Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America

28 September 2018–6 January 2019

Exhibition Overview

Ray Eames with the first prototype of The Toy, 1950.

Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America explores the projects of over 40 designers who advocated for playfulness and whimsy within their creations for corporations, domestic interiors, and children. The exhibition presents play as a serious form of inspiration, experimentation, and problem solving. In midcentury America, such playful design occurred against the backdrop of a booming consumer market and as a counterbalance to Cold War–era anxiety. Furniture, toys, textiles, films, posters, ceramics are among the objects featured.

(Photo: Ray Eames with the first prototype of The Toy, 1950. © Eames Office LLC (eamesoffice.com))

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