There are 3 Days until Thoughts on Democracy opens at The Wolfsonian!
In addition to Thoughts on Democracy, another exhibition will open at The Wolfsonian-FIU on July 5th:
A BITTERSWEET DECADE: THE NEW DEAL IN AMERICA, 1933–43
On view beginning July 5, 2008 through January 19, 2009, A Bittersweet Decade commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of the New Deal, considers the impact of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s programs on American culture and explores how the government’s patronage of art, design, and architecture were integral parts of the larger project of the New Deal, which aimed to spur recovery from the Great Depression and change American society.
Thoughts on Democracy and A Bittersweet Decade kick-off The Wolfsonian's Celebrating America exhibition season. To find out more about the Celebrating America series of exhibits,
THE WOLFSONIAN-FIU ANNOUNCES ITS 2008-2009 ‘CELEBRATING AMERICA’ EXHIBITION SEASON
MIAMI BEACH, FL (April 29, 2008)―The Wolfsonian-Florida International University announces its upcoming exhibition season, “Celebrating America”. Comprised of a series of exhibitions examining the social, political, and cultural American experience from the 1930s to the present, “Celebrating America” showcases four exhibitions: A Bittersweet Decade: The New Deal in America, 1933-43; Thoughts on Democracy; American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow; and The American Automobile Scene.
A Bittersweet Decade: The New Deal in America, 1933-43 (July 5, 2008-January 19, 2009)
Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the New Deal, A Bittersweet Decade: The New Deal in America, 1933-43 considers the impact of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs on American culture. The exhibition, on view July 5, 2008 through January 19, 2009, explores how the government’s patronage of art, design, and architecture were integral parts of the larger project of the New Deal, which aimed to spur recovery from the Great Depression and change American society. Drawing largely on the resources of The Wolfsonian–FIU, and complemented by the collections of local and national supporters, including Martin Z. Margulies, Jason Schoen, Frederic A. Sharf, and Wolfsonian founder Mitchell Wolfson, Jr., this exhibition showcases the range of art and design generated by New Deal programs. Paintings, sculpture, prints, posters, mural studies, photographs, books, models, furniture and a variety of other objects will be on view. Special attention is given to the impact of the New Deal on South Florida, through murals for local post offices, the building of county parks, the establishment of the Key West artists’ colony, and the construction of the Overseas Highway, among other projects.
The exhibition is accompanied by the book, The New Deal in South Florida: Design, Policy, and Community Building, 1933-1940. This compilation of essays, published by the University Press of Florida, explores how local organizations with federal assistance re-shaped the South Florida landscape. It is co-edited by FIU faculty members John F. Stack, Jr. and John A. Stuart and includes essays by landscape architect Ted Baker, Wolfsonian chief curator Marianne Lamonaca, and Cornell University professor Mary Woods, as well as by the two editors.
Thoughts on Democracy (July 5, 2008-December 7, 2008)
The Thoughts on Democracy is comprised of posters created by fifty-five leading contemporary artists and designers, invited by The Wolfsonian to create a new graphic design inspired by American illustrator Norman Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” posters of 1943, copies of which were recently gifted to the museum by Leonard A. Lauder. Some of the participating artists involved in the project are Neville Brody, Seymour Chwast, Wim Crouwel, Elliott Earls, Richard Tuttle, Lawrence Weiner, Paula Scher, Francesco Vezzoli, Chip Kidd, and Italo Lupi, among others. Rockwell’s images, reproduced by the U.S. Office of War Information for mass dissemination, communicated FDR’s vision of “a world founded upon four essential human freedoms,”—Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. The exhibition will be on view and free to the public in the museum’s lobby from July 5, 2008 through December 7, 2008. Thoughts on Democracy will highlight contemporary notions of democracy. The project will culminate with an event celebrating democracy during the prestigious 2008 Art Basel Miami Beach festival.
American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow (October 23, 2008-May 17, 2009)
Running concurrently with the other two exhibitions, and on view October 23, 2008 through May 17, 2009, is American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow. This exploration of the streamlined style in America is arranged thematically according to the spheres of life – the office, manual labor, home, and recreation. Although it focuses on the 1930s and ‘40s, the period during which streamlined design developed in the United States, the exhibition also presents streamlining in design today. The exhibition offers a fresh appraisal of its subject, placing the achievements of its best-known exponents – among them Norman Bel Geddes, Henry Dreyfuss, Raymond Loewy, and Walter Dorwin Teague – squarely alongside the contributions of lesser-known but significant designers such as Lurell E. Guild, Clifford Brooks Stevens, Harold Van Doren. The exhibition posits that the streamlining of the 1930s is properly understood as a unique stylistic expression.
The most comprehensive traveling exhibition on the subject to be circulated, it is comprised of more than 150 objects—many never exhibited before—including furniture, ceramics, industrial design, original drawings, and book designs. The exhibition makes a case for the vigor of streamlining in today’s design. Among the contemporary designers represented are Jasper Morrison (Thinking Man’s Chair, 1986); Ross Lovegrove (Go Chair, 1999); and Scott Patt (Air Max Contact sneakers for Nike, 2001).
American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, published by Flammarion, Paris. The catalogue provides a scholarly account of the history of streamlining from the 1930s to the present, chronicles the social and stylistic thoughts of the periods, and provides detailed analyses of all the artifacts featured in the exhibition. Available in English and
French editions, the 280-page book features 400 illustrations with essays by David A. Hanks and Anne Hoy, adjunct associate professor, New York University. It is for sale in The Wolfsonian’s Dynamo Museum Shop.
The American Automobile Scene (April-September 2009)
The year-long celebration concludes with The American Automobile Scene, an engaging exploration of automobile design in America from the 1920s through the 1940s, to be presented from April to September 2009. The exhibition examines the role of the automobile in shaping modern American culture. On view will be skillfully and elegantly rendered artworks for concept and production cars; sculpted car models; drawings for automobile showrooms, filling stations, bridges, and roadways; and illustrations for automobile advertisements. These original artworks, together with advertising brochures, auto industry periodicals, and other printed ephemera, will provide audiences with the opportunity to explore how designers and manufacturers of automobiles influenced consumer perceptions. They will also convey the social, political, and economic context of this volatile time period characterized by the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression through the Second World War.