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Collab: Four Decades of Giving Modern and Contemporary Design

May 21, 2011–October 21, 2012

The Philadelphia Museum of Art's collection of modern and contemporary design is one of the largest and most important in any American museum. It has evolved from its late-nineteenth-century roots as an industrial arts collection in service to the advancement of American industries into an assemblage that includes some of the finest examples of European, American, and Japanese design. Essential to the collection's development and continued vitality is Collab, The Group for Modern and Contemporary Design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Since its founding in 1970, Collab has been an enthusiastic partner in supporting the acquisition and promotion of modern and contemporary design at the Museum. The generosity of its members and the proceeds from its fund-raising activities have resulted in the Museum's acquisition of more than 250 objects— including inspired masterworks by designers such as Alvar Aalto, Charles and Ray Eames, Frank Gehry, Ettore Sottsass, Jr., and Philippe Starck—with scores of others obtained from private individuals and corporations through Collab's influence. This exhibition highlights Collab's gifts from the last four decades, celebrating the organization's contributions to the Museum as well as presenting a chronological overview of modern and contemporary design in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Main Building


This exhibition was made possible by Lisa S. Roberts and David W. Seltzer.


Diane L. Minnite, Collections and Research Assistant, European Decorative Arts after 1700

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