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‘Visions to Vintage’ brings design to the fore as it looks back in time

A major design retrospective involving 11 prominent curators and more than 200 everyday house wares and more rare pieces, Visions to Vintage: The Value in Collecting Design is now open in MIAD’s Brooks Stevens Gallery of Industrial Design, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free.

Listen to MIAD’s Mark Lawson, director of galleries, and John Caruso, associate professor of industrial design, on WUWM’s Lake Effect Program.

The exhibition, which continues through February 23, 2008, includes selections from the college’s storied Industrial Design Collection and the curators’ private collections – such as pink washing machines of the ’50s, copper machines of the ’20s, and everything in between; television sets of all hues and shapes; minimalist furniture; irons; drills; outboard motors; kitchen wares; typewriters; and telephones – all of which provide a unique view of a ubiquitous part of our man-made environment. More rare design pieces include an art deco box from the 1938 GE World’s Fair.

Mark Lawson, director of MIAD galleries and a participating curator, said, “During the last century, America has been at the forefront both of the profession of industrial, or product, design, and of design’s ascendancy as an art form. The collecting of vintage items, and their showing in exhibitions, has become a valued part of our culture. Such items have much to say about the visual culture and engineering advancements of their time, in addition to their appeal to the nostalgic viewer.”

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In addition to Lawson, who will exhibit the evolution of washing machines as seen through MIAD’s collection, the curators and their collections are:

Chris Borchert and the staff developing the planned West Bend Co./Regal Ware Historic Museum:
Objects from West Bend/Regal Ware’s collection show the transition from aluminum to plastics.

John Caruso, IDSA, MIAD Associate Professor of Industrial Design:
Outboard motors and Russel Wright artifacts, personal collection

Cori Coffman, Executive Director, the Eisner American Museum of Advertising, and MIAD alum:
Objects from MIAD’s collection shown with their original advertising

Ralph Larsen, Collector and restorer of exotic television:
Historic televisions from his and MIAD’s collections

Pascal Malassigné, FIDSA, MIAD Industrial Design Professor named in 2006 as one of America’s most admired design educators by DesignIntelligence magazine:
The evolution of phones and typewriters as seen through MIAD’s collection

Peter Novak, Proprietor of Modern-aire, dealer of decorative arts and vintage artifacts:
The Moderne influences on design, 1930 – 1950, personal collection

Geoffrey Reddington, Avid collector of design artifacts from the Chicago area:
Unknown and under-appreciated designer items, personal collection

Jeremy Shamrowicz, President of Flux Design, MIAD Trustee and alum:
Futuristic influences on the evolution of drills and clothes irons as seen through MIAD’s collection

Kipp Stevens, IDSA, Brooks Stevens Design:
Artifacts designed by his father, Industrial Design pioneer Brooks Stevens

John Vetter, Milwaukee-based “modernist” architect:
Selections from MIAD’s collection reflecting design’s added value and attractiveness