Media Archive: 2015 Exhibitions

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Preview Silver to Steel

 Contact: Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Preview Silver to Steel
Exhibition reveals the untold story of a preeminent mid-century designer

“His ‘Normandie’ pitcher is one of the prime examples of Art Deco streamlining…. [He] designed a blender for Waring that soars like the Chrysler Building.” The New York Times

Silver to Steel: The Modern Designs of Peter Muller-Munk
November 21, 2015–April 11, 2016

Press Preview
Friday, November 20, 2015
9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.

Please contact Jonathan Gaugler to RSVP.
gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Encounter the bold, stylish allure of Peter Muller-Munk’s most successful designs in Silver to Steel at Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA). The industrial designer and his eponymous firm designed stylish, modern, highly-functional products—cookware, appliances, tools, and devices—during America’s booming mid-century years. For scores of national clients, his designs tapped new markets, refreshed century-old brands, and employed materials and methods, new and old, to refine production and improve user experiences.

CASE STUDIES

Griswold: Aluminum Pots for a Cast Iron King

The Symbol line of cast aluminum cookware (porcelain-enameled steel lids), 1962, was designed by Peter Muller-Munk Associates to help client Griswold, a leader in cast iron cookware since 1865, meet the demands of the contemporary hostess for informal yet stylish oven-to-table entertaining. Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of Jewel Stern; Photo: Dallas Museum of Art

The Symbol line of cast aluminum cookware (porcelain-enameled steel lids), 1962, was designed by Peter Muller-Munk Associates to help client Griswold, a leader in cast iron cookware since 1865, meet the demands of the contemporary hostess for informal yet stylish oven-to-table entertaining. Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of Jewel Stern; Photo: Dallas Museum of Art

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3 silver bowls header

Peter Muller-Munk’s remarkable modern silver

Contact: Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Peter Muller-Munk, a young German émigré craftsman, became one of the most celebrated modern silversmiths of the 1920s and 1930s. Opening November 21, 2015, Silver to Steel: The Modern Designs of Peter Muller-Munk features the most complete museum presentation to date of his remarkable hand-wrought works. In 1926, the 22-year-old Muller-Munk sailed to New York and immediately secured a position as a silversmith at Tiffany & Co. Within a year, he struck out on his own, establishing a studio in Greenwich Village, and began producing sophisticated works for the luxury market. By 1929 his silver had entered the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Newark Museum and had been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Silver to Steel reunites these revered objects with masterworks from private collections in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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The Propeller Group; Still from The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music, 2014; video, color, sound, 21 min.; Carnegie Museum of Art; A.W. Mellon Acquisition Fund

Captivating new video work opens October 23

The Propeller Group: The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music
October 23–February 15, 2016
Forum Gallery

Pittsburgh, PA…Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) presents a special evening screening and talk with artist collective The Propeller Group to open its fall Forum Gallery exhibition, The Propeller Group: The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music on October 22. The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music is a spectacular visual and musical journey through the fantastical funerary traditions of South Vietnam. Created by The Propeller Group, and recently acquired by CMOA, the video follows brass band musicians, spiritual mediums, professional criers, and street performers through the mournful and euphoric public ceremonies of a multi-day wake: a set of colorful rituals that resonate with funeral traditions in New Orleans and other parts of the “global south.”

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Modernism in Pittsburgh

Progressive Pittsburgh embraced modern art, architecture, and design

Pittsburgh, PA… Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) announces a group of exhibitions, running concurrently fall and winter, 2015–2016, celebrating modernism in Pittsburgh. Through extensive archival research, these exhibitions show a mid-century industrial city brimming with innovative architecture and design. They remind us that Pittsburgh has always been a hub of technology and creative industries, with developments here entering national conversations.

Concepts in Steel, 1961–63, consisted of dozens of renderings by Peter Muller-Munk Associates assembled as a brochure for US Steel to promote innovative ideas to architects and developers. PMMA archives; (C) United States Steel Corporation. Used with Permission

Concepts in Steel, 1961–63, consisted of dozens of renderings by Peter Muller-Munk Associates assembled as a brochure for US Steel to promote innovative ideas to architects and developers. PMMA archives; (C) United States Steel Corporation. Used with Permission

Hot Metal Modern: Design in Pittsburgh and Beyond (Charity Randall Gallery, opens September 26) is an excellent point of departure. The installation reveals the significant contributions of Pittsburgh-based designers and manufacturers in the development of 20th-century modernism.

