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Three Must-See Modernism Exhibits March-April 2017

Winter brought strong winds of opinion in art press coverage and heated debate on the  21st century role and dynamic of museums. There has been a cultural call to arms to “connect art to life” and move from “passive to active” curatorship to re-engage the viewer. Here are three dynamic and captivating exhibits on view in New York that will show the latest in museum creativity and inspire you to connect with the objects and the periods they represent.

Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design
The Jewish Museum
Through March 26th

Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968
The Museum at FIT
Through April 15th

The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s
Jeweled Splendors of the Art Deco Era: The Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection
Cooper Hewitt
Opening April 7th

Get ready to be transported to the future of museum experience at the Jewish Museum’s Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design. The exhibition design by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (the architecture firm behind the High Line) includes “real” and “mediated” experiences, luxurious virtual reality environments that can be seen alongside the actual decorative arts. Put on one of four “VR” goggles and experience the fabulous haute bourgeoisie Paris interiors of Pierre Chareau (1883-1950), the French art-deco/modernist designer to the urban elite known best for his famous Maison de Verre/“Glass House”, 1928-1932.


Head to The Museum at FIT for more French forward-thinking design at Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968 which examines the significant role that Paris played during one of the most groundbreaking periods in fashion history during the meteoric rises of Lagerfeld, Cardin, Saint Laurent, Rykiel, Rabanne, de Givenchy, Courrèges amongst others.  All objects on view were selected from The Museum at FIT’s permanent collection of more than 50,000 objects. Highlights include the A-line “trapeze” dress, 1957, designed by Yves Saint Laurent who at twenty-one was made creative director of Christian Dior. His first solo collection for Dior ushered in an unmistakable shift toward more relaxed and ultimately more youthful designs—and with it, dramatic changes to the couture fashion industry.


Take a look at American modernism-  The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s/Jeweled Splendors of the Art Deco Era: The Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection at the Cooper Hewitt is the first major museum exhibition to focus on American taste during the creative explosion of the 1920s. The Jazz Age is a multi-media experience of more than 400 examples of interior design, industrial design, decorative art, jewelry, fashion, and architecture, as well as related music and film. Jeweled Splendors of the Art Deco Era includes over 100 extraordinary examples of cigarette and vanity cases, compacts, clocks and timepieces, and other luxury objects from the premier jewelry houses of Europe and America. Personal gifts from Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (1933–2003) to his wife, Catherine (b. 1938), the collection was amassed over three decades and displays innovation and creativity of the art deco era at its most luxurious.


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