No matter where you find yourself, there is always a source of inspiration nearby, from the exterior of a building, to the beauty of everyday objects, an interior of a hotel or nature that surrounds us. But for those who have an appetite for inspiration from artefacts that have shaped movements in a the history of design – there are a number of museums and exhibits that provide just that. Here are a few of my top 5 places to see for design minds. If you love having an insight into the works of a specific artist’s life or to have a 360 view of the movement of certain types of pieces, then have a read below of these noteworthy places to see.
Located in Long Island City, Queens – the Noguchi Museum formally known as the Noguchi Garden Museum was founded by Isamu Noguchi himself in 1985 and showcases Noguchi’s lifetime of work. Notably, the museum which had been purchased in 1974 in the former state of a derelict abandoned factory, is now widely viewed as one of the artist’s greatest achievements. This museum was the first of its kind where a living artist established, installed and designed their own exhibit. As you walk through the gardens & building, you will see a number of his sculptural works. Popular works that you may recognise are Globular 1928, Coffee Table (IN-50) 1994, or Bird Song 1952 (cast 1985).
The home of landscape architect, James C. Rose who was best known for his fusion of indoor and outdoor spaces. Once called by an author as “The James Dean of Landscape Architecture”, Rose worked as a landscape architect in New York & eventually had his own practice, moved on to private homes, which didn’t stray too far from his home in Northern New York or New Jersey. This 20th century New Jersey home is open for exhibition where one will find works like the 1943 Playwood Sculpture by Mid-Century design couple, Charles and Ray Eames. This exhibition is organised by Object & Thing and furniture and interior design studio Green River Project LLC. Surrounded by a beautiful lush landscape, this home is also reminiscent to Japanese architecture & uses natural materials that embrace a sense of calm and serenity in his work.
The Vitra Design Museum is definitely on the list of places to see for anyone that is interested in either the history of furniture design, interior design or architecture. Not only is the museum building itself designed by Frank Gehry, but the museum houses an impressive collection of works by some of the most renowned designers like Alvar Aalto, Verner Panton, Marcel Breuer, Arne Jacobsen etc. Currently The Vitra Design Museum is running an Installation by Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis named Colour Rush!. Marcelis takes an approach that embraces a new perspective on the collection and cross references both periods and styles. The utilisation of colour throughout the exhibit not only creates an enjoyable experience for visitors, it also draws connections in Marcelis use of colour in her own work.
Originally designed by architect Ernö Goldfinger in 1939 for himself & his family to use, this build reflects the modernist era & showcases his innovative designs that served as great inspiration during its time. This modernist architect was most known for his brutalist works made of reinforced concrete, which were built mostly in the east & west parts of London. A novel fact about Ernö Goldfinger, was that Ian Fleming, the British writer most known for his James Bond Series, named one of his character after him, based on the similarity of both the character & architect’s supposedly bad temperament. 2 Willow Road, now run by the National Trust has large scale windows, linear interior architecture & lots of beautiful wood panelling aside from showcasing an impressive collection of 20th art works.
Lastly, a must see for Danish Design Enthusiasts, is none other than the Danish Design Museum. Mostly exhibiting with an emphasis of 20th & 21st century works, this museum houses a range of categories, from fashion, porcelain to household items. One of the major attractions for visitors is the museums range of furniture, the Danish Chairs is the most well known parts of the museum from its permanent collection. The Danish Chair – An International Affair exhibit, showcases around 110 chairs, notably from household names like Hans J. Wegner and Arne Jacobsen. Each chair is exhibited all together but individually in their own unit which makes from an incredible visual of comparison.
Article by www.houseofmccarthy.com