You see tile everywhere around you — from the walls of your subway station to the floor of your bathroom. But do you ever really consider just how old tile is (dates back to ancient Egypt), or the incredible fact that the there are still limitless architectural possibilities for the material? Join the Museum of the City of New York and the American Institute for Architecture on July 7th at 6:30 p.m. to hear a panel discussion moderated by Suzanne Stephens, deputy editor of Architectural Record, about the use, design, and manufacture of modern tiles. Panelists include Carla Swickerath, CEO and Principal at Studio Daniel Libeskind, Franz Prinsloo, architectural designer at Kohn Pedersen Fox, and Matthew Karlin, the third-generation president of the Nemo Tile Company. (more…)
© Aaron Rose. Untitled, Coney Island, 1961-63. Photo via MCNY.
Summer is quickly approaching and in just a few weeks, Coney Island beach will fill with tourists, surfers and people just wanting a good hot dog from Nathan’s. Nothing truly symbolizes NYC in the summer more than that first day on the famous boardwalk and beach. But before you waste away that summer body you have been working on due to hot-dog consumption, and praying to the heavens that someone in your group remembered to bring sun-screen, head to the Museum of The City of New York for a new exhibition of photographs by Aaron Rose.
Guastavino Tile in the decommissioned City Hall Subway Station
Guastavino was once a name that was a household word amongst architects. The Guastavino Company, led by a father-son team of Spanish Immigrants, oversaw the construction of thousands of thin-tile vaults across the United States, including over 200 in New York City, between the 1880s and 1950s. From Grand Central Terminal’s Oyster Bar and Whispering Gallery to the Municipal Building to the Queensborough Bridge, we walk amidst Gustavino’s tiles every day without noticing.
Opening today at the Museum of the City of New York is the exhibition “Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile,” paying homage to the artisanal family.
Chris “Daze” Ellis, in front of a site specific painting done for the exhibition
The Museum of City of New York’s upcoming City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection, is the first exhibition of the 1970s and ’80s graffiti art amassed by artist and pioneering collector Martin Wong. The exhibition, which opens Tuesday February 4, features important paintings and “black book” drawings by some of the earliest graffiti artists in New York City, including DONDI, DAZE, FUTURA 2000, Keith Haring, LA2, LADY PINK, LEE, SHARP, ZEPHYR, and many more. We had a chance to preview the exhibit and meet some of the artists.
Lady Pink, Death of Graffiti, acrylic on masonite, 1982.
The Museum of City of New York’s upcoming City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection, is the first exhibition of the 1970s and ’80s graffiti art amassed by artist and pioneering collector Martin Wong. The exhibition features important paintings and “black book” drawings by some of the earliest graffiti artists in New York City, including DONDI, DAZE, FUTURA 2000, Keith Haring, LA2, LADY PINK, LEE, SHARP, ZEPHYR, and many more. We recently had a chance to chat with Sean Corcoran, who curated the upcoming exhibition.
Untapped Cities: Tell us a little bit about the artwork in the exhibit.
Sean Corcoran: The exhibition will have about 130 objects from the collection. There will be a combination of works on canvas, works on paper, blackbook drawings, photographs and other media. There is even a painting on a refrigerator door by an artist named Quik!
Norman Bel Geddes with the model of Futurama Exhibit for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Image from Edith Lutyens and Normal Bel Geddes Foundation/Harry Ransom Center
You might recognize the design and aesthetic of Normal Bel Geddes from the Futurama exhibit and the City of Tomorrow from the 1939 New York World’s Fair, but he has largely been forgotten today. Once dubbed “the Leonardo da Vinci of the 20th century,” Geddes began his career designing sets for films, Broadway shows, and even operas at the Old Metropolitan Opera House. He later became the “go-to designer” for brands that now represent the consumer boom in the United States like General Motors, Chrysler, RCA, and Electrolux.
The Museum of the City of New York exhibit Norman Bel Geddes: I Have Seen the Future looks at the legacy of Geddes as a visionary and innovator in the field of industrial design. The exhibit focuses on Geddes’ role in envisioning the “streamlined, technocratic, and optimistic” future of the United States.