HACLab Pittsburgh: Imagining the Modern (Heinz Architectural Center, September 12, 2015–May 2, 2016) is a bracing revelation. Using archival photography, drawings, and ephemera, this experimental presentation contextualizes the arrival of modern architecture in Pittsburgh during the 1950s and 1960s, a period of rapid change through urban renewal. And, it demonstrates how other cities held up Pittsburgh as an example of progressive urbanism.

Silver to Steel: The Modern Designs of Peter Muller-Munk (Heinz Galleries, November 21, 2015–April 11, 2016) introduces the creative mind behind Pittsburgh’s industry. In an era of manufacturing might, Muller-Munk’s design firm, Peter Muller-Munk Associates, designed products found in households across the country, and helped manufacturers push the boundaries of new materials for an international roster of clients.

Jane Haskell’s Modernism: A Pittsburgh Legacy (Gallery One, November 7, 2015–March 7, 2016) expresses a remarkable life living with, making, and giving great works of art. Explore the aesthetic sensibilities of Haskell, an artist, collector, advisor, and patron, through modernist artworks in CMOA’s collection that came from her own, or were purchased under her advisement, including Kandinsky, Malevich, Carrà, Picasso, and Stella.

 

About the Exhibitions

Hot Metal Modern
Opening September 26
Charity Randall Gallery, Hall of Sculpture

Reuben Haley, designer; Consolidated Lamp & Glass co., manufacturer; Ruba Rombic pitcher and glasses, 1928-1932; glass; Carnegie Museum of Art, Second Century Acquisition Fund

Reuben Haley, designer; Consolidated Lamp & Glass co., manufacturer; Ruba Rombic pitcher and glasses, 1928-1932; glass; Carnegie Museum of Art, Second Century Acquisition Fund

A new installation in CMOA’s Charity Randall Gallery, Hot Metal Modern: Design in Pittsburgh and Beyond reveals Pittsburgh as a major center of design, where avant-garde art met cutting edge materials that transformed America. From the roaring 1920s to the swinging 1960s, pioneers at Carnegie Institute of Technology, Kaufmann’s Department Store, and manufacturers such as Westinghouse, PPG, and ALCOA formed a collective network of brave experimentation, education, and promotion of progressive design.

Early 20th-century Pittsburgh was well-acquainted with “good design.” When Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. organized his Good Design exhibition series at MoMA (1950–55), he built upon family legacy. Kaufmann Sr. used his department store as a cultural centerpiece, transmitting modernism through market research and lectures, trained sales staff, lavish international exhibitions, and product buying offices in 27 cities abroad. Shoppers could buy home goods as “fresh as tomorrow’s newspaper”—including Cubist-inspired Ruba Rombic glassware and industrially chic McKay furniture.

In 1936, Carnegie Institute of Technology graduated the first industrial designer with a degree—and “he” was a woman. Hot Metal Modern shows the work of female students of this program in the 1930s and 1940s. And, during this period, regional manufacturers took a chance on now-iconic designers—including Eva Zeisel and Russel Wright—who once struggled to get their work produced. These partnerships created products that infused modern painterly and sculptural ideals in aluminum, ceramic, glass, steel, and cutting-edge plastics.

Hot Metal Modern showcases great design objects from around Pittsburgh, and the stories of innovation and industry behind them.

 

HACLab Pittsburgh: Imagining the Modern
Opening September 12
Heinz Architectural Center

Illustration from Allegheny Center: From a Rich Heritage, a New Way of Life… (brochure); Helmut Jacoby, renderer; Allegheny Center; Deeter & Ritchey, architect; Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, ca. 1962

Illustration from Allegheny Center: From a Rich Heritage, a New Way of Life… (brochure); Helmut Jacoby, renderer; Allegheny Center; Deeter & Ritchey, architect; Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, ca. 1962

The city of Pittsburgh encountered and was transformed by modern architecture in an ambitious program of urban revitalization in the 1950s and 1960s. HACLab Pittsburgh: Imagining the Modern untangles Pittsburgh’s complicated relationship with modern architecture and urban planning. This experimental presentation at Carnegie Museum of Art’s Heinz Architectural Center includes abundant archival materials from the period, an active architecture studio, and a salon-style discussion space, unearthing layers of history and a range of perspectives.

Architects-in-residence, the Boston-based studio over,under, highlight successive histories of pioneering architectural achievements, disrupted neighborhoods, utopian aspirations of public officials and business leaders, and Pittsburgh’s role as a model for the modern American city. These stories, addressed through photographs, films, drawings, documents, and other ephemera, reveal idealism and architectural ingenuity alongside public discourse and protest.

