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Description: Women Designers in the USA, 1900–2000: Diversity and Difference
THE BARD GRADUATE CENTER is honored to present Women Designers in the USA, 1900–2000: Diversity and Difference. This groundbreaking project considers—and celebrates—the multifaceted and largely underrecognized contributions of women designers to American culture in the twentieth century. Encompassing a broad definition of design that extends from industrial design...
PublisherBard Graduate Center
PublisherYale University Press
Director’s Foreword
The Bard Graduate Center is honored to present Women Designers in the USA, 1900–2000: Diversity and Difference. This groundbreaking project considers—and celebrates—the multifaceted and largely underrecognized contributions of women designers to American culture in the twentieth century. Encompassing a broad definition of design that extends from industrial design to film costumes, the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue bring together the richly varied work of designers from many different social and ethnic backgrounds. They not only created objects of beauty and originality, but together they also helped shape the design professions and redefine the concept of “women’s work.” By focusing on diversity and difference, this project challenges the hierarchy of the arts and the eurocentrism of scholarship surrounding them. It is our hope that Women Designers in the USA will help elucidate women’s roles in twentieth-century design while stimulating additional exploration of this exciting field of study.
The idea for Women Designers in the USA was first proposed by Shelby White of the Bard Graduate Center Executive Planning Committee. She deserves a large measure of credit for its coming to fruition, as do Barbara and Richard Debs, who sponsored the initial research that launched the project. I am most grateful to Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown for underwriting this beautiful catalogue and to all the other sponsors of this project: the CAP Foundation, The Charles Engelhard Foundation, Barbara Goldsmith, Judith Leiber, Grace and Shepard Morgan, Laura and Nick Microulis, Pfizer Inc, Daniel and Joanna S. Rose, the Reba Judith Sandler Foundation, Tiffany & Co., The Timex Corporation, Linda Van Kooy, Murray Weber, and an anonymous donor.
To represent the work of women designers in the twentieth century required the generous support of many lenders. I am grateful to the museums, galleries, design companies, and other concerns for the loans they have made to the exhibition: The African American Museum in Philadelphia; Alternative Design, Jersey City, New Jersey; American Craft Museum, New York; American Indian College Fund, New York; American Museum of Natural History, New York; Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery, Santa Fe; Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University of the City of New York; The Black Fashion Museum, Washington, D.C.; Brooklyn Museum of Art; The Cleveland Museum of Art; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Taylor Museum; Condé Nast Publications, New York; Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York; Cornell University Library, Ithaca, New York; The Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (Archives; Art Museum; and Educational Community); Dallas Museum of Art; Denver Art Museum; Dorothy Draper and Company, New York; Eastman Kodak, Rochester, New York; Ellen McCluskey Associates, New York; Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley, Beatrix Joseph Farrand Collection; Estate of Lois Mailou Jones; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York; Franklin D. Roosevelt Library—Museum, Hyde Park, New York; The Frick Collection, New York; F. Schumacher and Company Archives, New York; Fuller Museum of Art, Brockton, Massachusetts; Gansevoort Gallery, New York; The Gillette Company, Boston; The International Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, The Helen and Robert Cargo Collection; Historical Design, New York; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe; Jim Henson Productions, New York; John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library and Museum, Boston; Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut; Julie: Artisans’ Gallery, New York; Knoll Museum, East Greenville, Pennsylvania; Knoll Textiles, New York; Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts (Billy Rose Theater Collection), The New York Public Library; McMillen, Inc., New York; Margo Chase Design, Los Angeles; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Media Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, Massachusetts; Mendocino County Museum, Willits, California; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts; The Mitchell Wolfson Jr. Collection, The Wolfsonian—Florida International University, Miami Beach; The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts/The Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts; The Museum of the City of New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Nancy Goslee Power and Associates, Santa Monica; Nevada Historical Society, Reno; Nevada State Museum, Carson City; Perkins Design Limited, Mountain View, California; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; School of American Research—Indian Arts Research Center, Santa Fe; Martha Schwartz, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts; Smithsonian Institution, The Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; Sussman/Prejza and Company, Culver City, California; Tanner’s Indian Art, Gallup, New Mexico; Tiffany and Company, New York; Timex Corporation, Middlebury, Connecticut; United States Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, D.C.; Universal Studios (Archives and Collections), Universal City, California; University of Arizona Special Collections, Tucson; The University of Chicago Library; Unika Vaev, New York; Wallace Library, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York; Washington Design, Brooklyn; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven.
