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Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America Opens at the Grand Rapids Art Museum

Classic Designs from Florence Knoll, Harry Bertoia and Eero Saarinen Showcased

May 26, 2014

Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America, an exhibition that highlights the industrial and design history that positioned Michigan at the epicenter of mid-twentieth century modern design, is now on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The exhibition “brings together hundreds of landmark design objects, fascinating photographs, concept drawings and video documentation of the leading figures and historical developments in architecture, industrial design, and furniture.”

The display includes a number of classic pieces from Knoll, including the Florence Knoll Table Desk, introduced in 1961; the Bertoia Diamond Chair, designed by Harry Bertoia in 1952; and the Saarinen Executive Chair, designed by Eero Saarinen in 1950. The pieces highlight how industry and design intertwined to influence “nearly every aspect of American life.”

An additional special feature of the Grand Rapids representation is a focus on design for outdoor recreation, including boat design, playgrounds and experimental tents and camping gear.

Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America will be on display through August 24, 2014 at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, located at 101 Monroe Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Gallery hours are, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Thursday from 10am to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 5pm.