 

Jane Haskell’s Modernism: A Pittsburgh Legacy
Opening November 7
Gallery One

Herbert Seigle; Residence for Mr. and Mrs. Edward Haskell, Pittsburgh: loggia, 1955; black ink and pale green wash on paper; Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of Jane Haskell

Herbert Seigle; Residence for Mr. and Mrs. Edward Haskell, Pittsburgh: loggia, 1955; black ink and pale green wash on paper; Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of Jane Haskell

An artist, collector, advocate, and patron, Jane Haskell (1923–2013) lived with art, and she gave significant artworks to CMOA. Jane Haskell’s Modernism presents artworks originally from her own collection, along with works from CMOA’s collection. As a board member and donor, Haskell helped the museum collect more than 50 works that reflect crucial international developments in abstract art over the course of the 20th century, including pieces by Kazimir Malevich, Vassily Kandinsky, Carlo Carrà, El Lissitzky, Pablo Picasso, Frank Stella, Eva Hesse, Richard Long, and Dan Flavin.

Jane Haskell’s Modernism is presented as a complement to Jane Haskell: Drawing in Light, an exhibition of her artwork at the American Jewish Museum at the The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, on view from October 20, 2015 to February 19, 2016.

 

Silver to Steel: The Modern Designs of Peter Muller-Munk
Opening November 21, 2015
Heinz Galleries

Peter Muller-Munk Associates Silex Air-Lift steam iron, 1949 Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of Jewel Stern; Photo: Dallas Museum of Art

Peter Muller-Munk Associates
Silex Air-Lift steam iron, 1949
Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of Jewel Stern; Photo: Dallas Museum of Art

Peter Muller-Munk was a brilliant silversmith, a pioneering industrial designer and educator, and a visionary spokesperson for his profession. Silver to Steel is the first retrospective of his four-decade career.

With more than 120 works of hand-wrought silver and popular mid-century products, supported by drawings and multimedia interviews, and playfully incorporating period advertising, the exhibition presents the untold story of a man who rose from anonymity as a young silversmith at Tiffany & Co. to become a crucial postwar fulcrum, promoting the practice of industrial design across the globe via a top American design consultancy: Pittsburgh’s Peter Muller-Munk Associates (PMMA).

The exhibition opens with Muller-Munk’s celebrated Modernist silver of the 1920s and 1930s. His best-known designs—the streamlined Normandie pitcher (1935) and the skyscraper-inspired Waring Blendor (1937)—reveal his transition from silversmith to industrial designer and herald an eye-opening presentation of his mass-produced objects. These highly functional and visually striking designs include Bell & Howell cameras, Westinghouse radios and appliances, Griswold cookware, Val Saint Lambert tableware, Porter-Cable power tools, Texaco gas stations and corporate identities, and prototypes in new materials for US Steel. For all its clients the PMMA firm addressed the challenges of a surging postwar consumer culture with vigor and intelligence, producing designs that pleased consumers and became highly successful in the marketplace.

Support
General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. The programs of the Heinz Architectural Center are made possible by the generosity of the Drue Heinz Trust. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Located at 4400 Forbes Avenue in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, it is nationally and internationally recognized for its distinguished collection of American and European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 19th century to the present. Founded in 1896, the Carnegie International is one of the oldest surveys of contemporary art worldwide. The Heinz Architectural Center, part of Carnegie Museum of Art, is dedicated to enhancing understanding of the built environment through its exhibitions, collections, and public programs. The Hillman Photography Initiative serves as an incubator for innovative thinking about the photographic image. For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art, call 412.622.3131 or visit our website at www.cmoa.org.

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Events and Programming: CMOA Collects Edward Hopper

CMOA Collects Edward Hopper
July 25–October 26, 2015
Gallery One

Edward Hopper; Night Shadows, 1921; etching; Leisser Art Fund; Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art

Edward Hopper; Night Shadows, 1921; etching; Leisser Art Fund; Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art

Opening this weekend, CMOA Collects Edward Hopper presents all 17 works by Hopper in the museum’s collection, ranging from impressive examples of his etchings, drawings, and watercolors, to the oil paintings for which he is best known. Related programming includes a beer tasting celebrating Hopper’s etchings alongside a special film screening, a four-session art history class, and a members’ event with curator Akemi May.

Please visit cmoa.org for the latest information on events, and for registration.

Events at Programming

Hops and Hopper
A Beer Event
Saturday, October 10, 2015 / 6–8 p.m. / $25
CMOA Cafe

Toast great American artist Edward Hopper at a beer tasting with Pittsburgh’s hottest breweries. Sample brews with a souvenir pub glass featuring a Hopper image from the CMOA collection and talk with the brewmasters about their hoppy masterpieces. We’ve selected four etchings from our collection – collect all four glasses at CMOA Design Store!

