Partners In Design: Alfred H. Barr Jr. and Philip Johnson
Sep 28 2016 - Dec 18 2016
Philip Johnson and Alfred Barr, Lake Maggiore, Switzerland, April 1933. © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, New York
Organized by the Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design, Montréal, in collaboration with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Partners in Design: Alfred H. Barr Jr. and Philip Johnson is the first exhibition to explore a pivotal development in the evolution of American design: the collaboration between the first director of the Museum of Modern Art Alfred Barr, who taught the first undergraduate course in modern art at Wellesley College in 1926, and Philip Johnson, MoMA’s first curator of architecture. Together these men endeavored to bring modernism to North America, particularly the innovative ideals of rational and functional design developed at the Bauhaus school at Dessau, Germany between the World Wars I and II. Barr and Johnson experimented personally with modernism in their own residences and went on to organize influential exhibitions at MoMA on Modern Architecture, Machine Art, Bauhaus: 1919–1928, and the Useful Objects series that introduced a broader audience to new ways of thinking about domestic space and design in the twentieth century. The exhibition features furniture from Barr’s and Johnson’s apartments, examples of Bauhaus graphic design, as well as an array of objects celebrated for their design in Barr’s and Johnson’s influential exhibitions at MoMA.
The exhibition has signature organizational support from the Terra Foundation for American Art, as well as support from public and private funders including the Birks Family Foundation and the Drummond Foundation. Support for the catalogue was provided by the Phyllis Lambert Foundation, the Council for Canadian American Relations, the Lee Anderson Memorial Foundation and Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.
The presentation at the Davis Museum is indebted to David Hanks, Curatar of the Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design. It has been organized by Mark Beeman, Manager of Exhibitions and Collections Preparation, and Lisa Fischman, Ruth Gordon Shapiro ’37 Director; and generously supported by the Sandra Cohen Bakalar ‘55 Fund, the Alice Gertrude Spink Art Fund (1963), and Wellesley College Friends of Art at the Davis. Our thanks to Knoll, Inc. for the loan of furniture designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the duration of the exhibition at the Davis.
Faculty Gallery Talk: ​Partners in Design
Thursday, November 3, 2016 | 4:00pm | Davis Galleries
Wellesley College faculty members Patricia Berman, Theodora L. and Stanley H. Feldberg Professor of Art, and Alice Friedman, Grace Slack McNeil Professor of American Art, will discuss modern art, architecture and design on view in the special exhibition, Partners in Design.
Lecture:​ The Philip Johnson Glass House: An Architect in the Garden
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 | 6:30pm | Collins Cinema
Join Maureen Cassidy­-Geiger ‘78 for an illustrated presentation of her new book, The Philip Johnson Glass House: An Architect in the Garden, the first comprehensive history of the architect’s sublime 49­acre suburban estate, evolved between 1946 and 2005, in partnership with David Whitney. Known chiefly for its iconic centerpiece, the site features a dozen Johnsonian follies, sculptures by Donald Judd and Julian Schnabel, three ‘antique’ houses, and a pastoral landscape of meadows, marshland, mature trees, and historic rock walls. A magnet for architects, artists and high society, the Glass House was, at once, salon, showpiece, and laboratory. It was also a fertile setting for a succession of short­lived gardens designed and tended by Whitney over four decades. Maureen Cassidy-­Geiger ‘78 is an internationally recognized curator, scholar and educator with special expertise in European decorative arts, patterns of collecting and display and the history of architecture, gardens and photography.
Co-­hosted by the Wellesley College Art Department.
TERRA Foundation for American Art
Media Coverage Fall 2016

(As of October 27, 2016)

The Boston Globe, Friday, October 7, 2016
Postwar photojournalism that had the look