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JenScan « MAD Blog
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Posts by JenScan

Studio in a Time Capsule

Wall in Erica Rosenfeld's studio

Erica Rosenfeld's piece, Ladies of Ellendale, Cake of the Month Club, 1953, is a time capsule...which looks a lot like her studio. Read on for a glimpse at her workspace and some potent vintage inspiration.

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How instability and decay can lead to good design

Cast Light: a single long-life LED light bulb cast within a solid cubic volume of white gypsum cement. Photo courtesy Snarkitecture.

Decay/collapse - ruin/construction - instability/precariousness. While you might think that these phrases would be the end result of bad design, for Brooklyn-based design firm Snarkitecture, they were the beginning of some challenging, thought provoking, and entirely innovative design. To find out more, and to see some examples, read on.

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handful of salt loves beauty in all things

2005_45

I had the opportunity to give a tour of Beauty in All Things to Regina Connell from a handful of salt. She said such nice things in her subsequent post, that we thought we would share them here!

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Taiwanese Artists in Open Studios

Su Su-jen's beautiful bamboo lamp

The three craftspeople in the studios represent a great cross-section of the kinds of activity taking place in Taiwan. They were brought over by the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute, which has been working hard to promote their craftspeople as an economic and cultural resource.

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What was the Studio Craft Movement, anyway?

Anni Albers, Sheep May Safely Graze, 1959. Collection of the Museum of Arts and Design

A recent comment on the “Making It Real” blog was “What is the Making it Real exhibition about and when will it take place?” The short answer is: Making it Real will be at MAD from October 12, 2011, until January 15, 2012, and will look at the emergence of the American Studio Craft Movement in the period after World War II. But that begs the question—what was the studio craft movement? So today’s blog is a (short, I promise) history lesson about how and why crafts went from being a necessity to being a choice. Along the way, I will also explain how we came up with the title.

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Make Yourself Right at Home: “Mid-Century Style and Studio Pottery”

mid-century credenza with pots

Today's post is written by a guest blogger, Sarah Archer, who is the Director of Greenwich House Pottery. She writes about their current exhibition, "Mid-Century Style and Studio Pottery," up now through February 10. The exhibition is a must-see for mid-century modernism addicts (I personally would like to move right into the period room she installed), who can also get a fix at tonight's program at MAD, organized by Sarah.

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Making It Real with Robert

Philip Lloyd Powell, Hanging Cabinet and Sideboard, ca. 1960

As you may have heard, Robert, MAD’s fabulous new restaurant with its spectacular view of Columbus Circle, has finally opened. You may not know that the restaurant is named after Robert Isabell, the famed events planner involved in the project who died unexpectedly in 2009. In reading articles about his death in the New York Times , and later information about the auction of his property at Sotheby’s, we realized another link we had with Robert—he loved many of the artists that we are including in Making It Real.

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Heath Ceramics

Heath Casseroles from the 1950s [from American Craft Magazine]

When we visited San Francisco to do research for this exhibition, a visit to the Heath Ceramics factory in Sausalito was a must. Heath Ceramics was represented with a stoneware saucepot in Craftsmanship in a Changing World, the Museum of Art and Design's inaugural show (at the time it was called the Museum of Contemporary Crafts).

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Craft in the Service of Worship

Ibram Lassaw, Eternal Light, 1956; Copper sheet covered with bronze and chromium bronze; The Jewish Museum, New York

The church (and by “church” I mean all religious groups) has historically been an important patron of the arts, and we found that this was especially true in the postwar period when many new churches and synagogues were built. So, we are including a section in Making it Real of “Craft in the Service of Worship.”

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Re-inventing Fiber

Lenore Tawney in 1959

As we prepare our show, we are often struck by the impressive personal stories of the artists we are planning to include. With this in mind, we wanted to share a bit about fiber artist Lenore Tawney.

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