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Electric Currents, 1900-1940 at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

03/28/12 through 09/30/12 11 W. 53rd St. Map
212-708-9400
moma.org Ages: All Ages
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Electricity -- a source of clean, efficient power and brilliant, reliable light -- epitomized the very spirit of modernism in the early 20th century. After decades of research and competitive experimentation following the development of the first arc lamps and incandescent filament bulbs in the mid-19th century, electricity began to transform every aspect of modern life. Electric light -- first in city streets and then in homes -- brought a revolutionary innovation to daily existence, literally redefining day and night. This installation features a dozen posters from MoMA's collection used in this period to promote electricity, which offered staggering possibilities for progress but was not universally welcomed. In creating graphics for industry leaders like AEG and Bosch, modern designers were inspired by the beauty of the bulb itself and the splendor of electric light, which are both rendered with exquisite power in Jacques Nathan-Garamond's poster of c. 1938, which pulsates in 2-D. The installation highlights a selection of Lester Beall's equally vibrant posters for the Rural Electrification Administration, which used bold, patriotic graphics to foster public awareness of the benefits of electricity in America's homes and farms during the Great Depression.

Venue Description: MoMA's rich and varied collection constitutes one of the most comprehensive and panoramic views into modern art in the world, and has grown to include over 135,000 paintings, prints, photographs, drawings, sculptures, films, and design objects. Visitors to New York City should make sure to stop in and view the collection during their vacations. Founded in 1929 as an educational institution, The Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world. Central to The Museum of Modern Art's mission is the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by the diverse local, national, and international audiences that it serves. The Museum of Modern Art seeks to create a dialogue between the established and the experimental, the past and the present, in an environment that is responsive to the issues of modern and contemporary art, while being accessible to a public that ranges from scholars to young children. MoMA also has three restaurants on the premises: Café 2, is the museum's sophisticated cafeteria; Terrace 5 is a full-service café where guests can indulge in creative savory selections, delectable pastries and ice cream sundaes, inventive specialty cocktails, micro-brewed beers, and carefully selected wines; and The Modern offers the original, Alsatian-inspired cuisine of Chef Gabriel Kreuther, recently awarded three stars by The New York Times.

Museum Hours: Tues.-Mon., 10:30am-5:30pm; Fri., 10:30am-8pm (free entry 4-8pm for UNIQLO Free Friday Nights).

Upcoming Events

Designing Modern Women, 1890s-1990s - 10/05/13 - 09/21/14

A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio - 02/08/14 - 10/05/14

A Collection of Ideas - 02/15/14 - 02/28/15

Robert Heinecken: Object Matter - 03/15/14 - 09/07/14

Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions - 06/11/14 - 09/28/14

Ray Johnson Designs - 07/02/14 - 09/29/14

Conceptions of Space: Recent Acquisitions in Contemporary Architecture - 07/04/14 - 10/19/14

The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters - 07/26/14 - 03/01/15

Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness - 07/27/14 - 11/02/14

James Lee Byars - 08/17/14 - 09/07/14

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