series to be sold exclusively in The Store at MAD and at The Store on line at

The “9 for ‘09” collection will have its unveiling at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) from May 16 – 19,2009 in New York and Bennett Bean and Elizabeth Rand will introduce their designs on Thursday, June 4, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, at a special evening in The Store at MAD, located at 2 Columbus Circle. The event is open to the public and those who become museum members on that evening will receive a 20% discount on their purchases. For information, contact 212.299.7700.

Designed together with Elizabeth Rand of Bennett Bean Studio and Franci Sagar, Vice President of Retail and Brand Development at MAD, this exclusive collection is made of 100-knot Tibetan silk and wool and will be offered exclusively at the Store at MAD. A 5’ x 7’ rug will retail for $5200 and custom sizes will be available on request.

Bennett has a longstanding relationship with the Museum, which showcases several of his works in its permanent collection. About his commission for the Museum, Bennett says: "The Museum offered me a wonderful opportunity to explore the connection between my ceramic motifs and my rug designs. Working on this project was truly a pleasurable experience, and I am pleased with the designs that I developed with my collaborators, Elizabeth Land and Franci Sagar”.

“I’ve admired Bennett’s work as far back as the late 70’s when we worked together in my first business, Surroundings, on the Upper West Side, and then later when I opened ZONA in Soho“, states Franci Sagar VP of Retail and Brand Development, The Store at MAD. “He has a truly unique sense for color and form and everything he touches is infused with spirit and life.

Bennett is an artist who has mastered many techniques, from the heart-stopping glazes he creates for his pots, to his pure metal garden implements, to his inspired paintings and now his exceptional rug design, his work is unique and masterful.

Having developed an international reputation for his ceramics and work in the design field, Bennett Bean has turned his attention to rug design when he bought a Tibetan rug in 1997. He describes this experience making rugs by saying, “Making these rugs has been a little like falling in love; it starts with a chance event and then begins to take over your life. Each year you learn more and the relationship becomes richer.”

Bennett Bean Studio’s rugs came into their own with the recognition of the “Red Zed” rug in the Metropolitan Home’s Design 100 issue in 2003. Bennett Bean Studio rugs are artist rugs. They are not based on current trends of home decor, but rather come from personal experience and interest in forms and colors. They are a cross-pollination of the many and varied ideas and products coming from the members of Bennett Bean Studio and are developed by both Bean and Elizabeth Rand who joined the studio in 2004.

BENNETT BEAN is a quintessential American polymath. He is best known as a ceramic artist (for his treatment of vessels post firing); but works in a range of media including stone, precious metals, wool and silk weaving, paper, parchment and painting. He was formally trained in fine art and has been making things, prolifically, since 1960, full time in studio for that last 25 years. His work is represented by numerous galleries as well as in major museum collections nationwide including the Museum of Art and Design, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the White House Art Collection.

ELIZABETH RAND received her training at Kansas City Art Institute in Fiber. Her experience in textile techniques and as a mixed media artist supports her contribution to both the concept and design of these rugs. She is a design partner with Bennett Bean Studio and acts as both collaborator and technician in the design and production of their wool and silk rugs.

The Store at MAD is an original voice in New York City offering a distinctive presentation of well-designed craft and design objects. Dedicated to building a bridge between its customers, the makers and their work, The Store presents objects that celebrate materials, craftsmanship and the process of design. The Store’s product selection crosses many diverse categories and allows for a changing representation of many well-known and emerging designers, as well as the exposure of affordable design to a new audience.

The Store at MAD is an integral part of the Museum. In keeping with the Museum’s mission to explore how craft, art and design intersect, The Store works closely with the Museum’s curators to select and showcase artists who preserve the essence of “made by hand”, while utilizing some of the latest design technology in the execution of their concepts. Unique products that celebrate the materials and transformative processes through which artists and designers create objects to enhance our contemporary life are at the core of The Store’s presentation.

The Museum of Arts and Design explores how craftsmanship, art, and design intersect in the visual arts today. The Museum focuses on contemporary creativity and the ways in which artists and designers from around the world transform materials through processes ranging from the handmade to cutting edge technologies.

The Museum’s exhibition program explores and illuminates issues and ideas, highlights creativity and craftsmanship, and celebrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by creative and innovative artists. MAD’s permanent collection is global in scope and focuses on art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day.

At the center of the Museum’s mission is education. The Museum’s dynamic new facility features classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars, and workshops for students, families and adults. Three open artist studios engage visitors in the creative processes of artists at work and enhance the exhibition programs. Lectures, films, performances and symposia related to the Museum’s collection and topical subjects affecting the world of contemporary art, craft and design are held in a renovated 150-seat auditorium.


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