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Plywood: Material, Process, Form

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Butterfly Stool, 1956 Molded Plywood and Metal 15 1/2 X 17 3/8 X 12 1/8" (39.4 X 44.1 X 30.8 Cm) © Courtesy of MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)
Plywood: Material, Process, Form
Curated by: Juliet Kinchin

11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019
February 2nd, 2011 - February 27th, 2012

QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://www.moma.org
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
midtown
PHONE:  
212-708-9400
OPEN HOURS:  
Wed-Mon 10:30 - 5:30; Fri 10:30 - 8:00
TAGS:  
design

DESCRIPTION

“Plywood,” explained Popular Science in 1948, “is a layercake of lumber and glue.” In the history of design, plywood is also an important modern material that has given 20th-century designers of everyday objects, furniture, and even architecture greater flexibility in shaping modern forms at an industrial scale. This installation features examples, drawn from MoMA's collection, of modern designs that take advantage of the formal and aesthetic possibilities offered by plywood, from around 1930 through the 1950s. Archival photographs illuminate the process of design and manufacture in plywood. Iconic furniture by Alvar Aalto, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Arne Jacobsen appear alongside organic platters by Tapio Wirkkala (1951), Sori Yanagi’s Butterfly Stool (1956), an architectural model for a prefabricated house by Marcel Breuer (1943), and experimental designs for plywood in the aeronautics industry.