A new exhibition was unveiled this week at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Toys, games, small painted furniture, and books all featured in the showcase of 20th century design for children.
The exhibit, entitled Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000 opened last week and will run until November. It looks at the symbiotic relationship between children and the artists who designed for them. The museum’s curator Juliet Kinchin said: “We’re showing the two-way, very dynamic relationship between new concepts of childhood and children and new ways of thinking about design process and creativity. One of the amazing things that design can do is take you on a journey, and with children, they’re halfway there already, and design helps propel them that bit further.”
Everyday objects such as Lego, the Rubik’s Cube, Etch-a-Sketch and Slinky are part of the exhibit, along with painted furniture by Alvar Aalto, a chair by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, school desks by Arne Jacobsen and Jean Prouve and playground equipment by Isamu Noguchi. Curatorial assistant Aidan O’Connor said that he particularly enjoyed the painted furniture series personifying childhood misdeeds done in 1930 by Minka Podhajska and lent by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague.
Short of flying out to New York, we’ll wait to see the official photos from the exhibition (with a sneak peek above!) For our take on painted furniture, visit our website and have a look at our painted furniture collections.