Modernism in American Silver: 20th Century Design

Begin Date2006-06-18
End Date2006-09-24
CuratorsKevin W. Tucker
Last Harvested At2022-07-02
Credit LineOrganized by the Dallas Museum of Art. The exhibition was supported by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Publication of the exhibition catalogue was underwritten by The Tiffany & Co. Foundation. Additional support provided by The Container Store, Judith and Richard Bressler/The Bressler Foundation, Ajax Foundation, General Mills Foundation, and the Donor Circle membership program through leadership gifts by the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Dallas, Joan and Irvin Levy, and Dee and Vance Torbert. The opening event was sponsored by PaperCity. Promotional support provided by The Dallas Morning News.
LocationChilton Gallery 1
OrganizerDallas Museum of Art
Other VenuesSmithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery: September 16, 2005-January 22, 2006; Nevada Museum of Art: February 11-May 14, 2006; The Wolfsonian - Florida International University, Miami: November 17, 2006-March 25, 2007; The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis: April 22-July 15, 2007
DescriptionThe exhibition, organized by the Dallas Museum of Art, features more than 200 magnificent works mostly from the Jewel Stern American Silver Collection, which is part of the Museum's permanent collection and the world's most significant collection of modern silver. The works explore the creative development of the American silver industry's creative forays into modernist design. Kevin W. Tucker, The Margaret B. Perot Curator of Decorative Arts and Design of the Dallas Museum of Art, is the project director and co-curator. Jewel Stern, an independent scholar and Charles Venable, Deputy Director for Collections and Programs at Cleveland Museum of Art, are co-curators. "This is the first major exhibition to examine modernism's transformation of the definition of progressive silver design from the late 1920s through the end of the century," Tucker said. "Including the work of noted designers, as well as a host of heretofore little-known participants within the industry, the exhibition examines the significance of a largely dismissed era in manufactured silver and logically extends the Dallas Museum of Art's previous scholarly efforts in the field of American silver." The primary goal of Modernism in American Silver is to chart the stylistic design history of modern American production silver. The exhibition will also explore economic and cultural factors that influenced silver design, manufacture and marketing across more than seven decades and seven major thematic areas: The Modernist Impulse: Art Moderne; The Machine Age: Streamline Design; Modern Classicism; Naturalism: Scandinavian Influences; A New Look: Free Form and the 1950s; Future Dreams: The Space Age; The Boutique: Architects and Fashion Designers. The exhibition includes the works of widely recognized designers such as Eliel Saarinen, Robert Venturi, Michael Graves, Elsa Peretti and Richard Meier, and also will offer important revelations concerning the role of designers such as John Prip, Robert King, John Van Koert, Donald Colflesh and Tommi Parzinger, and a host of individuals whom were seldom recognized by the general public. Many of the works featured in the exhibition are from the Dallas Museum of Art's Jewel Stern American Silver Collection, the world's most significant collection of modern American silver. In addition to the exhibition, a book of the same title, authored by Jewel Stern and edited by Tucker and Venable, thoroughly catalogues the works and serves as an immensely important resource on American silver - more extensive than any other of its kind currently available. Beginning in the 1920s with the growing fascination in progressive European works, the "Modernism in American Silver: 20th-Century Design" catalogue will detail all aspects of the American silver industry's efforts to capture the market for modern design, resulting in a richer understanding of the transformation of the American silver industry and its explorations of various movements and styles. "Modernism in American Silver: 20th-Century Design," published by Yale University Press, is 392 pages and contains more than 300 color photographs. The national tour of Modernism in American Silver: 20th-Century Design opened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery (Sept. 16, 2005 to Jan. 22, 2006) followed by the Nevada Museum of Art (Feb. 11 through May 14, 2006). After Dallas, the exhibition travels to The Wolfsonian - Florida International University, Miami (Nov. 17, 2006 to March 25, 2007), and the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis (April 22 to July 15, 2007).