The definitive collection including objects
from the estate of David Bowie
David Bowie, mourned by the world on his passing in 2016, was one of the most radical figures in recent popular culture. Memphis, founded under the leadership of Ettore Sottsass in Milan in 1981, was the most radical of all design groups. This exhibition brings them together. Bowie built up an extensive body of Memphis work over the years – iconic works by Sottsass and his colleagues, including Michele De Lucchi, Nathalie DuPasquier, Shiro Kuramata, and Martine Bedin. This exhibition, the largest gathering of Memphis objects ever presented in an American museum, includes over 75 examples, many from Bowie’s private collection. It is a fabulous opportunity to see Memphis as it should be seen – in profusion – and to experience the private world of a great pop visionary.
esherick to nakashima
The DNA of Modernism
The exhibition Esherick to Nakashima, was an introduction to two of America’s greatest furniture artists.
Both Wharton Esherick and George Nakashima were based in Pennsylvania, only thirty miles apart. Both created organic furniture of extraordinary quality and inventiveness. But they were also very different. Esherick was a sculptor who decided to make furniture; his innovations closely paralleled fine art movements like Cubism and Abstraction. Nakashima, by contrast, was a furniture maker who thought like a sculptor. His inspiration came from what he called “the soul of a tree,” which had a second life through his own creative force.
This exhibition, which was on view at the Modernism Museum in October 2015, featured our unparalleled collection of work by both artists, considering what defined their work, as well as the differences between them.
wharton to wendell
The debut exhibition of the Modernism Museum, Wharton to Wendell, opened in October 2013. It offered visitors an opportunity to experience two of the most iconic and influential American masters of modernism: Wharton Esherick and Wendell Castle. Both saw the potential for beauty in functional objects, embracing the sculptural possibilities of furniture forms. The exhibit was enhanced by an audio tour, allowing visitors to fully experience the artworks by providing insights into the artist's creative processes, and the natural melding of the aesthetic and the useful.