Last Weekend for MoMA’s Designing Modern Women 1890-1990 Exhibition

MoMA‘s Designing Modern Women 1890-1990 exhibition shines a spotlight on women’s influence on 20th-century design with a vibrant installation featuring pieces designed by over 60 women and drawn entirely from MoMA’s collection. While celebrating the diversity and creativity of individual artists, the exhibition also serves as a unique overview of women’s journey as they asserted and developed their place in modern design.

As an exhibition that walks guests through time, it is important to understand where women were in society in 1890, when women were starting to insert themselves in the world of design. Even though women’s rights organisations were emerging around the world, the professional field was segregated and encouraged women to tend house while leaving men to handle creative and intellectual endeavours.

Juliet Kinchin, curator of the Department of Architecture and Design, takes visitors from the early days of women’s design to Bauhaus to the era of digital design. Throughout the exhibition there are salient periods that stand out among the rest, such as the postwar era when opportunities arose for women designers to build and design, aided by increased focus on design and craft studies in schools. The new prosperity of the postwar era is also responsible for producing a taste for modern design and innovative household decorations that continue to influence design philosophies of today.

From posters and furniture to textiles and decorations, Designing Modern Women covers a variety of eras, messages and styles illustrating the far-reaching and creative skills women have contributed to 20th-century design.

Designing Modern Women 1890-1990 ends its year-long run at MoMA on Sunday, October 19th.

Christina Thornell

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