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Tejo Remy, designer (Dutch, born 1960). Droog Design, Design Cooperative, manufacturer, Amsterdam, Netherlands (founded 1993). Chest of Drawers “You Can't Lay Down Your Memory,” designed 1991, made 2005. Maple, other woods, painted and unpainted metals, plastic, paper, textile, 60 × 60 × 30 in. (152.4 × 152.4 × 76.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Joseph F. McCrindle in memory of J. Fuller Feder, by exchange, 2005.36. © Droog Design. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)


                           
                           Tejo Remy, designer (Dutch, born 1960). Droog Design, Design Cooperative, manufacturer, Amsterdam, Netherlands (founded 1993). Chest of Drawers “You Can't Lay Down Your Memory,” designed 1991, made 2005. Maple, other woods, painted and unpainted metals, plastic, paper, textile, 60 × 60 × 30 in. (152.4 × 152.4 × 76.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Joseph F. McCrindle in memory of J. Fuller Feder, by exchange, 2005.36. © Droog Design. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Tejo Remy, designer (Dutch, born 1960). Droog Design, Design Cooperative, manufacturer, Amsterdam, Netherlands (founded 1993). Chest of Drawers “You Can't Lay Down Your Memory,” designed 1991, made 2005. Maple, other woods, painted and unpainted metals, plastic, paper, textile, 60 × 60 × 30 in. (152.4 × 152.4 × 76.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Joseph F. McCrindle in memory of J. Fuller Feder, by exchange, 2005.36. © Droog Design. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

<p>Karl L. H. Mueller, designer (American, born Germany, 1820–1887). Union Porcelain Works, manufacturer, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York (1863–circa 1922). <em>Century Vase</em>, 1876. Glazed porcelain, enamel, gilding, 22<sup>1</sup>/<sub>4</sub> in × 10 in. (56.5 cm × 25.4 cm). Gift of Carl and Franklin Chace, in memory of their mother, Pastora Forest Smith Chace, daughter of Thomas Carll Smith, the founder of the Union Porcelain Works, 43.25. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)</p>

Karl L. H. Mueller, designer (American, born Germany, 1820–1887). Union Porcelain Works, manufacturer, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York (1863–circa 1922). Century Vase, 1876. Glazed porcelain, enamel, gilding, 221/4 in × 10 in. (56.5 cm × 25.4 cm). Gift of Carl and Franklin Chace, in memory of their mother, Pastora Forest Smith Chace, daughter of Thomas Carll Smith, the founder of the Union Porcelain Works, 43.25. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

<p>Roberto Lugo (American, born 1981). <em>Brooklyn Century Vase</em>, 2019. Porcelain, china paint, 18<sup>1</sup>/<sub>4</sub> × 13 × 13 in. (46.4 × 33 × 33 cm). Purchased in memory of Dr. Barry R. Harwood, Curator of Decorative Arts at the Brooklyn Museum, 1988–2018; H. Randolph Lever Fund, 2019.34. © Roberto Lugo. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)</p>

Roberto Lugo (American, born 1981). Brooklyn Century Vase, 2019. Porcelain, china paint, 181/4 × 13 × 13 in. (46.4 × 33 × 33 cm). Purchased in memory of Dr. Barry R. Harwood, Curator of Decorative Arts at the Brooklyn Museum, 1988–2018; H. Randolph Lever Fund, 2019.34. © Roberto Lugo. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

<p>Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (French, 1879–1933). Corner Cabinet, circa 1923. Kingwood (amaranth) veneer on mahogany, ivory inlay, 49<sup>7</sup>/<sub>8</sub> × 31<sup>3</sup>/<sub>4</sub> × 23<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> in. (126.7 × 80.6 × 59.7 cm). Purchased with funds given by Joseph F. McCrindle, Mrs. Richard M. Palmer, Charles C. Paterson, Raymond Worgelt, and an anonymous donor, 71.150.1. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)</p>

Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (French, 1879–1933). Corner Cabinet, circa 1923. Kingwood (amaranth) veneer on mahogany, ivory inlay, 497/8 × 313/4 × 231/2 in. (126.7 × 80.6 × 59.7 cm). Purchased with funds given by Joseph F. McCrindle, Mrs. Richard M. Palmer, Charles C. Paterson, Raymond Worgelt, and an anonymous donor, 71.150.1. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

