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Museum of Arts and Design to Present Annual Visionaries! Awards at its MAD Ball on November 11, 2014

The Evening Will Honor Artist Michael Aram, Artist Richard Dupont, Gallerist and Collector Barry Friedman and Design House Ligne Roset

New York, NY (October 29, 2014)

On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, the Museum of Arts and Design will host the 2014 MAD Ball, celebrating four influential creators and leaders in the art, craft and design industries, whose work personifies the Museum’s mission to explore and celebrate contemporary making and skilled craftsmanship across all media:

  • Michael Aram, artist and founder of Michael Aram, Inc., which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014.
  • Artist Richard Dupont, in recognition of his remarkable innovations in the arts and the field of digital design.
  • Barry Friedman, who for the last 50 years as gallerist and collector has dealt with art and artists from the late 19th century to the present.
  • Ligne Roset in honor of the more than 150 years of the company’s rich design heritage and dedication to craftsmanship.

This year’s Visionaries! Awards will celebrate a year of exciting leadership with new Director Glenn Adamson. Reflecting MAD’s mission to celebrate innovation and excellence across all creative disciplines, MAD is honoring a range of artists, designers and artisans, as well as the enterprises and patrons who support them.

“It’s an honor for the museum to award such leaders and creators, who epitomize MAD’s commitment to contemporary craftsmanship, innovation and creativity,” said Lewis Kruger, Chairman of the Board of the Museum. “The outstanding achievements of this year's honorees have influenced the creative world at large and will continue to reverberate in our everyday lives.”

The Museum commissioned artist Miriam Ellner to create the awards this year. Ellner, one of the foremost designers working in the ancient technique of Verre Eglomisé, the process of gilding precious metals on the reverse side of glass, was featured in the recent exhibition NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial, which spotlighted the wildly diverse creative communities thriving across the five boroughs today. Ellner has created a special series of sculptures, “Light Catchers,” which are elegant gilded glass seed-like forms, set in a bronze structure that moves to capture the changing light where they are installed.
To highlight the Museum’s mission of championing contemporary creativity across all disciplines, this year’s MAD Ball will inaugurate the Makers Showcase: an engaging platform where a selection of artists will present live demonstrations. Artists-Makers this year include photographer Benjamin Fredrickson; ceramicist Zack Davis, and pastry chef Olivier Dessyn of Mille-Feuille Bakery.

The MAD Ball is the Museum’s most important annual fundraiser, supporting MAD’s exhibitions and educational programs. Every year, the Gala honors leaders and innovators in the fields of art, design, philanthropy and business. Proceeds are directed to the support of MAD’s arts education programs. This year, MAD expects to serve nearly 10,000 children, grades K-12, from underserved communities. Each year, more than 500 guests, including arts patrons, artists, designers and noted corporate and civic leaders, attend the event.  

The MAD Ball will be held at Pier Sixty in New York City on Tuesday, November 11th. The festive evening will begin at 6:30 pm with cocktails, the Makers Showcase and a silent auction, followed by dinner, the awards presentation and live entertainment at 7:30 pm. Tickets to the MAD Ball 2014 may be purchased or by contacting Stephanie Lang at 212.299.7729 or

About the Honorees

Michael Aram
Michael Aram, artist and founder of Michael Aram, Inc., will be honored for his enduring contributions to the world of home décor, as well as his legacy of over two and a half decades of fine craftsmanship, sculpture and innovation; in particular through his work inspired by traditional Indian craft. In celebration of the 25th anniversary year of Michael Aram Inc., Aram has revisited his roots artistically with his Atelier sculptures, lighting, furniture and, most recently, fine jewelry. 

Richard Dupont
An innovator throughout his career, artist Richard Dupont has opened up new avenues of expression in a variety of media including sculpture, drawing, installation, painting and printmaking. His work with digital technologies and fabrication methods, was recently highlighted in MAD’s exhibition Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital. One of the first to incorporate the advanced technologies so widespread today in the fields of Art and Design, Dupont’s work has always maintained a critical position in relation to our rapidly changing digital culture.

Barry Friedman
After almost fifty years of representing art and artists, an era has come to an end with the closing of Barry Friedman Ltd, a long-established presence in the international art world. Recognized as a visionary dealer with a collector’s eye, Friedman has continually forged new paths in the decorative arts field. MAD is pleased to honor Friedman’s lifetime devotion to introducing American audiences to great objects, ranging from 19th century decorative art to important contemporary fine art works.

Ligne Roset
Ligne Roset will be honored by MAD in celebration of the company’s rich design heritage and dedication to craftsmanship.  The Museum recognizes Ligne Roset’s ongoing commitment to technical innovation and its tradition of artful designer collaborations with both established and up-and-coming talents to create award-winning designs for the contemporary interior, epitomizing a bold, beautiful and design-forward lifestyle since their inception in 1860. 

Past Honorees of MAD’s Visionaries! Awards have included:

  • Architects and Designers Ron Arad; Michael Graves; Vladimir Kagan; Todd Oldham; Joyce and Maya Romanoff; Frank Stella; Lella and Massimo Vignelli; Marcel Wanders
  • Business Leaders Denis Abrams, CEO, Benjamin Moore; George Beylerian, Material Connexion; Daniel L. Doctoroff, President of Bloomberg, LP; Jean-Louis Dumas, the late chairman of Hermès; Karyn Khoury, Senior Vice President, Corporate Fragrance Development Worldwide, Estee Lauder Companies; Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide; Kenneth A. Himmel, CEO, Related Companies; Robert King, Founder and CEO, Humanscale; Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., CEO of the Kohler Company; Martha Stewart, CEO of Martha Stewart Living; Burton M. Tansky, CEO of Neiman Marcus; Claudio Luti, Chairman of Kartell ; Wilfried Vancraen, founder and CEO, Materialise
  • Artists El Anatsui; Dale Chihuly; Ruth Duckworth; Sophie Grojsman; Sam Maloof; William Morris; Lino Tagliapietra; Toshiko Takaezu; Lenore Tawney; Peter Voulkos; David and Sybil Yurman; and Eva Zeisel
  • Arts Patrons Jerome Chazen; Ella Fontanals-Cisneros; Rick Kinsel; Executive Director, the Vilcek Foundation; Nanette L. Laitman; Henry Luce III; and Barbara Tober

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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