Confirmed breweries include  Grist House Brewing, Abjuration Brewing, Dancing Gnome, Hitchhiker Brewing, Four Seasons Brewing Co., East End Brewing Company, and Voodoo Brewery.

Afterward, see the real artwork that decorates your glass! Explore the exhibition CMOA Collects Edward Hopper that includes every Hopper artwork in the museum’s collection.

Combination ticket with Hopper Stories: $30

Hopper Stories
A Film Screening
Saturday, October 10, 2015 / 2–4 p.m. or 8–10 p.m. / $10
CMOA Theater

Using the imagery of Edward Hopper as inspiration, nine directors create a series of short vignettes for the film Hopper Stories. These fictional tales deliver rich and brooding narratives, appropriate for their muse. This film screening complements CMOA Collects Edward Hopper, a special exhibition featuring every Hopper artwork in the CMOA collection.

Combined ticket with Hops and Hopper: $30

The Making of an American Style: American Painting of the Early 20th Century
An Art History Class, Four Sessions
Wednesdays, October 7–28 or Saturdays, October 10–31, 2015
$80, $64 members / CMOA Theater

In the years that followed World War I, American artists expressed renewed interest in defining an aesthetic vernacular distinctly their own. To better understand this vibrant period of creative expression, join art historian Isaac King as he explores early 20th century art through the work of  Edward Hopper, John Sloan, Robert Henri, Thomas Hart Benton, Charles Sheeler, Charles Demuth, Georgia O’Keefe, and Grant Wood.

Members Only! Coffee with the Curator
August 6, 2015 / 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. / $30
10:30–11 a.m. Light breakfast in Carnegie Café
11 a.m.–noon Lecture in CMOA Theater

Edward Hopper is best known for his paintings of urban modern life in the 20th century, but the artist initially found success with etching. This medium proved to be ideal for his bold graphic compositions and humble American subject matter that included rooftops, railroads, buildings, and landscapes. Gain behind-the-scenes insight into CMOA’s Hopper collection with curator Akemi May, who will discuss this important moment in the artist’s career, famous printmakers like Rembrandt who inspired him, and the watercolors that led to his recognition as a painter.

About the Exhibition

In 1913, Edward Hopper sold his first painting at the first Armory Show. But it would be over a decade before the now-famed painter sold another. Instead, Hopper turned to etchings, drawings, and watercolors, finding recognition for his masterful compositions of quiet, meditative moments.

CMOA Collects Edward Hopper presents all 17 works by Hopper in the museum’s collection, ranging from impressive examples of his etchings, drawings, and watercolors, to the oil paintings for which he is best known. This includes the first painting Hopper sold, Sailing (1911), and his 1936 painting Cape Cod Afternoon, produced after he gained widespread recognition. CMOA Collects Edward Hopper also presents prints by artists who influenced Hopper during his difficult formative years, including Rembrandt, John Sloan, and Charles Meryon.

Edward Hopper; Cape Cod Afternoon, 1936; oil on canvas; Patrons Art Fund; Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art

Edward Hopper; Cape Cod Afternoon, 1936; oil on canvas; Patrons Art Fund; Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art

Never before exhibited together, the works in CMOA Collects Edward Hopper reveal the development of an iconic American master, and shed light on the influences that produced his instantly recognizable style.

Edward Hopper; Roofs, Washington Square, 1926; watercolor over charcoal on paper; Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Beal; Carnegie Museum of Art

Edward Hopper; Roofs, Washington Square, 1926; watercolor over charcoal on paper; Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Beal; Carnegie Museum of Art

CMOA Collects Edward Hopper is organized by Akemi May, associate curator of fine art

 

Support
Generous support for CMOA Collects Edward Hopper has been provided by Jane C. Arkus, the Virginia Kaufman Fund, and the Bernard and Barbara Mars Art Exhibition Fund.

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Located at 4400 Forbes Avenue in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, it is nationally and internationally recognized for its distinguished collection of American and European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 19th century to the present. Founded in 1896, the Carnegie International is one of the oldest surveys of contemporary art worldwide. The Heinz Architectural Center, part of Carnegie Museum of Art, is dedicated to enhancing understand of the built environment through its exhibitions, collections, and public programs. The Hillman Photography Initiative serves as an incubator for innovative thinking about the photographic image. For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art, call 412.622.3131 or visit our website at www.cmoa.org.

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