Many individuals were also most generous in lending objects from their collections: Sandra S. Adams, Genevieve Allen Aguilar, Diana Balmori, Renée Beggsmith, Rosalie Berberian, Susan Billy, Ayse Birsel, Thomas J. Blumer, Carol Devine Carson, Cara Croninger, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Mareia Docter, Michele Oka Doner, R. A. Ellison, Daphne Farago, Natalie and Greg Fitz-Gerald, Sheryl Gorman, Stephen Gray, Toni Wolf Greenbaum, April Greiman, Sandy Grotta, Peggy Gruen, Dorothy Hafner, Sylvia Harris, Marilyn Henrion, Frances Stewart Higgins, Donna Karan, Gere Kavanaugh, Bernarda and Felicisimo Labaco, Kay and Michael Langan, Judith Leiber, Emanuela Frattini Magnusson, Wendy Maruyama, Carolyn L. Mazloomi, Rebeca Méndez, Myra Mimlitsch-Gray, Mrs. Jervey D. Royall, Hiroko Sato-Pijanowski, Wesley Snipes, Lauren Sweder, Vivienne Tarn, Cledie Collins Taylor, Lucille Lozada Tenazas, Isabel Toledo, Patricia Underwood, Lella Vignelli, Denise and Samuel Wallace, Rose Piper Wheeler, Barbara D’Arcy White, Fo Wilson, Jean and Jim Young, and an anonymous lender.
The success of the project required a hardworking and committed team. Pat Kirkham has been the guiding force behind its realization. As editor, author, and curator she has brought fine scholarship, insight, and passion to this difficult and challenging task. She has also introduced multimedia and new areas of design (film costume and production design, and landscape design) to our gallery. She benefited from the advice of a small group of consultants including Jacqueline M. Atkins, Joanna Bigfeather, Jeannine Falino, Lynn Felsher, Toni Greenbaum, Wendy Kaplan, the late Richard Martin, Shauna Stallworth, and Lynne Walker, and she had the support of two exceptional assistants, Ella Howard and Ronald Labaco.
This comprehensive publication was made possible by the contributions of twenty-one scholars. I would like to thank Jacqueline M. Atkins, Whitney Blausen, Eileen Boris, Cheryl Buckley, Leslie Rose Close, Edward S. Cooke Jr., Jeannine Falino, Toni Greenbaum, Judith B. Gura, Ella Howard, Wendy Kaplan, Pat Kirkham, Pamela Kladzyk, Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Ellen Lupton, Mary Schoeser, Eric Setliff, Penny Sparke, Shauna Stallworth, Valerie Steele, and Lynne Walker. Martina D’Alton did a skillful job as line-editor and assisted with the book’s production.
We were fortunate to have a talented group of women designers working on this project. I appreciate the fine creative input of Ellen Lupton, design director of the catalogue. Deborah Sussman, Jennifer Stoller, and Ana Llorente-Thurik of Sussman/Prejza and Company created the remarkable context line that affords a sweeping view of developments in different aspects of women’s history in the twentieth century. It also places many of the objects in the exhibition within this context. Patrick Seymour, designer of the catalogue, and Vicki Latimer Roan, of Tsang Seymour Design coordinated the complex production of Women Designers in the USA. I would also like to thank Sally Salvesen and John Nicoll of Yale University Press in London for their support and assistance. A dedicated and talented crew in the Bard Graduate Center assisted with many aspects of the exhibition preparation and installation. I would like to extend a special note of thanks to Steve Waterman, Steven Berkhart, Janet Hawkins, Alissa Warshaw, and Han Vu for their expertise and professionalism.
The staff of the Bard Graduate Center contributed substantially to the success of this project. In the exhibition department, Nina Stritzler-Levine, exhibitions director, was truly committed to the project, attending to the myriad logistical details of the exhibition and general matters relevant to the catalogue. Dana Bielicki helped coordinate photographic requests and exhibition loans. Susan Wall, assisted by Tara D’Andrea, directed the fundraising effort, and Tim Mulligan, working with Polly Giragosian, coordinated the publicity campaign. Lisa Podos orchestrated the marvelous public programs with the assistance of Jill Gustafson and Lee Talbot. Jason Petty organized the exhibition tours. Lorraine Bacalles assisted by Dianora Watson, oversaw many financial matters. I also appreciate the excellent care and maintenance of the gallery that is provided by the facility and security staff at the Bard Graduate Center.
Director’s Foreword
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