Serious Play: An Exploration of Midcentury Design

Denver Art Museum’s newest exhibit delivers some serious fun this May

Trends come and go–but despite this, mid-century design continues to stand the test of time when it comes to interior decorating. Though decades-old, the design is still found in many homes across the country with novelty furniture shapes, materials or colors. The Denver Art Museum pays homage to how mid-century design can still bring in fresh, creative perspectives into the American home so many years later in Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America.

Alexander Girard Armchair for Braniff Airlines

This newest installation at DAM will display 40 unique, groundbreaking artists when it comes to mid-century design– from bold, colorful armchairs to innovative patterned textiles. The exhibit will consist of all different aspects of the style by featuring works on paper, models, textiles, furniture, ceramics, films, products and even board games.

Charles Eames with House of Cards construction

Co-curator Monica Obnisku from Milwaukee Art Museum speaks on how the exhibit is an ode to embracing creativity within the home. “While mid-century American design may be familiar to some audiences, this exhibition sheds light on work by many designers from the perspective that play can be a serious form of experimentation,” said Obniski.

Ray Eames with prototype The Toy

“The spirit of play, and its importance to the cultural production of the period, is evidenced by the playful domesticity of Alexander Girard’s storage walls and table settings, as well as by the inventiveness of architects, such as Anne Tyng, who designed modular building toys to encourage creativity in children.”

The exhibition is on view through August 25, 2019. Tickets included with general admission. 

Categories: Events