<p>Gerrit Th. Rietveld, designer (Dutch, 1888–1964). G. A. van de Groenekan, manufacturer, De Bilt, Netherlands (1924–71). Armchair, circa 1917–18. Painted beechwood, 33<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> × 26 × 26 in. (85.1 × 66 × 66 cm). Designated Purchase Fund, 71.73. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)</p>

Gerrit Th. Rietveld, designer (Dutch, 1888–1964). G. A. van de Groenekan, manufacturer, De Bilt, Netherlands (1924–71). Armchair, circa 1917–18. Painted beechwood, 331/2 × 26 × 26 in. (85.1 × 66 × 66 cm). Designated Purchase Fund, 71.73. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

<p>Norman Bel Geddes, designer (American, 1893–1958). Revere Copper and Brass Company, manufacturer, Rome, New York (founded 1928). <em>”</em><em>Skyscraper”</em> Cocktail set and serving tray, designed 1934, manufactured 1935. Chrome-plated metal, 12<sup>3</sup>/<sub>4</sub> × 3<sup>5</sup>/<sub>16</sub> × 3<sup>5</sup>/<sub>16</sub> in. (32.4 × 8.4 × 8.4 cm). Gift of Paul F. Walter, 83.108.5a-c, .6, .14. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)</p>

Norman Bel Geddes, designer (American, 1893–1958). Revere Copper and Brass Company, manufacturer, Rome, New York (founded 1928). Skyscraper” Cocktail set and serving tray, designed 1934, manufactured 1935. Chrome-plated metal, 123/4 × 35/16 × 35/16 in. (32.4 × 8.4 × 8.4 cm). Gift of Paul F. Walter, 83.108.5a-c, .6, .14. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

<p>Carlo Molino, designer (Italian, 1905–1973). Apelli F.-Varesio L & Co., manufacturer, Turin, Italy (mid-20th century). Low Table, circa 1949. Maple plywood, glass, brass, 20<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> × 47<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> × 21<sup>1</sup>/<sub>4</sub> in. (52.1 × 120.7 × 54 cm). Gift of the Italian Government, 54.64.231a-c. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)</p>

Carlo Molino, designer (Italian, 1905–1973). Apelli F.-Varesio L & Co., manufacturer, Turin, Italy (mid-20th century). Low Table, circa 1949. Maple plywood, glass, brass, 201/2 × 471/2 × 211/4 in. (52.1 × 120.7 × 54 cm). Gift of the Italian Government, 54.64.231a-c. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Design: 1880 to Now

Decorative Arts Galleries, 4th Floor

This newly renovated gallery exhibits an exciting range of designers and manufacturers from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Forming a core area of our design and decorative arts collection of more than 30,000 objects, including furniture, ceramics, glass, and metalwork, the selected works offer competing visions of modernity, explore tensions between craft and industry, and demonstrate critical innovations in production. 

Design: 1880 to Now also expands upon the traditional Eurocentric narrative, particularly by examining issues of cultural appropriation across decorative arts mediums. In one key comparison, we pair a Brooklyn-made vase from the nineteenth century that privileges the story of white settlement in the United States, alongside one from 2019 that offers a more equitable and diverse history of our borough. Other groupings consider the exploitative trade in Asian ceramics for the pleasure of European consumers, or compare the opulence of French Art Deco design with the simplicity of mid-century modern bent plywood. At every turn, we reassess and critically reinterpret the collection by delving into the Museum’s long history, and how our own practices have changed over time. View these outstanding examples of over a hundred years of European and American design in a new way, with our open, modern, and accessible displays.

Design: 1880 to Now is organized by Aric Chen, independent curator and Curatorial Director, Design Miami, and Professor and Director, Curatorial Lab, Tongji University, Shanghai; with Shea Spiller, Curatorial Assistant, Arts of the Americas and Europe, Brooklyn Museum. Additional curatorial contributions provided by Catherine Futter, Senior Curator, and Elizabeth St. George, Assistant Curator, Decorative Arts, Brooklyn Museum.

Leadership support for this installation is provided by Dr. Susan Weber. Generous support is provided by Julian A. Treger.

The installation honors the late Dr. Barry R. Harwood, Curator of Decorative Arts at the Brooklyn Museum from 1988 to 2018.