Gallery 170, Modern and Contemporary Art, first floor
This installation celebrates Collab's thirty years of enthusiastic support for contemporary design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A collaboration of design professionals, Collab is dedicated not only to enriching the Museum's collections with outstanding examples of industrial design, but to making them accessible to the general public and design community.
Collab's generosity has resulted directly in the Museum's acquisition of some 75 objects, with scores of others obtained for the Museum from private individuals and corporations through Collab's influence. Not only will this installation underscore the important role that Collab has played in enabling the Museum to build a distinctive design collection, it will provide a glimpse of the variety of materials, techniques and styles characterizing innovative design throughout the world and over the course of the last century.
Among the highlights selected for Collab Collects are a necklace by jewelry designer Tone Vigeland (Norwegian, born 1938) that is composed of small squares of oxidized silver strung on a flexible mesh wire; an icon of postmodernism known as the "Casablanca" sideboard, created by Ettore Sottsass, Jr. (Italian, born 1917) for his Milanese design group Memphis; Poul Henningsen's (Danish, 1894–1967) "PH Artichoke" lamp, constructed of overlapping copper flaps and manufactured by Louis Poulsen & Co.; and a rare, high back bent plywood armchair designed about 1931–32 by architect Alvar Aalto (Finnish, 1898–1976).
As the Museum's 125th anniversary year draws to a close, we salute Collab's accomplishments in preserving new and historic design, and their role as champion and promoter of design at the Museum and in Philadelphia.
Diane Minnite • Research Assistant, European Decorative Arts after 1700