Midcentury Musings

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Midcentury musings

OPENING MAY 9TH, 2019, 5 - 7PM

Midcentury Musings: Design for a New Way of Living highlights how post-WWII designers were exploring and creating new ways of living.  Inspired by the excitement of a booming economy, population, and scientific innovations, designers stretched the imagination of how we interact with and define our living spaces. After the austerity of the war, returning soldiers and Americans at home experienced a time of blossoming.  It was an era of new breath and DIY, looking at the world through a different lens.  This was a period of growth and enthusiasm, highlighted by an economic boom, a baby boom, a housing boom, the GI Bill, and the space race. The country was connected by television and a new interstate. Innovations in technology and industry lead to more disposable income and leisure time.  An emerging upwardly mobile middle class took road trips and bought new homes in suburban tracts, while mass-production allowed more people to surround themselves with increasingly affordable “stuff” as symbols of this new world. The ideas orbiting this bold era of 1945 to the late 1960s continues to serve as a muse to us today.

This exhibition is inspired by the Denver Art Museum’s summer beacon exhibition, Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America, which explores how play was a catalyst for creativity and innovation in post-war design. In collaboration, CU Denver students and professors created educational interpretations on view here and at the Denver Art Museum.

Midcentury Musings is made possible by the support of Modmood: Midcentury and Modern Furnishings, CU Denver’s College of Arts & Media, and Denver Arts & Venues. A special thanks to the Denver Art Museum and Carla Hartmann of the Chairs Lady Studio, Michelle Carpenter, Ann Lambson, Bryan Leister, and Cydney Phan. 

Student employees at the Next Stage Gallery are generously sponsored by Stella Yu.


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