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Midcentury Modern Exhibition


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Brazos Projects cordially invites you to preview the exhibition

Mid-Century Modern Revisited

Design: 1943-1953

Thursday, September 23, 2004

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

2425 Bissonnet Street

Mid-Century Modern Revisited gathers sixty works of furniture and


arts made by twenty designers from eight countries. Most are early

production examples; all are from Houston collections.

The exhibition continues through November, 2004.

Press Release:

Brazos Projects Announces A Mid-Century Modern Design Exhibition

Includes Vintage Furniture, Ceramics, Glass, Plastic & Other Work by

Over 20


Brazos Projects, a non-profit organization supporting literary and

Artistic events in Houston, Texas, announces its Fall, 2004 exhibition,

Mid-Century Modern Revisited: Design 1943 - 1953. The exhibit, which opens Friday,

September 24, 2004, and remains on view through Sunday, November 28 will

offer viewers a unique and wide-ranging introduction to one of the most

creative and influential ten years in the history of contemporary design.

Unlike other mid-century surveys that lean heavily on work from the 1950s

and beyond, the nearly sixty pieces in this exhibition, furniture, ceramics,

glassware, metalwork, plastic and lighting, by more than twenty significant

designers in eight countries, are all from the decade that begins in 1943.

In almost every case, the furniture and objects are early production examples. All come from private collections.

Twentieth-century architecture and design were reinvigorated in the

Years after the Second World War. Despite a shortage of some resources,

Architects and designers sought out the latest materials and industrial processes

To produce simple, utilitarian work that was both beautiful and

affordable. The search for new forms and methods can be seen at Brazos Projects in the nine pieces by Charles and Ray Eames. To the Eameses, every new medium was an opportunity waiting to be met. The mass-production of molded wood, for example, was first achieved in the plywood Leg Splints they designed for the U.S. Navy, 1942-44. (There are two in the exhibition, one still in its original package.) As the Eameses mastered plywood furniture, among it, the exhibit's molded Plywood

Folding Screen (1946) they took on the new challenges of plastic, and then

metal. At Brazos Projects, a pair of plastic Shell Chairs (1950), one with arms,

one with the "Eiffel Tower" base, illustrates the variations available in

most Eames designs. Their steel-framed Eames Storage Units (1949-50) will be

exhibited in both versions: the one sheathed in eye popping primary

colors, the other in neutrals. While both have the early angle iron leg, each

has a different combination of dimpled plywood sliding doors, crossed wire

supports, and masonite and perforated metal panels. (Elements in these

cabinets are mirrored in Case Study House #8, designed by the Eameses

in the late 1940's.) Most of Ray and Charles Eames' furniture has remained in

production, its popularity undiminished, to this day.

Other designers and their work, it's a veritable who's who, include

George Nelson's modular cabinet on a chest of drawers, and his classic slat

bench; Eva Zeisel's sensuous "Museum White" dinnerware service; Gio Ponti's

bold, angular steel flatware; and Russel Wright's rarely seen ruby-colored

"Pinch" glassware.

Brazos Project's exhibition coincides with the twentieth anniversary of

Mid-Century Modern, Cara Greenberg's 1984 book that both lent a name to

The decorative arts of the middle of the last century, and encouraged their

serious examination. Mid-century modern museum exhibitions,

publications and specialty shops, shows and auctions have validated the significance of the work, and continue to foster a growing appreciation for these pieces. Ironically, this architect-designed furniture, meant to be mass

produced and affordable, has now become scarce and valuable.

Mid-Century Modern Revisited continues Brazos Projects' exploration of

twentieth-century furniture and design that began with its first

exhibition, Donald Judd: Furniture (2000), and continued with Frank Gehry:

Furniture (2000), The Cantilevered Chair (2001), and George Nakashima: Furniture

(2003). The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10 - 6. Brazos Projects is located at 2425 Bissonnet Street, near

Kirby, in Houston, Texas.

For a selection of images, visit www.brazosprojects.org


For more information, or for color transparencies, call Karl Kilian


523-0701 or Don Browne (713) 942-7171.

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